The Future of Nintendo…


doc225.jpgAt one time or another we have all wondered what Nintendo’s next step in the industry will be. Whether it be unrevealed games, ideas, or possible hardware revisions it’s always exciting. Using all of my combined Nintendo knowledge and examining past patterns, I’ve constructed a small list of predictions that I believe the company will make. This list covers major games, new peripherals, hardware, etc… Here we go!

(Note: In case you skipped the paragraph above, the list below are complete speculations, predictions, and guesses. They could be completely wrong, but I do believe I’m not far off.)

E3 2008
-Kid Icarus Wii is “officially” announced, complete with a short gameplay video. It is a 3rd person adventure title that is a combo of Zelda dungeons, Mario platforming, and Metroid exploration.
-Disaster: Day of Crisis is given a release date for the US (January 2009) and is playable on the show floor.
-Wii Sports 2 is announced, complete with Balance Board support and a large variety of new sports. Online rankings/play is included.
-Wii Music revealed. Set for holiday 08 release.
-High quality 1st party Wiiware titles shown.
-A new IP is presented with a big push towards the “hardcore”.
-Animal Crossing Wii is finally shown with a huge online networking push. Wii pay-to-play is incorporated by allowing players to buy in-game items, events, etc online. Release date is set for November 2008 in Japan and Spring 2009 for US
-1080 Snowboarding is announced and shown. Developed for the Wii Balance Board. Holiday 2008 release.
-Punch-out!! is brought back and shown for the Wii. Very accurate boxing simulator.
-Possible firmware upgrades allowing flashdrive support to solve lack of HDD. This is Iwata’s solution to the storage issue.
-A new DS design is shown for the first time which retains the touch screen format. Changes include larger screens, extra buttons, increased graphical power, internal flash memory (524mb) with SD card support. Other features include “portable VC” which allows you to download GB, GBC, and GBA games to the DS. The new system keeps support for original DS games. A few tech demo’s are shown including a possible Metroid Dread presentation.
-Usual 3rd party shovelware with a few surprises here or there.

Tokyo game Show
-Once again Nintendo does not show, but 3rd parties continue to preview their holiday titles for Wii/DS

Holiday 2008-Wii Fit sells over 2.5 million units during Q4
-Animal Crossing is launched in Japan with 900,000 units in first week
-Wii sells out for most of the season
-DS sales begin to slow

GDC 2009
-Pikmin 3 for Wii is announced with a short teaser.
-AAA Third Party titles begin to emerge including a “true” Star Wars title for Wii
-Nintendo shows off first hands-on demo of DS 2 (Unknown name), and is planned for a holiday 2009 launch

April 2009-Animal Crossing Wii is released in the US. Does very well.

May 2009
-Punch-out Wii is released with a in a Balance Board bundle

E3 2009
-New Mario “Galaxy” is shown. This time built for the more “skilled” players with slightly improved visuals and tighter controls. Uses same physics engine as Galaxy. Shooting for a February 2010 release.
-Kid Icarus is playable and given a November 2009 release date. Looks good.
-Excite Bike returns (3D). Developed by Monster games. Online support.
-DS 2 is set for end of October 2009 with a few first and third party titles planned.
-A Zelda spin-off is shown. Back to 2D and very similar to Four Swords Adventures. To release on Wiiware.
-New Wario Ware for both Wii and DS 2 are shown
-Third parties present their big DS 2 titles.
-More shovelware.

Holiday 2009
-Kid Icarus is released with good reviews. Sells 1.6 million during Q4.
-DS 2 has a poor launch due to lack of solid software
-Zelda spin-off launches on Wiiware for 1500 Wii points. It’s decent.
-Wii sells well, but the press takes notice of slowing Wii sales.

February 2010
-Mario Galaxy 2 is delayed
-DS 2 sales increase

GDC 2010
-2D Mario platformer is shown for DS 2
-Playable Pikmin 3
-Great third party Wii and DS 2 games.
-Wii price-cut announced for Summer.

June 2010-Galaxy 2 released with fair reviews
-Wii drops to $200. Sales boost, but slowly return to normal.

E3 2010
-Star Fox is announced for the Wii. Goes back to solid flying gameplay, and supports online multiplayer/Co-op.
-Great DS 2 titles presented, including: Metroid Dread, Mario Kart, and Donkey Kong.
-More shovelware
-During Nintendo’s conference, Iwata and Co explain that a new “hardware” evolution is in deep development. Without warning, an extremely short video real is shown that has very early visual tech demos for this “hardware” evolution. Towards the end a new clip shows off Mario and Samus character models rendering in real-time on the new hardware. Looks fairly good, but nothing fancy.
-Fans begin building the hype train

August 2010
-Pikmin 3 launches with online co-op and battle mode. The best looking Wii game ever developed. Beautiful title. A Miyamoto masterpiece.

Tokyo Game Show 2010
-Nintendo doesn’t show up to the public, but presents plans for their new console to top developers behind closed doors.

Holiday 2010
-Overall World Wide Wii sales hit 50 million thanks to long lasting software: Wii fit, Brawl, and Animal Crossing.
-DS 2 sales begin to grow very rapidly
-Star Fox Wii launches with mediocre sales.

GDC 2011
-DS 2 software development explodes
-Third party titles continue to grow.
-Nintendo lacks true first part titles for Wii.

E3 2011
-Nintendo announces the Wii 2 (not actual name) which is more of an evolution than a brand new console. It retains the motion/IR remote technology, but remote tech is greatly increased. The main improvement over the Wii would be the processing power and visuals. Graphically the system looks to produce near 360 quality visuals, but no more, no less. Nintendo explains that the market has finally accepted HD into the home and plans to have the new console output at 1080p. VC/Wiiware games can be transferred over to Wii 2 without hassle. Wii games are still playable, but Gamecube support is dropped. Much larger online push. Nintendo keeps the casual market support, but opens up wider to “gamers”. (50 gig HDD)
-New Zelda trailer is shown for Wii 2. It tries to break free from the same rehashed story, but is ultimately the same. Goes back to a cel-shaded art style, but has a much more “darker” mood. Link looks a bit older. Game is built for the console. Shooting for Holiday release.
-EA, Ubisoft, and Capcom present their titles for the system.
-Huge DS 2 support
-GC games to be added to Wii 2 VC for download.

Holiday 2011
-Wii 2 launches in November 2011 for $350. Sells very well. Combats Microsoft’s new console while PS3 remains Sony’s “money machine”.
-DS 2 sales take pass DS lite/Phat sales.

Holiday 2012
-Zelda Wii 2 releases along with more titles.

E3 2050
-Reggie freezes himself in carbonite during the conference

-Rare buys Nintendo.

-Reggie comes out of carbonite freeze and saves the day…

The End

Where do you see Nintendo heading?