We’ve reached that golden week once again where the gaming community comes together for a few days to celebrate gaming and take a look at what’s to come. Nintendo’s E3 Direct is nearly here, and some members of the Nintendeal team came together to answer a few questions about what they expect and what they hope to see.
1. The big question on everyone’s mind heading into E3 is what the new Smash Bros will be like. Since Nintendo has declined to give any information since the reveal in the March Direct, fans have argued constantly over whether it’ll be a port of Smash Wii U with some added content (like the Inklings) or if it’ll be a new game that could be called Smash 5. What are your hopes for the new Smash? Do you think it will contain enough new content to be considered a new game? Will there be new game modes? And of course, what new characters do you think will be added?
Chris: With the success the Switch has had since its release (nearly 18 million units sold as of March 31st), I don’t expect Nintendo to pull any punches with this new iteration of Smash. While I don’t think we’ll see much of a change in art style or performance, I do expect Nintendo to roll out a large amount of good content including new characters, stages, and game modes. Smash Switch will probably be Smash Bros for Wii U just with a lot of added content. I expect new characters as well as another round of DLC characters to be released post game, as well as new stages, music, and character skins. I really hope we’ll get better single player content like Brawl’s Subspace Emissary and it would be fun to see a better custom stage builder as I think this mode took a step back in the Wii U version. I don’t know if it’ll be a huge step forward in the Smash series but I do think it will be a lot more than just a port with a couple new characters or skins thrown in.
Brian: I hope it will be a brand new Smash, with new modes and new characters. Ideally, I’d like to see characters like Bayonetta return, and I’d like to see it expanded into some characters from Dragon Ball, as FighterZ is rumored to be announced soon for Switch. (Another game I hope is real, and comes soon)
Brandon: If I were to venture a guess, I would say it’s going to be a port. I also am inclined to think that this port will come with some new additions and they’ll slap the ‘definitive edition’ label on it. Nintendo has been doing that quite a bit for ports and I see that trend continuing with Super Smash Bros. Switch. As far as new things that we may see, I think we may see a story mode added, similar to Subspace Em. from Brawl, some new/old characters like the Inklings as a Fox clone, and Ice Climbers making a triumphant return. I do think it would be really cool if they brought in a champion from Breath of the Wild, or maybe even Quote as a long shot from Cave Story.
Sarah: I think the new Smash will be a Wii U port with the added content, similar to what they did with Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I can also see them possibly adding new modes / etc., but I think the main addition is the new characters, and they might even take out some of the older characters. Also, I think there will be new stages and music.
Caleb: My hope is that it comes out all cylinders firing as a brand new game. But, in reality, I’m sure it will be a port. I expect there to be a good roster, and some sweet new characters. I’d like to see a story mode of sorts, and honestly a random character added that no one expects would be a nice touch. Revamping the music and stages would be cool, and bring a solid refresh to the game.
Charlie: I’m not a giant Smash fan, BUT… I do think it will be a port. However, I think it will be primarily an engine/code port, and will have extensive extra content. If it was just a Deluxe version like MK8, I think they would have released it already, or at least not be making such a big deal out of its reveal.
2. Besides Smash, Nintendo has a number of big games that have already been announced but barely shown, if at all, including Fire Emblem, Yoshi, Metroid Prime 4, Bayonetta 3, and SMT V to name a few. What already announced games do you think we will see at this E3 and which ones do you think will release this year?
Chris: I just really really want to see Fire Emblem. It was announced in January 2017 and we haven’t heard a word about it since then. It’s supposedly coming out this year though, so I feel pretty confident we’ll finally get a good look at it. I expect to see Yoshi and Metroid Prime 4 in some way as well, although I don’t know if we’ll get to see much more than a short trailer for Metroid while Yoshi feels like a good bet to release this year. I also really hope to see more about TWEWY: Final Remix, which Nintendo said would release this year. I don’t know if we’ll see anything of Bayonetta 3 or SMT V, and I feel like the recent Pokemon announcements might lead to less Pokemon screen time at E3, if any.
Brian: I imagine we’ll see Bayonetta 3, Smash, and MAYBE a new trailer for Metroid, although I’d love to see gameplay. I’d be really excited to see Fire Emblem and the full Pokemon Switch entry (not Let’s Go) but showing those might take away attention from upcoming releases, so I don’t expect it to happen.
Brandon: I agree with Brian that we’ll see Smash and Bayo 3, but I’m optimistic that we’ll get some gameplay footage for the new Metroid game. I also expect more footage and features for Pokemon Let’s Go! and maybe more of what the storyline will be for Yoshi’s upcoming title.
Sarah: I think we’ll see most of these at E3, although I’m not sure about Bayonetta 3. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t actually get to see half of these at E3. We know that Smash and Pokemon are coming this year (don’t we? From announcements?), but other than that, I don’t necessarily think anything else will release this year.
