Mark your calendars, the first look at the Animal Crossing mobile game for smartphones is almost upon us. Nintendo announced that it will hold a Nintendo Direct live-stream entirely devoted to the mobile game at 11 p.m. ET on Tuesday, October 24.
If you’re wondering why the start time is so late, the stream appears to be mainly planned for Japanese audiences, as it will air at noon in Japan on Wednesday, October 25. As of this story’s publication, Nintendo has not made it clear if an English-language stream will run alongside the Japanese stream.
Animal Crossing for mobile devices has had a bit of a rocky development cycle. The title was one of the original three franchises — joining Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes — announced for Nintendo’s mobile rollout. Following the launch and widespread success of Super Mario Run on iOS last December, Nintendo claimed both Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing would see their mobile debuts by March of this year.
Instead, Animal Crossing mobile was delayed again in late January, just a few days before Fire Emblem Heroes launched.
Still, Nintendo vowed that the mobile version of everyone’s favorite everyday-life simulator would launch sometime in 2017. With the impending Nintendo Direct, that timeframe seems like a distinct possibility.
One thing that isn’t clear is what exactly Animal Crossing is on mobile devices. It’s not expected to be the full-on Animal Crossing experience. Nintendo dove into mobile publishing not to replace its dedicated console and handheld experiences, but to offer new experiences of well-known franchises fit for smartphone play. Super Mario Run capitalized on the automatic runner genre, while Fire Emblem Heroes went for a micro-sized approach to the franchise’s traditional turn-based battles.
Mainline Animal Crossing games, on the other hand, are already set up perfectly for mobile play. Spending a day in your town and making meaningful progress never takes more than 10 to 20 minutes.
However, we cannot discount the possibility that Animal Crossing mobile could have a wholly unique premise. The last mainline Animal Crossing, New Leaf, launched in 2013 for Nintendo 3DS. Since then, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer arrived on Wii U and 3DS, respectively. Those titles were both underwhelming, to say the least.
At any rate, we will find out what type of Animal Crossing mobile game is on the horizon at 11 p.m. on Tuesday.