5 biggest announcements from the Nintendo Direct February 2023

February 2023 Nintendo Direct - Tears of the Kingdom
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New games, fresh content, and remastered classics all made for a jam-packed February 2023 Nintendo Direct presentation this morning. Oh, and another trailer for the highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. No big deal.

Via the digital showcase method long favoured by the Japanese games company, Nintendo highlighted the vast and varied titles en route to its Switch console over the next few months. To get you up to speed, here are five of the biggest things you need to know about February 2023 Nintendo Direct.

Release dates confirmed for long-awaited games

Up first in the 2023 February Nintendo Direct was Pikmin 4, the latest entry in a series that hasn’t seen a mainline game since Pikmin 3 in 2013. Following a fresh look at the adorable strategy action, Nintendo confirmed it’s coming on 21 July.

Later on, we finally saw the reemergence of Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp. A remake of the fantastic Game Boy Advance tactics games, it was meant to launch in 2022 but got delayed indefinitely in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. After many months of radio silence, it’s now set to arrive on Nintendo Switch on 21 April.

Game Boy and Game Boy Advance classics come to Switch

One of the biggest announcements made during the February 2023 Nintendo Direct was Game Boy and Game Boy Advance coming to the Nintendo Switch Online service. In case you’re not familiar, Nintendo Switch Online is the console’s paid subscription service that grants you access to online play, cloud saves, and a library of games from classic platforms.

Available now for subscribers, some of the Game Boy titles include Tetris, Kirby’s Dream Land, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, with more on the way. One of the cool features here is the ability to play games using different filters to make it look like you’re playing them on either a Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket, or Game Boy Colour.

Several Game Boy Advance games are also out now to subscribers of the slightly more expensive Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass tier. Some of these include Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, and Mario Kart: Super Circuit. The pricier Expansion Pass tier of Nintendo Switch Online also houses Nintendo 64 games, like Goldeneye 007, which Nintendo recently added to its library.

Loads of new content for popular games

Much of the 2023 February Nintendo Direct focused on additional content for pre-existing games in the form of expansion passes. By purchasing a game’s expansion pass, you get extra premium content to extend its shelf life.

Nintendo revealed an expansion pass for Splatoon 3, its wholesome paintball shooter, with two separate content waves incoming. The first is a nod to the original game, letting you visit Inkopolis and reunite with older characters. Wave two involves new story content, teased as “Side Order”, featuring a strange, sparse location.

Wave 4 of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe‘s Booster Pass is due to drop this Autumn, featuring a new Yoshi’s Island track and Birdo as a playable racer. Other games with revealed expansion content include the recently released Fire Emblem Engage, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3, which was one of 2022’s Game of the Year nominees at The Game Awards.

Beloved classics find new life on Nintendo Switch

Remasters and ports of classic games are a popular choice on Nintendo Switch thanks to its portable form factor. And boy, did the February 2023 Nintendo Direct deliver on that front.

For starters, the cult classic Nintendo DS mystery game Ghost Trick saw a surprise announcement. If you’ve never played it, you’re in for a treat when it launches during the Australian Winter.

Plus, the legendary GameCube title Metroid Prime Remastered is out now on the Nintendo eShop, with physical copies to hit stores on 22 February. We also saw more details about the remastered Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, out on 24 February, reviving the 2011 platforming gem.

Plenty of other beloved Japanese series saw plenty of love during the presentation, including remasters of Baten Kaitos I and II, the Etrian Odyssey HD Collection, and We Love Katamari.

Tears of the Kingdom is on track with a new trailer

Ahead of today, concerned murmurs surrounded Tears of the Kingdom and a potential delay. Fortunately, Nintendo allayed such fears, showing off a fancy new trailer and reaffirming its 12 May release date. Additionally, we saw some more gameplay elements, including ancient vehicle-like structures, alongside a slick collector’s edition reveal.

A sequel to 2017’s Breath of the Wild, expectations are high for Tears of the Kingdom. As the trailer shows, there’s plenty of shared DNA between the games with some fresh twists, which bodes well for eager fans.

This only scratches the surface of what we saw today, so you can check out a full replay of the February 2023 Nintendo Direct via YouTube. There’s a whole heap of promising indie games and other titles well worth looking at alongside the heavy hitters.

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