E3 2014 is just a week away, and I could not be more excited for this years show. There is so much to look forward to when it comes to this years E3 conferences and games on display. All three major console manufacturers have a lot riding on these presentations. Whether it is Sony trying to keep up their momentum as the market leader in the current generation of consoles. Microsoft is trying to remove the bad publicity and public image the Xbox One has among gamers after last years E3 reveal. And Nintendo is trying to justify the Wii-U’s existence to the market and prove not only it’s value as a console, but also Its Gamepad controller. It will be very interesting to see what exactly all three companies will have planned for next week.
I have never done E3 predictions before in a format like this. But this year I decided to be adventurous and throw my ideas out there for others to see. This week I am going to give my predictions for the company I am most excited to see, and that is of course Nintendo. I’m going to lay these out into two categories as a way to keep this piece as organized as possible. I’ll start with the obvious, or what I perceive as the obvious and then move on to predictions.
Official 3DS and Wii-U Smash Bros. Release Dates
This is something I think most people expect to see during this conference.During the Smash. Bros. Direct in April, Nintendo already announced some vague release schedule for theses two games. Smash Bros. 3DS is scheduled for a summer release, and the Wii-U version is releasing later in the winter. Similar to Pokemon X and Y Nintendo is going to try for a simultaneous release of these titles worldwide, or at least only a few days apart. Smash Bros. is a huge franchise for them, and they will want to cut-down on as many spoilers as possible. My heart wants it to release in July, but my brain tells me that is just not going to happen. Smash Bros. 3DS will release August 15th. Smash Bros. Wii-U is most likely Nintendo’s huge Christmas title. I see this game getting released when most games like that are for Nintendo. I believe Smash Bros. Wii-U will release November 14th.
New Trailers/Release Dates for Announced Wii-U Games
To keep this post semi-condensed I’m going to categorize all these into one section. There are three specific titles that come to mind, these games are Bayonetta 2, Yarn Yoshi, and Monolift Softs X. These titles will be released this year. This is due to Nintendo traditionally cramming most their console releases in the fall and winter as of late. Considering we have seen the most of Bayonetta 2 at this point I think it is pretty safe to say this title will release first, and that it will probably be released late August to early September. Even though we have seen almost nothing of Yarn Yoshi I am still confident this will come out this year as well. Ever since New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Nintendo has made it a point to release a platformer every year during holidays. I doubt that changes this year, especially with how well Kirby’s Epic Yarn was critically received. I expect it will fall into the October release window. Monolift Softs X is honestly the only title I’m not confidant on for this list. I could easily see this title slipping into the early 2015 window. But I will go against my better judgment and say it will get slated for sometime in December of this year, before Christmas.
New Smash Bros. Character Reveal
This is one that I think is fairly obvious. Almost every Nintendo Direct we have gotten recently has revealed a character on the roster, whether they are new or just a returning vet. This is anyone’s guess and it could be anything. But I am going to take a guess and say that because Namco Bandai is helping them develop the game, they will want representation in some form within the game. I think Pac-Man makes a lot of sense as the next character revealed. We have already seen him represented in fighting games like Street Fighter X Tekken. And I think him being in smash bros. along with Mario, Sonic, and Megaman just makes too much since. I’ll be happy with the reveal whether I am right or not though. I just love hearing about new Smash Bros. whenever we get it.
Mario Kart 8 Season Pass
This is another that I think is going to happen. Nintendo is looking for new revenue streams, and have embraced DLC in some of their more recent games. Games like Fire Emblem or Mario Golf World Tour which the latter actually already includes a season pass. I think that it will be a series of four different DLC packages, and each with include a new character, and a Grand Prix. I also would not be surprised to see if Nintendo tries to make its new NFP(Nintendo Figurine Platform)work in some way with it. I love Mario Kart 8 so this is something I am definitely looking forward too.
Zelda Wii-U is Officially Revealed
Considering Nintendo has already confirmed it will be at E3 this is an easy one to say. The hardest part honestly is predicting exactly what will be at E3, and what will it look like? I am hoping for fully playable demo. At least than we can gauge how far in development they are with the game. While just a trailer would be disappointing, I would settle for that, if it included some in-game footage. I am hoping that they follow something like the art style in Skyward Sword or something unique that we have not seen before. But I am sure either way it will look great, and I will be just as excited for Zelda.
