I don’t think it’s any secret that this year’s E3 is going to be huge for Nintendo. It isn’t exactly doom or gloom for the company, but if they drop the bomb, it could be rough sailing for them for the foreseeable future. What will Nintendo reveal at this year’s show? Well, your guess is as good as mine, but I’m the one with the WordPress account, so my opinion is what matters right now. This is what I think Nintendo has up their sleeve for this year’s show.
Retro Studio’s new title
I don’t exactly know what Retro has cooking down in Austin, but be it Star Fox or be it Metroid (or possibly even Star Fox X Metroid), rest assured that the title is destined for greatness. It has been nearly two years since the last title from Retro Studios in the excellent Donkey Kong Country Returns, and I for one am itching for another title from the famed studio.
I would prefer that Retro took a rest from the Metroid series for the time being, and perhaps be given the chance to work on the next Zelda title as was once rumored, but anything from Retro usually turns to gold so I will take whatever I can get.
Exclusive Wii U/3DS third party partnerships
This one is almost a given, but Nintendo would be foolish to not some exclusive content up their sleeve from a few third parties. You can always count on Ubisoft to deliver the goods for Nintendo, they were one of Wii’s biggest supporters when the system launched in 2006, but apart from them, who knows. Capcom has had some recent success on 3DS with both Resident Evil Revelations and Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, so it’s a safe bet to assume they will bring something to the table. Whether or not it be for 3DS, Wii U, or both remains to be seen. My third party dark horse, however, has to be EA. I have a feeling that they will have something brand new that they are holding off revealing until E3, and it could potentially be huge.
I’m not 100% confident in this prediction, call it more wishful thinking I suppose, but here are the facts: The original DS Phat was launched in November of 2004. When the DS Lite was announced in 2006, it wasn’t at some fancy press event, nor did Nintendo even hint about an incoming announcement in the weeks prior to the redesign showing up. No, how Nintendo chose to let the world know that the DS Lite was incoming was by quietly unveiling the console on the Nintendo Japan website on January 26 2006, just over a month before the console would be released on March 2 in Japan.
With only a single mock-up image of the console and very little fanfare, this didn’t seem to be the best way to announce a resign for console that was rapidly growing in popularity, but that’s how Nintendo rolls.
Flash forward to 2012, with E3 less than a week away, Nintendo’s press conference at the show would seemingly be the best platform to announce a redesign, but it doesn’t seem to be in line with what they have done in the past. I wouldn’t be the least be surprised if the 3DS Lite was announced at the show, but I won’t be holding my breath either.
Release dates for the games we already know exist
New Super Mario Bros. 2, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Animal Crossing 3DS. We know that these games will be coming to 3DS sometime this year, but when exactly? NSMB2 has been given a tentative August release date, but aside from that, we know nothing. I predict that Nintendo will lay down the roadmap for these titles at E3, and will sprinkle in a few unannounced projects for good measure.
If I had to guess, I would say that Luigi’s Mansion 2 will drop at the end of October to tie in nicely with the Halloween holiday, with Animal Crossing launching in November being Nintendo’s marquee 3DS title for the holiday season.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the announced 3DS Brain Age title getting some sort of announcement, possibly being released exclusively on the Nintendo Network, but beyond that, things get highly speculative.
The Monster Hunter franchise is one of the biggest question marks at this point. Monster Hunter Tri G has already been released in Japan to huge commercial success, and a Western release seems obvious. We also know that Monster Hunter 4 is in development, but a gameplay trailer seems more logical than a release date for the title at this point.
Reveals of Zelda and Pokémon on 3DS
This one may be out of left field, but I think Nintendo will at least talk about what they are doing with these two franchises on 3DS. It may just be a logo, perhaps if we are lucky a gameplay trailer, but Pokémon and Zelda are obviously in the works for 3DS, and hopeful Nintendo decides to talk about them at E3.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks was released nearly two and a half years ago, so we are due for another portable Zelda at this point. With Pokémon it is slightly more complicated. With Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 already announced, Nintendo may not wish to cannibalize their sales with a 3DS announcement even before Black 2 and White 2 hit store shelves. Only time will tell, but time seems ripe for these games to make an unveiling.
With Nintendo’s legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto seemingly retiring, and then just as quickly not late last year, the biggest news that came out of the Wired interview was that Miyamoto wanted to work on smaller titles that didn’t take up so much time. I think we will see the fruits of this labor in some form at this year’s show.
This could be exactly what Nintendo needs to kick start a new generation of consoles. What was the last IP that Nintendo launched? Can’t remember, give up? Well aside from Xenoblade Chronicles (which wasn’t internally developed by Nintendo), Steel Diver would be Nintendo’s newest franchise…yeah.
Miyamoto can certainly do better than that, and I expect him to. What will it be? Well your guess is as good as mine. I fully expect whatever it is that he is working on to be shown at E3, and hopefully it stands up the likes of Mario and Samus.
What do you all think? What titles would you like Nintendo to talk about at this year’s show? Which of my predictions to you think are totally off base? Let us know in the comments below!