Nintendo has had a weird relationship with E3 in recent years, favoring pre-recorded Directs and a live streamed Treehouse over fancy stage shows. It made everyone think the publisher was gradually backing away from the event, but in an expected turn of events, not only did the company show up at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, it might have made the most significant announcement ever.

The return of ‘Metroid’

Following the news that there will be a new “Pokémon” game for the newly released Switch, Nintendo had caused a collective gasp among the crowd with the announcement of “Metroid Prime 4.” The most recent numbered title in the cosmic shoot-em-up series came a decade ago (three games under the “Metroid” banner have been released since then, but no official numbered sequel in the Prime franchise) and fans have been eagerly awaiting an official follow-up since then.

Metroid” had become one of Nintendo’s most neglected franchises for years now – its recent offering being “Metroid Prime: Federation Force” in 2016. It was sort of a disappointment, but in truth, the publisher was reluctant to give in to fan requests for another “Metroid” game. This is because the series isn’t exactly a heavy hitter compared to its other franchises. But now, a decade after “Metroid Prime 3,” “Metroid Prime 4” is finally happening.

Nintendo fans: The waiting game begins now

Nothing substantial has been said about the game. A logo for the upcoming title was shown, but the company said the game is in development. The news is that it will be released “Beyond 2017,” and that the project is spearheaded by longtime “Metroid Prime” chief Kensuke Tanabe.

Nintendo also said it would be a "first-person adventure going back to the roots of the original Metroid Prime," and that Tanabe is working with a new development team on the project.

Samus on Nintendo 3DS

Meanwhile, Samus, in all her fierce glory, is in the works for Nintendo 3DS. A remake of the 1991 Game Boy classic “Metroid II: Return of Samus” will be released Sept.

15, to be called “Metroid: Samus Returns.

Unlike “Metroid Prime 4,” Nintendo actually spilled some details about the upcoming 3DS gaming, beginning with Samus, who will have new abilities. The female fighter will have a melee counter, which allows her to get critical hits on enemies. She also has a full-range of motion for more precise aiming, as opposed to the 45-degree angle that she shoots at in the Game Boy game.

It’s all very exciting for “Metroid” fans, and while we probably won’t see “Metroid Prime 4” for another year or two, at least we have “Metroid: Samus Returns” to hold us over.