E3 gets closer and closer every day and we’re back with another preview to help you with the wait. This week we’re jumping into what Nintendo will and could have in store for us during their E3 video presentation. Of course, Nintendo won’t be doing a press conference but they’ll have their “Nintendo Spotlight” which is super similar to a Direct. Following that will be a Treehouse presentation showing off the games they just talked about.
Nintendo has come on strong since March with the launch of the Switch and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It seems as though Nintendo is back in it and ready to continue their big 2017 with this year’s E3 and they can do so with a few key announcements. While I do think there will be some 3DS games shown during this presentation, I believe most of what we’ll see will be Switch related. Just to continue the growing reason to own this console. If you don’t see the reason to own one now, you definitely will by the end of the year. (With that said I will mostly be covering this presentation for the Switch. Sorry 3ds owners)
Again, I’ll be looking into news that is known at this point and keep expectations for this Spotlight pretty reasonable. However, I will try to bridge gaps to see what’s next for some of these projects and I will end the article with some predictions that I can see happening, no matter how crazy it might sound. Again, I won’t mind if you want to skip ahead and read the predictions. They’re fun and E3 is about fun. Go on and scroll down.
Small note: I’m not going to mention anything about amiibo here. It’s not that I don’t think there won’t be some kind of amiibo announcement. It’s just that, it’s easy to look at any existing franchise and go, “oh this would make a sweet amiibo” or “this could easily be an amiibo.” So I’m avoiding doing that because it’s lazy and there hasn’t been anything to suggest that I include it. Are we getting amiibo for Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and eventually more Fire Emblem characters? Probably. But I have nothing to base that on.
Switch Info We Need
As I’ve said since launch, the Nintendo Switch released too early. The console is half baked at most and it’s missing a ton of features that should be standard for any home console at this point. I believe we’ll get some kind of clarity on what Nintendo said we’ll be hearing about this summer but I don’t think we’ll still be fully “in the know.”
Nintendo possesses some of the best first party games of all time and it shows because plenty of gamers catch themselves buying Super Mario 3 on multiple consoles. Personally, I’ve owned it on at least three at this point. What we don’t have any information on is the Switch’s Virtual Console. From the reveal of the console, we knew this was coming sometime in the future but it seemed crazy that nothing launched with the console.
I believe we’re given some details regarding what is up with the Switch’s Virtual Console and I believe the rumours of it launching with the Gamecube library to be true. We haven’t seen GameCube games on Nintendo consoles from the Virtual Console as of yet, this could be the right time to finally roll out that library of games.
The three games mentioned in the rumour and that are heavily talked about are Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion and Super Smash Bros. Melee. That sounds a little too good to be true but I can see this happening. Fans have been clamouring for these titles to come to new consoles for a long time and I think it’s finally time. Though I don’t think it stops there as far as virtual console announcements.
I believe there is one more big title that will be revealed and I have another virtual console prediction. Both of which you can read about below in the Predictions section.
Less to type up about this one, I think it’s pretty straight forward. Nintendo has said the full launch of their online service will be coming in the Fall of 2017 and I think they still hit that. If that is true and everything is on schedule then we’ll need information on the service soon. This will include the price of the service, more information on the mobile app and more information on the monthly free game.
If this information doesn’t hit at E3 it will have to be at a Nintendo Direct that follows soon after. The fact that we don’t have this service already is disappointing and a delay would be worrisome.
Super Mario Odyssey
Nintendo is launching a Triple-A Mario title the same year it launched a Triple-A Zelda game and we should feel so lucky. Super Mario Odyssey hasn’t been given anything more than a release window yet but this game won’t miss that time frame. Nintendo doesn’t mess around when it comes to Mario and for all we know, this game has been basically done since before the Switch launched.
Super Mario Odyssey won’t be delayed and I’m confident we’ll get a release date at E3. I’m thinking this game launches in November just to further push the sales of the Switch, considering there is a restock of the consoles by then, ahead of Black Friday and the Christmas rush.
I don’t expect too much information regarding ARMS as the game is launching the Friday following E3. We know all the fighters and game modes the game has to offer. If we get anything it’s possible they show off some of the free updates to come after the game launches. But again, I wouldn’t expect much.
If we see anything new at E3 regarding ARMS I believe it will be it will come in form of a different game (see predictions).
Again, I don’t think we’ll see a ton amount of information for Splatoon 2 since the release is only a month after E3 on July 21. I’m thinking we see more gameplay, new weapons etc. We recently saw the new story mode the game will have which is pretty similar to the first game’s story mode. So we’ve seen and know a good amount of Splatoon 2.
I don’t think we spend too much time with Splatoon 2 during the Spotlight. At this point, we know what it is and you should know if you’re getting it or not.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was first shown off in January during the Switch reveal and it was pretty unexpected. Outside of seeing that first trailer and the release date of “2017,” we don’t know a whole lot of the game. I don’t think this game hits in 2017, I strongly believe this game gets pushed back into 2018 and if it does ship in 2017 it’ll be in Japan and a 2018 launch for the West. But if you like this franchise, you should just be excited for more Xenoblade overall.
