E3 Predictions: Nintendo

Keynote time: Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at 9:00 AM PST, 12:00 PM EST

Nintendo’s conference lasted less than an hour last year but packed a ton of announcements. Games like Daemon X Machina kicked off the yearly keynote and the energy surrounding this keynote was contagious. Nintendo continually sets the bar in announcements and I’m wagering another excellent showcase post-Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Daemon X Machina kicked off the show, followed by story DLC Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country, Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, Super Mario Party, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Fortnite. The reveals kept on coming and Nintendo closed out their keynote with a look at Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

One year on, we’re two weeks away from E3 2019 and a new line up of video game announcements.

Animal Crossing

Toom Nook casually confirmed a new Animal Crossing was in the works, and so he went back to work. Nintendo knows the anticipation behind this game. I’ve heard dozens of fans and watched as their eyes lit up in joy.

Since the initial reveal in September, there’s been radio silence on Nintendo’s side. Absolutely no promotion in the nine months since the reveal. I feel now is the time for Nintendo to drop a bevy of information and a release date (likely in Fall).

Astral Chain

Platinum Games is working on an exclusive title for the Nintendo Switch and it sure looks like a winner. What helps is the relationship Platinum and Nintendo has, and as such, is why we’re getting Bayonetta 3 as well as Astral Chain. While we don’t know much about this game yet, I’m expecting we’ll learn more at E3.

Hopefully, we’ll get all that and release date because I’m really looking forward to playing this game.

Bayonetta 3

The relationship between Nintendo and Platinum is there was a sequel to the original Bayonetta exclusively on the Wii U. Since then, it’s only gotten better for both parties. Originally being revealed at The Game Awards in 2017, we’ve gone almost two years without any news.

It’s possible we’ll get our first glimpse of the new Bayonetta, and if the interviews with studio head Atsushi Inaba are anything to go by, this will be unlike the previous two games in many ways. Speaking to VGC, Inaba states development on Bayonetta 3 is unorthodox.

“With Bayonetta 1 and 2 we had basically an orthodox development process, at least for us,” he told VGC. “We did stage one, then stage two, then stage three and built up the drama and the pacing chronologically,” Inaba continues, “For Bayonetta 3, we can say that we learned enough from making the past two games to change our process in a way that’s different to what I just described.”

I feel now is the best time to showcase what the last two years of development look like and a release window would be the cherry on top.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

I’ve held back on picking up the Fighters Pass for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate because we only know of one fighter. In April, Nintendo released Joker from Persona 5 as the first character in the Fighters Pass. I’d need to see more before taking the leap. And while the rumour mill keeps on churning viable fighters for inclusion, I’m hoping we see something out of the left field like Crono from Chrono Trigger, but I’ve seen dozens of articles saying it’ll be Ryu from Ninja Gaiden or even Erdrick from the Dragon Quest series.

I think Nintendo plans on revealing at least one, if not two new characters.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

A teaser for the third game in the Luigi’s Mansion series came in September. I’ve been thinking about it ever since after the second game, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, took over my life when it launched on the Nintendo 3DS. I’ve been eager for more ghost hunting with Luigi ever since.

I’m confident we’ll get a trailer, some gameplay but not a release date. I could be wrong but I’d rather Nintendo take their time on this one.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

There are only two months to go before Fire Emblem: Three Houses launches on Nintendo Switch. Three Houses is the first mainline entry in the Fire Emblem series to come to consoles in over a decade.

Last year included a full reveal and confirmation that the game would launch in Spring 2019. Then, in February of this year, a Nintendo Direct relayed another delay for the game, this time to July 26.

Likely we will get a new trailer and some gameplay before launch.

Pokémon Sword and Shield

A new Nintendo Direct is coming next week. The Pokémon Company confirmed the event is happening on June 5, 9:00 AM EST. Since the reveal in late February, we’ve decompressed the information and are ready for more.

Likely, we’ll get another trailer and a bit more gameplay. We know that both games are scheduled for launch later this year, so I expect to hear more about the release window at E3.

Xbox on Nintendo Switch

Microsoft is taking strides in a new direction with Xbox. Moving from being strictly a console towards an open platform for gaming, Xbox in the next few years will be available everywhere. It makes sense with Microsoft xCloud being so powerful and allowing any device to stream content.

Starting with Minecraft, and then having Cuphead on Nintendo Switch, it’s only a matter of time before we see more Xbox titles. A persistent rumour I’ve heard is Ori and the Blind Forest dropping at E3 as a downloadable title.

I expect more than just one title at E3, and very likely an Xbox Game Pass announcement would be one for the history books.

New Reveals

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launched with the console, and Super Mario Odyssey launched in October 2017. It’s been two years full of speculation on what Nintendo was up to, but my guess is we’ll see another Mario title before Zelda. I’m hoping for another Super Mario Galaxy on the Switch before another Odyssey title.

As for Zelda, producer Eiji Aonuma confirmed the next game was already underway, with Monolith Soft working on the project (having previously worked on the art of Skyward Sword). Whether it is a sequel to Breath of the Wild or something entirely new is up for debate, but we won’t hear anything this year.

It’s been rumoured for some time now that Nintendo was working on two new models of the Switch. According to the Wall Street Journal, the new Nintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch Pro would arrive in 2019.

The Switch Lite is rumoured to be a handheld only model and is sturdier than the original model. Without a need for a dock or HD rumble, the price drop is considerable. As for the Switch Pro, this comes with enhanced features, namely a bump in graphics fidelity and better battery life for the console, with expanded onboard memory.