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The E3 2017 Game Plan: Nintendo – E3 2017

The E3 2017 Game Plan: Nintendo – E3 2017

Each year I struggle a bit in coming up with a semi-cheesy way to introduce E3 season.

Last year, I think I talked about father time continuously pushing the calendar, time marching on, or something along those lines.

This year let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?

It’s FRIGGIN E3 SEASON!

masterchiefhappeninggif

If you are playing games and somehow don’t get excited at the prospect of what could go down at the annual super-gathering of the industry’s insider’s, then what more can I say?

You kinda stink.

For the rest of us, E3 represents a gaming Christmas: a potential bonanza of dreams becoming reality.

Last year there was a ton of uncertainty. Would Sony be able to top their now legendary “E3 of Dreams“? Would Microsoft really announce multiple new iterations of the Xbox One? Would Nintendo be competitive with their decision to showcase a single game?

Now as we enter E3 2017, the tables are turned, and each of the big three have new stakes riding on the big show.

Sony – Can they remain the undisputed king and keep excitement high for the PlayStation 4?

Microsoft – Will Project Scorpio revitalize Xbox One development, or is this a desperate last stand?

Nintendo – Now that the sleeping giant has awoken, how much steam will the Nintendo Switch really have?

These are all fascinating questions that will play out over the next several weeks, and we here at NerdBacon will be on hand to bring you the answers.

Today, we begin our annual series on what’s on the line for the three major console manufacturer’s with a look at Nintendo, and their journey to E3 2017.

Please keep in mind that this article is based solely on my opinion and speculation. I don’t have any inside info on what may or may not be presented at their respective conferences and I may be entirely off-base on my predictions, however if I somehow manage score at least a 90% on those predictions, I respectfully request that you honor my mental acumen by sending me a box of cookies.


 

Nintendo

In gathering my thoughts on Nintendo’s previous year, I was struck by how drastically time can have an effect on the same question. In this case: What will Nintendo show at E3 this year?

Last year, it was a question of concern.

This was pretty much the image hanging over Nintendo's head as they entered last year's E3.

This was pretty much the image hanging over Nintendo’s head as they entered last year’s E3.

Nintendo, fresh off of having just announced the delay into 2017 of what would eventually become known as the Nintendo Switch, proclaimed that they would only be focusing on one title at E3 2016: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which would also not reach the public until 2017.

This didn’t bode well for a company that needed something, anything, to provide them with a high profile cushion to prop the beleaguered Wii U console for its final holiday season, while the world waited for the Switch.

Yes, there were other projects on the 2016 horizon, however, those projects had a lot of uncomfortable questions with potentially painful answers surrounding them.

Could the new Legend of Zelda title really be good enough to single-handedly carry Nintendo’s presence at E3?

Did the summer phenomenon known as Pokemon Go whet the appetite of the public for a new mainline Pokemon entry on a dedicated portable console? Or, did the world still want Pokemon Sun and Moon now that they had the chance to play a simplified, free-to-play version on their smart devices?

Would Nintendo’s plans to bring their IP to mobile devices be a success, or a nail in a coffin?

Whether through sheer luck, a savvy understanding of what consumers want, or more likely, a combination of both, the answers to all of these questions turned solidly in Nintendo’s favor.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ended up being a masterpiece.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ended up being a masterpiece.

Yes, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was not only good enough to steal the show – it’s subsequent release in March of 2017 received an astounding number of perfect 10 score’s from reviewers, who heralded it as the best Legend of Zelda game since 1998’s Ocarina of Time. Not only was Breath of the Wild good enough to carry Nintendo’s E3 2016, but it also carried the launch of their new console: Switch, standing as one of the best games of the past decade.

As for Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon? They only became the fastest selling entries in the 20 year Pokemon franchise, proving the world still adores Pikachu.

Mario on mobile? Super Mario Run dominated the sales charts; earning $14 million dollars in it’s first 3 days.

Nintendo also had another ace up their sleeve: The NES Classic Edition.

This miniaturized version of Nintendo’s original console became the sensation of the 2016 holiday season. Stores struggled to keep them in stock, scalpers earned loads of extra cash, and the voracious appetite of the news cycle fed off the combination of the two.

Then in October, Nintendo finally lifted the shroud of mystery regarding their next console.

The Nintendo Switch shocked the world with its concept of being a hybrid between a dedicated home console and a portable gaming device.

The Nintendo Switch represented a radical sea-change for Nintendo

The Nintendo Switch represented a radical sea-change for Nintendo

Released in March of 2017 with the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as it’s flag-bearer, the Nintendo Switch is currently enjoying fantastic success.

As is typical with a Nintendo release, the supply of units to stores has been suppressed, which gives each new shipment the feeling of a brand new event. Headlines are produced when a major retailer is expected to get stock, people on the fence decide to jump in and grab a Switch, just in case the opportunity doesn’t arise again for sometime, and the Nintendo machine keeps on rolling.

So now the question “what will Nintendo show at E3 this year” turns from concern, to excited anticipation:

What will Nintendo show at E3 this year!?

And it’s that shift in perception that makes Nintendo the most exciting company to watch this year.


