E3 is one of, if not the biggest events in the video game industry, and it’s about to hit us next week! Both Fiefo and Robin have already made their respective E3 predictions about Microsoft, Sony, and some of the more popular third party developers like EA and Bethesda, which leaves making predictions about Nintendo all to me.
It’s actually very hard to predict what Nintendo is going to do because they march to the beat of their own drum and don’t behave like the rest of the companies in the video game industry. I also often end up with a wishlist rather than a list of realistic predictions, talking about what I want Nintendo to say or do rather than guess what they’re going to say or do.
But I’ll try my best to be objective, not factor in my personal wants, and make five predictions on what is going to be announced by Nintendo during this year’s E3. Note that aside from their Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo also has their Treehouse Live shows for three entire days which can also be an avenue for reveals, so I’ll be thinking about all of Nintendo’s activities during the entire E3 event. With that said, let’s begin:
Prediction # 1: We’re Getting Another Remastered Wii U Game
I’m going to start with something obvious – Nintendo will be releasing another remastered Wii U game for the Switch this year. Nintendo needs to keep making games for the Switch in order to keep the momentum going, and it’s much faster to polish some of the good Wii U games than make a new game from scratch. We’ve already seen re-releases of Wii U games on the Switch (Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, Bayonetta 2, the upcoming Captain Toad game) and Nintendo is not going to stop any time soon.
Bonus prediction – it’s too soon to release a Switch version of Super Mario 3D World since we just had Super Mario Odyssey, but this year is a good time to release a Switch version of Super Mario Maker especially since Nintendo’s Online Service is scheduled to launch this coming September.
Super Mario Maker is also a title that can help Nintendo achieve their target of selling another 20 million Switch units this fiscal year – I don’t think the new version of Super Smash Bros. nor the Pokemon spin-offs Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee can get them there without help from another system seller.
Prediction # 2: No Mention of Nintendo Labo During E3
Nintendo Labo didn’t set the world on fire when the first two kits were released two months ago, but they’re not necessarily considered sales failures either. I don’t think Nintendo is going to give up on the Labo concept this quickly, and I’m sure we’re going to see more Labo kits during the holidays.
But Nintendo is not going to talk about Labo during E3 but not because of sales performance. I think by now Nintendo has gained a better understanding of their audience and they should already know that their main fanbase is more interested in actual games.
Prediction # 3: Metroid Prime 4 Won’t Be Ready – But Metroid Prime Trilogy Will
Nintendo’s biggest reveal during last year’s E3 was their teaser of Metroid Prime 4 – all they showed was the title, but that was enough to get Nintendo fans hyped up. This reveal to me means that Metroid Prime 4 is still very early in development and probably won’t be released until 2020. But Nintendo needs to keep the Metroid Prime hype up and keep people talking about Metroid. It’ll be hard to do that – it’s been more than ten years since Metroid Prime 3 was released.
The solution? A remastered version of Metroid Prime Trilogy!
Originally released for the Nintendo Wii back in 2009, Metroid Prime Trilogy is notable in that it’s versions of Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes with motion controls (something that the Switch has). This version was received well both critically (91 on Metacritic) and due to a limited physical release, is highly sought after by collectors.
A remastered version of the entire trilogy for the Switch would be a good idea, in my opinion, due to the timing (before the release of Metroid Prime 4), the technology (the Nintendo Switch can support both motion controls and twin-stick shooter controls), and a low print run when it came out.
Prediction # 4: Keeping the 3DS Alive with Another Big Remake
Nintendo’s current (and outgoing) president has stated that they will continue to sell Nintendo 3DS units until the Switch transitions from a one-per-household to a one-per-person device, so it looks like the 3DS will keep on chugging along. We already know of still-to-come 3DS games like Captain Toad Treasure Trackers, Luigi’s Mansion, and Bowser’s Inside Story, and I don’t think Nintendo is going to stop there.
Similar to how Metroid: Samus Returns was a 3DS remake of a popular Game Boy title, I’m expecting another 3DS remake of another popular Game Boy title to be announced: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Unlike Samus Returns, the Link’s Awakening remake will make use of existing game assets (from A Link Between Worlds) but will still stay true to the original game.
Prediction # 5: A Surprise Nintendo Switch Release in time for the Holidays
When Nintendo announced that they are expecting to sell an additional 20 million units in it’s second year, the first thing that came into mind was “Pokemon is coming out this year”. Because there needs to be a really big release in order for Nintendo to move 20 million Switches.
Right now, the only big title that Nintendo has coming out in 2018 is Super Smash Bros. and while one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises, the game is not a Mario or a Zelda. And I said this already earlier – I don’t think Super Smash Bros. on it’s own is enough to sell 20 million Switches. That title needs help from another heavyweight, and it could be Super Mario Maker (my first prediction) or a yet-to-be-revealed release.
My money is on both. I also don’t think that Super Mario Maker is enough to push Switch sales to 20 million. We already know that we won’t get any real Pokemon games this year, so cross that franchise out of the list. It’s too early for Metroid Prime 4, and I don’t think Yoshi games are massive sellers.
I think the current Nintendo has already been humbled by the failure of the Wii U, so they wouldn’t declare something like selling 20 million units without a good plan on how to do it. Nintendo knows that they’re going to release “something” that will help sell 20 million Switch units this year, and they’re going to announce that “something” next week. That “something” is going to be this year’s Super Mario Odyssey – an October/November release, leading to huge Holiday sales figures, up until the close of the current fiscal year.
And that’s it for my Nintendo E3 Predictions this year. With a highly successful first year and a slow start to it’s second year, I’m very excited about what Nintendo has to offer to Switch and 3DS owners so I’m definitely going to check all the announcements next week.
What do you think about Nintendo’s possible announcements during their Direct E3 presentation and Treehouse live events? Let us know by leaving a comment or two below!