Nintendo E3 2018: What to Expect and Why

nintendo e3 2018


It’s that time of the year again! It’s time for the flood of E3 predictions that range from the educated, to the overly optimistic, and to the just plain wild. However when it comes to Nintendo E3 2018 we can already make some pretty informed ideas of what the Big N has in store for us.

So without further ado, here’s what we can expect from Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation and why.

We’ll be sure to update the article if we learn of any new information.

Super Smash Bros. Switch

People have been anticipating the reveal of Super Smash Bros. for the Switch ever since the March 2018 Nintendo Direct. Thankfully we won’t have to wait long to get some new information. The game will be shown off during the Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018 so we’ll definitely get some gameplay.

There’s been some debate as to whether or not the game is a port of the Wii U and 3DS entries or will be an entirely new game, so we can expect a confirmation during E3. We may even learn about new modes coming to the game. Personally, we’re hoping for the return of Smash Run from the 3DS version or Adventure Mode from Melee.

We can also expect new fighters to be announced along with confirmation of some long-standing veterans. We’ll definitely see the Inklings of Splatoon fame in action as well since they’re the only new fighters confirmed. We also might see if Link retains the Breath of the Wild appearance the reveal trailer hinted at as well as if he gets new abilities. Since the announcement trailers for both Brawl and Smash 4 prominently featured a third party fighter (with Brawl showing off Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid and Smash 4 showing off Mega Man), we can also expect the reveal of a third party fighter then.

Metroid Prime 4

Look, you don’t just announce a game like Metroid Prime 4 and not talk about it one year later. Nintendo are going to talk about it.

We might get a release date, though since the game’s development was announced last year we may get something more vague such as a release year. According to Tech Radar, Nintendo Norway’s website said that the game would release sometime in 2018, however the site is run by Nintendo’s official Scandinavian distributor Bergsala instead of Nintendo itself and the post was edited to remove mention of Metroid Prime 4, so it’s not really much to go by.

We may get official confirmation of who’s developing the game. According to anonymous sources of Eurogamer, the game is being developed by Bandai Namco instead of Retro Studios.

It does look like the game will have a story separate from the trilogy. According to an interview with Eurogamer, series producer Kensuke Tanabe said that the story of Dark Samus and Phazon are done and that new games would focus on other elements of the Prime series.

Fortnite Switch


Epic Games

It’s possible that the cultural sensation Fortnite is coming to the Switch. That’s according to a rumor by LeakyPandy who correctly predicted the Nintendo Direct in March a few days before it was officially announced. You can read all about the alleged Switch port here but we’ll give you the important bits.

According to LeakyPandy’s sources, the alleged Switch port would be announced during E3 2018. The Battle Royale port isn’t receiving any big changes and will support cross-play with other systems. However the PvE “Save the World” mode Fortnite originally launched with will have local co-op with up to four Nintendo Switch units as well as exclusive Nintendo IP related content. They’re not sure if the two modes will release together or one after another.

All this information is still in the rumor phase, but if it is true then Nintendo could have the biggest E3 presentation of the year.

Mario Kart Tour & Other Mobile Games

mario kart tour


Nintendo announced Mario Kart Tour back in January 2018. Not much is known about the mobile game except for the fact that it’s coming out sometime in the fiscal year from April 2018 to March 2019. So if it doesn’t release in April or May, you can expect the game to make an appearance at their E3 2018 presentation.

But that’s not the only mobile game the Big N has in store. According to a Wall Street Journal report from May 2017, the company is also developing a Legend of Zelda mobile game though there isn’t any information on it.

Mario Party 11

mario party switch

NintendoMario Party 10

We’ve already done an extensive article on a possible Mario Party game for the Switch, so we’ll try to keep this short.

Rumor has it that a Mario Party game for the Switch is in development for release sometime in 2019 and ND Cube, the developer behind the franchise since 2012’s Mario Party 9, will be at the helm again.

Since ND Cube invented the car mechanic, where players take turns driving in a car while moving around the board together, it’s possible that the controversial mechanic will return again. We can also expect the minigames to take advantage of the features of the Switch, including motion controls, HD Rumble, and the IR sensor. There could also be a game mode centered around Amiibo figures just like in Mario Party 10.

If a Mario Party Switch game is indeed heading for 2019 (and possibly in March of that year based on our judgement), then we can expect it to make an appearance during E3 2018 with Nintendo showing off the minigames and any new features. Maybe some of the minigames will be playable on the E3 show floor as well.

