On Wednesday, Nintendo hosted a 40-minute livestream showcasing the games set to launch on Switch before the end of the year. Nintendo was the last of the three console makers to host its summer gaming showcase, following PlayStation on May 24 and Xbox on June 11. Now that all of the major players have shared their plans for 2023 (and beyond), we wanted to rank them and give each of them a grade based on how excited we are.
3. PlayStation Showcase
- Best announcements: Fairgame$, Helldivers 2, Marathon, Project Q
- Score: C
Despite the fact that the PlayStation 5 has been a runaway success since its debut in 2020, we appear to have caught Sony at an awkward time this summer. 2022 was full of PS5 exclusives, from Horizon Forbidden West to God of War Ragnarök to Gran Turismo 7. Then, in the first half of 2023, we got a new PlayStation VR headset and all the games that launched alongside it, as well as Final Fantasy XVI. There was going to be a lull eventually.
The good news is that the relatively quiet holiday season for the PS5 will feature the launch of Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. The map will be twice the size of the last game’s map, and you can switch between Peter Parker and Miles Morales at will.
We’re also intrigued to learn more about the streaming portable console known as Project Q, but we do kind of wish it was just the PS Vita 2. We also want to see more of the competitive shooter Fairgame$ since all we got was a CGI trailer.
2. Xbox Games Showcase
- Best announcements: Starfield, Dungeons of Hinterberg, Metaphor: ReFantazio
- Score: B+
The only reason that Microsoft isn’t tied with or even slightly ahead of Nintendo is that I’m not sure when most of the games from the showcase are actually coming out. Bethesda’s massive open-world sci-fi RPG Starfield is locked and loaded for September 6, and Forza Motorsport will race onto the scene on October 10. Those are the only two Xbox exclusives with release dates, and everything else will launch at some point in 2024 or beyond.
That said, most of those new games look excellent. Fable appears to have nailed the tone of the older entries; Avowed could be Skyrim: New Vegas; Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 is somehow even more stunning than its predecessor; and I can’t wait to see more gameplay from South of Midnight and Hellblade 2 in the months to come.
Then there are the games we didn’t see, like Perfect Dark, Everwild, and State of Decay 3. The future looks bright for the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X, but until Microsoft can nail down a few more release dates, we’re going to remain cautiously optimistic.
1. Nintendo Direct
- Best announcements: Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Super Mario RPG, Pikmin 1 + Pikmin 2, Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince, WarioWare: Move it!
- Score: A
Prior to the Nintendo Direct on June 21, the Switch release schedule for 2023 was pretty barren. Pikmin 4 and Everybody 1-2-Switch were the only first-party Switch games on the calendar, and both are coming out before the end of July. But now we know just how busy the holiday season is going to be for the Switch, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
This fall, Nintendo is going to release a new 2D Mario game titled Super Mario Bros. Wonder, a visually overhauled remake of Super Mario RPG, a new WarioWare, the long-awaited sequel to Detective Pikachu, and a new Dragon Quest Monsters.
The only thing missing from this presentation was Metroid Prime 4, but at this point, we suspect that it’s going to be a launch title for the Nintendo Switch 2. Nintendo certainly could have rested on its laurels after the success of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, but instead, we’re getting one of the most substantial holiday lineups since the Switch launched.