e3 2017

E3 2017 Predictions: Nintendo

by Game Informer Staff on Jun 03, 2017 at 04:00 PM

Last year was a bit of an E3 oddity for Nintendo. The publisher/developer only showed one game in earnest: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It ultimately proved to be a smart choice, as its presence impressed many and the game has been a huge release, both critically and as a commercial launchpad for Nintendo's new console, the Switch. This year, things will be a little bit more back to normal – or at least back to Nintendo normal. This is the company that once turned its executives into puppets in the middle of a prerecorded video.

With a new console to sell and a handheld arguably enjoying the prime of its life cycle, we're hoping Nintendo will have an interesting and varied show this year. We've organized our predictions on a scale of Sure Bet, 50/50s, and Long Shots, just like we did for our third-party, and Sony predictions, and our Microsoft predictions.

Lots Of Wii U-To-Switch Ports
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch was a huge hit for Nintendo for a number of reasons. Arguably the most important is the fact that Mario Kart 8 is a fantastic Mario Kart, but the another undeniably important factor is that not many people played the game in Wii U. Despite its quality library of games, the Wii U was a dud, but the Switch offers a perfect opportunity to let players revisit those games they very likely missed. Here's our list of Wii U-to-Switch games we think we will see at the show.

  • Super Smash Bros.
  • Super Mario Maker
  • Pikmin 3
  • Xenoblade Chronicles
  • Pokkén Tournament
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Probability: Sure Bet

Super Mario Odyssey Is The Focus
What E3 2016 was for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, E3 2017 will be for Super Mario Odyssey. Nintendo has confirmed it will be at the show, and it is without a doubt the Switch's biggest game after Zelda. Splatoon 2 and Arms are both important Switch games, and they will be at the show, but Nintendo has been suspiciously quiet about Odyssey following its reveal, and we're guessing Nintendo has been saving it for E3 2017.

Probability: Sure Bet

New Amiibos For Familiar And Unannounced Games
Amiibos aren't going anywhere, and Nintendo has often includes them in their Directs and presentations. We're guessing we will see Amiibos for Arms, Super Mario Odyssey, Ever Oasis, and a handful of new games that will be revealed at the show.

Probability: Sure Bet

Nintendo 3DS Is Still Very Much Alive
Despite Nintendo successfully launching a new handheld platform with the Switch, the Nintendo 3DS is not going anywhere. Nintendo already confirmed it will be featuring 3DS games as part of its E3 plans, and we're guessing whatever is shown will lock in support for the 3DS for another year or two, if not more.

Probability: Sure Bet

We Learn What The Heck Mario X Rabbids: Kingdom Battle Is
Leaked a few weeks ago, it appears Ubisoft is partnering with Nintendo for a crossover between Mario and Rabbids. All we know about it so far is the image seen above. Either on Ubisoft's stage, or during Nintendo's spotlight presentation, or maybe during one of its Treehouse livestreams, we will get to see what this game is. And no, this game is not going to be on our E3 cover.

Probability: Sure Bet

A New Metroid
Optimism for a new Metroid is dangerous. The last few core Metroid entries have proven to be real monkey-paw situations. Metroid: Other M was a disappointment, despite the talented team behind it, and Metroid Prime: Federation Force was simply not what we wanted from the series. Federation Force's developer, Next Level Games, could be working on a new more traditional Metroid game; we haven't heard from Retro in awhile (more on that it the next entry); and who knows? Maybe the reason Scalebound was canceled was because Platinum was too busy working on a new Metroid to devote the right resources to the ill-fated Xbox One exclusive. We're far from the sure bet camp for a new Metroid, but we're not ready to give up hope yet.

Probability: 50/50

For more of E3 2017 Nintendo predictions, head to page two.

A New Game From Metroid: Prime Creators Retro
And speaking of Metroid, the developer that created Metroid: Primes 1-3, Donkey Country Returns, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has been suspiciously quiet. The studio's last game, Tropical Freeze, released in 2014, which means it's about time to learn what it is working on. It might be a new Metroid, it might be a new Donkey Kong, but there is just as much potential for Retro to be working on an original IP, or another neglected Nintendo franchise. We're hopeful we will learn what the studio is up to at E3.

Probability: 50/50

New Details For The Legend Of Zelda
In terms of Zelda, 2017 is the year of Breath of the Wild. While Nintendo has, in all likelihood, begun development for whatever is next for Zelda, we don't think we will be learning about it this year. Even Breath of the Wild's planned DLC will likely be a no-show at E3, but we're giving this a 50/50 rating because it would be a very easy, "One more thing..." to add to Nintendo's spotlight presentation on Tuesday morning.

Probability: 50/50

The Switch's Virtual Console Detailed With A Few Games Made Available Immediately
We still don't know exactly what's in store for the Switch's Virtual Console, but we're hopeful that we will learn more at E3. On Friday, Nintendo detailed its online plans and pricing, specifically calling out Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario as games that have the potential to be included with the service. But what about the games that aren't included in the Nintendo's online subscription plan? We might not get the long-term picture or a schedule of releases, but we think Nintendo will open the Virtual Console doors by releasing a few games immediately. We're thinking that before the end of E3, you will be able to play the NES games Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda on Switch.

Probability: 50/50

Switch Third Party Will Be Second String
The Switch has already been successful enough that third parties can't and shouldn't ignore Nintendo's console, but we're predicting its future will reflect what happened with the Wii and its competition. Publishers like EA will release games like Madden and FIFA for Switch, but they won't be direct ports of the versions we are seeing on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Third parties will instead opt to create original games for the system, or have downgraded Switch versions of the franchises people know. The Switch simply can't keep up with the technical capabilities of its competition, and at E3 we will start to see how that affects its library.

Probability: 50/50

SNES Classic Edition Console Debuts
Considering the bizarre fate of the NES Classic Edition, which was, by nearly every account except for Nintendo's, killed prematurely, we're not holding out breath for an SNES version of the console. Rumors did circulate earlier this year, however, that one was one the way, and that it would release in 2017. The timeframe makes E3 a pretty good time to reveal it – if it is in fact a real thing.

Probability: 50/50

Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 HD For Switch
Assuming Nintendo will put most of its weight behind Super Mario Odyssey and try to get people excited for it, a Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 HD collection for Switch would be the perfect way to build excitement for the next 3D Mario. This is something we wanted to see on Switch (especially after the HD upgrades Wind Waker and Twilight Princess received) and E3 2017 would be a great place to show it off.

Probability: Long shot


Mother 3 Localized For Switch Or 3DS Virtual Console
There's a good reason this is a long-shot, but you can't blame us for hoping, can you? In 2015, Nintendo released the never-released-in-America Mother for NES, fully translated, for the Wii U Virtual Console. Now is the time to release the game fans have been clamoring for for years. Nintendo – we'll take it on either of your platforms (preferably both), and we promise we will stop bugging you about it.

Probability: Long shot