The Mario Party franchise is loved by many and the novelty of taking a party game like that on the go is too good for Nintendo to pass up. However, 2018 is filled to the brim with big Nintendo properties so a Mario Party game would get lost in the mix. 2019 is so far pretty open; the only game confirmed for 2019 from Nintendo is the 3DS remake Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey.

Pikmin 4

pikmin 4


We also have an in-depth analysis of what to expect for Pikmin 4, but allow us to give you just the highlights for our purposes here.

Back in 2015, Shigeru Miyamoto told Eurogamer that Pikmin 4 was “actually very close to completion” and that the team behind it was already working on the next entry. Then in 2017 he confirmed to the publication that the game was still in development. “I’ve been told not to share anything about this from PR, but I can tell you it is progressing,” he said. Nintendo them followed up with the publication to also confirm that the game was in the works, but they didn’t share any details. Then a list of games for the February issue of Nintendo Force Magazine listed Pikmin 4 which all but confirmed a 2018 release date.

We don’t expect the gameplay to change much from previous entries, but we do expect some new playable characters and a new storyline. We also hope for online co-op.

All things considered we could see Pikmin 4 revealed at this year’s E3 with a release date and gameplay. We believe that the game would release in the early fall to tide people over until Metroid Prime 4 and Super Smash Bros.

Fire Emblem 2018

fire emblem 2018

NintendoFire Emblem Warriors

Nintendo has been quiet on Fire Emblem 2018 since they announced the game for Switch during the Fire Emblem Direct back in January 2017. So E3 would be the best time to show off some gameplay and a release date.

Despite how quiet the company was, there are some rumors about it. LeakyPandy claims that the game will be called “Fire Emblem: Elegy for the Brave.” While the subtitle bay be an old working title and not the final name, the user was confident that the game’s themes revolve around soldiers passing away. The user also claimed that the game will come out sometime in the summer.

But we have some official info as well. In an interview translated by Kantopia, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia director Toshiyuki Kusakihara that the development team has been working to make the characters more realistic in terms of their proportions and movements than the more anime-inspired Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates. Shadows ofValentia Producer Hitoshi Yamagami added that the development team for Fire Emblem on the Switch will likely change around.

So from the looks of things, Fire Emblem 2018 is shaping up to have a more grounded, serious story than the anime/fantasy settings we’ve seen from the last few entries and may revolve more around the series’ classic permadeath mechanic. Either way, we don’t expect the gameplay to change much from its predecessors, with players taking on armies in strategic gameplay with light RPG elements. The summer 2018 release window is also plausible since the only other big RPG on the Switch during the summer is Square Enix’s Octopath Traveler.

Pokemon Switch

Pokemon switch

NintendoPokemon Ultra Sun & Moon

Nintendo has also been very quiet on the next Pokemon game, with their only mention of it occurring during their E3 2017 presentation where Tsunekazu Ishihara from The Pokemon Company announced that Game Freak had began developing a core entry in the series for the Switch and that it may not release for more than a year.

But later that year, Ishihara told Bloomenberg the following: “With the Switch, we see it as a chance to create Pokémon that goes deeper and with a higher level of expression. As a result, that makes it an extremely important platform.” In addition, French website Pokegraph alleges that Bandai is planning on releasing plushies to tie in with the new game and that an announcement would come sometime this May. However Bandai is not confirming the existence of the toys, according to Forbes.

So the timeline is right for an announcement of the Pokemon Switch game. We can expect a graphical upgrade, a new region, new Pokemon, and a new gimmick for battles like Z-Moves and Mega Evolutions from previous entries. We hope that the game takes on a more open approach to exploration without sticking so rigidly to a linear path from gym to gym. Given the success of Breath of the Wild this wouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Nintendo’s Online Service for Switch & Virtual Console

nintendo switch online service


We can expect Nintendo to dive into how their paid online service will work. Nintendo Switch Online was announced all the way back during Nintendo’s Switch Presentation in January 2017 but it won’t be in place until September 2018, according to the official website. You won’t be able to play multiplayer games online or use the Nintendo Switch Online app for inviting friends or using voice chat. We even know that it will cost $3.99 for one month, $7.99 for three months, and $19.99 for the whole year.

However, we don’t know the details on the Classic Game Selection where users get to download a compilation of NES and SNES games for free. We know that the game will be updated to include online multiplayer and leaderboards but we don’t know how many games we’ll get a month (last we heard it was one game a month). We’re hoping for a Netflix-like selection of games to choose from but it will most likely be the same deal as PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold where you get at least three free games a month.

