Pikmin 4 is real.
Alright, that’s not everything we know. We’ve gathered together all the juicy information we have on the upcoming sequel to the beloved-yet-kinda-niche Nintendo strategy game, a title that we first heard about long, long ago.
There’s not a whole lot of info yet, so make sure to check back as more trailers and screenshots trickle out of the Pikmin news pipe…
Pikmin 4 details, images, trailers, and MORE
The story so far
Way, way back in 2015, Shigeru Miyamoto gave an interview in which he said that the follow-up to Pikmin 3 was “actually very close to completion,” and that “Pikmin teams are always working on the next one.” Eurogamer followed up this interview, asking Nintendo if this was true, to which they replied:
“We can confirm that Pikmin 4 is in development but that is all we can confirm at present.”
2015 was the Wii U era, and the Nintendo Switch wouldn’t be released until March 2017, but the Switch — codenamed NX at the time — was in development. Still, Pikmin 4 wasn’t confirmed for any particular platform.
Now, it’s easy to assume that the Pikmin that Miyamoto and Nintendo were talking about was Pikmin Bloom, released in 2021, or even Hey! Pikmin, released on 3DS in 2017. But that apparently wasn’t the case. We’ve got a timeline of Pikmin 4-related events for you right here…
- June 2017: Fret Not, Pikmin 4 is Still “Progressing”
- Miyamoto now says that he was “told not to share anything about this from PR”… “but I can tell you it is progressing.” This also confirms that Hey! Pikmin isn’t the fabled Pikmin 4, since the 3DS spin-off had already been announced at this point. Alrighty then.
What is Pikmin?
Pikmin is a series of games in which you play some kind of stranded or exploring astronaut, who teams up with wild onion-creatures known as “Pikmin” to navigate the wilderness. There are monsters to avoid or defeat, treasures, food and ship parts to collect, and most of all, Pikmin to protect.
Pikmin are fragile, stupid little things, but they do listen to orders, so it’s your job to corral them in such a way to make sure they don’t drown, burn, fall off things, get eaten, or succumb to any number of threats — you’ll know when you’ve done a bad job if you hear that tragic little sigh of a Pikmin becoming a ghost. And you will hear it. A lot.
If you continue to look after them and grow their numbers by bringing dead beasties and Pikmin food back to their onion-houses, you can hopefully achieve the best endings — each game has multiple ways that your story can be concluded, based on how much of the game you managed to beat in the given time limit.
That’s it, really — grow Pikmin, order Pikmin to fetch things, make more Pikmin, repeat.
The above trailer is from the September 2022 Nintendo Direct — the one that was rumoured to be a “Zelda blowout”, which also gave us the release date for the sequel to Breath of the Wild, as well as a title — Tears of the Kingdom.
Pikmin 4 was a little bit of an outlier, being announced in a strange Miyamoto-presented segment, in which he updated us on the Super Mario Movie, the Super Mario theme park, the, er, continued existence of Pikmin Bloom, and gave us the tiniest smidge of a peek at Pikmin 4 in a trailer that told us basically nothing.
After 7 years of very little, we’ll take it.
Pikmin 4 Release Date
We’d venture a guess at later in the year, given how little we know about it. Probably a couple of months after Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s May release.
Well… the trailer doesn’t give us much to go on. It looks like it takes place in a garden, with a gigantic garden bench, raised flowerbeds, and human items like a broken pocketwatch.
PNF-404 — the planet on which Pikmin games are set — is supposed to be an Earth where humans are extinct. But this planet looks quite well-kept, if Bulborb-infested. Could it be the same planet, but in a place where the last vestige of humanity still exists?
We only see the original three Pikmin colours, yellow, red, and blue in the trailer, plus Bulborbs, the Goombas of the Pikmin series, so it’s hard to figure out much in the way of new abilities and enemies.
There’s also a glimpse of potentially our new player-character:
Miyamoto described the core idea behind Pikmin as “dandori” (“段取り” in Japanese), which means something like “strategic planning”. With this in mind, he said, the team has simplified the controls in Pikmin to allow the player to plan their strategy more, rather than feeling like they’re always herding cats.
Miyamoto also mentioned the ability to play the game “from the Pikmin’s perspective near the ground”, which seems to mean that you can have the camera closer to the ground, rather than overhead.
Check back later — we’ll know more eventually. As long as it’s not another seven years.
Erm, more like screenshot. Singular. Here it is:
We got more info on Shigeru Miyamoto’s cool Pikmin shirt than we did on the game! You can buy it at the New York Nintendo Store.
That’s all the information we could squeeze out of the slightly-damp sponge that was the reveal trailer… but hopefully, there’s more to come in the year or so until the game comes out.
Stay tuned for all the Pikmin news you could ever want, and let us know in the comments what features, new ideas, and story you’d like to see in the finished game.