E3 2018 is nearly upon us, and anticipation for this year’s gaming extravaganza continues to grow with each passing day. Many developers and publishers have already given fans a peek into their plans for the big showcase in the weeks leading up to it, but there is still much we don’t know about this year’s event. That holds especially true for Nintendo, which has been characteristically quiet about its E3 lineup.
While the company has already confirmed that it will feature the Switch installment of Super Smash Bros. prominently during its E3 presentation and on the expo showfloor, it hasn’t revealed any other titles that it will show off. We know for sure that Splatoon 2 will have a presence at E3 during Nintendo’s esports competition, and we’ll likely see more of some of the games Nintendo announced at last year’s expo, such as Metroid Prime 4, Yoshi for Switch, and the highly anticipated Pokemon Switch RPG.
That, however, is all conjecture at this point. Judging by past years, Nintendo will likely have a ton of surprises in store for this year’s E3, though just what those could be is anyone’s guess. Will this be the year the company finally announces Animal Crossing for Switch? Will any other high-profile Wii U games make the switch to the newer hybrid console? Or will we see another dormant Nintendo franchise make an unexpected return?
Ahead of the expo, we’ve put together some of our biggest predictions for Nintendo’s E3 2018 showcase. We’ll find out whether any of our theories come true when Nintendo broadcasts its E3 presentation on June 12, but in the meantime, read on to see what the GameSpot staff think the company will reveal at this year’s show. You can also read our biggest predictions for both Sony and Microsoft‘s E3 conferences.
Animal Crossing Switch Will Be Announced
At last year’s E3, Nintendo brought out quite a few of its big franchises: Metroid, Yoshi, Kirby, and Pokemon. Later on, Super Smash Bros. for Switch was announced. We’re getting a new Fire Emblem, and we already have Zelda and Mario on Switch. What’s missing? Only the greatest and best animal-themed life (and also debt) simulator out there!
The last main game in the Animal Crossing series, New Leaf, is five years old. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp launched on mobile phones late last year, and if anything, it was a nice holdover–a way to reignite passion for the series without ever being satisfying enough to make you forget what could be. And what could be is a new-and-improved, full-fledged, and portable Animal Crossing game on the Switch… hopefully with the decorating mechanics of Happy Home Designer.
I’m of course hoping for a proper trailer, but I’ll bet on an announcement in the style of last year’s Metroid Prime 4 and Pokemon reveals. That’s not too much to ask, and if 2017 is anything to go by, it’s enough to generate hype and therefore enough to warrant the metaphorical E3 stage. | Kallie Plagge
First Gameplay Trailer Of Bayonetta 3 And A Port Of The Wonderful 101
Nintendo surprised everyone when it revealed Bayonetta 3 at The Game Awards late last year. As one of Platinum Games’ most renowned franchises, a new entry in the series was highly requested. However, we’ve heard little about the game since its initial trailer. Given Nintendo’s consistent track record of revealing games and announcing new details soon after, it’s likely we’ll hear more about Bayonetta 3 during this year’s Direct presentation. While it’s not likely we’ll get a full gameplay demonstration, we’re at least thinking that Nintendo will show a trailer featuring story and combat. In addition, Nintendo will probably confirm a potential release window.
Aside from new details on Bayonetta 3, we’re hoping Nintendo also unveils a Switch port of The Wonderful 101, another game made by Platinum released exclusively for Wii U. It would make for a great complementary announcement to go alongside Bayonetta 3. According to a May 2018 interview with The Wonderful 101 director Hideki Kamiya, the team at Platinum actually has ideas for a possible port and has made internal documents on how it would do it. The Wonderful 101 may not be the developer’s most well-known game, but it’s still a fantastic action-adventure well worth playing. Plus, it seems more than likely at this point, seeing as a re-release would certainly fit Nintendo’s recent push to bring more Wii U games to Switch. We’re keeping our fingers crossed! | Matt Espineli
Persona 5 Comes To Switch
Atlus took our hearts with Persona 5, which released in 2016 for Japan and in 2017 worldwide on PS4 and PS3, but what if more people get to experience this wonderful, heartfelt RPG on Switch? Given that Shin Megami Tensei V (the franchise Persona spun off from) is coming and Atlus already puts out plenty of games for Nintendo platforms, a port of Persona 5 isn’t far-fetched. Even the dungeon-crawler Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth was a 3DS exclusive, and a sequel starring the Phantom Thieves, Persona Q2, is in the works for the old handheld. A Persona 5 Switch port is a prediction worth betting on.
