Nintendo Direct March 2017: All the key announcements and releases from March's Nintendo Direct

March 2018 Nintendo Direct shows that the Switch is only just getting started

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On 9 March Nintendo held a blockbuster of a Nintendo Direct to showcase what's coming to Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS in the first half of the year. Needless to say, there's still plenty of life left in Nintendo's 3DS handheld, and the Switch is clearly going from strength to strength.

Here's the Nintendo Direct in question.

Now, let's get to the meat of it; first up...

Super Smash Bros for Switch

OH SNAP. Yes, Super Smash Bros is coming to switch THIS YEAR. And yes, the caps were necessary there. Little to no information is actually available around it, but we've broken the short trailer down for you in our Super Smash Bros hub.

Splatoon 2 gets a lot of love

Splatoon 2 had a meaty spotlight during the Nintendo Direct with the announcement of the European Championship taking place at Polymanga 2018 alongside an "Off The Hook" Splatoon 2 concert. Nintendo also plans to bring another 100 outfits to Splatoon 2 alongside new maps and the inclusion of an even more prestigious "Rank X" to multiplayer as part of its Version 3 update.

If that didn't sound like enough of an update, Splatoon 2's first paid-for DLC, Octo Expansion, is also set to drop this summer. Octo Expansion places you in the shoes of an Octoling who wakes up with no memory in the belly of Inkopolis' underground. You'll have to reclaim your memories and blast through challenges to get your way into Inkopolis square. This single-player DLC also opens up new options for multiplayer too, including the ability to play as an Octoling.

Mario Tennis Aces looks, uh, ace...

I've always been a lover of Mario Tennis, and Mario Tennis Aces looks like it should keep that love going. However, in March's Nintendo Direct it clearly looks like Nintendo has added a whole bunch of new features to keep it intensely competitive. In fact, the extra features almost make it seem like a fighting game, so colour me intrigued.

Project Octopath Traveller gets a release date, name and two new characters

Seeing as we've heard so little about Square Enix's Project Octopath Traveller, it's surprising to see that it now seems to simply be called Octopath Traveller. It also has a release date set for 13 July 2018, meaning there's not all that long left for proper details around its story, combat mechanics and eight playable characters to emerge. Thankfully, as part of March's Nintendo Direct, we now know of two more characters available to play as, and how their roles fit into combat and team dynamics.

The trailer, which can be seen above, reveals Tressa the Merchant and Alfyn the Apothecary. It's not outlined how these characters will fit into the overall picture for Octopath Traveller but it's certainly looking like the team behind Bravely Default know what they're up to.

Everything else Nintendo is up to

The Nintendo Direct covered a sickening amount of ground, including more details around Dark Souls Remastered on Switch, the arrival of Bandai Namco's Little Nightmares on Switch, as well as news of the stellar Okami HD coming this summer, the bizarre sushi fighting game Sushi Striker: The Way of the Sushido landing on 8 June, first footage of No More Heroes sequel Travis Strikes again: No More Heroes in 2018, Wii U's brilliant gem Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker coming to Switch and 3DS on 13 July, Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy on 10 July, indie hit Undertale coming sometime soon, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition on 18 May and South Park RPG The Fractured but Whole landing 24 April.

Clearly the Switch is in no risk of running low on games in the first half of 2018.

Even the Nintendo 3DS got some love during the Nintendo Direct, outlining the arrival of Dillon's Dead Heat Breakers on 24 May, Warioware Gold on 3 August, a remake of Gamecube hit Luigi's Mansion dropping sometime in 2018 and a remake of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr's Journey sometime in 2019. We also got another delightful trailer for Detective Pikachu, which drops on 23 March.

Nintendo Direct: Everything you need to know

What is a Nintendo Direct?

A Nintendo Direct is an online presentation that Nintendo streams on its YouTube channel multiple times a year. Typically Nintendo uses these presentations to speak directly with its fans to inform them of new games or provide more information in upcoming games across the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS.

Some Nintendo Direct streams focus on specific games and are branded as such. The most popular of these branded streams is the Pokémon Direct where Pokémon creators Game Freak outline what’s coming next for the franchise.

How many Nintendo Direct streams happen a year?

Nintendo started its successful Nintendo Direct format back in October 2011 in North America and Japan before expanding across the globe shortly after.

The number of yearly Direct streams fluctuates from year to year but, generally, they’ve increased in number since 2011. This year alone we’ve had 16 Nintendo Directs, compared to last year’s eight – and the year isn’t over yet.

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