What we're looking forward to most from Nintendo at this year's E3
It's that time of year again. It's June, which means all gaming eyes turn toward Los Angeles as the video game industry bears all and shows its newest wares to consumers, press, and fans alike.
Unlike the other heavy hitters, Nintendo has again decided not to hold a staged press conference, opting for a prerecorded video-- Nintendo Spotlight: E3 2017-- instead. And last year's E3 for them was pretty much all about one game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But Zelda and the Switch have been out for a few months now, which means Nintendo should be showing off what else it has in the pipeline to help the system sustain its initial momentum.
So what could we see next week from the big N? What will we see? We've broken the possibilities down into three categories: The games we know will show up, the games that will probably show up, and then the more wish-list like grouping of things we hope will show up.
What we know we'll see
Super Mario Odyssey
So far, one of the biggest things confirmed to be at E3 for Nintendo is Super Mario Odyssey. It's been some time since the plumber has been in a proper 3D platforming adventure, and Nintendo claims that Odyssey follows in the tradition of Mario 64. A step back to his older glories is welcome, but I'm not entirely sold on it yet. We'll find out how it is soon enough, though. Hopefully, it will be a far cry from the Wii U's lackluster Super Mario 3D World. (And while we're at it, what is up with Odyssey's weird-looking city?)
Also, Nintendo's press release for E3 specifically says that Switch games (as in plural) will be playable, which means we won't be seeing a Zelda-only affair like last year. That leaves some wiggle room for other titles-- maybe even some we don't know about!-- to show up. Unless those other games are just the other ones we already know about...
Splatoon 2 and ARMS Tournaments
Speaking of tentacles and spring-arms, both Splatoon 2 and ARMS— which launch in July and June respectively— are getting E3 tournaments this year, as Nintendo continues to focus on its eSport titles. Both games aren't far away at this point, with ARMS coming out right after E3, so you'll be able to play them at home on your own soon enough.
Pokken Tournament DX
Just announced this week, Pokken Tournament DX brings the Wii U Pokemon fighting game over to the Switch. It's another Wii U port, but everybody ate up Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, so here we are. Like Splatoon 2 and ARMS, it's also getting an E3 tournament.
What we'll probably see
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Announced at the initial Switch reveal event in January, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is another Switch release dated for 2017. I'll admit I'm a skeptic: I really don't think that we'll be getting the game in the States this year. Japan? Probably. But I'm guessing this one will eventually slip to 2018 for English-speaking territories.
Either way, it's probably a safe bet that it will show up, even if it's just showed off in the Spotlight video.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
This one has been floating around the rumor mill for awhile, but with the recent leaks that have been coming out, it seems like a done deal to show up at E3. Mario will be teaming up with Ubisoft's Rabbids... and, well, it looks like it could go either way and be either really good or really crappy. And that's coming from someone who hates the Rabbids.
Some more 3DS stuff
While most people are focused on the Switch, the 3DS is still seeing a string of releases this year. Hey! Pikmin and Ever Oasis will probably both pop up in some form, and it wouldn't surprise me if there are a few other 3DS titles shown off to round out 2017 for the system.
What we'll hopefully see
Online plans/Virtual Console
It's still bit baffling that it's been three months since the Switch came out, and Nintendo still doesn't have its full online up and running. Nintendo needs to finally peel back the curtain on the system's finalized online details-- and the company's plans for a Switch Virtual Console-- it just doesn't look like it is going to do so quite yet. Even more so, since they already announced that the service got bumped back to 2018. But maybe we'll get something, at least. Or maybe they'll just keep throwing headphones at us.
Monster Hunter XX Switch
The Switch version of Monster Hunter XX was recently announced for Japan... but there hasn't been any word yet on a localized release. Given we already have Monster Hunter Stories coming out this year, I don't think we'll see XX -- or Generations G or two or whatever it will be called here -- released this year, but it E3 might be when Capcom decides to at least signal something XX is headed our way.
Skyrim was first shown off in the very first Switch teaser last October-- even prior to being officially confirmed-- before we later learned that Skyrim is indeed coming to the Switch after all. Bethesda is doing an E3 conference again this year, so maybe we'll actually get to see more of Skyrim up and running on Switch. A firm release date would be nice, too.
This is my list, so I have to put Golden Sun on it. One of these years I will end up being right. Maybe. Come on, Camelot.
Other 2017 Releases
Mario, Xenoblade, and Pokken can't be it… can it? Well, hopefully not. Hopefully. That very well could be all they have to show off this year (give or take a few smaller franchises here or there), but there's also the Smash Bros. rumors that keep popping up to consider, as well.
If Smash Bros. is coming-- and I think that's a big IF at this point-- I'm doubtful it would be this year. But hopefully there's at least some type of surprise announcement. For example... what has Retro been up to? It feels like it's past time for us to get word on what the studio behind Metroid Prime and the Donkey Kong Country Returns games is cooking up next. But I'm trying to keep hype low.
Games further out
Nintendo has already made it clear that E3 2017 is going to focus on games that are coming out in 2017. But given that it seems likely we already know about most of them-- and the Switch is still in its little console cradle of infancy-- it would be nice to see some titles for the system that are going to come out in 2018 and beyond. Right now, Switch owners have nothing to look forward to past this year. Hopefully E3 will address that a bit, at least.