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Prediction: MP4 will not release on Switch

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Obviously MP4 was a no show at E3 and we found out last year the whole game has been started over from scratch. With the recent tweet from Retro that they are just now looking to hire for a key art director role in the game, it would seem likely they still haven't even started official development yet. Moreover, with the last five years amounting to literally nothing over at Retro, we can't assume they are at all capable of developing a top notch game in a speedy manner (if they're even capable of developing a top notch game at all these days, but that's for a different topic).

In other words, MP4 is still a long, long ways away. Like maybe up to 5 years long, but 3 at the very least. That range would put it in the same proximity as when the Switch successor will likely launch (2022 at the earliest, 2024 at the latest). It seems like a given at this point that at the very least MP4 would be another TP/BOTW dual system release. However, those games were well into development for current gen consoles when they got ported over to the next gen ones. Given it seems Retro hasn't even started development on MP4 yet, I think Nintendo may very well want the game moved to the Switch successor. While I know some might say this would create a backlash since it was originally announced as a Switch title, keep in mind that the game originally announced no longer exists. It was scrapped, everything is starting over.

Furthermore, the Switch is no Wii U situation. Nintendo had to deliver BOTW to Wii U owners given the shortage of truly AAA great games for that system. Switch on the other hand is already looking like it may amass one of the greatest software libraries of any Nintendo system ever when all is said and done. Anyone who bought a Switch based off of the 2017 MP4 announcement would be highly unlikely not to be satisfied with their purchase of the system overall because of one game not coming.

So in the end, given all these factors I think it makes a lot of sense that MP4 will be commissioned as the showcase title for the Switch successor's launch window. The Switch's place as one of the most successful consoles in history is set in stone at this point, Nintendo doesn't need MP4 for the Switch anymore. What better way to create hype for the successor than a truly next gen Metroid game with years of built up anticipation? 



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This prediction would make sense if the argument was that Retro messes up in the same way as the original developers of Metroid Prime 4 and therefore the game gets canned altogether.

But as it is, it's a terrible prediction. It expects a very long development time in conjunction with a short lifecycle for Switch, plus Nintendo's willingness to use a low-selling IP that went through troubled development as showcase title for their next console.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

I will buy MP4, and play it on whatever system it is best suited on. And it'd better support all those amiibos I've stockpiled since Smash, Federation Force, and Returns. :P

I am patient. Please make Metroid Prime 4 great again.

Next...



RolStoppable said:
This prediction would make sense if the argument was that Retro messes up in the same way as the original developers of Metroid Prime 4 and therefore the game gets canned altogether.

But as it is, it's a terrible prediction. It expects a very long development time in conjunction with a short lifecycle for Switch, plus Nintendo's willingness to use a low-selling IP that went through troubled development as showcase title for their next console.

They are still looking for the key art director. They are clearly only in early pre-development phase, and actual development will take 2 full years at the very shortest. There's no way this is releasing before another 3 years, that would be a "normal" development time for a Nintendo project, not a long one. And 3 more years would also be a normal 5 year system cycle for Switch. Add another year because of the Switch's success and we would still almost surely see the successor in 2023. Nintendo will be well aware of this, hence why I think they would have the foresight to want the project moved to the successor. 



HyrulianScrolls said:

They are still looking for the key art director. They are clearly only in early pre-development phase, and actual development will take 2 full years at the very shortest. There's no way this is releasing before another 3 years, that would be a "normal" development time for a Nintendo project, not a long one. And 3 more years would also be a normal 5 year system cycle for Switch. Add another year because of the Switch's success and we would still almost surely see the successor in 2023. Nintendo will be well aware of this, hence why I think they would have the foresight to want the project moved to the successor. 

These days there are multiple lead artists, lead programmers and the like working on big titles. We got a report that Retro Studios had put together a convincing demo to get the job assigned by Nintendo, so I very much doubt that the game is in a state where work has barely started because apparently Retro already knew what they wanted to go for last year. (The announcement of restarted development was made in early January.)

Five years is not a normal lifecycle for a successful Nintendo console, that would be six years or more. Most recently, the DS went six years and three months, the Wii went six years and the 3DS went six years. Six years is not the ceiling like you suggest, it's the floor. If Switch lasts as long as the 3DS, it will be replaced in March 2023. But the thing is that Switch is much more successful and healthier than the 3DS, so it would only make sense if Nintendo took advantage of the fact that over two years in they didn't have to cut the price of Switch nor did they release a revision yet. Switch can easily go beyond 2023 until a successor is necessary.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

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I think it's still coming for Switch, even if it takes another 3 or 4 years.



