It’s still hard to believe we’re not getting an E3 this year. One of my favorite things to do each year is to try and predict what each company was going to bring to the table at their various press conferences. Even though we may not be getting a show this year, I’m not going to abandon my usual practice of guessing what the future holds.
With that in mind, I’m kicking off my annual
E3 2020 prediction posts a little earlier than normal because we still know that announcements are coming, just not when since no one is being held to June anymore.
This week, I’m taking a look at Nintendo, who remains my wild card company considering that we really don’t know their second half plans for 2020. The company, while experiencing record success with the Switch (especially during the pandemic),has largely kept quiet for what its releasing later this year.
Sure, we do know of a few games they’re working on like Breath of the Wild 2 and Metroid Prime 4, but potential release dates have never entered the conversation to this point.
So, let’s try to shed some light on what the company is thinking heading into the summer. Here are my Nintendo predictions for 2020.
Nintendo Direct Is On!
Even without E3, Nintendo is still going going to produce a E3 style Nintendo Direct. Why wouldn’t they? It’s basically a premade video that’s not specifically tied into E3. As expected, expect to see some big name games, reveals, and maybe a few games not coming in 2020.
With that said, the one thing we won’t be getting is the typical Nintendo Treehouse event that takes place after the showcase. I’m particularly sad about this because it was always kind of fun to see the recently announced games being played and developers interviewed. Maybe they’ll have something virtually instead?
Paper Mario is Back!
Unfortunately, reports indicate that this virtual event has been delayed due to the current pandemic going on. While Nintendo hasn’t said, the reports seem to be true as seemingly out of the blue, Paper Mario: The Origami King was announced last week. We knew Nintendo was likely working on this anyway, but considering the announcement came out of nowhere, it’s easy to start to piece together what happened.
With the game releasing in July, a delayed digital showcase likely means that Nintendo wouldn’t get any time to market it after announcing it OR the game would actually release before the showcase. Initially I heard a a new July date for the E3 showcase, but recently I’ve been hearing it may be closer to September. Either way, the delay forced Nintendo’s hand.
The Return of Samus
Okay, does anyone else think that little fun Metroid scene at the end of the Paper Mario: The Origami King is a wink, wink, nod, nod that Nintendo is getting ready to talk about Metroid Prime 4? I do.
Think of the timeline! Yes, we’ve previously heard about the development troubles, the reboot, and Retro taking back control of the game. However, that was well over a year ago at this point so prior to this pandemic mess, serious progress should have been made. I mean, can we get a legit trailer at this point?
Also, what’s the deal with the Metroid Prime Collection? Always seems to be in the rumor bin, so if it is real, it could be a valuable stop gap if Prime 4 isn’t going to make a 2020 release.
Bayonetta 3 has been in development for quite a while. It was originally announced years ago, but has basically flown FAR under the radar since. Why has it taken so long? Honestly, I have no idea, though it does seem like Platinum always has multiple games going on.
It’s been so long since we’ve had some sort of update on this game that I’d be absolutely stunned if we go another year without at least another trailer or something.
One year ago, Nintendo surprised and shocked fans by showing a new trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. While I feel that development on this sequel could be faster as the foundation is already in place from the first game, I’m torn on how far along it already is especially with the pandemic potentially having slowed things down across the board.
I’d like to say this game is on the way for November 2020 but I honestly don’t feel confident in that. I strongly believe that Nintendo will devote a chunk of their presentation on this. Expect trailers, new information, and hopefully a look at some gameplay. Perhaps an early 2021 release as well?
The Usual Names
Okay, so I’d have to say we’re going to be seeing Pokemon Sword/Shield DLC news as well as more information on Smash Bros content. What is a little tricky to figure is the timing. We know the digital showcase is delayed but we don’t know how long so it’s entirely possible that some of the planned content will have already happened. The first big Pokemon expansion is (tentatively it seems) set for June so it’s entirely likely that this has already released. Same thing for the next Smash Bros DLC character.
While I do think we’ll be seeing things from both games, it’s just a matter of what due to the timing of this event.
Also, don’t be surprised to see a few more ports announced as we’ve seen The Wonderful 101 recently make the jump and rumors have pointed that Pikmin 3 could also be making the leap from WiiU to Switch. Perhaps we’ll get that Mario Collection announcement that we’ve heard about or perhaps the outstanding Super Mario 3D World could also come back?
Unlikely but Refusing to Give Up Hope
As I do every year, I hope Nintendo brings back F-Zero and Star Fox in some capacity. These are two franchises that have been very under served in modern times.
Speaking of unlikely things, I also hope Nintendo reveals a Virtual Console of sorts or at the very least adds more classic games to their online services. While we’re on it, can we get N64, DS, and GameCube games added? I really want to play classic games like The Wind Waker and Metroid Fusion again.
While we’re on the topic, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new Mario Kart game get teased. While Mario Kart 8 Deluxe quickly became a best seller, it first arrived on the WiiU so technically, the game is pretty long in the tooth at this point. While I’ll gladly accept a new Mario Kart game with new characters and tracks (and maybe borrowing some elements from the mobile version?), I’d love to see this 9th entry basically turn the racing franchise into a quasi-Smash Bros style. What I mean by that is that the roster really turns into Nintendo All-Stars, rather than heavy Mario list. It’s something I’ve talked about in detail before.
While I firmly believe Nintendo is working on some sort of Pro version of the Switch (especially when facing the next gen systems launch later this year), I don’t think Nintendo will be revealing them during this E3-ish show. They’re going to stick to software.
And that’s my list going into the summer of 2020 for Nintendo. Ultimately, I hope Nintendo has a few additional surprises up their sleeves similar to what they did last year with Breath of the Wild 2. I hope they’re not going to be as formulaic as I make them out to be above, though I won’t lie, if they announce half of the stuff on my list, I’d be quite happy.
What would you guys like to see from Nintendo this year? Leave me your thoughts below in the comments.