Now this was a pleasant surprise to wrap up the E3 Nintendo Direct. None other than Banjo and his trusty bird sidekick Kazooie are joining the ranks of fighters in Smash Bros Ultimate. This isn't the first time we've seen mascots from other companies appear in Smash--Solid Snake, Sonic and Simon Belmont all come to mind--but the inclusion of these iconic Rare characters is pretty significant. It's evidence of a warming relationship between Nintendo and Microsoft, which might mean more cooperation in the future.
As a longtime Rare fan--at least, of their SNES and N64 glory days--I'd love to see more of their IP show up on Nintendo platforms again, or for that matter show up at all. It's no secret that after purchasing Rare in the early 2000s, Microsoft left most of the English studio's memorable properties to languish as forgotten relics. Hopefully Banjo Kazooie in Smash is a portent of good things to come. You can expect them to join the Smash Bros battle this fall.