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Nintendo Seems To Have Changed Something About Its Game Releases

Clear your Thursdays if you're eager to play Nintendo's new Switch games.


For years, anyone looking forward to a new Nintendo game in the US could generally plan on digging in (or calling in sick) on a Friday. Be it a major release like Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom or a smaller one like Everybody 1-2 Switch, Nintendo has set the release dates for most games it publishes on Fridays. Not anymore, it seems.

With the Switch heading toward what's reportedly the last full year as Nintendo's current-gen console, the company has hit fast-forward, at least for its next set of games. Whereas its most recent games, including Another Code: Recollection and Mario vs. Donkey Kong, as well as its next one, Princess Peach Showtime, were all scheduled for Fridays, the recent Mario Day batch of release dates now has Nintendo-published games releasing on Thursdays (as first noticed by Knoebel).

Both Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (May 23) and Luigi's Mansion 2 HD (June 27) are slated for Thursday releases. This follows suit with Endless Ocean Luminous, which had a Thursday, May 2 date revealed during February's Nintendo Direct, though at the time, that appeared like it could have been a one-off exception for something that may not be considered a marquee Nintendo game. Even during the years-long run of Friday releases, there have been exceptions, such as Kirby's Dream Buffet or Pikmin 1+2 launching on Wednesdays, though the latter was a surprise "out today" launch.

But with three of Nintendo's releases in Q2 all launching on Thursdays, this might be a signal that the company is making a change, at least with the default day of the week it favors.

It's possible this period could prove to be anomalous and that Nintendo will go back to Fridays in the future; we've reached out to the company for comment on why it made the change for these upcoming games. In the more distant past, Nintendo games were released on Sundays in the US, so it's routinely eschewed what was the US industry-standard Tuesday releases. But we've increasingly see more companies shift to later in the week with its launches over the last decade.

It may be some time before we get another Nintendo release date to further prove or disprove this shift to Thursdays. Its release calendar for 2024 is unusually light at this point; beyond the three recently dated games, we know Metroid Prime 4 is coming, though Nintendo continues to list its launch date as "TBA." Pokemon Legends Z-A, meanwhile, isn't due out until 2025.

And we still don't know when Switch 2, whatever it ends up being called, will be released, though it's rumored to be coming in early 2025. But if Nintendo is changing to Thursday releases for the last days of the Switch's life, it stands to reason that norm could be followed by its next system, too.

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