Nintendo of America posted on their official Twitter account that their upcoming Action RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, will be getting a focused Direct presentation this June 22nd (7AM PT/10AM ET), which will feature approximately twenty minutes of new information. Back in April 19th, 2022, Nintendo revealed a lot of important details about the game, such as new battle mechanics and new characters, but most importantly, they revealed the release date, that being July 29th, 2022. It would appear Nintendo wants the game to get one final big splash in the news cycle, hopefully by including a lot of extended gameplay, before it comes out a month later.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3, being developed by Nintendo-owned Monolith Soft, is of course the third iteration of this series, which began on the Wii with 2010’s Xenoblade Chronicles. Originally only released in Japan, the game gained worldwide notoriety after its main character Shulk was included in the immensely popular Smash Bros series. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was then released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch in 2017, and though the series’ sales remain relatively modest, they’ve undoubtedly accrued a passionate fanbase, and have proven their worth as one of Nintendo’s more valuable new IPs.
However, not everything is roses and daisies in the Nintendo fanbase. For those unaware, rumors had been percolating of a Nintendo Direct occurring on June 29th instead. Though little else was specified, most assumed this would be a mainline Direct, meaning a Direct where they show stuff for many of their games, usually with some exciting new announcements. Many had found this sensible as Nintendo was conspicuously absent from Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest lineup. This was odd; Nintendo had had a Direct ready for every E3 in the past several years, and though this wasn’t really E3, it was still the Summer press conference season. Furthermore, they’d worked with Geoff Keighley many times before in the form of The Game Awards announcements.
The rumors can be mostly traced to Alanah Pearce, former IGN writer, and current writer at Santa Monica Studio, the team behind God of War. In a recent Twitch Stream, as seen below, Alanah confidently stated a Direct was occurring on June 29th, even going as far as to tout; “You heard it here first.” The idea of a late-June Direct was corroborated by a few media outlets, and of course eventually spread by every YouTuber under the sun. Now, however, the seeds of fear are beginning to sprout among many.
Since nothing was specified, it could definitely be that the late-June Direct is this Xenoblade one, and the specific date was changed after it had been acquired by Alanah and her source. This is a big gut-punch for non-Xenoblade Nintendo fans, as many are starving for new information regarding Breath of The Wild 2 and Bayonetta 3. And to corroborate this idea was Geoff Keighley himself, who replied to Nintendo’s Xenoblade post, saying “For all those wondering what Nintendo would do this month….Nintendo has announced a Xenoblade specific Direct for Wednesday… Seems Nintendo is splitting up its news versus one main Direct this month?”
Geoff Keighley now manages two of the biggest yearly showcases for video game announcements, and he’s worked with Nintendo before. This is a man in the know, and though he ends his post with a question mark, it’s hard to believe he isn’t coming at this with some insider knowledge. Anything is possible, especially with Nintendo, who’s been known for off-the-wall, often randomly varying marketing strategies. But a lot seems to be pointing to Geoff’s idea that Nintendo will split up its news instead of doing one mainline Direct. Think about it. Why would they do a Direct late June, when they could have done it two weeks earlier in Summer Game Fest? Why wouldn’t they shorten this upcoming Xenoblade content for the supposed upcoming mainline Direct? More people always watch the latter. Though it’s looking unlikely, some are still holding hope that the June 29th Direct will happen, and hey, here’s to being proven wrong!