The wait for a new core Pikmin has been a long one, but finally, at today’s Nintendo Direct, Shigeru Miyamoto revealed to the world that Pikmin 4 is in development, and is on track for release in 2023. This is alongside several other Nintendo first-party reveals during the stream that included The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom (Breath Of The Wild 2 as many of you may still know it as), Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe, Fire Emblem Engage, updates to Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the latest batch of DLC coming to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and much more from independent developers and third-party partners.
Mr. Miyamoto’s excitement was as real as our own as he shared the first details about the coming title,
“We won’t be showing any gameplay today, you’ll be able to play like this, from the Pikmin’s perspective near the ground. Nintendo Switch has made controlling the game simpler, meaning you can further concentrate on the core essence of Pikmin gameplay. We call it ‘Dandori’ in Japanese, or strategically planning, deploying, and commanding the Pikmin. I hope you’re all looking forward to Pikmin 4,” Miyamoto said
The albeit limited footage showed off the franchise’s iconic Pikmin antagonist, the Bulborb, a park location, and a still screenshot that Miyamoto indicated towards was to represent the perspective that players will be able to assume, that of a ground-based Pikmin absorbing the scale of the environment around them. Pikmin 3 introduced several new Pikmin, namely the Rock Pikmin, and the adorable pink Flying Pikmin; this duo added a range of new gameplay tweaks to the formula, and we have to assume that with Nintendo now choosing to return to the well on the franchise, some nine years after the previous game was released, that they have some creative new critters in store.
Of course, Pikmin 4 has been teased for many years. Miyamoto confirmed in 2015 that a new core game was in the works, but since then we’ve only seen spin-offs, the 3DS title, 2017’s Hey Pikmin!, and Pikmin Bloom, a mobile game from Pokmon Go developer Niantic that launched late in 2021. With Pikmin 4 now official, it’s nice to see a defined path forward for the core franchise has been revealed to fans, as they salivate over the 2023 release window for the Nintendo Switch.
The slate of titles coming to Nintendo Switch, especially in the first half of 2023 following many of today’s announcements makes it likely that Pikmin 4 won’t launch on the platform until the latter half of 2023. This will give players time to digest the other big hitters like those aforementioned first-party exclusives, Octopath Traveler II, Story Of Seasons: A Wonderful Life, Tales Of Symphonia Remastered, and more.