The Nintendo Direct event on February 8 highlighted the upcoming Nintendo Switch products.  A major focus was on the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom which launches May 12, 2023, at $70 for the basic version and $130 for the collector’s edition.

Nintendo also did a surprise launch of the long-rumored Metroid Prime Remaster, an update of the 2002 GameCube title.  Advance Wars 1+2: Boot Camp is releasing April 21, 2023, and Pikmin 4 received a release date of July 21, 2023.  There were many other titles that were featured across a diverse range of genres. 

There was also a big focus on downloadable content and expansion packs for existing games.  This included Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 3, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and the recent Fire Emblem Engage

Nintendo Switch Online is adding a library of classic games from the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance.  These titles were available immediately for subscribers to the basic subscription service.  Some of the expansion packs and DLC will be available for no extra cost to subscribers of the premium Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.


Nintendo Direct has become the premium event for showcasing new Nintendo products.  The event was not announced until the day before, but rumors had been swirling that it was going to drop this week.

There were no major surprises, except possibly for the immediate release of Metroid Prime Remaster and the classic Game Boy titles.  However, there was an impressive library of offbeat content such as an update of the classic 1999 Sega Dreamcast music title Samba de Amigo, a fashion sim title (Fashion Dreamer), and even a Mickey Mouse title that looks like it will be published by Disney who exited the game publishing business in 2016.

What Nintendo Direct really showcases is how Nintendo is a master of marketing and public relations.  In taking a cue from companies like Apple, Nintendo plays its cards close to its vest and does not make major product announcements until close to launch.  Most of the products had been rumored for a long time.  However, by building a buzz around when there will actually be a Nintendo Direct, consumers are kept on their toes.

Of course, it is has been clear for a long time that the Switch is in its downward cycle.  While recent Switch sales reached DFC Intelligence forecasts, they were below Nintendo’s goals.  We expect to see new Nintendo hardware in the next two years.  However, the recent Nintendo Direct indicates that Nintendo should be able to milk the Switch through 2023.

It is worth noting that Nintendo’s online strategy is surprisingly effective.  Offering online play, classic games, and including DLC is a solid value.  The service is nowhere near Microsoft Game Pass or PlayStation +, but the price is lower and offers great value.  Switch Online has more subscribers than the more highly touted Game Pass.

Overall Nintendo is in a pretty good position.  Investors are of course concerned about the decline of the Switch and details around a new hardware system.  However, Nintendo has the products to continue to drive strong solid software sales in the downward cycle.  Meanwhile services like Nintendo Switch Online should help drive an upgrade path to a new Nintendo hardware system.