Nintendo continues to roll right along, wiping away any memory of the failed WiiU console. Seriously though, I’m happy that Nintendo has managed to reclaim its magic with the Switch. It’s a fantastic console and I was afraid the company wouldn’t be able to recover from the WiiU. In this case, I’m more than happy to be wrong.
With Zelda and Mario already providing unbelievably fantastic experiences for Switch owners, the big question for Nintendo is how they manage to keep that momentum going strong. We already know one piece of the puzzle: Super Smash Bros. Everything else is presently unclear.
My feeling for this E3 is that Nintendo is going to continue to reveal exclusive games to draw fans in. This means first-party titles from their historic catalog as well as unique games that can only be experienced on the Switch like Bayonetta 3. I’m also expecting to see something Pokemon related as well.
Here’s what I’m thinking for Nintendo this year:
I chose you, Pokemon Switch!
Some of the biggest rumors out there at the moment is that The Pokemon Company has been hard at work making a Pokemon experience for the Nintendo Switch. I believe that not only does the game exist, it’s going to be the showpiece for Nintendo this year. In a similar fashion to previous years which saw their booth dressed up for Breath of the Wild, then Super Mario Odyssey, I’m thinking Pokemon Switch will be the theme for this year.
Then again, I could totally see Nintendo hyping up this game as an early 2019 release as well. Gotta make sure the content doesn’t dry up like it did for the WiiU, right?
Either way, my hope is that the game is less Pokemon Snap/Pokemon Stadium and more like a traditional, open-world RPG. Think about the 3D character sprites, running through an open world, and catching those unique pocket monsters all in glorious high definition. Pretty great, yeah?
Other Obvious Names
While 2018 is still largely a mystery, we do know a few names that’ll be there: Bayonetta 3, the new Yoshi game, and Super Smash Bros. I’m guessing both games are launching later this year.
Smash will get lots of love at E3 this year, revealing a big roster of characters, and even answering the question as to whether or not this is simply a remastered version of the WiiU game or an all-new entry in the massively popular franchise.
Hello, Ms Aran
It’s amazing how starved for content Metroid players are. Last year, Nintendo played what was obviously a last-minute trailer which had no images, gameplay or anything visually appealing, just a familiar tune and the words Metroid Prime 4. That was enough to send the fanbase over the edge screaming. (Yes, I’m totally overlooking that 3DS game, which I heard was really good).
Metroid is a personal favorite franchise of mine, so I’m thrilled to have the series coming back in any form, really. My best guess is that this is a 2019 title at the very least, but a new trailer will finally give fans a look at the game in some capacity. I’m also pretty curious to know who is developing it, as I don’t believe it’s been confirmed officially.
Some part of me also hopes that Nintendo announces a remastered version of Super Metroid, or at the very least, a new 2D style Metroid game for the Switch for 2018. I doubt it’ll happen, but that would be a great way to tide us over for Prime 4.
Gotta Go Fast?
I’m not 100% sold on this idea, but I’m hoping that the long-dormant F-Zero franchise is set to reappear. I think racing extremely fast on massive loops and futuristic courses would be an absolute thrill, especially considering that Nintendo has previously teased us by including Big Blue and Mute City tracks in Mario Kart 8. I want more, Nintendo!
Third Party Power
Unlike the WiiU, the Switch has received a lot of help from Third Party companies like Ubisoft and Bethesda. Who would have thought years ago that the new DOOM would ever find its way to the Nintendo Switch or that a game like Skyrim could be played on the go?
Partly due to the overwhelming success, more and more companies are willing to bring their games over, offering fans a new way to play thanks to the console’s portable nature. Expect plenty of big announcements, though I doubt Monster Hunter World is on that list.
Out of the Box Thinking
I’m also expecting more on the unique looking Nintendo Labo. So far, they’ve released two kits: a variety pack and a robot kit. I doubt Nintendo ever had plans to stop there, so expect to see more announcements about new kits coming later in 2018.
Crossing some Animals?
This may be too much considering everything I’ve highlighted above, but I firmly believe Nintendo is planning a proper Switch version of Animal Crossing. Could we see it? Maybe. Would this complicate the 2018 release schedule? Likely.
Virtual Console Returns
After numerous delays, the online component to the Nintendo Switch is finally going to be detailed and priced. This includes a virtual console style system, letting fans purchase games from Nintendo’s long history. Of course, fan expectations have grown so wildly in anticipation, Nintendo is likely going to disappoint due to unrealistic expectations.
Want a wild, and unlikely prediction? Super Mario Maker is a great game, and while I bet it’s high on Nintendo’s WiiU port list, I’d love to see them expand out a potential sequel to either include multiple franchises than just Super Mario assets or perhaps create a “Maker” game based on a different IP. Imagine what amazing things the community could do with a Zelda Maker or a Metroid Maker.
Okay, I need to stop because I just got lightheaded with joy thinking about all of this…
Those are my picks, but what are yours? Let me know what you’re hoping to see from Nintendo in the comments below.