Nintendo has had a phenomenal year so far thanks to the success of their new Switch console and all the positive reactions to its games. Not only that, but there have recently been lots of announcements that confirm certain games that will already create a wonderful 2018 for Nintendo and their fans. For example, in the Nintendo Direct in March of this year, the Nintendo Switch version of Super Smash Bros was revealed. Additionally, just a week ago, four new Pokemon titles for the Switch were announced: a main-series title coming in 2019, a free one called Pokemon Quest available for mobile and Switch, and, most importantly, two new remake titles launching in November of this year called Let's Go!, with a version for both Pikachu and Eevee, respectively.
This is all why Nintendo will arguably have the most exciting livestream out of any other company in E3 (Microsoft, Sony, and Bethesda included). All eyes will be on Nintendo's video stream tomorrow, Tuesday, June 12, at 12 PM Eastern Time, as hardcore gamers and casual fans alike watch the Big N show off what new games they are working on for 2018 and beyond. Anything is possible, since Nintendo already has a massive collection of franchises they could possibly put on their Switch console, and they would sell well no matter what (giving them further reason to want to make these games). It is extremely hard to accurately predict these announcements (unless you want to go into the shady corner of leaks), but with a bit of patience, common sense, and analytical thinking, I have come up with a comprehensive list of what to expect, as well as what not to expect. Keep in mind that these are all ordered from most likely to least likely to happen. I organized this into eight distinct categories: Confirmed, Almost Guaranteed, Very Likely, Somewhat Likely, Slightly Likely, Slightly Unlikely, Very Unlikely, and Impossible. Without further ado, as Mario says, "let's-a-go!"
Important Note: Before I begin, I should tell you that its worth mentioning that Nintendo officially has said that the video presentation will mostly be focused on games coming to the Switch in 2018. So that is the logic behind most of my predictions here. If I predict a game as unlikely, that doesn't mean I don't believe it will happen at some point, it justs means that I don't think they will show it at this particular E3.
All the titles that have been legitimately confirmed by Nintendo themselves to make an appearance at this year's show. Let me speak probability language for you: 100%; 10 out of 10 chance;.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch
You all saw this one coming. Nintendo has literally stated on their official E3 Website that this year's E3 Direct will give fans "a look at Nintendo Switch games for 2018, including Super Smash Bros." That's right, it will give us our first look at the brand new Smash Bros game, other than the initial reveal teaser from the March 2018 Nintendo Direct.
While its presence at the show is guaranteed, let's talk about what isn't: That's right, it's time to get a ticket for the "Smash Bros Hype Train"! Now, what do I predict about this game? Is it a port of the Wii U/3DS version, or an entirely new game? I am leaning more towards the notion of it being a new entry in the series, rather than a straight-up port of the previous title. There are quite a few clues that led me to this conclusion: The game has a brand new logo (featured below), it's official product page gives it a "working title", the creator (Sakurai) has stated that he was secretly working on this game for a while, and the reveal trailer showcases a few new characters: the Inklings from Splatoon, and Link wearing his new outfit from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Just because it will most likely be treated as a brand new game and the fifth entry in the series, this doesn't mean that Nintendo hasn't ported at least some of the Wii U content over to this new game. I mean, the Switch is only slightly more powerful than the Wii U, so even if they were to take the time designing and programming the same characters, it would end up looking more or less on par with the Wii U's graphics (with some slight texture and color improvements). Why waste valuable development time and resources building the same characters and stages from the ground up when you can simply port all of this content (while easily giving it a graphical boost). You can still add brand new characters and stages if needed, which will most likely happen. This way, you can develop the new game faster, add as much new content as you want, and not have to "reinvent the wheel". Super Smash Bros for Wii U, was a phenomenal game, so if it isn't broken, why fix it?
(NOTE: I created the image above last summer as a part of a post I made full of possible Smash Switch roster predictions. This was before the game was even officially confirmed.)
My character predictions are as follows. The characters we know for sure are confirmed are Inkling Boy/Girl from Splatoon, who appear in the game's reveal trailer. I predict that they will keep all of the previous fighters from the Wii U version, while only changing two of them: Link, who can now not only have a BOTW outfit but also a completely different moveset, and Mario, who can now wear Cappy from Super Mario Odyssey and incorporate tossing his hat (and maybe even turning into his opponents) into his moveset. Some likely Nintendo newcomers are Springman/Ribbon Girl from Arms, Waluigi from the Super Mario series, Captain Toad from his own game, Midna & Wolf Link from Zelda, Daruk and the Champions from Zelda, Paper Mario from his own series, Ridley from Metroid, King K Rool from Donkey Kong, and Chibi Robo from his own series. I only want one Pokemon newcomer, and that would be Decidueye; his appearance and fighting in Pokken Tournament is just pure awesomeness. I also guarantee that the Ice Climbers will make a reappearance this time around.
