Nintendo Direct March 2020–One Extra Game Was Announced In Japan

Nintendo’s new surprise Direct mini came seemingly out of nowhere today, announcing some much-wanted ports and hinting at the next Smash Bros. character and some upcoming Animal Crossing events. As always, different regions got slightly different variants on the Nintendo Direct, and in Japan, one extra game was announced.

Shiren the Wanderer 5+ is coming to Switch, and it’ll be an updated port of the PS Vita game, which released in the US by the name Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate. The news was picked up on by Twitter user Wario64.

The game, which started life as a Japanese exclusive Nintendo DS title before working its way to the PS Vita in 2015, is a rougelike dungeon crawler that shares a lot of similarities with the recently released Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, also developed by Spike Chunsoft.

The Shiren the Wanderer series has appeared outside of Japan several times, but there’s no word yet on whether this version will get an English language release. The Switch is, however, region-free, so there’s always the potential to import it. The PS Vita version received strong reviews, so here’s hoping.

Also announced in the Nintendo Direct Mini was a release date for Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition.

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Surprise Nintendo Direct Drops Bevy Of Details For The Switch

Nintendo released a surprise Nintendo Direct presentation offering a shotgun blast of details for various Switch games.

Apart from 2K’s Switch collections for Borderlands, XCOM 2, and BioShock, and a release date for the Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition (May 29), the presentation also dropped a variety of news on a bevy of titles.

  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate revealed that the first character in the newly announced Fighters Pass Vol. 2 is from ARMS, and will be released and announced in June. Unfortunately, there was no other information on this other than to stay tuned.
  • Speaking of Arms, a game demo is running from March 26 to April 6 for paid Switch online members.
  • A free Animal Crossing: New Horizons Bunny Day event runs from April 1-12, with other events like Earth Day coming later.
  • Pokémon Sword & Shield expansion pass details. Isle of Armor comes out at the end of June, with more info about The Crown Tundra to follow.

If you don’t want to wait for those titles, Nintendo has announced Switch games and content available now: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order expansion pass content featuring the Fantastic Four, Shinsekai: Into the Depths, Good Job!, A Ring Fit Adventure update featuring a rhythm mode with music from Splatoon 2, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey, Star Wars: Jedi Knight Academy, Panzer Dragoon: Remake, and the Bravely Default II demo.

And further out in the future Switch owners can look forward to games including:

  • Saints Row: IV – Re:Elected (March 27)
  • Star Wars Episode I: Racer (coming soon)
  • The Elder Scrolls: Blades (spring)
  • Minecraft Dungeons (spring)
  • Vigor (closed beta)(April 9)
  • Trials of Mana (April 24)
  • Ninjala (May 27)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition (May 29)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus (May)
  • Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics (June 5)
  • Mr. Driller: DrillLand (June 25)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trials of Cold Steel III (June 30)
  • Catherine: Full Body (July 7)
  • Fuser (fall)
  • King’s Bounty II (later this year)
  • Bravely Default II (later this year)
  • Burnout Paradise Remastered (later this year)

Finally, despite the bevy of great news today, Nintendo sensitively reminds us that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of these release dates may change.

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A Nintendo Direct Is Allegedly On Track For The 26th

VentureBeat writer Jeff Grubb is claiming that the long-fabled Nintendo Direct for March is set for tomorrow.

Grubb published an article on March 10 claiming that Nintendo would be publishing an Indie Direct and another major Nintendo Direct in March, and with half of the article already correct, it seems that a Direct is set for tomorrow.

Grubb posted a tweet on March 25 claiming that the Direct is still on track to happen, following it up with another message saying, “Nintendo has planned on March 26 for a long time. I’m still confident because it would be a dick move to the other devs in the Direct who are relying on that marketing if Nintendo postponed now.”

As Grubb’s original article correctly predicted the date of the Indie World Showcase, it seems likely that his Nintendo Direct information is correct. Nintendo usually releases an announcement with very little notice about Directs, so the fact that we haven’t gotten any official confirmation isn’t surprising.

Despite the fact that we’ve gotten Pokémon and Animal Crossing Directs this year, fans are still hungry for a general Direct. Virtually all of Nintendo’s 2020 lineup outside of the Xenoblade Chronicles remaster is unknown, and even that title only has a vague 2020 date as of now.

Nintendo needs to have a strong showing this year considering that it’ll be contending with next-gen systems in the holiday season. Considering that most people are locked up in their homes right now, this seems like the perfect time to get some messaging across about what fans can expect from the company this year.

We currently have no release date set for confirmed games such as Metroid Prime 4, Bayonetta 3, and Breath of the Wild 2. Both of Pokémon Sword & Shield’s expansions are also currently undated. Many of these release dates could be announced in the direct, and there are certainly many surprises that fans are waiting for. Smash Ultimate Fighter Pass 2, anyone?

