The biggest surprise announcement of Nintendo's E3 2017 Spotlight presentation was one that many fans hadn't even dared hope for: a new Metroid Prime game for the Switch. We only got a brief glimpse of Metroid Prime 4, but that tease was enough to get fans clamouring for more.
Here's what we know so far, including release date rumours, who's developing the game, and the announcement trailer.
When is Metroid Prime 4 coming out?
Don't expect it anytime soon. Nintendo only revealed a brief teaser of the game at E3 2017, confirming only that the game is in development for the Switch.
The game has since suffered a further delay. In January 2019 issued a video development update with some mixed news for series fans. The company was apparently unhappy with development progress, and decided that the game needed to be restarted from scratch - likely added another two years to the release timetable.
On the other hand, that involved moving the game from development by Bandai Namco to US-based Retro Studios - best known as the developers of the original Metroid Prime trilogy. So we have a while longer to wait, but at least the game is now in the safest possible hands.
Since then we still haven't heard anything official on the game, though in February 2020 Retro hired Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst and Battlefield V art director Jhony Ljungstedt to join the team. It's not confirmed that he'll be working on Metroid, but with solid first-person shooter experience it seems like a safe bet - and an encouraging sign that progress is still being made on the game.
At least this gives Nintendo plenty of time to release an updated Metroid Prime Trilogy game for the Nintendo Switch, providing an easy way to get new gamers up to speed before the highly anticipated release.
How can I pre-order Metroid Prime 4?
If you're so inclined, you can already pre-order the game from Game For £59.99 in the UK, and GameStop in the US - but with the release so far off, we'd probably hold off for now.
What can I expect from Metroid Prime 4 gameplay?
Well, we don't really know. The teaser only include a logo and some suitably moody music, rather than actual game footage, so we don't know for sure what to expect.
The original Metroid Prime trilogy, released across the Gamecube and Wii, was a series of first-person shooters set in the Metroid universe. You play as the bounty hunter Samus Aran, exploring alien worlds, unlocking new abilities, and fighting enemies including Space Pirates and the titular Metroids.
The series put a lot of emphasis on exploration and scanning the environment, while also building up the backstory around Samus's relationship with other bounty hunters and the Galactic Federation, so expect to see more development there too.