Remakes and remasters of vintage Nintendo adventures took centre stage during the latest Nintendo Direct, which pulled the company's holiday release slate into focus.
The Japanese company has been working on remakes of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, which first launched on GameCube, and classic N64 adventure Super Mario RPG (also of Wii Shop Wednesday fame).
Luigi's Mansion 2 HD will see the Nintendo 3DS title relaunched for the Switch in glorious high-definition, while Mario vs. Donkey Kong is also being yanked over from the Game Boy Advance.
DLC was given plenty of airtime in the form of new single-player add-on for Splatoon 3 called Side Order that will be part of a larger Expansion Pass and the final wave of content for the Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Booster Course Pass, which will usher in new characters including easygoing entrepreneur Funky Kong.
Third-party studios also got in on the act, announcing remakes of the original Tomb Raider trilogy, Contra (although this one was dubbed a 'reimagining'), and Another Code: Two Memories and its Wii sequel Another Code: R – A Journey into Lost Memories–the latter of which never released in the United States.
Original titles were still given their moment in the sun, with Nintendo teasing the impending releases of WarioWare: Move It, Princess Peach: Showtime, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and Detective Pikachu Returns. The company also announced that acclaimed titles Wartales and Dave the Diver will be making their console debuts exclusively on Switch.
The spectre of the inevitable Switch successor looms large
Although there was plenty of quality on display, it's hard to escape the feeling that Nintendo is keeping some of its big guns in reserve. March 2024 will mark seven years since the Switch first launched, and in recent months there have been rumblings that Nintendo is almost ready to unveil its successor.
A recent report from Eurogamer, corroborated by VGC, indicated that Nintendo introduced the Switch 2 to a number of external developers at Gamescom 2023, which took place at the end of August. That pitch reportedly focused on an improved version of Breath of the Wild with enhanced framerates and visuals, and The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 tech demo.
That story was published a few months after VCG claimed key partners had been sent Switch 2 development kits ahead of an anticipated launch in the second half of 2024. According to that report, the Switch successor will mimic its forebear by doubling as both a portable device and home console.
The Switch has sold almost 130 million units to-date, so it's hardly surprising to hear Nintendo could seek to preserve the brand while looking to debut more powerful hardware. If you believe the rumors, we should find out what shape that hardware will take sooner rather than later.