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E3 2015 Predictions: Nintendo

by Kimberley Wallace on Jun 02, 2015 at 01:00 PM

E3 is once again upon us. Announcements will be made, and Nintendo will do doubt use the show to outline some of its plans for the future. The anticipation is part of the fun, so we're looking into our crystal ball to predict some of Nintendo's next moves.

More Amiibos On The Way
This is a no-brainer. Amiibos have been very successful for Nintendo, so much so the company has a hard time keeping up with the demand. While that isn't winning Nintendo any points with fans, they're still selling out fast with every new wave. We suspect Nintendo is going to capitalize on this even more at E3, announcing a new wave or two. We wouldn't be surprised if a new line was attached to Zelda or Star Fox. Furthermore, Nintendo could also do more with Amiibo cards, which they introduced with Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer. These portable cards contain Amiibo functionality, and Nintendo is likely to use them for more than just Animal crossing. We expect more franchises to be featured in Amiibo cards.

An Amiibo-Centric Game
As mentioned, Amiibos have been popular and selling well for Nintendo, but the company still hasn't found a way to make good use of them in games. We've seen more titles, such as Yoshi's Woolly World, Chibi Robo Zip Lash, and Splatoon, support Amiibos. We wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo tried to capitalize on their popularity even more by finding some creative way to put them all into a game. Knowing Nintendo, it would probably have something to do with minigames...or who knows, it could be something completely different.

Zelda Will Make Some Sort of Appearance
Nintendo already said The Legend of Zelda Wii U won't be making an appearance at E3, but we think we'll at least get a new trailer. It just doesn't feel right to have an E3 without some sort of Zelda news. Who knows? This could also mean a new handheld Zelda for the 3DS. Let's face it; Link's adventures aren't ending anytime soon.

A Wii U Price Drop
It's no secret that the Wii U has struggled to sell. Nintendo needs to give people incentive to purchase it. New IP and new iterations in popular franchises are great, but the best way to get people reaching for their wallets is a price drop and/or a good bundle. The Wii U has been out for three years now, and this seems like an opportune time to draw some more interest to it.

More Splatoon Content Arriving
Time will tell what sales are like for Splatoon, but the new IP from Nintendo certainly generated a lot of buzz and positive reception, currently holding an 81 on Metacritic. Outside of a chat feature, the biggest complaint from reviewers was not having enough content. Nintendo is promising free post-launch content to support the game, such as new stages, weapons, and a ranked battle mode called Tower Control. Nintendo confirmed a major update is set to go live in August, so it's likely we'll see some of that showcased at E3. This update promises functionality for four players to team up and battle other teams, the ability to create private eight-player matches, new items, and another new ranked battle mode, Rainmaker. We also predict Nintendo will spend way too much time talking about all of this.

Miyamoto's Projects Get Real Names And Release Dates
Last E3, Miyamoto showed off two projects still early in development dubbed Project Guard and Project Giant Robot. Both focused on the use of the GamePad – something not all Wii U games have been great at incorporating. Project Guard was all about micromanaging a security guard in a sci-fi base, while Project Robot had you fighting robots and messing around with physics. We expect Nintendo will let more out of the bag on both these projects, giving them proper names and release dates.

Coming Up Next: Animal Crossing, new games, and more DLC...

Animal Crossing Heads To Wii U
Nintendo needs Wii U games to help it sustain the platform until its next console announcement. One of its more popular properties that we haven't seen on the big screen for quite some time is Animal Crossing. It wouldn't be all that surprising to see Nintendo bring it to the Wii U to tide fans over.

Xenoblade Chronicles X Gets A Release Date
After the amazing Xenoblade Chronicles, North American fans have been anxiously awaiting Monolith Soft's spiritual successor, Xenoblade Chronicles X. The game already launched in Japan back in April, so the time is ripe for Nintendo to give a concrete release date for North America. E3 would definitely be the place to do it and generate excitement for its release.

More Smash Bros. DLC Characters Revealed
We already know Lucas is headed to Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS, but Nintendo has yet to reveal any other characters to join the fight. Nintendo had fans cast ballots for which characters they'd like to see (check out our list of hopefuls), stating it had plans for more fighters. We have a feeling E3 will be the time Nintendo announces at least one or two new DLC characters on the way.

Punch-Out Makes Its Way To Wii U
Look, we haven't seen a new Punch-Out!! game since 2009; it's about time that changed. This series has a strong legacy, and we'd love to see it come back again. Nintendo needs a few tricks up its sleeves for the Wii U, and we think it wouldn't be so crazy for Punch-Out!! to be one of them.

Fire Emblem Will Get More Love
Seeing Nintendo more dedicated to the Fire Emblem series has been a nice change of pace. Two new games are currently in the works: Fire Emblem If and Shin Megami X Fire Emblem. We expect we'll see new trailers for both, even seeing them possibly playable on the show floor. Whether E3 2015 holds more Fire Emblem Amiibos or another game of some sort, time will tell.

New Mario Kart DLC
Nintendo has been supporting Mario Kart 8 with DLC to keep you racing and mastering your karting skills. It had Animal Crossing and Zelda-themed DLC already at launch. This trend is bound to continue with one of its other properties, such as Pikmin or Star Fox.

More Free-To-Play Games
Nintendo recently tested the free-to-play waters with Pokémon Rumble World. We don't think that's the end of its free-to-play ventures. After all, many franchises are viable for this treatment. Nintendo might just have another game or two to announce in this format, and it's possible it will be announced and available for download right after its Nintendo Direct during E3.

What are some of your Nintendo predictions for this year's E3?  Also be sure to check our predictions for Microsoft and Sony.