Persona 5 doesn’t rely on graphical horsepower to capture its bold, lavish style either, so there isn’t a need to scale back visual fidelity–as noted above, there’s even a PS3 version. Admittedly, this isn’t a game that’s exactly suited to play in short bursts; long stretches of narrative with dialogue and sprawling palaces make up a large portion of it and carry a lot of weight in terms of storytelling. But it’d be fun to take care of your daily tasks as a student on the go. Think about it: you can ride the subway to work while playing a game where you can ride the subway to work. Or you can do more exciting things like take the Big Bang Burger challenge or hang out with best girl Makoto Niijima after class.
Also, Persona 5 is one of the best games of this generation because of how it fuses music, art direction, character development, and its story’s themes into a cohesive RPG that’s an absolute joy to play. | Michael Higham
Another Past Bethesda Game Gets The Switch Treatment
We have Switch ports for Doom (2016) and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is on the way. Bethesda seems to love bringing its big franchises to Nintendo’s console-handheld hybrid, and it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility that another one could be on the way. Maybe Doom worked well enough and Skyrim was a welcome addition to the Switch library–so, maybe Fallout 3? This year marks a decade since the release of Fallout 3, and we’re thinking it’d be a nice way to celebrate by breathing some new life into the game. It was the first Fallout game to adopt the first-person RPG style and it worked incredibly well, and built off of what Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion did two years prior.
Oh, what about Oblivion? Bethesda open worlds have evolved quite a bit since its initial release, but if Oblivion’s systems were tweaked and the graphics were polished a bit, that’d be neat to play portably. Fallout: New Vegas is certainly a standout in Bethesda’s repertoire thanks for Obsidian Entertainment’s ability to nail down what makes an RPG great, but we’d say it’s less likely given New Vegas’ slightly narrower appeal. Fallout 4 might be asking the Switch a bit much from a technical standpoint, but we wouldn’t mind a proper Switch version. What if we take a turn for the immersive sim? Having a fully fledged immersive sim like Dishonored would be wonderful and open a fairly niche genre to a new audience. All of these sound like sweet ideas; let’s bet on this one! | Michael Higham
Fortnite Comes To Switch
Fortnite: Battle Royale is a video game phenomenon unlike anything we’ve seen in recent years. Upwards of 45 million people have played this construction-infused last-person-standing survival shooter. Whether you like Fortnite or not, there’s no denying its wild success and impact on games at large. While it might not be a perfect match, given that Fortnite is solely an online multiplayer experience, having the biggest free-to-play shooter on Nintendo Switch could further expand Fortnite’s already impressive reach.
The game has been thriving on all the other major platforms and, hell, it was even ported to iOS–getting the game to run smooth should be a non-issue. With Nintendo ready to roll out its subscription-based online ecosystem in September, Fortnite could be the big hit that’d help push the service. Even the horde-based cooperative mode Save The World would be an incredible fit for local multiplayer. Seems like it would be a win-win for both Epic and Nintendo. [Update: A leak suggests Fortnite is coming to Switch.] | Michael Higham
At this point, I don’t really believe Mother 3 is going to be announced. Nintendo still has to roll out some kind of plan for how it’s handling classic titles. And even if it’s an a la carte menu of game releases at premium prices, Nintendo isn’t going to roll out that service with Mother 3. It’ll start with EarthBound.
But…what if? Just maybe, there’s a chance that this year, 2018, will finally be the E3 when my yearly ill-fated prediction comes true and finally, FINALLY, it happens. The stage lights dim. A single spotlight comes up, highlighting Reggie Fils-Aime. He stares at the camera; he stares through the camera, straight into my heart. A single tear rolls down his cheek. A tear of happiness as a smile flashes across his face and he says, “I’m sorry we kept you waiting.” Then the Mother 3 logo lights up behind him.
A guy can dream, can’t he? | Justin Haywald
The N64 Classic Is Revealed
After the monstrous success of the NES Classic, then the SNES Classic, is there any doubt that Nintendo will continue riding this nostalgia train as far as it can go? The next station is E3, and the lone passenger is the N64.
With its distinctive three-pronged controllers and rounded boxy design, the N64 has an instantly recognizable style that collectors will clamor for just from a design perspective. But it’s the games that will make this console impossible to find come the holidays. Ocarina of Time, Mario Kart 64, and the progenitor of a legend: the original Super Smash Bros.
The mini console is definitely coming, the only real question is: will it include GoldenEye? | Justin Haywald