Metroid Prime 4 is one of the most awaited Nintendo games, and yet we know nothing about it. No release date or gameplay footage has been shown, giving the impression that the game is a long while away. While not giving much new information, Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aimé, confirmed to Mashable that Prime 4 is well into its development, and the company even has "expectations" when the game will release.
Reggie: "Internally, we have expectations about when [Metroid Prime 4] is going to be released," "We haven't announced it, but yeah, the game is well in development."
It's not much, but it's good to hear that Metroid Prime 4 is currently being worked on, and that Nintendo already has expectations when the game will launch. With presumably a lot of development happening between its original 2017 announcement and now, one can assume that we'll get a trailer at next year's E3, if not before.
The core Metroid Prime series has been acclaimed and beloved by many. The first Metroid Prime has a 97 on Metacritic putting it in the top 20 highest rated games of all time on the aggregator site. Metroid Prime 2 and 3 were also acclaimed, with a score of 92 and 90 respectively. Prime 4 has a lot to live up to. Although Retro Studios will not be returning to develop the game, Nintendo is likely making sure it will be a stellar experience on Switch. This will be the first home console Metroid title since Other M from 2010.
Although no story details have been unveiled regarding Prime 4, it is reasonable to assume that the plot will build off of previous cliffhangers in the series. Prime 3 from way back in 2007 had a cliffhanger showing a mysterious ship tailing Samus. This was confirmed to Eurogamer by Prime producer Kensuke Tanabe to be Sylux, a character who appeared in Metroid Prime: Hunters. More recently, the latest Prime game, a spin-off titled Federation Force, also featured a secret ending. A mysterious figure (who looks like Sylux) hatches a Metroid, and that's how it ends. It would be strange if Nintendo did not explore this in the next game, but time will tell.
Metroid Prime 4 will be released for Nintendo Switch.