With every new Nintendo Direct comes a fresh round of rumors, leaks, and of course, predictions. Nintendo’s digital presentations are some of the most popular gaming events of each year as fans are eager to see what the storied Japanese studio does next — and that prompts speculation from both credible and not-so-credible sources.
So far, quite a few leaks and rumors point to what may be shown. There’s a chance that all — or none — of these things will make an appearance tomorrow. Still, it’s fun to guess what might show up, so here are five announcements that we hope to see at the first Nintendo Direct of this year.
First-party Nintendo titles get release dates
This announcement is a bit of a cheat as it encompasses several games. We don’t have release dates for most of Nintendo’s announced 2022 lineup outside of Kirby and the Forgotten Land. Nintendo Directs provide the Japanese developer and publisher the perfect place to let fans know when they can expect these highly anticipated games.
We suspect that Bayonetta 3 and the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild might be too far out to get release dates now. Still, it’d be shocking if the presentation passed without Nintendo letting us know the release dates of Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp — rumored for April 8 — and Splatoon 3, which was announced about a year ago. Following the conclusion of the Direct, we should have a clear idea of Nintendo’s release schedule for the first half of 2022.
Batman: Arkham Collection comes to Switch
Batman: Arkham Collection for Nintendo Switch was the first leak that tipped fans off that a new Nintendo Direct was on the way. VGC noticed that the French retailer WTT listed the Batman: Arkham Collection early with a 60 euro price and August 31, 2022 release date. While the price and release date might be placeholders, this leak seems pretty legitimate.
WTT listed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s Switch port before its announcement. It’d also make sense for WB Games to get the Batman: Arkham series on more platforms ahead of the launch of Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. It remains to be seen which games are included and if these ports will run natively or through the cloud.
A new Xenoblade game gets announced
In August 2021, fans spotted an interview where Jenna Coleman, Melia’s voice actress from the original Xenoblade Chronicles, hinted that a new game in the series was coming soon. Fanbyte followed up with a report claiming that her statement was true. The article also asserted that the game was nearing the final stages of development and “takes place in the far-flung future with a few returning characters who have long outlived their human counterparts from both Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.”
While that report theorized that the game would get announced in 2021, that was not the case. Fanbyte is a reliable source and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused lots of production delays, so it’s entirely possible that a planned reveal was delayed. The next Xenoblade Chronicles is a shoo-in for the February 2022 Nintendo Direct if these reports are accurate.
A new Fire Emblem game will be announced
Another Japanese Nintendo series poised to make a return is Fire Emblem. Over the past year, leakers claimed that two notable Fire Emblem games are in the works. In May 2021, leaker Zippo said that a follow-up to Fire Emblem: Three Houses is in development at Koei Tecmo and that Intelligent Systems is developing a remake of the Japan-only Super Famicom Fire Emblem game Genealogy of the Holy War.
More leakers backed these rumors up in 2022. Leaks aside, the timing also feels right for a Fire Emblem game as no mainline or spinoff games have been released since 2019. If at least two new Fire Emblem games are in the works, it would make sense for Nintendo to show at least one of them during the February 2022 Nintendo Direct.
Hollow Knight: Silksong is re-revealed
The highly anticipated sequel to the indie Metroidvania Hollow Knight has been MIA since June 2019 as developer Team Cherry has continued to craft and refine the game. Silksong is a title that fans have wanted to appear at every Nintendo presentation for the past two years. While somewhat unlikely, there is a more credible reason than ever to believe that Hollow Knight: Silksong could show up in the next Nintendo Direct.
Last summer, a leak from Nvidia’s GeForce Now service revealed several unannounced games and potential release dates for several titles. Hollow Knight: Silksong was one of these titles. The Nvidia leak lists Team Cherry’s latest with a release date of February 1, 2022. While that date has come and gone, it is suspiciously close to this Nintendo Direct.
If Team Cherry once intended for Hollow Knight: Silksong to potentially release in February 2022, the game might finally be ready for a re-reveal and possible release date announcement. Of course, there’s no guarantee that the game will launch this month, but the Nvidia leak has been proven accurate by many reveals and leakers, so there’s a good chance we see Hollow Knight: Silksong again soon.
And even if we don’t, just sit back and prepare to enjoy whatever Nintendo actually has in store for us!
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