During today’s 40-minute Nintendo direct, Nintendo finally announced that, at long-last, a high-definition Metroid Prime remaster is coming to Switch later today.
The new Metroid Prime Remaster won’t just be bringing the games to the Switch, it’ll also give players greater control of the game’s camera and movement with new control modifications. The Metroid Prime Remaster is available to purchase on the Nintendo eShop for $39.99. A physical version of the game will be available on February 22.
Interest in Metroid peaked again in recent years, with 2021’s Metroid Dread both setting sales records and nabbing a nomination for Game of the Year at that year’s Game Awards. This only highlighted the difficulty involved in playing most of the previous games in the franchise.
Metroid Prime, developed by Retro Studios and released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002, was the first 3D Metroid game, and totally did away with what by then had been scripture. Early Metroid games, after all, defined a certain style of two-dimensional “search action” platformers.
In Metroid Prime, yes, you still had to collect power-ups and then backtrack to earlier areas to then use those powers to pass obstacles that previously blocked your path. Still, seeing a Metroid world—in all its interstellar glory—from the eyes of Samus Aran was a paradigmatic shift. Pretty much everyone agreed: “This rules.”
Read More: What’s So Great About Metroid Prime
That first game was followed by two sequels, one for the GameCube (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes in 2004) and one for the Wii (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption in 2007). All three were compiled for the Metroid Prime Trilogy, which came out for the Wii in 2009, adding in Wii Remote controls. Now, that’s basically coming to Nintendo Switch.
In other words, Nintendo is releasing a compilation of re-releases. Not that I’m complaining! The Metroid Prime games are ne plus ultra among Nintendo’s portfolio, and the chance to play these games on Switch, on the go, is more than welcome.
It also makes sense that Nintendo would add it to the pipeline now, of all times. Two summers ago, Nintendo released a Switch touch-up of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, a solid Zelda game that didn’t get the warmest reception during its original 2011 launch on Wii. That’s ahead of a much-anticipated sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, leading fans to speculate about narrative connections between the two.
Metroid falls into a similar situation. Nintendo has Metroid Prime 4, first announced in 2017, in the pipeline, but it’s unclear when that game will come out. In 2019, Nintendo announced that development on the project switched from a new team to the original GameCube (and Wii) developers at Retro.
It’s been crickets on that front since, so it makes sense that Nintendo would find other ways to keep fans interested in one of the company’s marquee series.