What we hope to see from Nintendo at E3
It may only be May, but that hasn't stopped speculation -- or rumors -- around Nintendo's plans for E3 this year.
Nintendo can be tricky to predict: Just look at the recent Nintendo Labo as an example of that. For our E3 predictions this year, we've broken things down into three categories: Things We'll Probably See, Things We Might See, and Things That We Probably Won't (But Would Be Nice).
Of course, Nintendo could always throw all caution to the wind and just spend their entire presentation on NintendoLand 2, so, hey, who really knows what will happen come June. Either way, let's peer into a hypothetical crystal ball and dig into some predictions.
Things We'll Probably See from Nintendo at E3
Metroid Prime 4
First announced last year, Metroid fans have gone a year with little more info to hold on to aside from a logo. We'll probably get more info about the game this year, and -- GASP! -- maybe even a trailer that actually shows off something in terms of what the game could look and play like.
I wouldn't expect it to be released this year -- 2019 even seems like a stretch -- but I do think we'll at least get a glimpse of Samus's newest adventure sooner rather than later.
Super Smash Bros.
The recently announced Super Smash Bros. game showed off the Inklings...but gave very little other info about the game or what form it is going to appear in. Nintendo has indicated we’ll definitely get more information on this one at E3. Perhaps even a reveal of a high-profile third-party addition to the roster? (More on that later.)
As for the whole port versus brand new game debate, I'll just say this: If the game actually comes out this year, there's no way that it is a brand new title. A port this year is possible, a from-the-ground up Smash entry is not.
Whatever the hell Retro is working on
It's probably Donkey Kong Country Returns The Third.
I kid. But in all seriousness, Retro has been quiet for way too long, and it's about time for whatever project the American studio is working on to surface. We know that they aren't on Metroid -- and I'm betting they probably aren't returning to Donkey Kong again -- which means they are either taking up some other IP from Nintendo's catalogue or working on something totally new of their own.
A surprise of some sort
Nintendo didn't hold off on announcing Super Smash Bros. until E3 which means...something. Maybe. Probably. I'm not sure if they have anything that they can announce that would draw more hype than Smash Bros. -- except possibly giving people more info on Smash Bros. -- and new entries in both the Mario and Zelda series are going to be ways down the line, at this point. But they tend to come to E3 with at least some new or surprising announcement.
Things We Might See from Nintendo at E3
Yes, yes, Pokemon was announced at last year's E3, but given how quiet things have been on that front since, I'm not convinced that the game is going to make it out this year -- at least if it is a brand new generation. Traditionally, the Pokemon Company isn't huge on E3 for announcements either, so I'm not expecting a whole lot out of them in Los Angeles this year.
It's been five years since the release of the last true Animal Crossing game. It could be one of Nintendo's big fall/holidays titles for this year, but I'm just not quite sure that Nintendo is going to have this one ready yet.
If Pokemon doesn't happen this year -- and Smash Bros. slips too -- that could leave the holidays wide open for Animal Crossing. If all of them somehow slip, then I'm really not sure what Nintendo is going to look to in the all important holiday shopping season, at least Switch wise.
DLC, DLC, DLC
Nintendo has really embraced DLC of late, and I think it's a safe assumption that that trend will continue (Nintendo's said so itself).
That just leaves likely options: Super Mario Odyssey seemed like a sure-fire candidate for some robust, paid-DLC, but I'm starting to lose faith in that happening. E3 is probably the last shot for an announcement of that, if it happens at all.
Things That We Probably Won't (But Would Be Nice to) See from Nintendo at E3
Golden Sun 4
I can dream, can't I? Camelot has Mario Tennis Aces coming out in June, which means the studio might just be free enough to at least commit to creating another entry in this beloved RPG series. Hopefully.
A sequel to Breath of the Wild
Remember what happened when the Zelda team already had an engine completed and then quickly put out another Zelda game? Majora's Mask. Now just imagine if Nintendo took the engine and framework they already developed for BOTW and used it to create something as dense, dark, and different as Marjora's Mask.
Sometimes limiting the amount of time spent on a project is a good thing. It would be fascinating to see what the Zelda team could create with limited development time on the clock before the proverbial moon fell on them.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud
Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud has already come out for the Switch in Japan. What about us? Well, Sega seems to hate the West -- at least when it comes to PSO -- so it probably won't happen. Sigh. SIGH.
Banjo and Kazooie in Smash Bros.
Phil Spencer is still OK with it happening. Nintendo has pulled in big third-party names for the past few Smash Bros. games, and when it comes to third-party characters with a strong association with Nintendo, there's a certain bear and bird that comes to mind. Pac-Man showing up last time around was an E3 reveal, so maybe Rare's star characters will get a chance to step back into the limelight this year.