We’ll also finally get news on how the Virtual Console will work on the Switch. According to Eurogamer, GameCube games will come to the Virtual Console with the first three being Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. They also heard that you can get games for a reduced price if you bought them from Virtual Consoles on past systems. But we’ll have to wait and see for official confirmations.

Bayonetta 3

Bayonetta 3 was announced at The Game Awards 2017 but all that was shown was a cryptic and dramatic teaser trailer. However the trailer did say that the game was now in development exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. It may be too early in development to make a showing at E3 2018, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed. Nintendo loves the Bayonetta franchise so it’s going to make an appearance at one of their E3 press conferences sometime.


Yoshi is another game confirmed for 2018 with very little said from Nintendo since E3 2017.

Luckily, the trailer gives us a pretty good idea of what the game will offer. The game appears to take more inspiration from Yoshi’s Story on the N64 than Yoshi’s Island, with Yoshi collecting coins while moving through 2D levels and sometimes moving into the foreground or background. It also takes on a papercraft aesthetic to follow up from the yarn aesthetic from 2015’s Yoshi’s Wooly World. Yoshi can also fire eggs into the foreground or background and rotate the environment 180 degrees to reveal hidden passageways. There’s also two player co-op.

Not much else left to say. Since it’s coming out in 2018 we should hear about a release date during E3 2018.

Ace Attorney Switch

ace attorney switch

CapcomApollo Justice: Ace Attorney

Back in November 2017, Japanese news site Jiji interviewed Haruhiro Tsujimoto of Capcom who said that the company has more Switch games on the way for release after April 2018 with Ace Attorney being one of them. Whether or not this is a brand new game or a port of old games is yet to be determined but we could very well see an announcement for a new Ace Attorney game during E3 2018.

New Paper Mario, Dr. Mario, & Punch-Out!!

paper mario switch

NintendoPaper Mario: Color Splash

Nintendo recently filed four trademarks all in the categories of “video game program” and “downloadable video game program,” according to blog Japanese Nintendo. The trademarks are for Mario Tennis, Mario Party, Paper Mario, Dr. Mario, and Punch-Out!!. This not only provides further evidence of a Mario Party 11, but also may indicate that either new games in the Paper Mario, Dr. Mario, and Punch-Out!! franchises or rereleases of games from said franchises are coming.

However, there aren’t more details than that so we’ll just have to wait and see if Nintendo gives us a surprise for E3 2018.

Wave Race?

The jet ski racing series and hidden gem Wave Race may make a return. Series producer Shinya Takahashi told Fandom that the game may come to the Switch.

“You may see that game again,” Takahashi told the publication. “We have been trying to make many games and that may be one of them … I personally love Wave Race!”

Out of all the games on this list, this is the least likely to appear during E3 2018. Takahashi’s statement isn’t a full confirmation and doesn’t specify if we’re getting a brand new entry or a rerelease on Virtual Console. And while Wave Race has its fans, it’s not the most popular franchise under Nintendo’s belt and we haven’t had a new game since Wave Race: Blue Storm from 2001. Never the less, it’s still a possibility and if we don’t see it during E3 then it’s bound to appear in a Nintendo Direct in the future if it ever does.

Reminders for Mario Tennis Aces and Octopath Traveler

octopath traveler

Square Enix

Nintendo has been putting a lot of chips on Mario Tennis Aces if the game’s prominence during Nintendo Direct presentations is anything to go by. However, we know plenty about the game already so Nintendo’s E3 presentation would only remind people of its existence and its June 22, 2018 release date if they choose to mention it at all.

Same goes for Octopath Traveller. However, the E3 presentation will probably reveal more playable characters in addition to reminding people of its July 13, 2018 release date. But we don’t expect Nintendo to spend much time on it.

Release Dates for The World Ends With You Final Remix & Travis Strikes Back: No More Heroes

The World Ends With You and No More Heroes have some of the most dedicated cult followings around. Nintendo knows this and that’s why they’re getting prominent coverage in Nintendo Direct presentations along with exclusivity on the Switch. Which is why we can expect release date reveals during E3 2018.

And that’s all we can expect from Nintendo during E3 2018. There are bound to be some surprises but for the most part we know what’s coming from the Big N in therms of what games are shown off. Either way, Nintendo’s E3 showcase already looks to take the crown as the most exciting showing of this year.

I mean, I’d be happy just getting another Pokemon Snap. Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?

What do you think of our predictions? What are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comment section below.

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