The Big Picture

Nintendo will be trying to do everything they can to stoke the hype-fire for the Nintendo Switch as it prepares to enter its first holiday season on the market (fun fact: E3 2017 will actually be the Switch’s first E3 appearance) so there is every potential for the company to pull out all of the proverbial stops.

So let’s talk about what Nintendo has up their sleeve for this year.

Nintendo’s E3 2017 will be the coming out party for Super Mario Odyssey.

We haven’t seen anything on the game other than a trailer shown during January’s reveal event for the Nintendo Switch. What we do know so far, is that Super Mario Odyssey will be a welcome (in my opinion) return to the Super Mario 64 sandbox-style of gameplay. The question however, is how much innovation will this new entry exhibit. The Mario series has a pedigree unlike any other; so a merely “good” game is going to be a letdown.

While trepidation over failure may prevent other companies from advancing beloved series’, (yeah, I’m talking about Valve and their fear of producing Half-Life 3: Man up you cowards!) that’s not going to stop Nintendo. I fully expect Super Mario Odyssey will be a triumphant return for the world’s pluckiest plumber, and this game will receive many “game of the show” awards from various outlets attending E3 2017.

Two big titles that are right around the corner are ARMS, releasing June 16th, and Splatoon 2, releasing July 21st.

ARMS just may be the surprise hit of the summer.

ARMS just may be the surprise hit of the summer.

Their close proximity to E3 2017 means that Nintendo won’t have to spend a whole lot of time promoting the duo during their signature Nintendo Direct presentation; although I do expect a bit of time will be devoted to Splatoon 2 news during the event. Most likely we will hear about some new modes, or perhaps another test fire event taking place prior to the game’s launch.

Two potential storm clouds that are looming on Nintendo’s E3 2017 horizon will be their plans for online service on the Nintendo Switch.

Previously, online play on a Nintendo console has cost players nothing, however, no free lunch lasts forever. We know that they are planning to follow Sony and Microsoft and introduce a paid Nintendo network service this fall that will operate in a similar way to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live. We also know that the plan on offering a monthly incentive game from their legendary backlog, however, unlike Sony and Microsoft’s subscription incentives, access to Nintendo’s free offering will expire after a month.

To me, that’s ludicrous.

Why in the world should anyone have to pay for what was previously free, and only get a glorified rental in return?

Hopefully Nintendo will have some sweet extras to go along with subscriptions into that service, but more importantly, I hope that they don’t plan on following Sony and Microsoft by charging $60 a year.

Nintendo will have to remember their younger demographic and price accordingly; but they don’t really have to.

After offering Switch owners free access to online matches in Mario Kart 8: Deluxe and the soon-to-be-released ARMS and Splatoon 2, what player is really going to balk and go without the subscription, and its access to online play?

Oh, so you think you're going to make me pay now to play Mario Kart 8: Deluxe online?...*sigh* here's my money..

Oh, so you think you’re going to make me pay now to play Mario Kart 8: Deluxe online?…*sigh* here’s my money..

Might as well start cutting off my fingers at that point.

The other potential storm cloud is the impending debut of the Virtual Console for the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo has been mum on the subject, other than to say that there will be one, but I think E3 2017 will be the point where they lay out exactly what it is they are planning on that front.

I believe that the VC will be headlined by the ability to play Nintendo GameCube titles. Expect internet elation over F-Zero GX being announced as a launch title, and a full-on meltdown at Super Smash Bros. Melee, which will arrive later on.

But what will really cause jubilation among the hard-core Nintendo faithful will be the announcement of the long-requested English translation of Mother 3..

That would be Earthbound 2 for us in the U.S.

NeoGaf will literally cry. Like, you’ll pull up the website and real tears of joy will start seeping through your monitor.

It will be weird.

The only negative on the Virtual Console front is cost. How much will Nintendo expect us to pay for downloadable GameCube titles?

Mother 3 will be on the Switch - it's money in the bank..

Mother 3 will be on the Switch – it’s money in the bank..

While the jury is still out regarding Nintendo’s online service and Virtual Console plans, the rest of their E3 2017 outlook is pretty bright.


Predictions

Super Mario Odyssey won’t be the only game staring Mario this year.

Kotaku confirmed that the long-rumored Mario RPG crossover with Ubisoft’s Rayman series’ Rabbids is real, and will be released released for the Nintendo Switch this fall.

I have no idea how this is going to work, other than the game is in the same vein as the Paper Mario titles, and will be pretty off-the-wall.

This is apparently happening...

This is apparently happening…

While that crossover sounds strange on paper, there is a lot of potential there for a real gem. Ubisoft has a pretty good sense of humor, as does the Paper Mario series. So we may be in-store for a real comedy classic.

Another rumored title that I think will be announced is a Nintendo Switch version of Pokemon!

Just as Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue merged to become Pokemon Yellow, so too will Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon merge to become Pokemon Stars.

We’ll have to see what all this updated game will offer, especially for those that jumped in on Pokemon Sun and Moon, but any Pokemon title released for the Switch is going to print money. What will be really interesting though, is whether Pokemon Stars will be a Switch exclusive, or if there will also be a Nintendo 3DS version.

