Detective Pikachu

Update: Lo and behold, a Nintendo Direct only went and got announced for September, didn't it?

Original Article: Looking at Switch's upcoming slate for the remaining months of 2019, there's a fair amount games we here at Nintendo Life Towers are going to have to cram in before we can even start thinking about the inevitable end-of-year discussions. Yes, scary as it might seem, holiday season will be here before you know it and it'll be time for retrospectives, GOTYs and the like. At least the behemoth that is Black Friday keeps Christmas music off shop playlists until December these days.

As is customary our collective backlogs are building, but this year they're particularly bulging, with recent Switch exclusives like Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Astral Chain joining ever-present indie releases and ports of games we've probably already got in a Humble Bundle somewhere, but never got around to.

From the looks of things, the next couple of months aren't going to help us reduce our 'to play' pile either. We've got Daemon X Machina arriving in just a couple of weeks, closely followed by The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening with some huge third-party games like The Witcher 3 and Dragon Quest XI S filling the gap until Luigi's Mansion 3 knocks on the door at the very end of October. Then it's only a couple of weeks before Pokémon Sword and Shield drops and we can kiss goodbye to the year right then. Oh, and let's not forget a brand new version of the Switch is launching on the same day as Zelda. Be still our weeping wallets.

With surprise releases cropping up regularly on eShop (hello Bulletstorm!), plus all the indie titles old and new dropping on a weekly basis, the thought of squeezing a Nintendo Direct in there as well makes us a little dizzy. It's not so long ago when the software mentioned above would represent a year's worth of significant Nintendo console releases and, if we're honest, that wouldn't have been a bad little spread in the Wii U days. How times change! There is, however, plenty that could - and if we're to learn from history, likely will - make up a meaty Nintendo Direct in the very near future.

"But... but I'm not from SNK."
"But... but I'm not from SNK."

Looking back to last year, following the E3 2018 Direct we got a Smash announcement and some indie highlights before a full Direct on 13th September (a week later than planned due to the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake). During that presentation Luigi's Mansion 3, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, the NES controllers for Nintendo Switch Online, Game Freak's Town, Civilization VI, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and more were revealed. The year before that we got a Direct on - yep - 13th September. You don't have to be Detective Pikachu to see what's on the horizon.

With the launch of Link's Awakening and Switch Lite now so close, we doubt there's anything helpful a Direct could deliver about them, unless they want to tell us that the colour lineup for Switch Lite has expanded to include Indigo and Spice Orange, of course. The rumour that Overwatch is heading to Switch would certainly be Direct-worthy, although persistent talk that Tracer could be the next DLC Smash Bros. Ultimate character seems a little far-fetched, especially now that it's rumoured to be someone from the SNK stable thanks to a slip on Nintendo UK's website.

We think an SNK fighter would be a fantastic addition to the varied roster and an announcement would fit nicely into an autumn Direct. Banjo and Kazooie are scheduled to arrive sometime before the end of the year, and if rumours and Japanese ads are to be believed, that could be sooner rather than later. We'd expect to get more details on the bear and bird along the lines of the Dragon Quest Hero video that accompanied his release, but a Challenger #4 announcement must be in the works, especially if Nintendo UK has let the cat out of the bag. A separate (and smaller) Smash video would be possible, though, so what else could a September Nintendo Direct have in store?

Well, 19th September will be the one-year anniversary of Nintendo Switch Online, and that FCC filing for a Super Nintendo version of the wireless Switch controllers can only mean one thing. With no official word yet, an announcement must be incoming. We haven't heard anything else about Animal Crossing: New Horizons since E3, so an update from our pal Tom Nook would go down well. We doubt we'll hear more about the Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel just yet, but it's not beyond the realms of possibility. And how's the Switch follow-up to Detective Pikachu coming along?

You can't keep this guy cooped up on Wii U forever...
You can't keep this guy cooped up on Wii U forever...

And then there's the even more tantalising things we don't know about. It's been nine months since the announcement that Metroid Prime 4 had been restarted. While a lot can happen in nine months, we might be pushing our luck hoping for a first gestational glimpse of that, but with 3DS out of the picture, Nintendo (presumably) has every one of its development teams beavering away on Switch software. The company uses E3 to focus on software releasing this year (the slippery Animal Crossing notwithstanding), so now's the time to see what there is to look forward to next year on the hybrid handheld and its new, non-hybrid, handheld sibling.

There's plenty that could fill out a 30-minute Direct. What's happening with that suspiciously unfilled Game Style gap in Super Mario Maker 2? We've been told online play with our friends is coming so we're due an update. It's been a while since we've had a Wii U port and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe filled that January slot very nicely, if only from a financial perspective, so it's hardly outlandish to suppose that 'Super Mario 3D World Deluxe' might be on the cards. Or maybe Super Mario Sunshine? After all, there was that tweet.

Nintendo's habit of peppering us with smaller, game-specific Directs (like Smash or Pokémon), or compilations like August's Indie Showcase, means less of a focus on huge 30-40 minute extravaganzas. There's every chance that any of the ideas above could have their own smaller video announcement, but we think there's more than enough waiting in the wings to fuel a full-on Nintendo Direct and the time is now. With a pleasantly packed release schedule in the run-down to 2020 (and we haven't even mentioned delicious demon-slaying awaiting us in DOOM Eternal), the real question is could we handle a September Nintendo Direct?

Our hearts would take a new Nintendo Direct every week, but our heads know these things need time to breathe, (and our wallets can only take so much). Do you think we'll get a Nintendo Direct soon? Let us know below and tell us what you'd like to see. We'll assume Mother 3's a given.