Fire Emblem Updates
The Fire Emblem franchise is looking to bring two titles to the Switch in the next two years that includes the rest of this year and well in 2018.
Fire Emblem Warriors is said to be launching in late 2017, whether that stays true or not is up in the air. This game is launching on both the Switch and the 3DS much like Hyrule Warriors did but I don’t anticipate a split release between the two. Just like anything coming this year if it’s still on schedule we’ll see a decent bit of the game and hopefully a release date.
More question marks circle around the other Fire Emblem entry coming to Switch sometime in the future. This will be the first Fire Emblem game on a home console since Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. We’re told this will be a 2018 release but I think that’s a little too optimistic. Just considering it’s 2017, they announced the game this year and didn’t have anything to show us. Could this game launch in the next 19 months? Sure, but I’d rather the game take it’s time, though a holiday 2018 launch wouldn’t be surprising.
I don’t know that we see the new Fire Emblem title or much of it at E3. We’re bound to see a good amount of Fire Emblem Warriors, both versions, instead.
Project Octopath Traveler
Going out on a small limb here to say we get more details and possibly a real name for Project Octopath Traveler. I don’t have much to say about Square Enix’s RPG coming to Switch and apparently, they don’t either as we haven’t seen this game since the Switch reveal presentation. I think the lack of updates has people forgetting about this title but E3 is a good time for stuff to pop back into frame. My hopes aren’t terribly high for seeing this game at the show.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
A Mario RPG crossover with the Rabbids characters developed by Ubisoft. I know, it doesn’t sound real. But it is and we’re bound to see a bunch of it. This game was a heavy rumour before the Switch’s reveal presentation and it was noticeably absent from that. According to new reports from Kotaku, this game is slated to launch between August and September and at the time of this writing, we have zero information on it. So it would be my luck that it is announced before E3 and this article will make me look silly.
According to the Kotaku report, the game will feature a turn-based combat style and feature two player, local co-op. Plus the added sense of humour from the Rabbids games which leads to Mario and crew holding guns that shoot lasers. The mentioned crew includes Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Peach plus four Rabbids dressed up as the same characters. There is no doubt in my mind that we’ll see this game at E3 and I’m sure it’ll be during Nintendo’s Spotlight rather than Ubisoft’s conference.
Third party support seems lukewarm at the moment for the Switch but with recent sales figures, that seems to be turning around. One head scratcher I had was that EA is showing support for the console by bringing over FIFA. Of all things they could give Nintendo’s new console, they pick a sports franchise. Either way, people love FIFA and I’m interested to see how that will look and play on a Switch.
EA has their own conference the Saturday before E3 and will obviously show off their yearly sports titles. My thinking is the FIFA for Switch is different enough that it’ll be at Nintendo’s Spotlight and will get a breakdown during the show. Now if we could just get some other EA properties on the console.
Skyrim on Switch
Not that I’m particularly excited about Skyrim on Switch, I know some people who are. I’m not here to kill any hype but c’mon, this game came out in 2011 and can be played in plenty of other places. You probably don’t need to hold out for this version.
That being said, I’m sure this will get some time during Nintendo’s Spotlight to tell us why we want this version of Skyrim and possibly when we can get our hands on it.
Prediction: SNES Classic is happening, but won’t be at E3. Just wanted to get my thoughts out there, this announcement can come whenever. Following the trend of the NES Classic, the announcement will come sometime after June 30 and as early as any time in July. We’ll be able to get our hands on the mini version of the retro console if enough are produced, but it will be absent from E3.
Prediction: At the conclusion of the Nintendo Spotlight, the Virtual Console will be available. I touched on how I thought the Virtual Console for the Switch will be announced and what it will include. I’m predicting we get one of those classic, “and its out now!” kind of announcements for Nintendo’s new Virtual Console. So right after the Spotlight, you can rush to turn on your Switch and buy up those GameCube games. Gets people on their Switches right away, gets people spending money on the heels of their announcement show so the traffic and dollars spent look good on paper and it pressures people to go out and find a Switch to play Super Smash Bros Melee. A man can dream, right?
Prediction: Super Smash Bros for Switch will be announced. It will NOT release this year. I fully believe we’ll see a Super Smash Bros announcement for the Nintendo Switch at this year’s E3. Smash Bros is one of Nintendo’s best-selling franchises they have and they won’t be looking to stray away from it for too long. The thing is, I don’t expect this to be a port like Mario Kart 8 is. I expect this to be the Switch version of Super Smash Bros. Which means it’s the only one we’ll get for this console.
My thinking comes down to branding. The game is called Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Super Smash Bros for 3DS for the different consoles. Which means this game could very well be called Super Smash Bros for Switch. And if that is true then this game will need to have more content to be its own game. I don’t think the fundamentals or the gameplay changes in any way, I believe it’ll be just like the game on Wii U but it will include more characters and more stages to be its own version.
