Nintendo Japan leaked a new Kirby game tentatively scheduled to launch "this winter" ahead of today's Nintendo Direct presentation.
As ResetEra user GJ spotted, the Switch lineup on Nintendo's Japanese website very recently added a few unannounced games and details. Google Translate reads the new Kirby game's title as Kirby's Discovery of the Stars, but you could also translate it to Star Kirby's Discovery or a similar variation – we won't know the official English translation until it's presumably shown during today's Direct, which starts at 3pm PT / 6pm ET / 11pm BT.
Kirby's Discovery of the Stars (let's just call it that for now) doesn't have a Nintendo eShop page just yet, nor does it appear on the English version of the company's website, so its name and reveal art are all we have to go on. The star motif raises an eyebrow after Kirby Star Allies and Kirby Super Star Ultra, but there's no guarantee it's related to any previous games.
Somewhat ominously, this listing image shows Kirby peering over a flowery hill with overgrown city ruins behind him. There's even a rusty sedan and a faded road sign to complete the post-apocalyptic look. Whatever Kirby's discovered, it didn't work out too well for some people.
Nintendo Japan's Switch lineup is loosely chronological but with some important exceptions, so between that and the language barrier, we can't be sure when this new Kirby will arrive. "This winter" is the only release window we have, and with winter starting in late December and ending mid to late March, it could reasonably be out this year or 2022.
Kirby wasn't the only character spotted in this pre-Direct leak. Bayonetta 3 has also quietly surfaced with a 2022 release date, right between The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope. Throughout 2021, developer PlatinumGames has repeatedly stressed that development on Bayonetta 3 is "progressing well," so it wouldn't be a massive surprise to see it get a 2022 release date during today's Nintendo Direct.
This leak has arrived one month after some mysterious activity on the Kirby website.