With nearly five years since the announcement of Metroid Prime 4 and absolutely no meaningful details shared since, Metroid fans are understandably desperate for something, anything, from Nintendo or developer Retro Studios about the upcoming game.
So it’s not surprising that they’ve seized upon a Twitter banner update as some kind of sign that news might be imminent. A day ago, Retro Studios updated its Twitter banner to this:
Aside from the obvious observation that the character standing in the middle there is Samus, there’s not much more to be gleaned from this image. It does appear (from the lines on the bottom) to be a view through a visor of some sort, but there’s no way of knowing whose perspective it could be from. Is this actually even concept art for Metroid Prime 4? Sure could be! But we don’t know for certain.
Fortunately, most fans seem pretty level-headed about what’s going on here and are just excited to have received anything, even the tiniest crumb, of a Metroid update. Threads on the Metroid subreddit and various tweets about the banner include some attempts at analysis of the lighting and environment, but most are, by and large, just happy to be looking at something that proves Metroid Prime 4 is still kicking around somewhere.
But there’s some level of cynicism too. After all, since the 2017 announcement (which was literally just a title card), the only news we’ve gotten about Metroid Prime 4 has been the report that the game was being rebooted entirely in 2019, with development handed off from Bandai Namco to original Metroid Prime developer Retro.
Cynicism was already fueled recently by a Retro Studios job posting for a tools engineer and a technology engineer last month, with some taking that as a sign that the game was still far off — though there’s no real reason to suspect the job posting was indicative of a timeline one way or another.
Regardless, some fans are frustrated that after five years the only taste they’ve gotten of Metroid Prime 4 is a Twitter banner that may or may not be tied into the game they want so much. But far, far more are just happy for any excuse to think about Metroid Prime 4 again, especially after the 2D Metroid Dread was so well-received (including by us). As for whether this means actual Metroid Prime news is imminent, it’s probably safest not to get hopes up.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.