Nintendo E3 2018: What to Expect and Why

nintendo e3 2018

Nintendo

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.

Update (June 12, 2018): Super Smash Bros Switch is now Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Every single fighter from the past four games will be included in the game. Yes that includes Ice Climbers and Pichu. Alternate costumes confirmed. Link has his Breath of the Wild garb as expected. Final Smashes are streamlined and quicker. Damage percentages have a 0.1 decimal percentage. There will be new stages such as the Great Plateau Tower from Breath of the wild and new items such as the Black Hole. Directional air dodge is back and dodging multiple times makes you vulnerable. 1-on-1 fights make fighters stronger. The game is compatible with GameCube controllers as well as Amiibo. The number of stock each player has appears when a foe is defeated.

Daisy is a new character based on Peach. The Inkling is a new fighter as well. Ridley is a fighter as well.

The game is coming December 7, 2018.


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.

Update (June 12, 2018): Metroid Prime 4 was not shown off during Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation.


Fortnite Switch

fortnite

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.

Update (June 1, 2018): A listing for Fortnite on Switch has popped up on the Game Rating and Administration Committee, Korean’s game ratings board. This comes after an anonymous user on 4chan allegedly leaked a document from someone who arranges E3 showroom displays, which contains a list of games including Fortnite.

Update (June 12, 2018): Fortnite is now available to play on Switch.


Mario Kart Tour & Other Mobile Games

mario kart tour

Nintendo

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.

Update (June 12, 2018): Neither Mario Kart Tour nor any other mobile game were shown off during Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation.


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.

Update (June 12, 2018): The E3 2018 presentation confirmed the existence of a new Mario Party game known as Super Mario Party.

Each player can move across the board individually instead of all riding a car together like in previous games. The game looks to take advantage of the Switch’s features as the rumors expected. If you have two Switch systems they can interact with each other for different minigames and some minigames use motion controls. It looks like there’s also team play. Each character has specific Dice Blocks for deeper strategic play. The game will have new modes such as Toad’s Rec Room mode.

Super Mario Party is coming October 5, 2018 instead of 2019 as was previously rumored.


Pikmin 4

pikmin 4

Nintendo

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.

Update (June 12, 2018): Pikmin 4 was not confirmed or shown off at Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation.


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.

Update (June 12, 2018): The game has received the name of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The game appears to include groups of soldiers surrounding individual heroes. Individual heroes can train different skills. Groups of soldiers can take different formations. Otherwise it’s the same turn-based tactical RPG we know and love from the series. The game is coming Spring 2019.


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.

Update (May 16, 2018): According to rumors, the next core Pokemon game on the Switch will allegedly be a remake of Pokemon Yellow with two different versions reportedly titled “Let’s Go Pikachu” and “Let’s Go Eevee.” The feature of Pokemon following behind the player will supposedly return as will the PokeRides from Pokemon Sun & Moon. Red and Blue from the original game will play a role in the story but the protagonist and their rival will be new trainers. There may be an online hub for players.

The most interesting rumor is that there will be integration with Pokemon Go with the player earning rewards in both games by linking them together. Catching Pokemon in the core game will work similarly to how it works in Pokemon Go. There may also be an accessory that can be used on the Switch to connect to Pokemon Go.

The game will reportedly be announced sometime in May and will release this year.

Update (May 29, 2018): The rumored Switch game was announced by Nintendo as Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu & Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee. Almost all of the rumors were true, including the fact that it’s a Pokemon Yellow remake, the Pokemon Go integration, the catching mechanic, the special peripheral known as the PokeBall Plus, the return of PokeRides, the return of following Pokemon, and the 2018 release date. We also got announcements of new features like two player co-op, Pokemon appearing in the overworld, outfits for Pikachu and Eevee, and more. In addition, Nintendo is developing another core Pokemon title for release in 2019. Read all about it here.

Update (June 12, 2018): The E3 2018 presentation confirmed that you can bring Mew into the game if you buy the Pokeball Plus.

The Treehouse livestream gave a ton of gameplay details that are too long to list here. Head to our article on the game here for more info.


Nintendo’s Online Service for Switch & Virtual Console

nintendo switch online service

Nintendo

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.

Update (May 8, 2018): A Nintendo spokesperson confirmed to Kotaku that there are currently no plans to bring games together under the Virtual Console banner. When asked if the online subscriptions will include GameCube games or games on any other past system other than the NES, Nintendo said that the company had nothing to announce on this topic.

Update (May 10, 2018): Nintendo has fully detailed their plans for Nintendo Switch Online. Paying for the service gives you online play, a selection of 20 NES games with online play and games added regularly, save data cloud backup, access to features on the Nintendo Switch Online app, and special offers.


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.

Update (June 12, 2018): Bayonetta 3 was not shown off at Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation.


Yoshi

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.

Update (June 12, 2018): The Yoshi game was not shown off at Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation.


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.

Update (June 12, 2018): A Switch Ace Attorney game was not shown off at Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation.


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.

Update (June 12, 2018): Paper Mario, Dr. Mario, and Punch-Out!! games were not shown off at Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation.


Star Fox: Grand Prix?

It’s rumored that Retro Studios is working on a racing game based on the Star Fox franchise, according to Nintendo Insider. A Reddit user by the name of DasVergeben said that the alleged Star Fox: Grand Prix will have F-Zero-like gameplay mixed with an adventure mode reminiscent of Diddy Kong Racing with a hub world and bosses. In addition, it appears that logos for the game exist but those could have easily been photoshopped.

Now this may seems like this comes out of nowhere, but not only has it been confirmed that Retro has been working on a new game since the release of Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, but the whole concept of a Star Fox racing game was hinted at in one of the multiple endings for Star Fox Command where Fox and Falco decide to become racing pilots. Even then, we don’t have a lot of credible information to go by and it could all turn out to be fake.

Only time will tell if a Star Fox racing game will be a reality.

Update (June 12, 2018): Star Fox: Grand Prix was not confirmed or shown off at Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation.


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.

Update (June 12, 2018): A new Wave Race game was not confirmed or shown off at Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation.


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.

Update (June 12, 2018): We did get reminders for Mario Tennis Aces and Octopath Traveler at Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation.


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.

Update (June 12, 2018): We did not get release dates at Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation.


New Games & Things We Didn’t Predict

We got footage of a mech combat game known as Daemon X Machina coming 2019 for the Switch.

We also got a look at DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 coming September 2018.

Overcooked 2 and Killer Queen Black will come to Nintendo Switch on August 7 and Winter 2018 respectively. Hollow Knight is out on Nintendo Switch today.


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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