E3 2017 Predictions: Nintendo

E3 2017 is right around the corner, so that means that all of the months spent speculating are coming to a crashing halt. In this series of articles, we are going to highlight our predictions and hopes for what will be revealed at this year’s E3.

Let’s start with what we can safely assume is going to be shown during Nintendo’s presentation and will most likely make some sort of appearance either on the show-floor, in the Spotlight presentation, or during their Treehouse Live stream.

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Super Mario Odyssey | Nintendo

Nintendo Switch

  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Pokken Tournament DX
  • Splatoon 2
  • ARMS

Nintendo 3DS

  • Pokemon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon
  • Miitopia
  • Hey! Pikmin

Those are the almost positives or already confirmed. Doesn’t seem like much, but remember last year’s E3 was Zelda: Breath of the Wild and well, you know, that game was okay I guess… Though, this doesn’t mean this is all we are getting nor do I think it will be either. So it’s time to go down the rabbit hole– or I guess the Rabbid hole.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

This game is either totally fake, or the worst kept secret of gaming this year. If this game actually exists, we should expect to see this at either Nintendo’s presentation or at Ubisoft’s. The leaks surrounding the game seem convincing enough, but if someone really went through all of the trouble of creating the key art that’s been floating around– why? Needless to say, I would expect this to be officially revealed at E3 this year.

Fire Emblem Warriors

This game was originally slated to be released this year for both the Switch and the 3DS and even if it doesn’t hit a 2017 release date as was initially intended, I think it’s safe to say this game will show up somewhere during this year’s E3. The Fire Emblem franchise has been seeing huge success since Awakening saved the series back in 2013 and it’s looking like Nintendo wants to continue to keep the beloved tactical-RPG saga as a staple in their bullpen of great IPs. Not to mention, Nintendo has been much more liberal in who is developing games with their IPs and needs to continue to see support from other big studios.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Honestly, I completely forgot about this game until I started preparing for this article and that’s not because there’s anything bad to say about Xenoblade. It’s just that the Switch’s library currently– with ZeldaMario Kart 8 Deluxe, Ultra Street Fighter 2, and a slew of indie gems–  as well as what’s on the horizon– ARMS and Splatoon 2— I haven’t felt a drought and a need to look to the future.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is another one of the briefly teased games at the beginning of the year that is supposed to be making a release this year on the Switch. Same thing with Fire Emblem though, even if this game doesn’t make a 2017 launch date, I’d still expect to see it– even with Nintendo’s E3 focus being on games coming soon.

Skyrim

Unsure of what version of this game we will be getting, it’s still a tremendous deal to have a game like this coming to Nintendo hardware. Originally shown during the Switch’s sizzle reel in January, I would expect some sort of update on the progress of the port, as well as some details as to whether or not we are getting a definitive version of Skyrim or a slimmed down port.

Now those are all games that aren’t confirmed yet for being at E3 but are safe assumptions. Let’s get a little deeper into hopes and predictions.

Hearthstone

This is a long-shot rumor that started because of a tweet that Blizzard sent out, but Blizzard is a monster game developer and having any support from them on the Switch is a chance for Nintendo to keep expanding it’s third party support with esteemed developers and publishers. There is plenty of space for a game like Hearthstone on the Switch. People could spend time playing single-player while on the go and building up there decks and strategies. While when in range of Wi-Fi they could be playing against others.

Hearthstone is a perfect fit for the hybrid console and if it does well, it could help Blizzard and Nintendo continue working together in the future. Come on, Overwatch port!

Animal Crossing

We are getting a mobile version of the game sometime soon and there wasn’t a Wii U Animal Crossing– Amiibo Festival doesn’t count. The Switch would be a fantastic fit for this franchise with its touch screen capabilities as well as its home and mobile gaming option. Animal Crossing would be crazy successful– everyone knows that. I believe there was a Wii U AC that was most likely in development but when the console started dying probably shifted to the Switch– just like Pikmin! I am super hopeful that we will see this game at E3 this year.

I hope that the game decides to delve a little deeper into some new mechanics, especially with hugely successful games like Stardew Valley on their way to the Switch this year.

Metroid

Yeah, I said it. So has just about everyone. I feel like it is time for Nintendo to reveal the latest mainline– I’m looking at you, Federation Force— Metroid game. Fans have been clamoring, the Switch is killing it, Nintendo needs to take this time to really wrangle up all of it’s IPs and put out some quality games to make the Switch the ultimate Nintendo platform.

