The biggest surprise announcement of Nintendo's E3 2017 Spotlight presentation was one that many fans hadn't even dared hope for: a new Metroid Prime game for the Switch. We only got a brief glimpse of Metroid Prime 4, but that tease was enough to get fans clamouring for more. 

Oddly, Nintendo declined to confirm who was behind development at the announcement, and rumours swirled for months until February 2018, when Eurogamer sources 'confirmed' that the upcoming game is being developed by Bandai Namco Studios Singapore. The publication claims that while the game is being developed by Bandai Namco, the team is in close collaboration with an in-house team at Nintendo. 

Here's what we know so far, including release date rumours, gameplay details and the announcement trailer.

When is Metroid Prime 4 coming out?

Don't expect it anytime soon. Nintendo only revealed a brief teaser of the game at E3 2017, confirming only that the game is in development for the Switch.

Since several other games during the presentation were shown off with footage and given 2018 release dates, it stands to reason that Metroid Prime 4 is further off - expect to see it sometime in 2019, if not even later.

At least this gives Nintendo plenty of time to release an updated Metroid Prime Trilogy game for the Nintendo Switch, providing an easy way to get new gamers up to speed before the highly anticipated release. 

How can I pre-order Metroid Prime 4?

If you're so inclined, you can already pre-order the game from Game For £59.99 in the UK, and GameStop in the US - but with the release so far off, we'd probably hold off for now.

What can I expect from Metroid Prime 4 gameplay?

Well, we don't really know. The teaser only include a logo and some suitably moody music, rather than actual game footage, so we don't know for sure what to expect.

The original Metroid Prime trilogy, released across the Gamecube and Wii, was a series of first-person shooters set in the Metroid universe. You play as the bounty hunter Samus Aran, exploring alien worlds, unlocking new abilities, and fighting enemies including Space Pirates and the titular Metroids.

The series put a lot of emphasis on exploration and scanning the environment, while also building up the backstory around Samus's relationship with other bounty hunters and the Galactic Federation, so expect to see more development there too.

Nintendo has confirmed that original developers Retro Studios aren't working on Metroid Prime 4, but longtime producer Kensuke Tanabe will be overseeing the game together with a “talented new development team.”