Joining Super Smash Bros. Melee’s VC announcement will be the full-on Switch version of Super Smash Bros.

Much like Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, the Switch Smash will be an enhanced port of the Wii U version, with all the previous DLC included. I expect a few interesting new characters will also make an appearance to keep the Switch Smashing fresh: I’m willing to bet some dough on Solid Snake making a return.

Take more of my money!

Take more of my money!

I expect that Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch will arrive in early 2018, although I could be off on that, as the final Amiibo’s for the Wii U and 3DS version’s are set to arrive in July. (I don’t generally buy Amiibo’s, but I’m going to be all over the Cloud and Bayonetta release!)

On the Nintendo 3DS front, I don’t expect much.

While they still have a huge install base that’s out there, I believe most of the main development has moved over to the Switch.

Titles surrounding Kirby‘s 25th anniversary celebration will be the anchor of the 3DS holiday lineup, but other than that, I expect that the age of dual systems has come to an end. Next year will see the final major releases for a Nintendo portable.

There should be some surprises from third party developer’s as well.

From Software will debut their exclusive game. While they could go the safe route and give us a Dark Souls compilation, I think they are developing something totally original. This is a good thing, as their last console exclusive, Bloodborne for the PlayStation 4, is generally regarded as one of the best games on that system.

Platinum Games will also have a new Switch exclusive to show. My fingers are crossed for Bayonetta 3!

I'm so ready for a new Bayonetta game. PLEASE PLATINUM!

I’m so ready for a new Bayonetta game. PLEASE PLATINUM!

I also think Capcom will cozy up a bit to the Switch. They already released one exclusive in Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challenger’s, but I don’t think they are done yet.

In my 2017 predictions article, I stated my belief that Capcom would be celebrating the 30th anniversary of Mega Man in a big way: by announcing a brand-new entry in the series!

I’m going all-in: Mega Man is coming exclusively for the Nintendo Switch!

Finally, Square Enix.

What does good ol’ Square Enix have up their sleeve for the Nintendo’s new machine?

I’m still confident that we are going to see an announcement for a Switch version of Kingdom Hearts III. I don’t have anything to go on other than my guts on this one.. but my guts are pretty savvy.

I do expect them to announce that their Seiken Densetsu (Secret of Mana in the U.S.) compilation will head west this holiday. Wouldn’t it be cool to play Secret of Mana on the Switch, and be able to have a friend with a Switch network in online, or via a wireless connection??

I still think Kingdom Hearts III will arrive on the Switch.

I still think Kingdom Hearts III will arrive on the Switch.

My prayer’s as always, revolve around a Chrono Trigger revival.

One other thing on the horizon for Nintendo that could be announced at E3 2017 will be the confirmation of the SNES Classic Edition. We all know it’s coming this holiday, so we’ll have to wait and see if Nintendo will choose E3 as the venue to showcase it.

We’ve covered a lot, but I think Nintendo will have one last surprise for us to close out their Nintendo Direct presentation.

The screen will grow dark..

We’ll hear a sound effect.. familiar, yet foreign.

The realization of what we are about to see will start creeping in.

Goosebumps’s will start rising on our skin, as our eyes collectively widen in anticipation of what we see a few precious seconds later:

We hear a familiar voice

Samus!

METROID!

Nintendo will close out E3 2017 with a trailer of what will instantly become the most anticipated game of 2018: Metroid for the Nintendo Switch.

Metroid's return will close out Nintendo's E3 2017 presentation. - image by transfuse, deviantart.com

Metroid‘s return will close out Nintendo’s E3 2017 presentation. – image by transfuse, deviantart.com

Every gaming forum will melt down, and I’ll probably cry – a lot.

Take that Tuesday off and join me on twitch.tv/nerdbacon, as I stream Nintendo’s E3 2017 Direct presentation and react to it live.


And there you have it. My thoughts on what Nintendo will show this year at E3.

What do you think about Nintendo’s potential E3 2017 lineup? Think my predictions are right on, or am I off my nut? Put your brain-nuts in the comments section below.

Written by The Watchman

The Watchman


The Watchman is a journeyman gamer who has seen and played a good chunk of gaming history.
He’s also an actor, a reporter, a pro wrestling connoisseur, and some say he’s a cat whisperer.
If you have any questions or just want to drop me a line, hit me up at thewatchman@nerdbacon.com
Or follow me on Twitter @DavetheWatchman
You can also game with me!
Look me up on Xbox Live @ DJKhadoken
Or on PlayStation Network @ Eaglevision_dl

 
 

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  1. Nerdberry
    Nerdberry says:

    FANTASTIC article Dave! I agree on numerous things mentioned here. 1. Super Mario Odyssey WILL be a big hit and will be game of the show. And 2. ARMS will be a smash hit game this summer. Kids out of school and late night sleepovers will make it a resounding success with tweens and high school students.

    But seriously though… how exciting is the prospect of Super Mario Odyssey and Mario’s return to the sandbox ?! To me, that brings back awesome memories of Super Mario 64 in its debut year. It might not be revolutionary the way SM64 was, but it will turn heads and excite. That’s for sure.

     

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