Posted July 29, 2020 by Andrew Cathie in Feature

It Feels Like Nintendo Is Preparing To Unleash An Onslaught

It feels like Nintendo is biding their time and preparing to unleash an onslaught this year. Nintendo is no stranger to the odd content drought from time to time, but it feels a little bit different this time around. Even during their content droughts in the past, we’ve still had a view on what’s coming in the future and at least some sort of idea of when to expect it. This time around, while we know a couple of the games they’re working on, we have literally no idea when they’re coming or really, much of anything about them at all. It feels like Nintendo have disappeared and gone into hiding, all to conserve their energy and bide their time before an upcoming onslaught.

Normally, the idea of a console manufacturer going quiet would cause all sorts of alarms to go off in my head, but honestly it feels like a genius idea right now. Nintendo have popped up at a few opportune moments, releasing a couple of remasters, Paper Mario: The Origami King and the utter smash hit Animal Crossing: New Horizons, promptly disappearing for months at a time between them. The regular Nintendo Directs are gone. The big showcase events around E3 are gone. In fact, nearly all communication from Nintendo is gone. We’re entering into August and as far as we know Nintendo isn’t releasing another game this year.

Why would Nintendo go part time and disappear from the face of the earth right now? Because they can. People are caught up in the middle of a global pandemic and PlayStation and Xbox are trying to dominate airtime at all opportunities as they move into a new generation of consoles. Nintendo, on the other hand, riding on the wave of Animal Crossing, is selling record numbers of Switch consoles and software despite not announcing much of anything. Across the world Switch consoles have kept selling out over the last few months and the money is flying into Nintendo. They might have stopped announcing new games or giving us updates on revealed ones, but they’re still raking in the dough.

With that in mind, it makes perfect sense why they’ve suddenly gone quiet. It’s simply because they can. Development has slowed as people adjust to working from home (although Nintendo maintains it hasn’t affected their upcoming games), console shipments have slowed as manufacturing, importing and exporting becomes harder to manage, and the media airwaves have become busier than ever. They’re still making money hand over fist, so now is the perfect time to go quiet. Nintendo isn’t missing, they’re preparing to unleash an onslaught.

Instead of announcing or updating us on games, they’re quietly working on them behind closed doors, keeping their cards close to their chest. Instead of competing for airtime with PlayStation and Xbox, they’re simply holding their news until later. Instead of releasing a mass of games now, they’re holding them back until later, to times when others will try and steal their momentum away. It feels like Nintendo is carefully planning their strategy for attack, waiting for PlayStation and Xbox to be done, before unleashing an onslaught of announcements and news that will steal their thunder.

Rumours have pointed to a Super Mario Anniversary Collection coming this year, as well as a possible Metroid 5. We’ve known about the existence of games like Pikmin 4, Metroid Prime 4, Bayonetta 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 for ages now. The Mario Kart, 3D Mario and Splatoon teams have been working on new projects for roughly three years now as well. There’s definitely games coming, we’re just not hearing about them.

There’s plenty of movement behind the scenes, and with how quiet 2020 has been, it feels like Nintendo are positioning their pieces so they can unleash an onslaught of releases through 2021 to steal as much thunder from next generation as possible and keep their momentum going. The Nintendo onslaught is sure to come at some point, we’ll just have to weather the drought in the meantime.

Andrew Cathie

Rocket Chainsaw's premier Fantasy-loving Editor. I basically play anything and everything that looks like it could be fun or interesting.