Most gamers probably got the hint during Nintendo’s E3 Direct that Metroid Prime 4 wasn’t going to be arriving on store shelves anytime soon. The only thing Nintendo had to share was a splash screen with the title of Metroid Prime 4. The new full-fledged Pokemon RPG in development by Game Freak also received very little lip-service during E3, with gamers only being notified that a full RPG experience was in development for the Nintendo Switch. Well, there appears to be some good news as to when we can at least expect the games to arrive.
In an interview with Venture Beat, Charlie Scibetta, the senior director of corporate communications at Nintendo, revealed to them that at 2018 and beyond would be the platform in which games like Metroid Prime 4 and Pokemon for the Switch would release, saying…
“We’ve announced a nice lineup through this year, and next year we have some big games coming with Metroid 4. 2018 [Ed’s note: Nintendo clarified later that Scibetta meant “2018 and beyond” here] will be around Metroid, Kirby, Yoshi, and a new Pokemon game has been announced. We feel good about the lineup for this year and beyond.”
Originally the interview simply read that Metroid, Kirby, Yoshi and Pokemon were all set for 2018, but Nintendo was quick to localize Scibetta’s comment and make sure people understood that he was referring to 2018 and beyond.
This means that gamers can expect most of those titles between 2018 and 2019, for the most part.
The thing is, Nintendo is going to need an extra strong 2018 line-up if the only games that might possibly release is Metroid Prime 4 and Pokemon. While Pokemon on the Nintendo Switch is sure to drive sales through the roof, the fact it’s not a committed 2018 release means they will need a backup game to help sate interests, and Metroid Prime 4 is not that game. While some small number of fans may enjoy the series, it’s certainly not a console mover like Super Mario or Legend of Zelda, and even if it did move consoles during its launch quarter the FPS outing for a traditional platforming series really limits the appeal beyond gamers who enjoy platforming and puzzles.
For now, Nintendo’s software strategy is definitely sound, but they need to get the supply issues under control. They lost May’s NPD to Sony due to the fact that they can’t supply enough SKUs to meet demand, resulting in lots of stock shortages from retailers. The major issue, according to Fox Business, is that Apple is now their biggest competitor since they need the same components to manufacture their devices.
According to a Toshiba Corp., representative, the supply issue won’t be going away for Nintendo for the rest of 2017, where they stated…
“Demand for our NAND flash memory has been overwhelmingly greater than supply, and the situation is likely to stay for the rest of this year,”
Nintendo had to adjust their forecast from 20 million SKUs moved throughout the fiscal year to just 10 million. This is likely the one problem they didn’t see coming, but at least it’s better to have consumer demand for a product that can’t be supplied, than more than enough supplies that no one is demanding (i.e., the Wii U).