ony and Nintendo are broadcasting their own gaming showcases directly to fans. But why have these two gaming giants picked the same date – Tuesday 13 September – to host their latest streams, with just eight hours between the two start times?
The most likely explanation is to tie in with the Tokyo Game Show, which kicks off on Thursday. Still, with both firms only announcing their intention to broadcast on Monday, there wasn’t much notice for either to back down.
What to expect from the two shows
Nintendo Direct (September 2022)
For Nintendo Direct, we’re promised “40 minutes of information” with a focus on Switch games “launching this winter” including Zelda, Pikmin 4 and Goldeneye titles and some remastered favourites.
Top of the wishlist is the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s coming on May 12 2023, and its full title will be The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. This title might partly explain why Nintendo felt the need to cancel its UK-specific livestream in a show of respect for the Queen’s passing.
The full trailer clocks in at just over a minute and a half, and you can watch it below.
But perhaps the bigger surprise was the revelation that Pikmin 4 – first announced seven years ago – is officially still in production. The assumption at this point was that the game had been quietly abandoned, but the trailer below clearly shows that we’ll be commanding plant-based squads all over again at some point next year.
Technically, these are both old news and have been previously promised but there were some entirely new games in the mix too.
First up is Fire Emblem Engage, the latest in the series of turn-based strategy games that first appeared on the NES in 1990. Fan service will be provided to long-term fans via in-game accessories that can summon characters from previous titles.
Another new title came in the form of Octopath Traveller 2. Square Enix’s RPG originally arrived on Switch in 2018 before making its way to other formats later on. This time, the Japanese trailer reveals, it’ll be coming to Steam, PS4 and PS5 too. The English trailer is below.
The other interesting announcements were remasters or ports of existing games. The most exciting of these for gamers of a certain age is the return of Goldeneye, the James Bond N64 classic that will finally come to Switch Online, complete with the split-screen multiplayer that made it a classic of 1990s parties. And, yes, you can play together online now as well.
The return of Goldeneye was by no means guaranteed, due to the question of who owned the rights. It was an N64 exclusive back in the day, but it was made by Rare – a studio that was purchased by Microsoft in 2002. That’s probably why it’s coming to Xbox consoles on the same day, complete with 4K resolution and achievements.
On the subject of remasters of previous-gen games, the GameCube classic Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life will come to Switch next year – albeit with a different name due to rights issues. It’s now Story of Seasons. Also from the GameCube era is the JRPG Tales of Symphonia, which is coming to Switch (and other consoles) in early 2023.
Moving on a generation, Kirby gets a look in with Return to Dream Land Deluxe. It’s coming next February and will be part of the pink ball’s 30th anniversary celebrations apparently.
From the same Wii era, we also have the survival horror title Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, which will arrive on Switch early in 2023.
A host of ports from other consoles were also announced.
Cute indie darling Tunic, previously exclusive to PC, Mac and Xbox, will be arriving on other formats including the Switch on September 27, while the remake of PSP title Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 will come to Switch on December 13.
Brilliant co-op game It Takes Two will make it to Switch in between them on November 4, with a rather neat mechanic where two Switches can share a copy for local play.
Finally, the Switch will be getting Resident Evil Village – albeit with a catch. The Switch’s hardware evidently isn’t up to the challenge of running the game locally, so instead you’ll have to stream it from some remote cloud servers.
But there’s an upside to this approach: Nintendo also revealed that cloud versions of Resident Evil 2, 3 and Biohazard will also be available later this year.
Overall, a solid Nintendo Direct, then – although fans of Metroid have once again been left disappointed by the MIA Metroid Prime 4. But if Pikmin 4 can come back from the dead, then we shouldn’t give up hope on Samus’ future return just yet…
Despite Nintendo taking the much-lampooned decision to not livestream the latest Direct in the UK out of respect for the passing of the Queen, there’s nothing stopping you from tuning in live on the US channel, unless the company puts in some aggressive location blocking.
It starts at 3pm BST on YouTube, and while there are some regional differences between streams, transatlantic broadcasts tend to be near identical. All the same, you can watch the UK-specific one on the Nintendo UK channel at 4pm, when it’s uploaded as a video on demand if you prefer.
Sony State of Play (September 2022)
For Sony, it’s all about the imminent Tokyo Game Show and a “time to celebrate the amazing creative contributions of the Japanese game development community”. It’s set to be half the length of Nintendo’s effort, clocking in at around 20 minutes in all.
The focus on Japanese partners will be disappointing for those looking for updates on God of War: Ragnorak, and also makes it a bit harder to predict what we’ll end up seeing. That said, it could be good news for fans of Final Fantasy, what with us awaiting firm release dates for XVI (due next year) and Crisis Core Reunion (still 2022, last we heard.) Maybe we’ll even hear something about the rumoured PS5 remaster of Bloodborne?
For those with Western gaming tastes, it won’t just be about the firm’s “amazing Japanese partners”, and we can expect “a few other surprises from developers all around the world”. We’re also promised “fresh gameplay footage for 10 games coming to PS5, PS4 and PS VR2”.
Hopefully, that means we’ll get some fresh intel on when to expect PS VR2. So far, Sony has just promised to release the headset in “early 2023”, which feels like odd post-Christmas timing for something that will at least match (and very likely eclipse) the £349 launch price of its predecessor.
You can tune in either on Twitch or YouTube, and it’ll be kicking off at 11pm BST.