It looks like a much-anticipated Nintendo Switch exclusive could be launching sooner than we thought, if a retailer’s listing for it is to be believed.
The Nintendo Switch game in question, Pikmin 4, has been in development for years now. However, My Nintendo News spotted a May 23 release date for the game, listed by Greek retailer Game Explorers. Given that we’ve seen relatively little of Pikmin 4 so far, that launch date feels a little sooner than we expected.
A brief glimpse of Pikmin 4 was shown off during the September 2022 Nintendo Direct presentation, alongside the Niantic-developed Pikmin Bloom mobile app. At the time, a loose ‘2023’ release window was given by producer Shigeru Miyamoto.
This retail listing for Pikmin 4 comes hot off the heels of February Nintendo Direct rumors (thanks, Game Rant), which industry insider Jeff Grubb believes could happen as soon as this week.
That would of course line up with Nintendo’s previous Direct output. The Kyoto-based tech giant typically hosts a Nintendo Direct presentation in the month of February. This collation of rumors, if true, points to Pikmin 4 being a marquee game for the next Nintendo Direct showcase.
A Pikmin-sized grain of salt
While it’s very possible for Pikmin 4 to launch in late May, I’d argue it’s not the best time for the game to come out. That’s because May 12 sees the release of what is perhaps the biggest Nintendo Switch game since its 2017 launch; that being The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Come May 23, the potential release date for Pikmin 4, I imagine millions of Switch owners will still too busy exploring the skies above Hyrule to be mucking about in the infested gardens and damp undergrowths of Pikmin 4.
That’s not to say Pikmin is unpopular, as it’s maintained a strong cult following since the Gamecube days. However, it’s typically overshadowed by Nintendo’s A-team. Your Zeldas, your Marios. Hell, even your Xenoblades and Fire Emblems at this point.
Even still, whether Pikmin 4 hits or misses that supposed May 23 date, Nintendo Switch owners will be looking for all the first-party support they can get. Zelda and Pikmin aside, we’re hotly awaiting post-launch DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Fire Emblem Engage and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
With Nintendo rumored to be skipping E3 alongside its competitors Microsoft and Sony, there’s a chance that Nintendo doesn’t have much to offer in terms of first-party output for its flagship console; and could instead be putting all its eggs in the Nintendo Switch 2 basket.