If you're like me, you're probably more than a little excited any time a hint of news about the Nintendo NX happens to make its way to the waves of the internet. Which is why, when Nintendo's Amiibo sites allegedly leaked the NX/Breath of the Wild release dates, I had to keep myself from immediately requesting "vacation" time around March 4th.
The sad truth is, the alleged release date — while certainly within reason — is likely too good to be true. Don't believe us? Here are 5 good reasons why it's worth containing your excitement for just a little longer.
1. Nintendo Doesn't Usually Release On A Saturday
This is probably the biggest reason to be skeptical about these alleged leaks. Nintendo tends to follow a pretty standard release cycle, and that doesn't include releasing games or systems on a Saturday (which, by the way, March 4th happens to be). In fact, Nintendo releases almost all of its major titles exclusively on Fridays.
This has been standard for a few years now, and it doesn't exactly make sense for Nintendo to release Breath of the Wild and/or the NX on a Saturday given their historical releases.
Could Nintendo have changed their mind about releasing on Fridays? Sure! Is it likely, though? Not so much.
2. The Website Has Already Changed The Leaked Dates To Simply "2017"
Here's another one that could technically point either way, but certainly lends itself to the idea that the initial dates weren't accurate.
If you look in the original reports, the dates on Nintendo's UK and France sites would show the specific March 4th date if you happened to get the Breath of the Wild Amiibo appear at the bottom of the page. Now, however, that has been changed to a very general "2017" release date.
Now, this could have been a case of someone covering up the actual release date. But it could also be Nintendo fixing a mistake to avoid the public latching onto false hype. In all likelihood, "2017" is the best estimate the companies has right now and March 4th was a fluke. It's certainly open to interpretation, but it's still worth noting how quickly the "leak" was fixed.
3. Websites Often Use Placeholder Dates
If you've ever heard a game announced and immediately wanted to pre-order it, you may have noticed that the pre-order website mysteriously knew the release date, despite the game having only just been announced (and without a release date, I might add). So do retailers have some secret information we don't?
Unfortunately, the answer is almost always no. If you look on Amazon's website right now, you'll notice Breath of the Wild actually has a release date of December 30, 2016. Why?
The simple truth is, many retailers need to attach some kind of release date to a title before they can allow pre-orders. This isn't always true, but it happens quite a bit with game releases.
Usually, the date listed is chosen with as much info as is available. For example, if a company says a game is coming out "Fall 2017," a website might show the release date as September 21st, because this is technically the last day of "Fall" as far as release cycles go. Sadly, this doesn't actually indicate anything about the game's specific release date.
4. The Amiibo Release Dates Don't Necessarily Correlate With The NX's Launch
If you read the above and thought, "Well, yeah, but the original leaks came from Nintendo itself, not some third-party retailer," then congratulations, you were thinking one step ahead!
It's absolutely true that Nintendo's own site is more likely to have an accurate release date than a third-party site. So y'know what? We may very well see these Amiibo release on March 4th. But does that mean anything about the release of the NX or Breath of the Wild?
Sadly, no. Even if Nintendo is planning on a simultaneous release for Breath of the Wild and the NX, and, even if Breath of the Wild will also be launching on the Wii U at the same date, we still don't know what that means for the associated Amiibo.
5. And Even If March 4th, 2017 Is The Intended Release Of The NX, Delays Always Happen
Here's a big one to remember: The world of video game development is a fickle one. Going back through your history as a gamer, how many titles have you looked forward to only to find them canceled after several months of silence?
More importantly, how many times have you had to read the news that your favorite upcoming title had been delayed? It happens. A lot.
That's simply the nature of video game development; delays happen. A developer might have the best of intentions and have a specific date in mind then find a game-breaking bug a few weeks before release. Or maybe several months before launch, the creative team decides to take a major turn and needs to delay a game to make a product that will be met with better reviews.
Maybe March 4th is the date Nintendo plans to release the NX and Breath of the Wild. Maybe it will be the date Nintendo plans for the next few months. But until a game is released — heck, sometimes not even until after a game is released — it is not finished.