OPINION: Nintendo had an interesting year in 2022, with the release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, as well as a refresh to the Bayonetta series with Bayonetta 3. But what does the company have planned over the next 12 months?
We’ve been listening closely to the rumor mill and checking all the news so we can figure out what Nintendo is planning for 2023.
Without further ado, here is what we can expect from Nintendo over the next 12 months.
More Switch exclusives to look forward to
One thing to look forward to next year is the plethora of games coming to the Nintendo Switch series. Arguably the most anticipated title is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the long-awaited sequel to Breath of the Wild.
Tears of the Kingdom is slated for release in May next year, and comes in as another open-world adventure in which you can traverse and explore the lands at your own pace. While Nintendo has been tight-lipped about the plot, we can guess that Ganon is going to return to Hyrule to cause more chaos.
Other games that are coming in 2023 include Fire Emblem Engage, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse and Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon.
And since Nintendo has a habit of announcing its games only a few months before they release, we could see even more fantastic titles dropping in 2023, with some hopefully making their way into our Best Nintendo Switch Games roundup.
The Super Mario Bros. movie
While this entry does not classify as a new game or a piece of hardware, the Super Mario Bros. Movie is undeniably exciting and could be Nintendo’s first step into creating its own movie universe.
The movie is being produced alongside Illumination and Universal and should be coming to cinemas at the end of March in the UK, and reaching American cinemas at the start of April. This is Mario’s very first animated movie, with Chris Pratt taking on the starring role. The rest of the cast is equally impressive, with Charlie Day taking on the role of Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy voicing the lovely Princess Peach and comedy icon Jack Black bringing Bowser to life.
While we won’t know the full effect of The Super Mario Bros. Movie until it releases, this could be the push Nintendo needs to start producing more animated movies. Franchises like Metroid, Star Fox and The Legend of Zelda could see their own Hollywood adaptations if all goes well, giving younger generations the chance to get to know quintessential characters and games from Nintendo’s history.
The Nintendo Switch Pro
Nintendo has been continually cagey about the existence of the Nintendo Switch Pro, but it seems like we might see a new console launching at the end of next year. President of Nintendo Shuntaro Furukawa claimed that the company will not be releasing a new console in its upcoming fiscal year, which lasts until March 2023, with no mention of what could be coming after.
Furthermore, in a since-deleted Tweettrusted insider Nate the Hate claimed that the Nintendo Switch Pro will be launching in the first half of 2023. There have also been claims of developer kits for an upgraded Switch being handed out, although it’s not been confirmed if these were in fact Switch Pro prototypes.
Bloomberg also reported that game developers have been working on 4K games for the Nintendo Switch, despite the fact that all current Switch consoles – including the vanilla Switch, Switch OLED and Switch Lite – do not support Ultra HD resolutions.
The Switch family is in dire need of an upgrade since the company has not swapped out or improved the internals since the console launched in 2017, so we will be keeping our fingers crossed for the Nintendo Switch Pro in 2023, even if Nintendo refuses to confirm anything.
Wildcard: A dedicated Donkey Kong game
Donkey Kong was the first gem Nintendo ever created, allowing the company to corner the North American market with the aptly named arcade game, Donkey Kong. DK is one of Nintendo’s most beloved and well-known characters, helping to pave the way for even more historic faces like Mario, Kirby and Zelda, among many others.
Which is why we have to ask, when is the next Donkey Kong game going to be released? DK’s last dedicated outing was in 2014’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, with no further solo games being released in the last eight years.
That’s not to say that we don’t get to see our favorite gorilla in games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Bros Ultimate, but with so many solo games for characters like Mario, Zelda and even Samus, we think it’s time that DK got some more time in the limelight.
There were murmurs earlier in 2022 about a potential 2D Donkey Kong game for the Nintendo Switch, but these fizzled out early on, leaving fans waiting on tenthooks for when Nintendo will finally give DK and his trusty sidekicks Diddy and Dixie another starring role.
While we can’t guarantee that a new Donkey Kong game will be gracing our Switches anytime soon, there is always hope, and we personally can’t wait to get stuck back into DK Island to collect bananas and fight against the unruly King K. Roll.