I could honestly see this go one of two ways– put on those tin foil hats. Nintendo could bring back the Prime series and make this a first-person adventure, or they could blow everyone’s mind with an amazing open-world Metroid. Think about this, they use the engine they created for BOTW and turn it into a planet-hopping, Mother Brain-stopping quest. Maybe they won’t go that route, but I do think we will at the very least get a tease of Samus Aran making her triumphant return to Nintendo’s “home” console.

Though, if Metroid does somehow make it’s way to E3 this year, I don’t think this game will actually be slated for release this year.

Side note, if they don’t use the BOTW engine for Metroid I do see them using at least parts of it for one of their non-Zelda Switch games going forward.

Independent Games

Over the years, Nintendo has been taking note to the trend in gaming and has been supporting indie-developers on their platforms and the Switch is no exception. It wouldn’t shock me to see some more indie developers pledging support as well as some exclusives/timed-exclusives at E3 this year.

Wii U Ports

Judging by the success that MK8D is seeing and the recent announcement of Pokken Tournament DX it behooves me to say that we will see at least a few more ports from the forsaken Wii U, for good measure too. Anyone who is complaining about the ports needs to realize two things: you don’t have to buy them and not many people played these games due to a poor install base of the console they were native to. If we do get any port announcements, I don’t expect anymore of them to come out this year.

 Super Smash Bros. 4 is at the top of most people’s list I’m sure– mine included. My hope would be that they would merge all of the content from both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game and add a few more levels, modes, and characters. If Nintendo really wanted everyone’s money, they could announce a line of alternate trophy amiibo for the Smash port and I’d need a third job.

I also wouldn’t be surprised by a Donkey Kong Country Returns Collection with both Returns and Tropical Freeze being included. These were both fantastic platforming gems reminiscent of the SNES games. Returns had a 3DS port but Tropical Freeze is left dying on the Wii U, these games deserve another chance.

Kid Icarus

Uprising was a fast-paced, at times janky because of gimmicky controls, but overall pleasantly amazing 3DS game that did a wonderful job of bringing Pit back in his own adventure. The game sold well on the 3DS, just over a million copies, and definitely shows that fans have an interest in the franchise. Kid Icarus would be another wonderful candidate to get parts of the BOTW engine involved, and when I keep referencing using the engine, I’m not just asking for a bunch of re-skinned Zelda games, but rather using the assets and physics that they created to help as part of the framework for other games.

Virtual Console

Nintendo is still being coy about what the Switch’s Virtual Console will be like. Hopefully at E3 they finally shed some light on how this will work. Here’s hoping we get to download any games we purchased on the Wii or Wii U, though I doubt it.

Nintendo 3DS

As for the Nintendo 3DS, besides the recently announced Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon I wouldn’t expect too much that we don’t already know about. They have already announced a ton of support for the portable earlier this year in one of their Direct’s, but I wouldn’t rule out a few new releases popping up during their presentation. I don’t think their support for the 3DS is going to finish until the end of 2018 at the earliest.

amiibo

Of course there will be amiibo. Super Mario Odyssey ones for sure.

Third Party Support

This is probably the most important aspect of E3 this year for Nintendo, yeah I said it, a bigger deal than a new Metroid. I’d be the first to tell you that Nintendo has the deepest stable of IPs at their disposal, but they need more support outside of their characters and universes. They need to continue to cultivate their third-party relations not just trying to get ports of Call of Duty or Battlefield but some interesting exclusive titles developed with the Switch in mind. We are seeing some flashes of support here and there, but we need to see some flagship titles making an appearance.

ArmsCover
ARMS | Nintendo

How Nintendo Can Win E3

If Super Mario Odyssey is as breath-taking and game-changing as Nintendo is touting it to be, I think that alone will allow the Switch to continue to have a great year. Sprinkle in what seems like at least one triple-A Nintendo title every month leading up to that, the Big N should be okay. Though, some other great titles making their debut this year at E3 that will hopefully be split between being released this year and next, is just as important.

Showcasing a taste of what to expect for year two is not only what is going to keep people buying the Switch, but it’ll help get all of those third party developers putting games on Nintendo hardware. Nintendo also needs to be clearer about their online service and what the Virtual Console is going to be like this time around.

This year, you can see Nintendo’s presentations on the following days and times:

Nintendo Spotlight – Tuesday June 13th 9:00AM PT/ 12:00PM ET

Treehouse Live – Will start streaming following the Nintendo Spotlight presentation

Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational and ARMS Open Invitational – June 13-14

Here’s a graphic too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

NinESched

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