Pikmin 4 Switch Release Date Set For July 2023

The long-awaited "Pikmin 4" finally has a release date. There have been rumors of "Pikmin" on Switch virtually since the console debuted, but thus far the closest Nintendo has come to an actual release is a "Pokemon GO" remix with some familiar visuals. In good news for fans of adorable plantlife, new footage and a firm release date came with the February 8 Nintendo Direct broadcast.

Nintendo first teased "Pikmin 4" in a 30-second taster in September 2022. Since then, the developer has been largely quiet on the subject, so the February 8 trailer is a welcome update for the fans. From what we've seen, "Pikmin" fans can count on similar gameplay, familiar enemies, and series stalwarts like the Red and Blue Pikmin, but also a more complex and interactive game world with flourishes like flamethrowers and variable-depth water. 

The trailer also indicated a new visual style with almost photorealistic fully-rendered 3D graphics combined with more cartoonish character designs and animation. That said, Nintendo has been coy about whether the trailer represented the actual visuals of "Pikmin 4," as most game previews indicate if included footage is recorded in the game engine or not, but this one came with no announcement either way.

Summertime blues (and reds, and purples ...)

"Pikmin 4" will hit the Nintendo Switch on July 21, 2023. Based on Nintendo's releases so far, the latest installment will follow the series' winning formula: beautiful graphics, deceptively tricky puzzles, adorable animation, and light strategy. The biggest gameplay change is also the biggest thing around: a persistent doglike companion called Oatchi. Oatchi is bigger than the player character and their anthropomorphic plant army combined; we expect several Oatchi-specific puzzles that play with "Pikmin's" traditionally tiny scale.

Past that, what we've seen is limited, though suggestive. There seem to be quite a few Switch-specific flourishes in the trailer. On-screen animation suggests quite a bit of haptic feedback: bumps and rhythms in character movement and the success or failure of onscreen actions will likely provide physical feedback through the Switch's Joy-Cons. All in all, "Pikmin 4" looks to deliver more of what fans loved in the first three games. Switch owners will get a chance to decide for themselves on July 21.