Spring is always a good time to look ahead in the gaming industry, and the February 2023 Nintendo Direct gave fans plenty to look ahead to.
Pikmin 4 not only saw a new trailer but a welcome July release date. Metroid Prime Remastered dropped on eShop the same day ! We learned that Splatoon 3 will get DLC, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 had its third pack of DLC detailed.
Furthermore, Fashion Dreamer reminded us of the old DS Touch! Generations days. Game Boy games were being added as a Nintendo Switch Online feature, and Game Boy Advance would be on the Expansion Pack.
Then, Nintendo showed a new Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer brimming with tantalizing details. The Blood Moon is back. Ganon has a scary voice. The game has a cave troll. Blocky robot-monsters go on the attack. A mummified evil brother of Iron Maiden's The Book of Souls is your enemy. And is that Twilight Realm music and sound effects at the end?!
All seems well. But the Switch hardware is running out of steam, and certain high-profile sequels have vanished from Nintendo's public channels. As a result, there are many reasons why Nintendo has us worried for 2023, and beyond...
10. We Might Never Get A Mario Kart 9
Nintendo's success with Mario Kart 8 in 2014 on Wii U led to its bigger, better, Switch-ier edition in 2017. This masterful port grew sales from a limited 8.46 million to a mind-boggling 52 million.
Back in February 2022, MK8 Deluxe introduced the longest-running, most hotly-anticipated waves of DLC since Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. With nigh-on 100 tracks and (now) new characters in Wave 4 and beyond, the DLC run won't end until December 2023. Alongside that, The Super Mario Bros. Movie trailers have put Rainbow Road front-and-centre, with Nintendo no doubt hoping to sell more Mario Kart to cinemagoers.
What does this mean for the future of Mario Kart? Will MK8 Deluxe be the definitive version of Mario Kart, following Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Minecraft as a base game getting perpetual updates?
Only time will tell. And if so, we might not even see a Mario Kart 9.
Mario Kart 8 is a great game, but only in a full-blown sequel could we see improvements to the gameplay, and other significant and exciting additions to the Mario Kart formula. Being stuck with Mario Kart 8 in perpetuity would be a missed opportunity.