Last night on Nintendo’s Japanese website, the craziest thing happened. The Wii U release schedule was updated for the first time in a long time, and it listed two games coming to the Virtual Console marketplace the following day: Banjo-Kazooie and Blast Corps (under its original name Blast Dozer).
Immediately, social media lit up with speculation, and “Banjo-Kazooie” started trending on Twitter. Was Nintendo really going to put two classic Rare titles on a system they don’t even manufacture anymore? It sounded loopy, but they’ve ACTUALLY DONE weirder things.
Sadly, the incident turned out to be an error. Nintendo updated the page this morning with the message “Banjo-Kazooie” and “Blast Dozer” have been posted as Wii U software delivered on December 30, 2020, but they will not be delivered. We apologize for the correction.” (We used Google Translate to quote that, which is why it sounds off.)
So what does this mean? You would think if Nintendo accidentally listed a game, it would be a game with a chance of showing up, or one that once did. Both games were listed as being published by “Microsoft Japan.” It raises the possibility that Nintendo and Microsoft were once in talks to bring Rare titles to Virtual Console back in the Wii U days, but nothing came of it. Given the end-of-year timing, it’s also possible someone at Nintendo dated the titles as far back as they could as a placeholder, but forgot to remove them entirely.
All we know is that if Banjo-Kazooie is going to appear anywhere, it will be on Switch….in Smash Bros, at least. (We’d like a Switch release of Rare Replay too.)