RolStoppable said:
HyrulianScrolls said:

They are still looking for the key art director. They are clearly only in early pre-development phase, and actual development will take 2 full years at the very shortest. There's no way this is releasing before another 3 years, that would be a "normal" development time for a Nintendo project, not a long one. And 3 more years would also be a normal 5 year system cycle for Switch. Add another year because of the Switch's success and we would still almost surely see the successor in 2023. Nintendo will be well aware of this, hence why I think they would have the foresight to want the project moved to the successor. 

These days there are multiple lead artists, lead programmers and the like working on big titles. We got a report that Retro Studios had put together a convincing demo to get the job assigned by Nintendo, so I very much doubt that the game is in a state where work has barely started because apparently Retro already knew what they wanted to go for last year. (The announcement of restarted development was made in early January.)

Five years is not a normal lifecycle for a successful Nintendo console, that would be six years or more. Most recently, the DS went six years and three months, the Wii went six years and the 3DS went six years. Six years is not the ceiling like you suggest, it's the floor. If Switch lasts as long as the 3DS, it will be replaced in March 2023. But the thing is that Switch is much more successful and healthier than the 3DS, so it would only make sense if Nintendo took advantage of the fact that over two years in they didn't have to cut the price of Switch nor did they release a revision yet. Switch can easily go beyond 2023 until a successor is necessary.

Handhelds are not an accurate comparison. Switch is not a handheld exclusively. No Nintendo home console has gone longer than 6 years. Nintendo won't risk releasing the successor later than 2023 and getting that behind in terms of what's being done in the industry. The Switch is going to start to feel archaic compared to what developers are doing on PS5/X4 by 2023, Nintendo will feel like they're in the dark ages if they push the Switch further than that and it will hurt their reputation. 



Thank you for opening this discussion ! I was really afraid to propose this idea here...

So to add my view, that some might not appreciate, I would say that the first base of the game was not really a failure or a disapointement, but it was decided by the highest heads of Nintendo that MP4, with every possible artistical direction and code optimisation, the game would just look ridiculous with a release on 2020 compared to the very last 8th gen games and the coming trailers and demo of the 9th gen. So they scraped it to restart with a more powerfull structure.

Or a softer hypothesis : they scraped it because they wanted a full use of the capacity of the Switch Pro coming soon.



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Amnesia said:

Thank you for opening this discussion ! I was really afraid to propose this idea here...

So to add my view, that some might not appreciate, I would say that the first base of the game was not really a failure or a disapointement, but it was decided by the highest heads of Nintendo that MP4, with every possible artistical direction and code optimisation, the game would just look ridiculous with a release on 2020 compared to the very last 8th gen games and the coming trailers and demo of the 9th gen. So they scraped it to restart with a more powerfull structure.

Or a softer hypothesis : they scraped it because they wanted a full use of the capacity of the Switch Pro coming soon.

Good point, I never thought of the idea that maybe MP4 was going well, but they just felt the Switch wasn't up to handling their vision for it so they are restarting with more powerful hardware. However, I'm not sure I can agree on the idea of a mid gen Switch upgrade that plays exclusive games the Switch doesn't. I mean, that would be pretty hard for Nintendo to successfully market and sell. One of the biggest reasons listed for Wii U's failure is that the name made it sound like an upgrade not a new system, and most people aren't going to want to buy an upgrade of a system they already have to play new games. Upgrades of systems work best as a way for tech junkies to get their fix, not by being required to play certain games. 



HyrulianScrolls said:

Handhelds are not an accurate comparison. Switch is not a handheld exclusively. No Nintendo home console has gone longer than 6 years. Nintendo won't risk releasing the successor later than 2023 and getting that behind in terms of what's being done in the industry. The Switch is going to start to feel archaic compared to what developers are doing on PS5/X4 by 2023, Nintendo will feel like they're in the dark ages if they push the Switch further than that and it will hurt their reputation. 

Switch is neither a home console or handheld exclusively, but that's a positive thing. It draws developer support from multiple avenues and more games mean more sales and more potential for a longer lifecycle.

Given that the industry trend is going towards streaming and the idea to play console games anytime, anywhere... don't you realize who has the best product on the market? It's Nintendo, because their solution doesn't require an internet connection and doesn't have to deal with input lag.

If you are talking about graphics, Switch launched with weaker specs than consoles released in 2013 and has so far only gotten a single-digit percentage of AAA multiplatform games that were released since March 2017. The market response to that has been a clear "it doesn't matter", so unless some company puts out a hybrid console to compete with Switch, Nintendo will remain the king of a hill that is all theirs while having a significant presence in the home console market and a significant advantage in the anytime, anywhere buzz.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club