clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

All the biggest announcements from this week’s Nintendo Direct

The latest on Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Advance Wars, and the rest of Switch’s 2023 lineup

Link overlooking Hyrule from a very high tower. Image: Nintendo/Twitch
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Nintendo is readying its lineup of games slated for the first half of 2023, laying out its plans for upcoming Switch games during a Nintendo Direct livestream on Wednesday. The company touched on already-announced games like Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Last Demon, and Pikmin 4, and the Direct was headlined by the eagerly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

But as always, there were surprises to be had, like the revival of the decades-dormant Samba de Amigo franchise and remasters of Nintendo games from previous-generation consoles. Likewise, Nintendo gave us a peek into the next Professor Layton game, Professor Layton and the New World of Steam.

These are all the biggest announcements made during the February 2023 Nintendo Direct.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

With The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom months away from its May 12 release date, Nintendo is sharing another look into the 2023 game. The highly anticipated title is the sequel to 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — keeping its open-world exploration and expanding that upward and into the sky.

Nintendo also revealed that Link’s next adventure will carry a higher-than-normal price tag: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will cost $69.99 when it launches in May.

Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp

After an 11-month delay, Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp will be released April 21 on the Nintendo Switch. They’re up on the Nintendo Switch eShop for purchase. Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp were supposed to be released in April 2022, but Nintendo delayed it after Russia invaded Ukraine that March. Nintendo said the delay was due to “recent world events,” likely meaning the Russian attack — Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp is a cartoon-styled, turned-based strategy war game.

Game Boy and Game Boy Advance on Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo is bringing a slate of Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games to Nintendo Switch Online. The Game Boy titles are available with a Nintendo Switch Online membership, while the Game Boy Advance games (with Game Boy games) are available with a membership and expansion pass. On Game Boy, it’s titles like Tetris, Metroid 2: Return of Samus, Wario Land 3, and more. For Game Boy Advance, you can expect Mario Kart: Super Circuit and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, among others.

Metroid Prime remake

The original Metroid Prime is getting a remastered version on Nintendo Switch, adding dual-stick controls to the classic GameCube game. It’s coming to the Nintendo eShop later today, and a physical version is coming to stores Feb. 22.

Pikmin 4

Pikmin 4 is the fourth Pikmin game in the franchise’s mainline series, one that people have been waiting on for a decade. On Wednesday, Nintendo gave the upcoming strategy game a release date: July 21. The trailer starts with Pikmin landing on Earth and doing Pikmin things — breaking stuff and fighting enemies — with a very cute dog named Oatchi and new types of Pikmin, like an ice-type.

Samba de Amigo: Party Central

It’s been decades since developer Sonic Team and publisher Sega released Samba de Amigo, an arcade rhythm game that later came to the Dreamcast (2000) and Nintendo’s Wii (2008). The premise is simple: Move your maracas (and your body) to the beat. Samba de Amigo: Party Central will be released on June 30 for Nintendo Switch, launching with 40 songs across genres. There’s more than maraca-shaking this time, too, with minigames — like a love checker — and online play with up to eight players.

Baten Kaitos Remaster

Add another re-release to the list of things announced during Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean will get an HD version for Nintendo Switch alongside a remaster of the 2003 GameCube game’s prequel, Baten Kaitos Origins. Baten Kaitos was originally published by Namco; the game came out first in Japan before a launch in North America in 2004. The JRPG franchise was abandoned after Origins while developer Monolith Soft worked on other projects, like the Xenoblade Chronicles games.

But after all these years, fans of the JRPG and its transforming playing cards kept up hopes and rumors that Baten Kaitos could come back one day. Looks like 2023 is the year — specifically, in the summer.

Fashion Dreamer

Fashion Dreamer is basically a fashion-influencer simulator, where you get scored on your best looks — kind of like Love Nikki, but without the absolutely nuts story. It’s a new IP from XSEED, and it’s coming to Nintendo Switch exclusively in 2023.

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania

Dead Cells is getting a Castlevania-themed expansion, Return to Castlevania. It was revealed at The Game Awards last year, and coming to Nintendo Switch on March 6.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Capcom’s Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a re-release of the 2010 adventure game. It’s expected out in 2023 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC via Steam.

We Love Katamari ReRoll+ Royal Reverie

Namco’s We Love Katamari is being remastered as We Love Katamari ReRoll+ Royal Reverie. The puzzle game is a sequel to Katamari Damacy, and in it, the player controls a rolly-polly character who collects a whole bunch of stuff — you know, in classic Katamari style.

Splatoon 3

Splatoon 3’s expansion pass is a paid DLC with two waves of content — the first of which adds Inkopolis, a location from the original Splatoon. With it is Inkopolis Plaza, with new shops and shopkeeps. The first wave is coming to Nintendo Switch in the spring. The second wave, Side Order, will come later, with a new single-player campaign.

Disney Illusion Island

Disney Illusion Island looks to be a stylized Disney platformer that brings Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald Duck into a new, mysterious world — and it’s got multiplayer for up to four players. It’s coming to Nintendo Switch on July 28.

Harmony: The Fall of Reverie

The future of humanity is at stake in Don’t Nod’s Harmony: The Fall of Reverie. The dramatic game is coming to Nintendo Switch in June. Don’t Nod is known for the Life is Strange franchise.

Professor Layton and the New World of Steam

Surprise! A new Professor Layton game is coming, and Nintendo has kept things very mysterious, showing just the title and nothing else. It’s called Professor Layton and the New World of Steam. The last mainline Professor Layton game was released in 2014.

Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time

Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time is an Animal Crossing-like where you rebuild an island by collecting resources to bring everything back to life. It looks really similar to Animal Crossing, from the aesthetics to decorations and harvesting, but adds some new mechanics, like in-depth cooking. The first game Fantasy Life, was released originally on the Nintendo 3DS. It’s expected out this year.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe course

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s next wave of DLC is coming to Nintendo Switch in the spring — that’s including a Yoshi’s Island course and, thankfully, Birdo.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.