The reason why I say it is coming next year is because Nintendo won’t want to exhaust all of their multiplayer IPs in the same year. Especially the first year of the console. Of course, I believe there will be another Mario Kart on Switch but Smash Bros I’m less sure about. I mentioned Mario Kart, that and Splatoon will be out this year so I’m not sure Nintendo will look to push another big multiplayer game out so soon.
A 2018 release makes more sense, even considering how long Nintendo loves to hype up Smash Bros. That plus the back end of this year looks pretty crowded for Nintendo, Smash Bros. just doesn’t fit. I expect a number of character trailers to build hype before the ultimate release sometime next year. Now it’s a waiting game.
I expect a number of character trailers to build hype before the ultimate release sometime next year. Now it’s a waiting game.
Prediction: We’ll see TWO new characters for the announced Smash Bros for Switch. Well, technically THREE. The Ice Climbers will return to Smash Bros with the Switch version of the game. I know people were upset over them being left out of the last game since they couldn’t work on the 3DS version of the game. Since I’m banking on this next version of Smash Bros being its own game, Ice Climbers will return so that there is not pressure to add them to the existing Smash Bros. games for Wii U and 3DS.
Nintendo is doing a good job of promoting ARMS, no matter how stupid you think it looks. The recent Direct they held made the game all about the characters and their unique characteristics and customisation. One game that plays up the uniqueness of Nintendo’s characters is Super Smash Bros. I predict we will see an ARMS character in the next Smash Bros game.
So there’s your first set of new characters coming to Super Smash Bros for Switch. Just imagine the trailer…
The Super Smash Bros slate hits as it did with every reveal for Smash 4. The video opens on a frozen tundra level before three ice blocks slide across the stage. Suddenly, the Ice Climbers jump into the frame, happy as can be. ICE CLIMBERS AWAKE FROM CRYOSLEEP! (or some ice-related verb pun, make a better one and send it to me). Quick montage showing off the Ice Climbers in case everyone forgot their move set. Finally, an all-out brawl is happening across the Super Mario Galaxy stage. Mario, Link, Samus and Ice Climbers are battling it out. Ice Climbers clear the stage and taunt their competition. Then, OUT OF NOWHERE a spring loaded arm flies into the fight and punches the Ice Climbers into oblivion. SPRING MAN SPRINGS INTO BATTLE. Montage showing off Spring Man’s move set along with different costumes that turn him into Ribbon Girl. End trailer. Coming 2018.
Prediction: Pokemon Stars is real and it’s a Switch exclusive. I believe we’ll be getting Pokemon Sun and Moon on the Switch as Pokemon Stars. One game that features all the Pokemon from both games and possibly added content for the home console release. My issue with this is, with most Pokemon announcements, they usually leak before any kind of reveal. It happened with Pokemon Sun and Moon, X and Y and so on.
The only solid place of information that has anything about Pokemon Stars is this Eurogamer report. So far we haven’t had anything evident about a Pokemon Stars game in the form of a logo or solid information. Most of the other rumors have been stemming from a retailer listing a ‘Pokemon game’ for Switch or speculation based on the third entry for Sun and Moon.
There’s time left before E3 for Pokemon to leak once again. I bet it does and I bet we see it at E3. Honestly, the fewer reasons I have to open my 3ds, the better. I’d like this to be real and Switch exclusive so I can just have my Switch and not worry about my 3ds anymore.
Prediction: Retro Studios’ next game is Metroid and it’s coming next year. To go along with the announcement, Nintendo will announce that Metroid Prime is coming to the Switch Virtual Console by the end of the year. We’ve been hearing that we’ll see Retro’s new game at an E3 for a long time now. I think this is finally the year we get the announcement and finally the year we have information on the next Metroid game. It’s time, Nintendo, it’s time.
Recently we’ve been treated to rumours from Nintendo YouTuber SuperMetalDave64. While he’s been wrong in the past about Switch announcements he’s also been correct about games for the console. Granted it wasn’t much of a stretch to see Zelda launching with the Switch.
As I mentioned and further detailed here by Nintendo leaker Emily Rodgers, Nintendo’s lineup is pretty crowded this holiday season so it’s likely the game is done but being pushed to 2018 where Nintendo has more room for their games. This makes the most sense to me. Nintendo will look to kickstart their Metroid franchise and won’t want it to share the spotlight with anyone else.
Metroid is coming back, it’s only a matter of when.
There you go, everyone. That’s my preview and prediction run down for Nintendo at this year’s E3. If you agree, let me know in the comments. If you disagree, again, let me know in the comments. Let’s talk about it.
Reminder, I will be doing these previews for everyone who has a presentation at E3 (except Devolver Digital). So be back next week on Thursday as I dive into Bethesda and what they have in store for E3 this year.
- E3 Preview: Bethesda – May 25
- E3 Preview: Ubisoft – June 1
- E3 Preview: EA – June 8