It's no secret that, despite reaching recent milestones with several major games, Nintendo hasn't achieved the level of success it was hoping to with its Wii U console. Regardless, a number of the Big N's finest titles released thus far current call the platform home, and one of the most enjoyable has undoubtedly been the third iteration of the garden-based strategy franchise, Pikmin.
After Pikmin 3 arrived for the Wii U in July of 2013, many thought that the next core installment was still a ways off. The game, despite being pushed back significantly, managed to impress critics for its beautiful in-game worlds and focus on timed exploration, but no one thought that a follow up would be arriving anytime soon.
Apparently those individuals underestimated Nintendo's passion for the franchise, however, as the creator of the series, Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed that Pikmin 4 is well into development. Better yet, it's "very close to completion". This news sprung up during an interview between Miyamoto and Eurogamer, where the legendary game designer spoke very briefly about the then unknown project.
"It's actually very close to completion. Pikmin teams are always working on the next one."
Miyamoto, infamous amongst gamers for creating iconic properties like Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda, is known for letting the cat out of the bag prematurely and at his leisure. Fortunately, Nintendo has since issued a statement to Eurogamer confirming the comments, but refusing to go into detail about the ongoing project for the time being.
"We can confirm that Pikmin 4 is in development but that is all we can confirm at present."
Oddly enough, Miyamoto first confirmed the existence of Pikmin 3 during a roundtable discussion, but those claims failed to bear and fruit until several years after they were made. So, despite stating that Pikmin 4 is nearing completion, it's likely that fans won't see the finished product for a while still. This is backed up by an earlier statement released from Miyamoto pertaining to how the company selected its game announcements for E3 2015 – wanting to focus on immediate releases rather than blockbusters that are still years away.
A better question that arises from this news is just what platform the fourth installment of the Pikmin franchise will end up on. If it's as close to completion as indicated then a release on Wii U (or perhaps even the 3DS) is a likely scenario, but Nintendo may have plans to make the title a launch window exclusive for its forthcoming NX console. Understandably, it would be a solid motivator for gamers weighing in on whether or not they want to invest in the new hardware upon its release – whenever that may be.
Are you ready to jump into a new Pikmin game? Which platform do you think Pikmin 4 will release on? Get at us in the comments.