Nintendo announced the release of the Bravely Default II demo for Switch earlier today during its surprise Nintendo Direct presentation, unveiling the JRPG alongside some other major announcements regarding the company’s next several months. Nintendo has been enjoying an extremely strong start to its year thanks in large part to the recently released Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which quickly became the best-selling Switch release ever in – at least in its first week – and has been reviewed as a strong game of the year candidate across several outlets.

One thing that some consumers have rightly criticized about Nintendo’s upcoming 2020 release schedule, however, is that it seems relatively barren when compared to previous years. While Animal Crossing: New Horizons will do more than enough to ensure the company’s 2020 is a success, it will still need a few more strong releases in the back half of the year, especially because next generation consoles are finally on the horizon. With demand for the Nintendo Switch at an all-time high – in Japan, the console sold more units last week than it ever has, and it’s been sold out on most online retailers since – the company has a strong chance to capitalize on its surging popularity and generate even more of a foothold moving into the PS5 and Xbox Series X era of console gaming.

Related: It’s Going To Be Harder To Fix Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Drift For A While

With that in mind, the Bravely Default II demo released today on Nintendo Switch helps showcase one of the titles that could be a sleeper hit for the company when it needs one to buoy its upcoming months. Announced during the Nintendo Direct earlier today, the upcoming JRPG is now available as a demo in the eShop, with a decent chunk of gameplay available to fans. The demo has introduced consumers to the protagonists of the game, who resemble the same sort of style that made the series stand out when it was first released, and will crucially be used by the development team to help identify last-minute changes that might be required for the game. Bravely Default II‘s release date isn’t totally confirmed yet, but the presentation did once again suggest it’s coming this year.

The demo looks solid from what fans have discussed so far, and the market for JRPG games in this vein feels more engaged than it has in quite some time. Successes like Octopath Traveler show that fans don’t mind old-school turn-based combat as long as its compelling, and Bravely Default II has a strong shot at peforming just as well given its pedigree.

Of course, no one is suggesting that Bravely Default II will be a release on the same level as Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Nintendo will almost certainly need another smash hit towards the end of the year to keep up momentum and fan interest heading into one of the most important holiday seasons for the gaming industry in recent memory. Still, sprinkling in platform exclusives that have a strong chance of reviewing well and finding niche demographics is a recipe for success that’s grown the Nintendo Switch’s library to impressive depth, and it would be surprising not to see Bravely Default II do more of the same later this year.

Next: Nintendo Switch Android App Might Be Best Joy Con Drift Solution Yet

Bravely Default II is scheduled for release in 2020, exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

Source: Nintendo Direct Mini/YouTube

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