The ball is in Nintendo’s court now, and if there is a Direct scheduled for tomorrow, we’re likely going to be hearing about it very soon.

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Indie World Direct due this week, Nintendo Direct next week?

Nintendo’s announcement of a new Indie World livestream could indicate a new general Direct, according to recent rumours.

There have actually been plenty of new Nintendo Directs this year. Back in January, Game Freak unveiled the Pokémon Sword and Shield expansion pass, and Byleth was confirmed for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

And only last month, we got an Animal Crossing-themed one for the soon-to-be-released New Horizons.

But, that’s not what most fans are after. They want a more general Nintendo Direct; one that focuses on a multitude of different titles, especially as after Animal Crossing there isn’t a single major new Switch game scheduled for release for the rest of the year.

A full fat Nintendo Direct still hasn’t been confirmed but Nintendo will be hosting one of its Indie World showcases (or Nindies, as it used to be called), where the publisher highlights upcoming indie titles.

Naturally, this has revitalised speculation that a new Nintendo Direct will follow, which is exactly what one previous rumour predicted.

Less than a week ago, a rumour began circulating that Nintendo would have two Nintendo Directs in March; one of them being a Nindies showcase and the other a more general Direct.

The rumour claimed that the indie Direct would be held on Wednesday, 18 March. But the date has turned out to be inaccurate, with the showcase happening tomorrow on Tuesday, 17 instead.

Whether that means the other prediction, that there’d be a general topic Nintendo Direct on Thursday, 26 March, is more or less likely is hard to say, as the wrong date may mean the leaker was just taking an educated guess or maybe Nintendo changed dates at the last minute.

But previous Directs have tended to take place on Thursdays and a new one is long overdue, so there is that.

SinceNintendo don’t announce these Directs until a few days beforehand (sometimeseven only the day before), we’ll have to wait until next week to see if any ofthis speculation holds true.

The Indie World showcase will take place on 17 March at 5pm GMT / 10am PT / 1pm ET.

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March Nintendo Direct in the works with focus on 2020 lineup

The next Nintendo Direct is in the works. The publisher hasn’t confirmed the event yet, but it’s in the final stages of putting the video presentation together. That’s based on what we’re hearing as well as some other indicators. Expect a Nintendo Direct soon. The company is penciling in something for next week that could either end up as the Direct or one of the company’s indie showcases (like the one it released around GDC 2019). But if it broadcasts an Indie World show next week — possibly on March 18 — a full Direct will follow soon after.

Unlike the last two Directs, which focused on specific games (Pokémon and Animal Crossing: New Horizons), the next Direct will take a broader look at the Nintendo Switch’s upcoming lineup. Nintendo’s first-party slate is the subject of many rumors, and I can’t confirm what it will show off. But it will bring in support from third-party publishers and developers. So expect to hear about a wide variety of games that you can pick up for Nintendo’s hybrid home/handheld Switch console.

This Direct also gives Nintendo one last opportunity to excite fans for Animal Crossing’s March 20 release. But it’s unlikely that it will spend a significant amount of time on the social-life simulator.

I’ve reached out to Nintendo, but it declined to comment.

What proof is there that the Nintendo Direct is happening next week?

I’m not guaranteeing a Nintendo Direct on March 18. The publisher hasn’t announced it yet, so things could change. And yes, this is absolutely me hedging. But Nintendo is deep into the process of putting the event together based on what I’ve heard. It has decided many of the third-party games it will include in the event.

The company also updated the Nintendo Direct playlist on its Japanese YouTube account. The last time it did that was a week before the Animal Crossing Direct.

Above: Nintendo Japan updated the Nintendo Direct playlist last week. That is three weeks after the Animal Crossing Direct.

I wouldn’t normally read too much into that pattern. Nintendo doesn’t behave in a consistent manner that is easy to predict. But this is some circumstantial evidence that lines up with everything else.

Finally, Nintendo needs to communicate its lineup — and not even to its fans. The publisher is coming up on the end of its fiscal year on March 31. And investors will want to know how Nintendo plans to keep generating revenue. It could do that with a conference call with analysts and its shareholders. But it’s more likely that Nintendo would actually present its lineup to fans first at this point.

The last general Nintendo Direct was in September. And fans know almost nothing about what is coming to Switch beyond Animal Crossing. A Direct would enable Nintendo to carry some momentum into its fiscal-year end. It could then also point to the Direct as evidence of future revenue during its shareholder meeting in the spring.

If this Direct pans out, we should hear about it early next week.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. Pacific time on March 10: Added the possibility of an Indie World event preceding a Nintendo Direct.

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