Banjo-Kazooie is coming home to Nintendo very soon

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Banjo-Kazooie has been given a release date for its arrival on Nintendo Switch: January 20. Starting tomorrow, Rare's beloved bear and bird duo will be back on Nintendo hardware.

As a reminder, the game will only be available through the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, along with the rest of the console's library of Nintendo 64 games.

Originally released in 1998, this collectathon platformer sees Banjo and Kazooie embark on an adventure to rescue Banjo's sister Tooty from the wicked witch Gruntilda.

Why this is a big deal

While Banjo and Kazooie got their start on Nintendo, developer Rare was acquired by Microsoft in 2002. Two more games were still released for the Game Boy Advance, but Banjo-Kazooie was effectively an Xbox exclusive franchise.

Following the mixed reception of 2008's Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, which placed a heavier emphasis on building and racing vehicles, the series has been stuck in limbo with no new releases, barring the inclusion of all three console games on the Rare Replay collection.

Thanks to a burgeoning relationship between Nintendo and Microsoft, however, the two companies were able to negotiate adding Banjo and Kazooie as playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

No doubt this is what led to the original game being re-released for Nintendo Switch, which in turn has fans hoping that other Rare games will follow suit such as Banjo-Tooie, Jet Force Gemini, and Perfect Dark.

There are even theories that Goldeneye 007, the N64 adaptation of the James Bond movie Rare released in 1997, will come to Switch and Xbox in the future.

Michael Beckwith

Michael is a freelance writer with bylines at the Metro, TechRaptor, and Game Rant. A Computer Games Design and Creative Writing graduate, he's been passionate about video games since the Game Boy Color, particularly Nintendo games, with Xenoblade Chronicles being his favorite game ever. Despite everything, he's still a Sonic the Hedgehog fan.