Nintendo reconfirms Breath of the Wild 2 for 2022 — and hints Switch 2 will be backwards compatible

breath of the wild 2
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Update: A new Nintendo console has been tipped for 2024 release — could it be the Switch 2?

Nintendo’s latest set of financial results have been released this week, and they contain some morsels of information that will surely make Nintendo fans very happy. 

An accompanying report lays out Nintendo’s software release plan for the rest of 2022, and the good news is that The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild 2 is still on the list. The game was confirmed to be targeting a 2022 release date last summer, but there have been whispers that it could slip into 2023 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on game development. 

Of course, there is still a possibility that Breath of the Wild 2 will be delayed into next year but it’s an encouraging sign that Nintendo still believes the hugely anticipated sequel is on track to drop in 2022. The results also confirm that Splatoon 3, Bayonetta 3 and Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope are all expected this year as well. 

The news isn’t quite so positive for Metroid fans as Metroid Prime 4 isn’t on the list and its release date is still unknown. Metroid Prime 4 was first announced in 2017, but hasn’t resurfaced since. 

It’s endured an extremely rocky development cycle so far, with Nintendo announcing the entire project had been rebooted in 2019. We suggest replaying last year’s Metroid Dread a couple more times, as it might be a while longer before we return to the Prime universe. 

Good news for rumored Switch 2

Nintendo’s financial results don’t just contain updates on upcoming software — a Switch successor has also been teased. During a Q&A session, summarized by Japan-based analyst David Gibson, Nintendo was asked about carrying the Switch’s existing player base over to its next console. 

Nintendo's reply hints that not only is a “next-gen device” on the way, but it may be backwards compatible with the Switch’s existing library. This would definitely make sense as both the PS5 and Xbox Series X offer some degree of backwards compatibility, and Nintendo will likely want to follow suit. 

It's not entirely clear if this “next-gen device” would be a full Nintendo Switch 2 or a more incremental update ala the long-rumored Nintendo Switch Pro. Either way, the next Nintendo console could still be several years off as in a recent earnings calls Nintendo president, Shuntaro Furukawa, commented that the “Switch is just in the middle of its lifecycle.” 

Nintendo may be reluctant to move on from the Nintendo Switch as the console has proved to be a complete smash hit. This week it was confirmed that the Switch has crossed the 100 million sales mark, and is now the company’s best-selling home console of all time with 103.54 million units shifted. This milestone sees the Switch overtake the Nintendo Wii which sold 101.63 million.   

While the console’s success is remarkable, there’s no denying that the Nintendo Switch hardware is definitely aging at this point. 

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.