The development cycle of Pikmin 4 is easily one of the most curious mysteries that Nintendo has been a part of in the last decade. After the success of the first three titles, they were happy to admit that a fourth was in development. Fans were fine with that. Then, in a now infamous tweet, the game was said to be “near release” in 2015. Finally, seven years later, Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that the title would finally come out on Nintendo Switch in 2023. It’s been quite a journey to release. But now, we have a new wrinkle in that journey via its potential release date.
According to the retailer known as Game Explorers, Pikmin 4 is currently scheduled to come out on May 26th. So why is that such an odd thing? Well, if that release date holds, the title would release two weeks after the launch of Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. So do you see the problem now? Exactly. Tears of the Kingdom is one of the biggest Nintendo titles this year, if not the biggest. It’s the one gamers have been itching for and want to play. But they have to wait until May 12th to get it.
So hearing that the newest title featuring the Pikmin is potentially coming two weeks after that is odd, to say the least. Typically, Nintendo would “spread out” the 1st party titles so that they have at least a month of having sales focused on them before another title came out. There have been exceptions to this in the past, but they were acceptable ones.
For example, in 2017, the Nintendo Switch’s launch year, Nintendo had a major 1st and 3rd party game released within one week of each other. Fire Emblem Warriors came out first, followed by Super Mario Odyssey. That was odd then, but this is another level of odd.
It needs to be stressed that the “leaked” date could change, or something else could happen. Then again, maybe Nintendo wants the title to come out two weeks after their heavy hitter. It’s not clear why they would want such a thing, but Nintendo has done weird things in the past.
If nothing else, this is getting fans itching for the upcoming Nintendo Direct that many insiders believe will drop this week. It’ll likely be there that we hear more about Pikmin 4 and when it might release on the Switch. Until then, take everything with a grain of salt.