Some third party characters that likely include Rayman, the Rabbids (Ubisoft has a strong friendship with Nintendo), Bomberman, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Banjo Kazooie (the head of Xbox has expressed his agreement for Banjo in Smash through Twitter). I also think that it is finally ready for the Smash Bros series to get some indie game representation as well. Shantae, Sans from Undertale, and Shovel Knight are all to be likely newcomers from games made by independent studios, but if I had to bet on it, I would say Shovel Knight is the most likely (he even already has his own line of amiibo). Some wildcard roster characters that could happen would be Snip and Clip from Snipperclips, and maybe even the cardboard Labo man from the Nintendo Labo sets. Don't believe me about that last one? Just check out the GIF above showing a possible moveset for him (created by Javed L Sterrit on Twitter)
Some stages I want to see include New Donk City from Super Mario Odyssey, an Arms themed stage, Urchin Underpass from Splatoon, a Mii-maker stage (complete with the meme music), a Noisy Notebook stage from the Switch puzzler Snipperclips, and a Tetris stage with Tetrominoes falling out of the sky onto the players.
As for Smash-themed accessories: I am 99% sure that they will want to make a new set of amiibo for this game. What is almost guaranteed is that they will create amiibos for any new character on the roster, even if they already have an amiibo for them. This means that, for example, even if Chibi Robo or the Inklings already have an amiibo, they can make a new Smash-themed one that has them in a fighting pose, with a possibly slightly-different appearance, and the Smash logo as the base. What I'm not so sure about, though, is whether they will make brand new amiibo for the returning characters from the Wii U version. They could do it for Mario with Cappy (that, believe it or not, doesn't already have its own amiibo), but with the other ones, I'm more skeptical. I'm certain that there will be some sort of Smash Bros themed Switch bundle coming out alongside the game, but I don't think that they will announce it at E3. They usually save those types of announcements for Nintendo Directs later on (seen evident by the Mario Odyssey bundle shown in the September 2017 Direct). This means that new Joy-Cons with it are also possible. What design? They could be the first to have a non-mono-color design to them with a Smash logo, or neon orange to represent fire, or some other dark, non-neon color (blue? purple?). A Gamecube controller themed one is also slightly likely considering that they already are making a Gamecube wired controller for the Switch (shown in the image above). It would all be great fan-service for all the die-hard Melee fans.
Some likely titles for it? I don't want it to be simply called "Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch" (even though that is somewhat likely). Some cool-sounding fighting-related titles they could use are Super Smash Bros. War, Super Smash Bros. Duel, and Super Smash Bros. Worlds.
I predict that a likely release date for it would be sometime in September or October, to correspond nicely with the launch of the Switch's paid online service. Since the E3 Direct is apparently focused heavily on Smash Bros, it would make sense for many characters reveal trailers to be sprinkled in between announcements, likely characters having to do with the games announced. Don't expect every little detail of the game to be revealed during E3; it is likely Nintendo is leaving some information as a surprise for later.
Almost Guaranteed Games
Smash Bros is the only officially confirmed game that is certain to appear at the show, but that doesn't mean that it is the only one that is basically guaranteed to happen. The next games I will talk about are ones that technically haven't been officially confirmed by Nintendo, I'd think its safe to say that they are still definitely going to happen. Let me speak probability language for you: 99%; 9 out of 10 chance.
Yoshi (working title)- Switch
It's hard to believe that the new Yoshi game for the Switch was announced nearly a year ago, and yet since then, we have received no new information on it. In Nintendo's 2017 E3 show, the side-scrolling platformer series Yoshi was announced to arrive in the system sometime in 2018. Yet, 2018 has arrived, and yet there are still no signs of it at all. We have next to no information on it, other than the fact that it is coming this year, it is a Yoshi game, and its art style resembles that of the 2015 Wii U game Yoshi's Wooly World. Since we have no information on it, and it is just a Yoshi game (no need to be secretive with us, Nintendo, it's not the next Smash Bros or Metroid or anything like that), it would make a bunch of sense for this E3 to finally be the time when Nintendo breaks their silence on this game. I am 99% sure that we will find out the game's final title, release date, and possibly one last gameplay trailer.
