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What’s Nintendo up to for E3 2018?

by Eric Frederiksen | June 4, 2018June 4, 2018 12:00 pm PDT

We already have an idea of what to expect from Nintendo this year at E3, because they’ve told us. There’s going to be a lot of the recently-announced Super Smash Bros. on hand at E3 this year, where we’ll find out whether we’re getting an all-new Smash or a souped-up re-release of the version Nintendo put out on Wii U. Honestly, we’re okay with either answer. But Nintendo can’t just talk about Smash, right? there has to be more than that. Here’s what we’re expecting and hoping for. We also know Nintendo is focusing on the second half of 2018 in this show – the company specifically said “games launching beyond 2018 will be featured at a later date.”

More news about Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo revealed just what Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) is and when we can expect it in March. We already know how much it’ll cost ($19/year) and when it’ll hit (September), but we only know a little bit about how the NES games Nintendo is making available for single player, local multiplayer, and online multiplayer play. Nintendo has only announced half of the games, so we’re expecting to see the rest of that list at the very least.

Another Bethesda port on Switch

Right from the beginning, Bethesda was a strong supporter of the Nintendo Switch. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was one of the first games announced for the handheld-hybrid console. The company has released three games – Skyrim, Doom, and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus for the system, consistently making an argument for big, triple-A style games on the tiny system. We’re expecting them to continue that into 2018, and they have a pretty good library to pick from.

They could go with Dishonored, a game that saw great critical acclaim but never got the sales it deserved. They could reach far back and unleash Fallout 3 to celebrate the game’s 10th anniversary so that Switch players have something Fallout-related to dig on while other platforms are playing Fallout 76. They could even go after something newer like Prey, which suffered an even worse version of the fate Dishonored experienced.

fallout 3 wallpaper

Regardless, we’re expecting a new game from Bethesda, aimed straight at the countless players awaiting any game that can be described as “the Switch version.”

Bayonetta 3 first gameplay

Nintendo first revealed Bayonetta 3 at the 2017 Game Awards this last winter. Since then, we’ve heard little to nothing as Nintendo and developer Platinum keep their mouths shut. Now, it’s six months later, and we want to see some gameplay. We’re fully expecting Nintendo to show this off this year, unless some hitches in development have pushed it back.

A Nintendo 64 Classic

To say that the NES Classic and SNES Classics “did well for Nintendo” would be the understatement of the century, at least as far as the Big N is concerned. They were smash hits that opened up a new line of business for the company. Both systems are still nigh-impossible to find.

So, it serves to reason hat Nintendo will release an N64 Classic, a down-sized version of its last cartridge-based home console until the Switch debuted in 2017.

The N64 was released way back in 1996, over 20 years ago, which is a good way to remind me of how old I am. That definitely counts as a classic at this point, and there’s a whole stack of games that would look great on the system. And hey, if N64 games run okay on a Nintendo 3DS, there should be no problem putting them into a mini-console.

Please Nintendo, remind us that there’s a controller out there even harder on my hands than the Switch Joy-Con.

Bragging about Nintendo Labo, but no new kits

Nintendo surprised us with Nintendo Labo earlier this year, and its release on 4/20 for $69.99 revealed a surprisingly fun and durable way to play with cardboard that didn’t involve being a cat or pretending to be on TV. We’re expecting Nintendo to make a remark about how well it’s done, but expecting that remark to be in the most vague of terms. We don’t think Nintendo is going to unveil a new kit just yet – though we’d love to be wrong.

Fortnite on Switch and more Cross-play

Right now, everyone is playing Fortnite. Except Switch owners. As many stellar games as there are on the system, Switch fans are left waiting in the cold when it comes the one of the most popular games out there. And you know, Fortnite is actually a pretty good fit for the system.  Of all the shooters out there, Fortnite is the most family-friendly, with its cartoon-y graphics and comparatively positive-leaning community. And if it performs well on phones (it does), then there’s no reason it shouldn’t run great on dedicated gaming hardware like the Switch.

And we’re fully expecting that if Fork Knife is indeed revealed, we fully expect it to be crossplay-compatible with Xbox, PC, and mobile platforms the same way Minecraft is. Heck, maybe Epic’s battle royale shooter is popular enough to finally make this the moment Sony agrees to cross-play between Xbox and PlayStation, putting everyone in the same games together.

Nintendo brings back another Wii U game

Piles of games that first saw release on the Wii U have already made the jump to the Nintendo Switch. In almost any other case, I’d be irritated. The stream of remakes and re-releases is a frustrating way that publishers beef up their dockets for the year and get us to re-buy games. But Wii U games didn’t get the audience they deserved thanks to how Wii U systems actually made it into homes. Super Mario World 3D and  New Super Mario Bros. U seem like prime candidates.

Nintendo revives another classic franchise

If there’s one thing that’s reliable for Nintendo, it’s the revival of old franchises and consistently-paced sequels to more active ones. We’ve seen Mario and Link return, and we know Pikachu and Samus are on the way with a Pokemon RPG and a new Metroid game. Games like Animal Crossing and F-Zero have their audiences, though Animal Crossing is the more likely of the two. Before Nintendo even hits sequels to Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey, they can bring back a bunch of old, dearly-missed series. What would it take to get another Earthbound game? This one is a little less likely with that 2018-only disclaimer, but we can still hope right?

We’ll find out what Nintendo has in store for 2018 (but not beyond!) when the E3 Nintendo Direct airs on Tuesday, June 12, at 9AM PST.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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