Tuesday’s Nintendo Direct was highly publicized, with 40 minutes devoted to the Japanese company’s handheld console and its games. Most people kept their expectations somewhat in check, as Nintendo said the event would largely focus on products releasing this holiday season. But that still leaves room for surprises, and when Shigeru Miyamoto appears on screen, you’re excited.
Miyamoto is legendary, after all. We tend to see him for important stuff, like the announcement of the upcoming anime mario film this has a star-studded castor for things like Super Nintendo World Theme Park. You know, ads with mainstream appeal or questionable prestige projects.
Miyamoto has also been with the company long enough that he seems more or less able to do whatever he wants, though he still advises on many projects. Lately he’s been focusing on theme parks because it makes him feel like he’s doing something new, and that’s just familiar enough with video game design to generate excitement.
“Now my focus is on the need to keep finding new experiences,” he said in an interview with the new yorker. “That’s always been what interested and excited me about this medium: not perfecting the old but discovering the new.”
But that doesn’t mean Miyamoto is always doing something big and new. Having Miyamoto’s stature means he can also devote time to passion projects. So that’s how we come to today’s big Nintendo Direct.
So that’s how we come to today’s big Nintendo Direct. The thing is, even if you weren’t expecting any news about, say, a new Nintendo Switch model or BotW 2, for some reason, for a brief moment, it seemed like Miyamoto had something important to say. He started off by noticing that he had a few things to share, “including some news.” Immediately after that, Miyamoto started talking about the Chris Pratt mario movie and the Super Nintendo World theme park. Except… all he said was that they were still working on the finishing touches on both projects.
When Miyamoto then started talking about the pikmine mobile game, which has been out for a while, the cat started losing its shit. We haven’t seen Miyamoto in a while and this is what he wants to say to the world? What made it particularly funny was that there’s no way Miyamoto wouldn’t know how it might be received. He introduced the segment by telling people the pikmine The series is 20 years old, but the company is “still working” on it. franchises like Zelda, metroidand Super Mario are all older than that, but he would never remind people that Nintendo is still working on it, that would be nonsense. Nintendo also regularly revives random franchises, although often in the context of series like Smash Bros. But pikmine isn’t exactly a popular series, and we already know there aren’t a ton of people playing Pikmin Bloom, despite having a developer like Niantic behind it.
The silver lining here is that Miyamoto indeed had some real news to share: Pikmin 4 arrives in 2023. The fact that the game exists is probably no surprise to anyone, because Miyamoto kind of said he was “nearing completion” seven whole years ago. pikmine 3 was released in 2013; almost a whole decade has passed. Kudos to all the fans who have been holding on for so long, although I’m afraid you’re still a little hungry, as the trailer we received today doesn’t show much. Did you hear about this property pikmine-like on Game Pass?
While this news made some people very happy, as I watched on Twitch, the chat was in utter disbelief throughout Miyamoto’s segment even as the new game was introduced. Most people were screaming and decrying the whole thing. And that makes sense: thanks to the way the Direct was built, it looked almost like a fake. Everyone started to hold their breath for the possibility of maybe hearing Chris Pratt do an Italian accent, and instead they heard about a franchise that’s been on life support for years and doesn’t has never been so popular initially. “lol”, as the children say.
For those of us who have followed Nintendo for a long time, this is classic Miyamoto. The dude has always been a little offbeat, which is exactly what has equipped him to craft some of the most memorable games of all time. This and pikmine has always been close to the heart of man. In 2013, Miyamoto said that in his lifetime he had made about 50 games and helped oversee more than 100. And among those games, many of which define the industry, pikmine 3 was one of his best, he says. The numbers are probably much higher now, over a decade later, but I’m willing to bet it would probably still rank pikmine high enough up there if he keeps the series on life support.