Multiple sources have claimed The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom may be the last major first-party title for the Nintendo Switch.
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Back in November 2022, Head of GamesIndustry.biz Christopher Dring mentioned the somewhat surprising claim while discussing The Pokémon Company’s release schedule. “I completely get the iterative approach to developing Pokemon,” Dring tweeted. “I’m not even opposed to it… I just feel they could have moved Legends to this Christmas, give that game a few more months in the oven. And then Scarlett [sic] and Violet next Christmas.”
“There will be a good reason why they didn’t. But if what I hear is true about Nintendo’s post-Zelda line-up (there isn’t one), those games could play a key role next year,” he concluded, drawing both surprise and denouncement from others online.
Addressing a question raised by Twitter user @P_Betar, who inquired, “Wait what? You mean all next games are in development for the next hardware?” Dring clarified, “No, I didn’t mean literally nothing. I have heard that after Zelda, Nintendo doesn’t have a significant game for quite some time.”
“They have Pikmin , Metroid Prime 4, possibly a new Mario or Donkey Kong after Zelda,” @Genki_JPN pointed out. Dring, however, noted that “Pikmin is tiny,” adding, “They do have those games, but not in 2023.”
As an aside, other Nintendo published titles launching in 2023 include Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe, and Fire Emblem Engage. Due to “real world events,” presumably the war in Ukraine, Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp is still indefinitely delayed.
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Andy Robinson, VGC’s owner and editor, discussed rumors of Nintendo’s new hardware and what it meant for titles on Nintendo Switch. “From what I’m hearing I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo starts talking about new hardware by 2024.”
Robinson went on, “I’m not convinced another huge first-party game other than Zelda is left on Switch,” adding that the “usual Nintendo prediction caveats apply” — essentially praising Nintendo’s unpredictability.
We previously reported on the aforementioned claims the rumored “Nintendo Switch Pro” was in development, but cancelled. The source theorized Nintendo were instead focusing efforts on their next console.
The Nintendo Switch Pro — as dubbed in online discussions — was supposedly planned to be launched in the middle of the console’s life cycle, but what the company delivered instead was the Nintendo Switch OLED Model; releasing on October 4th, which is one of the dates the rumored Pro model would’ve hit store shelves.
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The OLED Model’s reveal also came mere days after the date the Pro was supposed to appear on online retailers. Most curious of all, the OLED Model’s dock is capable of outputting 4K graphics and 60 FPS.
No matter the case, it seems The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom may be the last hurrah for the Nintendo Switch. Pikmin 4 could launch on Switch or the next console, while one of Metroid Prime 4‘s many delays may have been planned to rework it as a system-seller for Nintendo’s next console.
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