If I had to predict a release date, I would say that a reasonable time to release it would be in August of this year. That is since unlike the previous two months, June and July, which are jam-packed of new confirmed titles releasing on the Switch, so far we have no first-party Nintendo game confirmed for the month of August. This would fill a gap in an otherwise very busy release schedule, and not make it get in the way of anything significant, like Smash Bros or Pokemon. The lack of much info on this game could be caused by two things: One, either they were too busy with things to announce previously in order to showcase this game further (meaning that they are completely ready to release it this year), or two, they are behind in development of this game and didn't have much to show yet, so it might be possible that this game could get delayed. However, I am hoping that it doesn't since then it would ruin a perfect score of the Switch not having any major first-party games being delayed at all yet. It would be slightly silly for a small game like this one to get delayed, and for things like Smash Bros to be perfectly on time.
Fortnite on Switch
Everyone knows this game. You either love it, or you hate it. I happen to lean more towards the latter, but there is no point in arguing how significant it would be if it came to the Switch. But let's face it: It's happening. Common sense can tell you that. Fortnite is the most popular online game in the world at the moment, and it runs on everything except your toaster at this point. I mean, if mobile devices can handle it, there is no way the Switch can't. Plus, the Switch supports online cross-play with other consoles and platforms. I am sure that if it did come to the Switch, it'd be a hit. After all, the mobile versions of the game prove that plenty of people want to be able to play this game on the go, wherever they are. The Switch is the perfect device for that, and a million times better than any mobile device not just in power, screen-size, and comfort, but especially in controls. Why use annoying touch-screen controls when you can use real, console-quality buttons?
It is 99% confirmed, too. The countless leaks prove this. A few days ago, a hacker data-mined the Nintendo Switch eShop and discovered the thumbnail for the game as well as code specifically referencing it. Not only that, but the Korean Games Rating board officially filed a review for it. Plus, the leak shown above (which many sources have corroborated on for its authenticity), specifically shows that Fortnite will be one of the Switch's third-party titles available to play on the E3 show floor. At this point, I'd be very surprised if they didn't announce it in E3, and release the full game available to download a day or two after that.
Very Likely Games
Super Mario Odyssey DLC
Super Mario Odyssey is almost the best game on the Switch so far (right behind Zelda: Breath of the Wild), and it makes perfect sense that Nintendo would want to continue to support the game by adding paid downloadable content. They already have added free costumes and modes for a while now, seemingly every single month. This all proves that they are fully willing to continue to add new content to the game. Games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2 already have existing or upcoming DLC for them, and this all further shows how much sense it would be to add DLC to Mario Odyssey. It wouldn't be a difficult task to do, either. All they would have to do would be to add possibly a few new costumes and modes, and since the game is divided into levels called "kingdoms", they could just add a new kingdom or two.
If they are going to add kingdoms, then what kingdoms will there be? I am going to make one prediction for this: Isle Delfino, from the game Super Mario Sunshine. Just like Odyssey, Sunshine is a 3D sandbox-style Mario game where you collect items. It makes a lot of sense for them to add this particular location. Odyssey is, in many ways, meant to be a nostalgic love letter to the Mario games of the past. Several 8-bit sections, costumes referencing previous games, and even a recreation of a stage from Super Mario 64 all prove this. The map of Odyssey's world shows a small dolphin-shaped island on it (which I put an image of below). Not only that, but a few weeks ago, someone leaked some very convincing footage of what appeared to be Isle Delfino gameplay in Odyssey (a screenshot of which is shown below).
Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion
We don't know that much about the upcoming Splatoon 2 DLC titled "Octo Expansion". We first heard of it during the March 2018 Nintendo Direct, and since then we haven't gotten a release date yet but it has seemingly been accidentally leaked through the Nintendo eShop, which lists it as being on July 31, 2018. I predict that this E3, Nintendo will show one last trailer for it, and then confirm its true release date. I also suspect that the upcoming Pearl and Marina amiibo will have something to do with this DLC, presumably giving some exclusive weapons, outfits, or maybe even stages.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy on Switch
This game is a remaster of the classic Spyro the Dragon platformer games. It was announced by Activision earlier this year for PCs, the PS4, and Xbox One, but surprisingly enough, not for the Switch. It wouldn't be far of a stretch for it to be announced to release for the system later on. After all, the Crash Bandicoot remastered trilogy is already confirmed for the system by the same developers who are working on the Spyro remasters. Plus, a while back Nintendo's British accidentally leaked their rating for the Switch edition of this game. I predict that during the direct, the Switch edition of this game will be announced to arrive slightly after the other console versions release, and instead of releasing in September, it might release in October or November.
Zelda HD Remakes
(NOTE: The awesome concept art shown above was created by "RazerEdge Fox" on Reddit.)
