The first Nintendo Direct of 2022 has finally arrived.
Nintendo says that the presentation will last for about 40 minutes and feature information “mainly focused” on Switch games coming out in the first half of this year. That description implies there will be news about other games as well, leaving the door open for some huge announcements. The stream begins at 2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET on Wednesday.
Watch the February 2022 Nintendo Direct
Looking at Nintendo’s release schedule, the only unreleased first-party game with a release date is Kirby and the Forgotten Land, which comes out on March 25th. We’ve already seen the game in action, but we will likely see more footage during the Direct.
Other first-party Switch games slated to launch this year include Splatoon 3, Bayonetta 3, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. We would not bank on the Zelda sequel being ready this early, but the other two titles could definitely make appearances. We’re also waiting to hear more about Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp and Metroid Prime 4.
Rumors and speculation
Nintendo hasn’t offered any hints about the contents of the presentation, but we might have gotten a hint from a legendary designer. Shigesato Itoi, writer and creator of the EarthBound / Mother trilogy, posted a cryptic tweet about the event on Wednesday. Some have seen this as a sign that Mother 3 will finally get a formal release in the US:
One thing we do know for sure is that there will not be any more Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighters. Sora from Kingdom Hearts joined the roster last fall, and will be the final fighter the team adds to the game. Now we’ll all just have to wait for the next entry.
Finally, while it seems somewhat far-fetched, there are rumors that Mario Kart 9 will show up at the Nintendo Direct on Wednesday. Mario Kart 8 launched on Wii U nearly eight years ago. Nintendo re-released the racing game on Switch under the name Mario Kart 8 Deluxe a few years later, but it will also celebrate its fifth anniversary this April.
A new Mario Kart is overdue, and an announcement today would certainly get people talking. That said, Nintendo might wait until E3 this summer for such a noteworthy reveal.
With so many massive PS5 and Xbox games dropping this spring, Nintendo needs to leave a mark with its first Nintendo Direct of 2022. 40 minutes is plenty of time to give fans reasons to be excited about the future of the Switch (or leave them utterly disappointed).