Caleb: I’m honestly not sure what to expect, announcement wise. I’d imagine at 45 minutes we will see quite a bit of games that are around the corner, and probably two teasers for games next year (my hope would be the full Pokémon and Bayonetta.) Typically with Nintendo being conservative to preserve their upcoming titles, I’d say we get more gameplay of games this year, like Smash and Let’s Go. Total dart throw though.
Charlie: I’m with Caleb, not really sure what to expect. Since it’s pretty clear that Metroid Prime 4 will be holiday 2019, I imagine we will get at most a rendered trailer. I anticipate Smash will be this year’s holiday title, along with the Pokemon Let’s Go titles. I think Bayonetta is a strong possibility, to try and rope some of the older demographics into the platform for the holiday.
3. So far Nintendo has done DLC/expansion packs for a number of games. While the Breath of the Wild DLC is over and done with, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has promised additional story content in the fall and the Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion is slated for release this summer. Do you think any other games will get DLC announcements at E3? Odyssey seems to be the most obvious choice, but unreleased games like Smash or even Metroid Prime 4 could be the newest targets for some kind of DLC. Does this seem likely to you and do you like the idea of Nintendo releasing paid DLC for big games months after their launch?
Chris: I think Smash is an easy pick for a game that will get DLC, and wouldn’t be surprised if Odyssey got some sort of paid additional content as well. I don’t believe Nintendo has shared any sales numbers for their DLC packs in the past, but I expect them to continue rolling out paid DLC for big games as long as it continues to sell well and makes financial sense for them. While I’m not against them releasing more paid DLC in the future, I really don’t want them to start releasing DLC that’s required to get the full story or experience of a game.
Brian: I think it’s a good idea for Nintendo to include DLC for certain games. Splatoon makes perfect sense. Originally I would have said Zelda didn’t make sense, and they did a great job with that, so perhaps Metroid Prime 4 will get some, but I doubt it.
Brandon: I think the idea works well when the DLC isn’t required to fully enjoy the game. I like that the DLC is truly additional content. As of right now, I don’t think Nintendo will release DLC for their upcoming titles but I’ve definitely been wrong before.
Sarah: I agree it’s likely for Odyssey, and it’s probably likely for any big game these days. There are benefits. Nintendo can release the game before it’s “done,” in a sense, so they can start sales and get people playing while they’re working on additional content, then release that content later for an additional (but relatively small) price. At the same time, we get new brand content for a game that we might’ve already beaten by that time. Both parties win, but in the end, the player ends up paying about 80 MSRP for a game that would only be 60 if it were “ready” when it was released, but what can you do. I think Zelda with all its DLC was well worth 80 bucks. I think Nintendo (and pretty much every brand) understands these as serious benefits, and I think they’ll continue with this model.
Caleb: I’d be quite shocked to see Odyssey not get DLC. I don’t mind their approach to DLC because it seems their finishing full games for release, and then truly providing additional content. It works for both parties. I’d imagine, though, that if they show a ton of Smash, there may be some DLC teased for characters or stages a couple months after it’s release.
Charlie: I like it, and I don’t think Nintendo will ever go the “unlock something on the cart” route. That doesn’t track with them. I’d love content for Odyssey, but beyond “EVEN harder boss fights” I’m not sure it’ll come. I like how they’re working this new (for them) angle in general, however! I think Smash could definitely get some map DLC, as well as MP4, especially if it has multi. However, if Smash is a port they’ll need to tread carefully.
4. Of course, no discussion of the Switch would be complete without ports of already released games. Nearly every game under the sun has been brought up by fans at one point or another as a title they’d like to see brought to the Switch. Nintendo is currently due to get some big third party games on the Switch including the Crash trilogy, Wolfenstein 2, Okami HD, and Dark Souls Remastered. This is in addition to countless indie games that are adding to an ever-growing list of quality games on the Switch’s eShop. Do you think we will see any popular games already available on other systems being announced for the Switch? If so, any predictions?
Chris: It seems like Fortnite and Paladins will be arriving soon, which gives Nintendo two popular free-to-play multiplayer games, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see DragonBall FighterZ soon (leading into a potential guest character in the new Smash Bros, like Brian said earlier).
Brian: I think we’ll get some popular free-to-play/multiplayer game announcements, to strengthen Nintendo’s position before it’s online service kicks off later this year.
Brandon: I won’t go out on a limb and predict anything outlandish, but I will say that the ports that we will soon have for the Switch will employ great use of cross-platform play and bring the Switch up to speed with the current climate of online gaming (looking at you Fortnite…).
Sarah: I really wish they would port Animal Crossing: New Leaf with the DLC . . . and it would be awesome if they made a few changes that fans have been wanting (Like being able to pick where your villagers place their houses.) But what would be EVEN BETTER? If they somehow combined Happy Home Designer and Animal Crossing: New leaf (and maybe even the AC board game; why not) into one super awesome dope port for Switch.
