Jeff Scott (Editor)
As per usual, Nintendo is foregoing the glitz and glamour of an official E3 conference and are instead opting for a more intimate – and prerecorded – Nintendo Direct. This is fine, of course. We still get everything the company would have intended on showing at a live event, just now with a more controlled and “direct” presentation. So, what will Nintendo showcase come June 16th? I’m glad you asked…
What We Know
Just last week Nintendo began to unveil their plans for E3 2015. Like last year, it was done in a fun and comedic tone that put Reggie Fils-Aime at the brunt of the jokes. Check it out if you haven’t seen it already:
Nintendo has confirmed that their Digital Event will air on June 16th at 9:00 a.m. PT. In the video, Reggie also confirms the return of the Nintendo World Championships. It’s a fun idea, and the portion of the show where Nintendo hosted their Super Smash Bros. for Wii U tournament last year. You can find more information on the 2015 Nintendo World Championships here.
But what about the games? Mario Maker is going to be a big deal this year, Star Fox too. But sadly, we know of one blockbuster title that is confirmed to not be showing up – The Legend of Zelda for Wii U. But just because it won’t have its usual E3 blow out before its release doesn’t mean it will miss E3 entirely… On to the predictions!
The Legend of Zelda of Wii U
How can a Nintendo E3 completely ignore The Legend of Zelda franchise when a new entry is (hopefully) less than a year away? It can’t! Nintendo has to show off something, and we’re guessing that something is a new trailer for the upcoming Wii U game. It will only last a minute, two at most, but it will be enough to garner a positive reaction from the fan base and get them excited again for the next entry of the series.
And as a Hail Mary call, maybe – just maybe – within the trailer we get a few new hints that The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is indeed a remake of the original NES Legend of Zelda. Because face it, that would be “Legen… wait for it… dary.”
No New Mario Title Announced
This one may ruffle some feathers, but hey, the truth hurts. The Wii U had New Super Mario Bros. U launch alongside the system in November 2012. New Super Luigi U was available soon after in June of 2013. November 2013 saw the release of the stellar Super Mario 3D World. And this fall Nintendo is hoping that Mario Maker will be a huge success. Sorry folks, but the Wii U is Mario’d out. We’ll just have to wait for the Nintendo NX, which leads me to…
No NX News at E3
Alright, this one is a bit of a cheat. We already know Nintendo doesn’t plan to mention their next console, codenamed NX, at E3 this year. Not even a peep. The company is still fully focused (for now) on the Nintendo Wii U as their home console. But one would assume the NX is in full-fledged development at this point. And with it, a full-fledged 3D Mario title is in the works.
Akin to Super Mario 64, Sunshine and Galaxy series, the new 3D Mario title will be announced alongside whatever the Nintendo NX turns out to be. Both of which will be revealed at E3 2016. But until then…
Super Mario Sunshine HD
When you have a hot trend, why not run with it? The recent remakes started on the Nintendo 3DS with Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64, and more recently Majora’s Mask. But things really became promising when Nintendo announced The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD in January 2013. It then released in September of the same year. The title was absolutely gorgeous running in HD, and Eiji Aonuma is on record stating that the HD remake only took 6 months to develop.
So, why not do the same to the Mario franchise? Super Mario Sunshine is the most bright and vibrant title in the franchise’s history. Imagine a high-definition upgrade that also adds a bit of backend tweaking to iron out the game’s camera issues and such.
Sunshine has always been one of the more underrated Mario titles. A HD rerelease of it is just what Nintendo needs to buy the company some time until NX’s Mario entry.
Star Fox Amiibo
We know Star Fox is coming for the Wii U. McCloud and friends will likely have the spotlight (alongside Mario Maker) for Nintendo’s presentation. But what many aren’t expecting, but probably should be, is the Star Fox Amiibo line that is surely on the way as well.
We have an Amiibo for nearly every Smash. Bros. character. We have a Mario specific line for its main characters, 3 new stitched Yoshi’s to coincide with Wooly World, and 3 new Amiibo for Splatoon characters we didn’t know existed until a year ago. So, why not a line of Star Fox Amiibo to release alongside the franchise’s next entry?
