It’s only a week until Nintendo’s traditional E3 “conference” and we could be in for a treat as they look to continue the success of their latest console-handheld hybrid, the Nintendo Switch. Super Mario Odyssey will surely be there in full force as one of their feature games, but what else will be shown off in their livestream? Some of their biggest in-house developers have been quiet since the Switch was announced; the presumption is that they’ve been working on new projects for the platform, and this could be the moment they’ve been waiting for to show them off. After thinking of the possibilities, I’ve come up with three predictions of what could be in store this year for Nintendo. Keep in mind, I’m not putting much stock into questionable leaks or controversial rumors here. Instead, I’m more going for fun ideas that could make sense for Nintendo’s future plans.
Nintendo Announces Their First Mobile Game Tie-In
We’ve heard a lot about the Animal Crossing mobile game that is next up on Nintendo’s list of mobile projects, but haven’t seen anything of the game itself. In fact, the last we heard about it was that it was delayed again. What could be the reason why it’s taking so long? Here’s a theory: it’s because Nintendo is actually developing a version of Animal Crossing for the Nintendo Switch as well, and they’re including functionality that communicates with the mobile version. So far, the Nintendo mobile games have been stand-alone experiences, but given the company’s history with finding new ways to play and interconnectivity between previous devices, it’s not a stretch to see Nintendo announce something like this. Regardless, given the popularity of Animal Crossing and the power of being able to play anywhere you want with the Switch, I have a feeling we could see a Switch version very soon. And seeing as how the mobile game has already been announced, it’s about time we start seeing more about that game as well.
Nintendo Ports a Popular Previous Generation Game to the Switch
In what would be a continuation of multiple themes, I could see Nintendo announcing a version of Pokemon Sun and Moon for the Switch and/or a version of Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS for the Switch as well. They’ve already made a habit of bringing games that were under-played on the Wii U to the Switch in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2, which looks to be a close continuation of the original Splatoon. It’s very possible Nintendo could do the same with Pokemon or Super Smash Brothers. Having just one of these uber-popular franchises on the Switch by holiday would only magnify the wild success the Nintendo Switch has experienced so far. They’re also logical choices for remastered versions, as the Pokemon games have traditionally had a 3rd version of their mainline games with expanded functionality and the latest Super Smash Bros. had a ton of DLC that could also be packaged into a deluxe version just like Mario Kart 8. Personally, as someone who bought both versions of SSB4 when they came out, I would almost definitely buy a Switch version of the game as soon as it gets released.
Nintendo Revitalizes a Lost Franchise
In my heart, I make the prediction every year that this is the year Nintendo announces a new Metroid game. After 7 years since the last mainline title, it may seem more like a desperate wish than anything, but everything could be different this year with the Nintendo Switch. Longtime Metroid developer Retro Studios has been quiet since 2014, when they released Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U. It’s entirely possible that they may have been working on a new Metroid project this entire time, although I have to imagine a modern Metroid game will have to look significantly different from its predecessors in order to succeed. Maybe that’s why it’s taken so long to announce the next game in the series. If not Metroid, I could see Retro or another developer taking a shot at a new F-Zero game, which hasn’t seen a new release since 2003 with F-Zero GX. It’s a series long neglected, but not forgotten, as we’ve seen F-Zero references from Nintendo recently in the DLC courses for Mario Kart 8. If it’s going to happen, now’s the time for Nintendo to announce a new game in either one of these franchises now that the Nintendo Switch is here and off to a promising start.