We know Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aimé is excited about Metroid Prime 4. He's been recently spotted wearing appropriately-themed t-shirts and right now he's even training up with the new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighter Ridley. So, what's the current status on Metroid Prime 4?
During a recent chat with Mashable, Reggie remained tight-lipped about a possible release date but provided some hints by discussing Nintendo's approach to its release schedule. If it wasn't already evident, it's all about selling big games during key seasons of the year as well as spacing out these releases in a timely manner to sustain interest.
We certainly think about launching key games during key selling seasons. So it was well thought-through to have, for example, Zelda as a key launch title when the Switch first came out. It was well thought-of to have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 to maintain momentum in that early launch window... It was thought-out to have a game like Super Mario Party to kick off our October selling season. It was well thought-of to have Pokémon and Smash Bros. as key anchors.
Directly acknowledging Metroid Prime 4, Reggie provided a small update by confirming development was well underway:
Internally, we have expectations about when [Metroid Prime 4] is going to be released... We haven't announced it, but yeah, the game is well in development.
He went onto explain how Nintendo always considers how its fans will react to certain game reveals and delivers key messages to consumers when necessary. Reggie also said how the company likes to keep the time between an announcement and release as short as possible, but it doesn't always work out like this.
Typically six months to maybe a year out is what we like to do, but there are times for strategic reasons that we believe it's important to message that a game is coming... We did that years and years ago with Zelda. We were messaging a new Zelda experience back during the days of the Wii U... It really depends on the game, it depends on the type of development that it's going through, and it depends on how we feel the consumer is going to respond to the particular message.
Obviously, Metroid Prime 4's reveal was not much different, with Nintendo simply flashing the game's logo up on screen during E3 2017, alongside the confirmation the title was in development. The Animal Crossing Switch reveal was similar - with the game simply confirmed for 2019 during a recent Direct. At the very least, we now know the new Metroid game is well into development. It's certainly a step up from his previous comments.
Taking all of Reggie's comments into consideration, when exactly do you think Metroid Prime 4 will arrive on Switch?