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Nintendo E3 2018 Predictions

nintendo E3 - smaller 2

E3 is nearly here, so we take some time to reflect on possible announcements for all major platforms. Funny enough, I found that for Nintendo, a lot of my E3 2017 predictions still stand.

More Info On Announced Games

There are a lot of exciting titles coming to the Switch (the 3DS, not so much) and what better time to inform us on some updates or release dates than at E3?

Pokémon Switch Titles

We’ve only just heard some details on Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee but we could maybe get to see even more footage at E3 and they’ll possibly have some playable demo’s on the floor.

Pokemon Let's Go! Pikachu and Eevee

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They also let us know that a completely new 3D RPG is coming to the Switch, but it will release in 2019 at the earliest and I don’t expect to see any more info revealed. But it’s well possible that they have some teaser video.

Metroid Prime 4

Last year, at E3, Nintendo confirmed that Metroid Prime 4 is in development

We’re one year later now, so they should have some gameplay footage to share with us, right? RIGHT?

Super Smash Bros.

Speaking of Trailers, the internet exploded when Nintendo announced the new Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch and that it will be coming this year:

Nintendo will have a playable demo so people can get their first hands-on with the game at E3. Knowing Nintendo though, I wouldn’t expect to know the entire playable roster of characters by the end of the event, they’ll want to spread those announcements out over the year.

Bayonetta 3

I was happy that my Bayonetta 1+2 prediction came through as not enough people got to experience the second game due to it being a Nintendo WiiU exclusive before. Nintendo was the sole reason that we even got a sequel to the game so it’s no surprise that the 3rd entry will also be a console exclusive:

Just like the previous two games, we haven’t seen gameplay footage yet. With no release date, it’s also unsure if this will be playable at E3 but I wouldn’t count on it. I’m sure excited to play this! (Check out my backwards compatible review)

Yoshi

One game that DID show us some gameplay footage however, is Yoshi.

The lovable green dinosaur in boots will arrive on your Switch in 2018 as well and I expect a near-future release date  to be announced at E3. The game looks very inspired and I’m a huge fan of the realistic looking assets and the Paper Mario like cutouts. Sign me up!

Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem has really been growing in popularity these past few years. While it was an obscure title only known in Japan when it first released, the western audience have also shown their appreciation by buying the titles for all possible platforms. We already have Fire Emblem Warriors to enjoy on the Switch, but a full blown Turn Based game is also in the works.

Fire Emblem

Turn Based Strategy games are perfect for portable consoles!

The 2018 planned release should get every fan drooling and I’m pretty sure Nintendo has been keeping more info on this game secret until they show us more at E3.

Announcing New Games

F-Zero Or Star Fox Grand Prix

While the Switch already has its futuristic gravity defying racer in Fast RMX, we haven’t seen a new console entry in their own household series since F-Zero GX on the Gamecube. Perhaps they consider the genre to be too crowded already with RedOut and WipEout offering similar experiences on the competing consoles and Antigraviator joining those ranks from June 6th?

There are also rumours of Star Fox Grand Prix: there is supposedly a Star Fox Racing game in the works “like Diddy Kong Racing mixed with F-Zero” that would have a campaign mode with bosses and everything. Nintendo didn’t confirm the rumour, but they sure didn’t shoot it down either.

F-zero

F-Zero or Star Fox Grand Prix on the Switch

Earthbound/Mother

This weird RPG has always had a niche following and it’s due for another chance at success. The Switch’s portability is perfect for RPGs without an active battle system as you could play in very short bursts (if the save system allows it – or you could just put it in sleep mode). If they keep the same simple graphics, they could even offer a considerable batery life.

earthbound

Or they take the opportunity to finally make a 3D version

Excite Bike/Truck

Here’s another Nintendo owner title that could be making a comeback. We already got a track for Mario Kart 8, but I can see a full side-view game being released that not only lets us race but also perform skill-based stunts like Trials Fusion

excite bike

And it better have Nintendo Characters!

Kid Icarus

Pit’s 3DS adventure surprised a lot of people with how totally different it was to the previous two games and I could see another entry making its way to the latest and hottest Nintendo Device. I for one would totally be on board: the gameplay was fun (although a bit weird to control on the 3DS) and the voice acting + scripted dialogs were nothing short of amazing with as many 4th wall breaking comments as a Deadpool movie.

Kid Icarus

Pit is up for it!

Ports Coming To The Switch

Nintendo isn’t one to jump on the Backwards Compatibility train and they instead prefer to sell their games again and again as the data has shown we are willing to buy their games over and over. Here are some possible ports I find at least somewhat likely:

  • Star Fox Zero
  • Super Mario Maker (I expected this last year already though)
  • Tokyo Mirage Session #FE
  • The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess (it didn’t make much sense last year, but I can see a WiiU port doing well in 2018-2019)
  • Endless Ocean 1 & 2

A Portable Only Version Of The Switch

Nintendo already started selling a dock-less version of the Switch in Japan, calling it the “Switch 2nd Unit Set“. This assumes they want to provide people who already own a Switch with a second portable device for the household, but I think there would be a real merrit in selling it as a new version entirely:

  • Improve the battery life
  • Remove unneccessary parts that were needed to dock it
  • Include more built in storage
  • Scratch resistant materials
  • AC adapter
  • but first and foremost: a cheaper price

That 2nd unit is only 5000 yen (about €40) cheaper than a default Switch though, but some people just don’t care about plugging it into their TV (myself included, as then it would compete for attention with my Xbox One & PS4) and saving any money on components you don’t need is a plus (for the environment as well!)

