Everyone’s favorite digital pop star will make her Nintendo Switch debut early next year, Sega has announced. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega39’s (I’ll explain in a minute) will put 101 of the synthetic singer’s songs onto Nintendo’s wunderkind hybrid console — 11 of these tracks will be new, with the rest hailing from Miku and pals’ extensive back catalogue, positioning this game as a “Greatest Hits” sort of deal. Over 300 costumes and accessories will make it into Miku’s closet, and there will also be new gameplay modes designed especially for the Switch, though Sega has yet to explain what those actually are. If I had to hazard a guess, however, I’d put money on touchscreen for songs from the Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 3DS series. Or maybe you just use the touchscreen to feed Miku cake and then poke her forehead until she gets mad, who knows! (Sega also mentioned that Project Diva Mega39’s 10 new songs will come to the PlayStation 4’s Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone as paid DLC at some point in 2020.)
The main catch with this announcement is that it only covers a Project Diva Mega39’s release in Japan, at least so far, but that’s less of a big deal than it might sound. Every Miku game since Project Diva F/f has made it state-side, so I don’t see why Sega would break the streak now, especially with Miku’s 10-year anniversary on the horizon. But even if Project Diva Mega39’s does remain Japan-only, it’ll undoubtedly end up on the Japanese eShop, which can be accessed from North American consoles after some fiddling. You’ll have to pay a premium on Japanese eShop credit to make the purchase, but that’s still gonna be cheaper than importing a physical copy, or doing what I had to do before digital currencies and pay some guy on Geocities to send me an external PS1 mod chip so I could play the Japanese copy of Dragon Ball: Final Bout I got off eBay.
Alright, so what’s with the name? I was as perplexed as you are, but thankfully friend of the site and Tiny Cartridge co-editor JC Fletcher provided this explanation: “It’s called ‘Hatsune Miku Project Diva Mega 39’s,’ with the joke here being that ‘3’ and ‘9’ are pronounced ‘mi’ and ‘ku,’ respectively. So it’s both ‘Mega Miku’s’ and ‘Mega Mix,’ simultaneously.” The first bit made perfect sense, but I was confused about the “Mega Mix” portion of this pun until I remembered an important aspect of Japanese. Namely, “s” does not exist by itself as a sound in Japanese, it’s always followed by a vowel. This means that “Miku’s” would be pronounced “mi-ku-su.” In katakana (the Japanese alphabet used for transliterating English words into Japanese), “mix” is written as “ミクス”, or “mi-ku-su.” So not only is “Mega 39’s” a pun in a different language, but it’s two puns said simultaneously, making it an extremely rare Squared Pun, or Pun².