If you’re excited for the next generation of tree planting, fishing and villager bothering that’s coming with Animal Crossing: New Horizons, then you’re going to want to keep tomorrow afternoon free.
Nintendo has announced that the next Nintendo Direct event will be entirely Animal Crossing-themed. Kicking off tomorrow (Thursday 20 February) at 2pm UK time, the broadcast will last roughly 25 minutes and feature an “in-depth look at Nook Inc.’s Deserted Island Getaway Package.”
Related: Best upcoming Switch games
While we’re sure there will be surprises, the core gameplay of Animal Crossing hasn’t changed massively since it was first released on the N64 in Japan in 2001 and the Gamecube in Europe two years later. It’s a social simulator where you live with a bunch of anthropomorphic animals, making friends and taking part in seasonal activities set to the time and date of your console. It’s utterly charming.
So far we don’t know a great deal about what the Switch version is going to bring, other than the luxury of being able to play on the big screen and on the go. We do know that the Switch version will only house a single island, though it will let four people “play simultaneously on one console.”
Related: Best Nintendo Switch games
We also know that Nintendo is making a special edition Switch to celebrate the release of the game. The Animal Crossing Switch bundle comes in soothing pastel shades with faint icons of the game’s themes on the back. Even the dock is customised, with the Nook family hanging out on an island that barely looks big enough to house the three of them.
Finally we know that you can get it cheap ahead of its March 20 release date. Yes, pre-orders are often risky things, but if you’ve played an Animal Crossing game before you should know roughly what to expect – and a £21.14 saving on its RRP isn’t to be sneezed at, given the typical price of first-party Nintendo games.
But if you want to play it completely safe, maybe hold off on that pre-order until you’ve watched tomorrow’s Nintendo Direct? We’ll see you there.