New Colors & Special Editions For The Nintendo Switch

Nintendo isn’t scared of selling of their hardware in new colourful bundles and special editions (usually along games)

So here are a few guesses at what we could see:

Gamecube

A Gamecube colored Switch

SNES

A SNES Styled one

But why should they limit themselves to full console editions? There’s an equally big market to just release new Joy-con skins each time a new game comes out:

Metroid

Metroid Prime 4 Inspired Joy-Cons

I often see these fanmade pinterest ideas floating around and keep wondering why Nintendo isn’t releasing such collector editions more often. Perhaps because the base console is still selling like hotcakes so they don’t see the need for it yet.

More Mobile Games

nintendo mobile 2

While Nintendo tried to hold off at first they eventually caved and decided to develop games for the mobile market so they can also cash in on all that sweet microtransaction dough. And if you check the top apps in the stores, you’ll see that they didn’t miss their target audience as games like Pokémon Go, Fire Emblem Heroes, Mario Run & Animal Crosing all had their share of succes. It got me wondering which other Nintendo games could become a success on Mobile Phones across the world. Here are some that came to mind:

Advance Wars – Possible Name: Mobile Wars

What is it?

A Turn Based Strategy game where  you and your opponents take turns moving your troops and having them fight each other. On most maps you have to capture buildings to generate money and allowing you to create more and better units than your opponents. You often have to play mind games, predicting your opponent’s moves and preventing them from getting an edge. You also get to choose from different Commanding Officers (CO’s), each with their own unique traits and special powers.

Why would it be interesting?

I’ve always been a big fan of the Advance Wars games. In my opinion, mobile games need to be playable in short bursts and it should be possible to save just about any time you want. Turn Based Strategy games like Fire Emblem and Advance Wars apply these rules easily. I also liked the idea of playing Advance Wars vs other human players but since there was no online multiplayer this proved to be a difficult task. I could easily see there being a mode where you can just play your turn for the day and then pass it to a friend or other online person. They could also easily monetize this by offering a few CO’s  and maps for free, but charging for new ones.

Advance Wars

I’ve been begging for this since Days of Ruin

Pokémon Snap

What is it?

A Pokémon game where instead of capturing pokémon, you snap pictures of them. The Nintendo 64 game was on rails so you couldn’t walk around. You could only look around and take photos. YET.IT.WAS.AWESOME!

Why would it be interesting?

We’ve seen with Pokémon GO that Augmented Reality could add an extra level to the experience (and a drain on your battery!) I could see them take this to the next leve as they could easily base this on the existing assets for Pokémon GO and even use the same locations. You’d then be able to go to a monument and snap a neat picture and have it get rated by the community. How about an Onix crawling around the Eiffel Tower? I can picture it now.

Pokémon Snap

RIP battery life!

Pokémon Trading Card Game

What is it?

It’s the videogame version of the paper trading card game. It was first released on the Game Boy Color where it even had a story mode. They’ve since also released the Online game to be played in your browser and there is even an iPad version of it.

Why would it be interesting?

We’ve seen how popular Card Games can be on mobile devices; I’ve personally played Hearthstone, Solforge and Magic Duels on any device that could run it. But we’ve yet to see a Pokémon TCG game that can be played on a Phone. Since it’s booster based they can easily charge money for packs and with pokémon popularity at an all time high, I have no doubt this would take off.

Pokemon TCG

Are boosters = Lootboxes?

Nintendo Symphony

What is it?

It’s not an existing title and purely based on speculation, but I would love to see a Final Fantasy Theathrythm-like game with all Nintendo’s famous franchises. You’d have to tap to the rhythm of the music and you’d get points based on your timing. They could even add similar RPG elements like Theathrythm did, where you can build a party of Nintendo Characters like Link, Samus, Luigi and Kirby and level their abilities with gathered experience.

Why would it be interesting?

Nintendo has an amazing repertoire of music they could use for this. What did you think of Zelda’s Lullaby or Super Mario 64‘s Title music as some prime examples? They could release the game with some free characters and about 10 free tracks and charge for the rest or let players unlock them over time. I can’t wait to put on my headphones and play this on the train to work. I hope they ever realise the potential this has and release something like this. I made a (quick/terrible/pick your adjective) mock-up to show what it could look like:

Nintendo Symphony

tap to the beat!

You might have noticed the Nintendo 3DS is strangely absent from this article, but I find it hard to speculate for the device with so few titles being release for it these days. The big N always claimed that the Switch wasn’t intended to replace the 3DS/2DS, but both being portable you can see how it could cannibalize sales and make Developers less interested in making games for it.

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Robby Bisschop
Belgian, male, born in 1987
I love videogames (mostly RPGs), anime, movies and Magic The Gathering.
About the author

Robby Bisschop

Belgian, male, born in 1987 I love videogames (mostly RPGs), anime, movies and Magic The Gathering.