E3 2018 is right around the corner, which means that Nintendo is going to be talking about a ton of its upcoming games for the future. That also means it’s time to make some predictions for Nintendo’s digital presentation. This year, I’m going to give you five bold (well… exciting, at least) predictions. Sure, we know that Nintendo will probably talk about Fire Emblem, for example, so I’m going to leave that one out. These predictions are those that the average Joe Schmoe wouldn’t necessarily point out, but will surely excite many of us.
The Switch tablet will release as a stand-alone handheld without a dock for $199.99.
One of the main areas of contention concerning the Switch is whether the platform is a handheld or a home console. Nintendo has been adamant that the Switch is a home console, released to replace the Wii U. The company continues to release games for the 3DS, reminding us of its two separate product lines. However, many people do play the Switch as a handheld platform; 30 percent play it exclusively in that fashion. There’s a huge market out there that has bought DS systems on the past, and Nintendo can target this audience with a release of the Switch separate from the dock.
One of the biggest problems for the Switch is that it retails for $299, more expensive than basic versions of the PS4 and the Xbox One. Yet, the console is less powerful and generally holds that perception among gamers. As a result, many are potentially put-off from buying the console because of its non-competitive price. A $200 box for just the Switch handheld itself would provide an excellent entry point for younger gamers and those unwilling to drop another hundred dollars on the platform. More importantly, these gamers would still be able to purchase the dock later if they chose to do so. This package would provide a competitive platform from Nintendo without limiting the options of customers.
Retro Studios shows off a new IP
What has Retro been up to? Well, the studio probably is not working on Metroid Prime 4. Although the studio was rumored to be working in two separate teams, it has not shipped a game since Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. What’s the holdup?
This year, the studio will finally show its long-awaited game. It will be a new IP. I couldn’t imagine why the studio would be quiet for so long if it weren’t some crazy new idea. I’d presume that the game would be playable on the show floor and would launch early next year.
But, don’t hold me to it.
Super Smash Bros. has a character owned at one time by Microsoft or Sony
Phil Spencer has always been incredibly complimentary of Nintendo. The Xbox executive often writes encouraging tweets to the company and gushes about Nintendo’s games. When asked about the possibility of putting Banjo in Smash, Spencer was open to the idea.
“I think it would be cool if Banjo was in the next SSB DLC,” Spencer said. “We’ve worked with Nintendo on Rare IP before, no issues.
Nintendo is generally not a fan of working with the other platform manufacturers, but a few factors make this prediction a possibility. First of all, there’s already a Microsoft game on several Nintendo platforms. Minecraft, of course, is owned by Microsoft but is also on Switch and Wii U. Moreover, including additional characters in Smash Bros would only help Nintendo appeal to a larger potential client base, while Microsoft would benefit from a nice cameo acting as an advertisement.
We also can’t forget that Smash Bros. for Wii U had Cloud as a character. The Final Fantasy character is himself not owned by Sony, but he is undeniably associated with the company.
I also would not be surprised if Crash Bandicoot were a character. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is launching for the platform in July, and it would not be a stretch to see the former Sony mascot in this Nintendo fighter.
Pokemon for Switch is revealed. It has crazy multiplayer elements. And it’s coming next year.
Pokemon for Switch was allegedly supposed to be released possibly as early as 2019. That’s not going to happen. The game will launch next year; it would be crazy to see the title any earlier (although, I would love to be wrong!).
We heard that the newest Pokemon title could have expanded multiplayer features. I presume that means Nintendo is aiming for something huge in the online space. Pokemon fans have been clamoring for some sort of Pokemon MMO for ages, but we have never seen what that could look like. While each iteration brings new features with it, I expect the newest Pokemon game to break down some of the greatest barriers to create an even more immersive, social experience. One feature, for example, is that the success of Pokemon GO may lead the team to incorporate some sort of geographic communication features. After all, the Switch is both a handheld and home console; if players could pick up certain rewards and communicate with other players while out in the real world it would be revolutionary for the game.
One other thing… Nintendo’s new president Shuntaro Furukawa worked at The Pokemon Company. His history with the franchise should ensure the Switch game is treated well.
Grand Theft Auto V and a new Bethesda title coming to Switch
The third-party support on the Switch has been interesting, to say the least. On one hand, there are a ton of games from companies not named “Nintendo” that are releasing on the console. On the other hand, the third-party support on the Switch is mostly late. While some games are launching just a few months late on the Switch, other titles are launching literally half a decade after their initial launch. I expect this trend to continue as developers successfully port their 360/PS3 titles to the platform.
At E3, I wouldn’t be surprised if Grand Theft Auto V were announced for the Switch. After all, the game has brought in more revenue than any other game ever released. Even with the Switch’s relatively small install base, a relatively small number of purchases compared to other platforms would still amount to a decent amount of revenue. Moreover, Rockstar has already ported L.A. Noire to the platform; putting GTA V on the system couldn’t be that much harder, could it?
The other third-party support that will come to the Switch is from Bethesda. In April, Bethesda’s Pete Hines told one publication that the company is considering bringing future titles to the Switch, but it would depend on the game itself and the Switch’s technical capabilities.
“If it’s new stuff going forward that we think is a good fit and will work on Switch, then we’ll do that too,” he said.
Although not much of a confirmation, Bethesda will surely be bringing future titles to Switch if Wolfenstein and Doom sell well for the platform. There’s an audience on the platform for mature games and one of those could be announced this June for the platform.
What did you think of my predictions? Do you think these could occur or do you think they’re way off base? Let us know what you think in the comments below and tell us about your E3 predictions as well.