In the past, especially on their Wii U system, Nintendo has re-released Zelda games of the past with improved HD graphics. I fully expect them to do the same on the Switch. Some games that are likely to receive HD remakes are Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess, and the Wind Waker. Some wildcard options might be HD versions of the beloved N64 titles Ocarina of Time and/or Majora's Mask. My prediction is that Nintendo will release some sort of a Zelda HD remaster collection later this year, sometime from October to December. It could be sold as either several games in a slipcase, like the concept shown above or as just one game card with multiple games downloaded into it. This is likely to happen since the next mainline Zelda game likely won't be released anytime soon so it would make sense to fill the gaps in their release schedule by making some easy-to-create ports or remasters of previous games that fans would greatly enjoy.
Pokemon Let's Go Eevee/Pikachu
Very recently, in fact, it was only two weeks ago, Nintendo made the earth-shattering announcement that two new Pokemon games were heading to the Nintendo Switch this November. They were both called Pokemon Let's Go, and there were two versions: one named after Pikachu, and the other named after Eevee. They already did release plenty of information about these two games during the recent Pokemon Company conference in Japan so I wouldn't expect a large amount of new info on these games at E3. However, I am very certain that these games will make some sort of appearance at the show, in order to expand their publicity and make more people aware of their existence. It has already been confirmed by Nintendo that these games will be playable on the show floor, so some sort of presence at the Nintendo Direct seems almost inevitable. My prediction is that they will show some sort of new trailer for the games, that mostly regurgitates all that is already known about them.
Star Fox Grand Prix
My prediction is that all of the rumors so far are true and that the leaked logo shown above is accurate. The release date might be sometime in September or October. This would let the new Smash Bros be able to promote the game, since there are Star Fox characters in it, after all.
Fire Emblem Switch
Somewhat Likely Games
Nintendo has a huge collection of franchises that are somewhat likely to be shown for the Switch at this year's E3. Some, however, are more likely than others. Let me speak probability language for you: 70%; 7 out of 10 chance.
Super Mario 3D Maker
Nintendo has so far had a tendency to port or make sequels to as many Wii U games as possible to the Switch, almost as if they are trying to erase the ill-fated Wii U from existence. I predict that Nintendo will continue this trend with a sequel to the Wii U game Super Mario Maker. However, rather than a complete port or even a deluxe version, I predict that it will be a version where you create 3D levels in the style of Super Mario 3D World. This would make sense instead of 2D levels since the Switch, just like the Wii U, does have a touchscreen, but it can only be used when the system is in handheld mode. Having a 3D level maker would eliminate the need for a touchscreen to make levels. I predict that Super Mario 3D Maker will let users make 3D levels in the visual style of the Mario Games Odyssey, 3D World, or Mario 64. However, it will most likely not be able to let you create sand-box style stages where you collect stars or power moons since that would be too complicated to make rather than just a linear level system like 3D World has. It will include all the Super Mario enemies and playable characters (Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi), and will incorporate all the power-ups including elements like being able to use Cappy to capture enemies, and maybe even the FLUDD or wing-hat. It might release this December.
Animal Crossing Switch
Animal Crossing is the perfect game to take on the go and play in small, bite-sized bursts. It seems likely that Nintendo would want to announce a new Animal Crossing game for the Switch since it would be following a common pattern with their mobile games: Shortly after the app Super Mario Run got released, Super Mario Odyssey was announced for the Switch. Shortly after the app Pokemon GO! was released, Pokemon Sun/Moon was announced for the 3DS. Since the mobile game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was recently released, it would make sense for a new Animal Crossing console game to be announced soon. I predict that it would be releasing sometime this winter, either November or December.
Nintendo 64 Mini (Classic Edition)
I'd say that the existence of an upcoming Nintendo 64 Classic Edition/Mini retro system is almost inevitable. However, the only question I have about it is whether or not it will be revealed at E3. I'm leaning more towards the idea that it won't. My prediction is that while the N64 Mini does exist, it won't be shown at this year's E3. Instead, it will be most likely announced in a press conference or Nintendo Direct later this year. I predict that instead of being announced at E3, it will be shown at a Nintendo Direct later in the Summer, to have a release date of December 2018.
Slightly Unlikely Games
While there are plenty of things that you should expect from the Nintendo Direct at E3 2018, there are also plenty of things that you shouldn't hope too much for. Let me speak probability language for you: 50%; 5 out of 10 chance.
Paper Mario Switch
Many people are fans of the Paper Mario RPG series, but it seems that recently Nintendo hasn't cared as much about it. They are currently focusing all of their Mario RPG attention into Mario & Luigi remakes for the 3DS. My prediction is that a new Paper Mario game for the Switch probably won't be shown at E3, since the last game was only two years ago and they probably aren't finished developing the next one.
