An exception was made.
Generally speaking, Nintendo does not like to announce games early. Usually, it announces them at most a year out, and then they release. There are exceptions, of course- Zelda is famous for delays, and protracted hype cycles. But on the whole, the rule holds.
This E3, however, the rule did not hold. Nintendo went ahead and announced Metroid Prime 4, the long awaited next entry in the fan favorite science fiction action series, for the Switch. The game is so early in development that a logo is all we got- no footage, not even a CG trailer. Why announce it so early? Apparently, Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s head explained to IGN, Nintendo made an exception for Metroid.
“You know, for us, we believe that having hands-on opportunity married to an announcement is really the best way to do it,” Fils-Aime told IGN. “And so let’s take Super Mario Odyssey for example. We could have announced it months ago, but we weren’t yet ready, the team wasn’t ready, to show it and to let the consumer really understand visually how the hat mechanic works, how the capture mechanic comes into play. And so that’s how we think these through.”
“For certain games, games that will be in development for, let’s call it a decent amount of time, like Metroid Prime 4 — also, given that it’s a franchise that we know people have been very eager to get some news — that’s when, fine, we’ll share it. We’ll share it early. Others, we want to hold closer in and reveal it when the gameplay is going to be available. It literally is game by game, title by title, how we make that decision.”
I don’t think anyone is complaining about Metroid Prime 4 being announced early, especially since it also creates so much confidence in the future of the Switch. Metroid Prime 4 is due out exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, hopefully within our lifetimes.