Charlie: I think this season will be a do-or-die for big third party titles on the system. I’d love to see Madden announced (I know, but it sells systems, which is good for everyone!), and I think that a lot of the publishers are taking a harder look at their PS4/XB1 catalogs right now. I’d love to see something like Diablo III head over, as well as a full Assassin’s Creed game. Ubi, get in here!
5. Of course, no E3 presentation is complete without some new game announcements. Nintendo has no shortage of popular IPs they could debut on the Switch, with many fans hoping for a new Animal Crossing game and a StarFox racing game being rumored last month. Do you think we’ll see any brand new game announcements from Nintendo and what do you think they’ll be? Bonus: If you could have any game announced this year, even something as unrealistic as a new F-Zero, what would you want to see?
Chris: My dream is that Nintendo somehow buys Rare from Microsoft and brings back the Banjo-Kazooie franchise. Being somewhat realistic, I’ll have to settle for having them in Smash Bros which seems like it’d work out as Microsoft seems willing to let it happen. My other dream is to see a quality Star Fox game along the lines of Star Fox 64, as Star Fox Zero tried too many new things that played out pretty poorly. I think the Star Fox racing rumor is pretty interesting and wouldn’t mind Nintendo trying something new with the franchise since they’re struggled with it in the past. Animal Crossing is the big one people have been hoping for this year, but I also think we may have a chance to see some not quite blockbuster titles like Mario Party 11, Pikmin 4, or even a couple new Labo kits. I know Monolith Soft has started working on an unnamed new title, but it’s probably too early to see anything about that yet. I’m guessing Smash is Nintendo’s big draw this E3 and any new announcements we see will be solid but smaller titles that won’t encroach on Smash’s spotlight.
Brian: SUPER METROID 2! Also, a new New Super Mario Bros. game would be fantastic, as well as a new top-down Zelda. Those are my wishes, but I think it’s far more likely we’ll get a new Animal Crossing announcement, a new Pikmin, or a new entry in another moderately popular series. I doubt we’ll get a major new announcement in a core Nintendo franchise.
Brandon: I think with Nintendo doing so many things right we won’t see any outlandish new announcements. Animal Crossing is a safe bet and I like Brian’s suggestion of Pikmin as well. I am also of the opinion that it isn’t super outlandish to expect F-Zero to make a comeback on this system, so maybe they’ll throw that out this year too. But let’s be honest about one thing… the only thing the people want is the next installment in the Earthbound franchise… seriously… it’s all anybody ever wants so why won’t they give it to us already!!
Sarah: I really wish it would be Animal Crossing but I’ve been wishing this for years and I always get let down so I’m not expecting anything. I think Nintendo considers Pocket Camp (which I hate and is awful, especially if you don’t have a smartphone and have to play it on a tablet), Happy Home Designer, amiibo Festival, and the DLC that came out a few years back as plenty of content for Animal Crossing fans, but it’s honestly time for a new actual Animal Crossing game. It’s been 6 years, and we didn’t get one for Wii U. It will have to come eventually. Or I will never forgive Nintendo.
Caleb: I’m sure we’ll see games that haven’t been rumored, but it’s a total roll of the dice as to what they may be. My hope is that we see Animal Crossing, and Pikmin seems like a safe bet for sure. My hopes? An Earthbound reboot would be awesome, and any, literally any, footage of the Pokémon games in action would be great.
Charlie: While I agree with the sentiment behind EarthBound and Super Metroid, I think we’re far more likely to see a Super Metroid re-make in the vein of Samus Returns than a sequel. Same with EarthBound. Whey make a new game when you can remake one that people already love? No risk. For my wishes, I would love to see either PilotWings or Wave Race make a comeback. Fast RMX scratched my F-Zero itch quite well, and while I’d love to see it back, with the rumor of a Star Fox racer, I think that might get a little crowded. My heart of hearts would love to see a new, full Kid Icarus game, and a new, not-stripped-down Punch-Out title. I yearn. Nintendo, make it happen!
There’s plenty Nintendo could announce, and while leaks and speculation abound, that time is nearly at an end. What do you think we’ll see at E3 this year? What are your hopes and dreams for Tuesday’s Direct? Let us know!
Andrew didn’t have a chance to write up his feelings regarding E3 predictions but check out his thoughts on The Platformers podcast this week!
Chris started loving video games at a young age, playing Super Mario World and Star Fox on his parents’ SNES. Although Nintendo (the Switch in particular these days) is still front and center for him, he also spends a fair amount of time on his PS4 and PC. He is also a huge fan of the Fire Emblem and Star Fox franchises. Chris enjoys watching basketball as well and is a huge fan of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Plays: Switch, PS4, PC.