WarioWare is the perfect game-series for the Switch due to all the possible Joy-Con tech it could utilize for mini-games. While I don't doubt it is coming at some point, I do not believe that it will be shown at this year's E3. That is since they already are releasing WarioWare Gold this year on the 3DS, presumably in order to feed fan's thirst for the series before the next one comes out. My prediction is that while WarioWare isn't coming to the Switch this year and therefore won't be shown at this year's E3, it has a very high chance of releasing next year and being shown at E3 2019 instead.
Chibi Robo Switch
New Nintendo Labo Sets
(NOTE: The 3D mockup image shown above was created by "Jan3D" on Reddit.)
There will definitely be more Labo kits down the line (Nintendo's playful, creative cardboard DIY sets that makes use of the Joy-Con's tech) but I seriously doubt their presence at this year's E3. Don't get me wrong, I definitely predict that at least one or two more will be coming later this year; this is proven by the fact that the original Labo reveal trailer showed some sets that haven't been released or talked about yet, such as the camera used in a game reminiscent of Pokemon Snap. It is just plain unlikely that new sets will be shown at E3 since the target audience there is mostly hardcore gamers. While this isn't always the case (the super-successful Wii, targeted at a casual audience, found its debut at E3), most of the time game companies will want to save any casual-oriented announcements for sometime later, rather than at the E3 show floor. My prediction is that there will be no presence of Nintendo Labo at the E3 Direct. Instead, there is a small chance of a new set being announced and shown at the Nintendo Treehouse events following the presentation, but I still don't think that is too likely either.
Very Unlikely Games
While there are plenty of unlikely games to be shown at E3, this section covers the unlikeliest part of those games. It's not completely impossible (that's what my last section is for), but some games are pretty close to being so. Let me speak probability language for you: 25%; 1 out of 4.
Metroid Prime 4
Last year, at Nintendo E3 2017, the most exciting announcement was that Metroid Prime 4 had begun development for the Nintendo Switch. The Metroid Prime series is very beloved by Nintendo fans, and new installments take several years to finally release. However, I do not think that this game will be discussed much, if at all, at this year's E3. That is since they just told us last year of its existence, and they literally had nothing to show us besides a logo. If they were truly ready to release this year, they would have shown some sort of more detailed trailer, or more info, or a release date, but we got nothing besides a confirmation of its existence, the logo, and a video of the logo in space. My prediction is that this year at E3, we are not going to see a trailer for Metroid Prime 4. The most we can possibly get would be another short teaser to drive fans insane, and/or a message from Nintendo along the lines of, "It is still being developed and is scheduled to release in [insert year here]". My prediction is that we probably won't see the game until at least holiday 2019, but most likely sometime in 2020.
Seeing as that all we have so far for this game is a brief trailer and that fact that it will release (eventually), I'd be very surprised to see it at this E3. I predict its absence from the show (in terms of trailers or other significant information, but a statement of its development status would be more likely.
A New Punch Out Game
This is yet another long-dormant Nintendo franchise, that I might even categorize as "dead". I predict that this E3, there will not be a new Punch Out game for the Switch.
Don't expect this game at all. In probability language: 0%; 1 in a million chance.
This prediction is impossible, and probably always will be. Fans have long been wanting the third installment in the Mother series to receive a US release, but seeing as its been more than a decade and a half since it first came out, I rule the idea of it coming to the US all of a sudden as pure impossible. Hey, but if we're lucky we might see it as one of the titles available on the Nintendo Switch Online Service launching this fall. Just don't get your hopes too high about it.
So, those were all my predictions. Tomorrow is the day of Nintendo's E3 Direct, and I will be sure to watch it and make a post reacting to it, and seeing which of my predictions turned out correct, which of them were wrong, and which were right in the middle of the accuracy chart. Predictions aside, how do you find all this out?
How to Watch It
It will air tomorrow, June 12, 2018 at 12 P.M. eastern time and 9 A.M. pacific. It will be streamed on YouTube, Twitch, and Nintendo's website. If I were you, I wouldn't simply Google "nintendo e3 2018" tomorrow, since then you would get spoiled in the search results as to which announcements were made. If I were you, and wanted the announcements to be a surprise, I would bookmark this page (https://e3.nintendo.com/) and click on it whenever you are back from school or work (or if you are lucky enough to be at home). This link will include all the livestreams of the goodness going on at Nintendo's E3. Until then, see you later! I'm pretty excited for the Direct tomorrow. To quote Reggie Fils Aime, Nintendo of America CEO, "My body is ready."