It will probably be a small rollout, just Fox, Falco and Krystal most likely. But they’ll be shown off at E3 2015 and details will be given on how they each interact with the new Star Fox game.
New Smash Bros. Character Revealed
Nintendo has been taking character suggestions for a few months now, but my guess is the company already knew who their 3rd downloadable character would be. Mewtwo is in the wild. Lucas is coming in June, and as a special surprise, my guess is that he goes live immediately after Nintendo’s E3 presentation.
But my prediction is that within Nintendo’s E3 2015 Digital Event, we’ll also get a look at who our next downloadable character will be. My suggestions to Nintendo? Ridley and Simon Belmont. Both are unlikely, Sakurai has stated numerous times why Ridley won’t work. And Simon Belmont is a 3rd party character – owned by Konami – who isn’t exactly in the best of places right now. But a man can hope, right?
A New Entry for Metroid on Wii U or 3DS?
It could be one. It could be both. It could quite possibly be neither. Listen Metroid fans, I feel your pain. I too was underwhelmed by 2010’s Metroid: Other M. I know so some of you liked it, but you’re in the minority. We’ve been waiting 8 years now for a new Prime style game. And this year? We’re still not getting it.
Look, Metroid isn’t exactly the best-selling franchise that Nintendo has. And the Wii U isn’t quite selling like the company had hoped. The Wii U is about to be transitioned out, and just like on the Nintendo 64, the Metroid series is going to miss the boat. But hopefully someone is working on something, and we’ll see Samus return to a full 3D world by 2017. Until then, we’ll have to rely on our new 3DS Metroid…
Yes! I said it! And I’m sure to be disappointed just like I am every year. But the last handheld Metroid was Metroid Prime Hunters in 2006. Frankly, I choose not to count that. It wasn’t a bad game, it just wasn’t very comfortable on the DS and on our portable hardware it’s the 2D style Metroid that many of us are clamoring for.
You have to go back, way back, to the 2004 release of Metroid: Zero Mission to find our last 2D release. And that was a remake! In 2002 we got both Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion – on the same day! That’s not happening again, but we’re due for a new 2D Metroid, Nintendo. Fusion is the last game in the Metroid timeline. We all want to know what happens next. Hopefully we’ll get hints at that this year.
Animal Crossing for Wii U
This is more of a when, not an if. People love Animal Crossing. The title’s iconic Villager has shown up in what are arguably the Wii U’s two biggest titles of Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8. Nintendo is also experimenting with Amiibo cards based solely on the Animal Crossing franchise. The company has faith in Nook and friends.
Animal Crossing for Wii released in August of 2008 – aka 7 years ago. The franchise is poised for a return on home consoles. It’s time to blow the dust off those tools.
Andrew Esposito (Editor)
By the time Nintendo has its E3 Nintendo Direct, Splatoon will only be less than a month old. However, I believe the game is going to do well enough for Nintendo (I played the “Global Test Fire” beta and it was a ton of fun!) that they will announce some sort of DLC for the game. Whether it’s costumes, maps, or new character classes; Nintendo will have something on their lovable ink spraying game. Also, those Splatoon Amiibo are going to sell like crazy… because, well, Amiibo.
Pokken Tournament Might Make an Appearance
Pokken Tournament is an upcoming arcade fighting game developed by Bandai Namco Entertainment in collaboration with The Pokémon Company. The game combines elements from Bandai Namco’s Tekken series with characters from the Pokémon franchise. So far the game is only announced to be coming to Japanese arcades in 2015 (before a Wii U exclusive launch in the U.S), but wouldn’t it be great if they showed off the game at E3? People love Pokémon and they’d be ecstatic if they saw some new footage of this different take on the beloved franchise.
Nintendo has partnered with DeNA to bring it’s properties to mobile platforms. Sure, Nintendo has said that they don’t plan to release any mobile games during this year, but maybe we get some discussion on what the partnership entails. My guess, Wario Ware. That franchise lends itself really well to mobile platforms.
Nintendo Remix has been doing really well for Nintendo these past couple of years. I believe that the company might come out and continue the trend with SNES Remix. Taking some of the most iconic games from the SNES era and adapting them to the Remix formula? Sounds likes a winner to me.