Trademark S.T.E.A.M is Miyamoto’s New IP and It is an FPS
There are a couple of reasons why I think this is true. Though most of it is just speculation and more than likely wishful thinking. Miyamoto did confirm just last year that he and Nintendo are working on a new IP. So we have known for a while now that Nintendo is working on something new. And E3 seems like the perfect place to reveal it.
Back on April 7th of this year Nintendo of America filed a trademark claim for a title called Codename S.T.E.A.M.(Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace). It was also reported recently that Nintendo of Japan made the same trademark claim. As I stated before this is all speculation, but the title includes Strike Team. From my perspective that gives off the feeling of some type of shooter. Whether it is from a first or third person perspective, or even if this trademark will lead to anything significant is anyone’s guess.
The reason this all leads me to believe it is a First-Person shooter is because, Back on June 12th 2012 Miyamoto stated that he does have interest in making an FPS game. Miyamoto was quoted in an interview with Kotaku as saying the following ‘’I actually do want to make an First-Person Shooter,’’ but I don’t have the time.’’ The obvious part to consider is that he did finish that statement with ''I don’t have the time''. But he was working with Nintendo EAD on Pikmin 3 and Next Level Games with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon at this point. But Miyamoto also had some pretty interesting ideas when it came to the type of FPS he would like to make. Miyamoto went on to say ‘’Rather than necessarily the question of ‘what kind of weapon do I have?’ in a first-person shooter or ‘what kind of effect does that have on an enemy?’, I think that the structure of a first-person shooter is something that’s very interesting,’’ ‘’Having that 3-D space that in theory you are in and being able to look around and explore that–particularly being able to do that in conjunction with another person–is very interesting.’’ Miyamoto would obviously like to make a more deliberate first-person shooter game. Rather than the traditional action-packed military first-person shooters we are used to these days. Miyamoto even gave some brief thoughts on how the Wii-U Game-pad could work in a game like this. Miyamoto brought up following concept ‘’Well if you’re playing a first person-shooter and you have the game up on the television and you have your sub-screen below [in the Game-pad controller], within that game world you’re able to turn in all directions around you.’’ This is similar to what we have seen before in Wii-U games like Game and Wario or Nintendoland. None of this confirms that he is making an FPS, but it shows he at least has some concepts on how exactly he would like to make one if the opportunity presented itself.
Battalion Wars 3
This is simply wishful thinking on my part. I was going to just throw the typical F-Zero out their. But I think the Wii-U at this time needs titles that do a good job distinguishing themselves from one another. And with Mario Kart 8 just releasing, I don’t think Nintendo wants to pull any attention away from that game. Last year the Wii-U had Rayman Legends, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3-D World, and Sonic Lost World. That’s a lot of plat forming even if they are all unique from one another. I think a Strategic Game like Battalion Wars would stand out pretty well on the Wii-U. And I think the Game-pad could lend some interesting control configurations when it comes to managing all those troops. I highly doubt this will happen, but I am still optimistic.
Wii Music U is a Thing
This probably going to be the biggest disappointment for people. Wii Music was not Nintendo’s biggest success when it came to the Wii-series of games. It was critically panned for the most part, and was overall lackluster in its music choice, game modes, and control set-up. Miyamoto has expressed interest though in the past as wanting to revisit Wii Music and how he would improve upon, and recently there was a patent that surfaced that looked an awful lot like a concept for Wii Music on Wii-U. Rhythm games sort of faded out in popularity among most people. But all that means in my opinion is that Nintendo has an opportunity to capitalize on a market that is relatively untouched at this time. Wii Music had a lot of potential, and I would love to see it realized in a sequel.
Mystery 3DS game is…Star Fox
This is something that is a wild guess. The safe bet is probably Majora’s Mask 3-D. But I want to give a different perspective with this one. I think that Nintendo’s biggest concern is that they simply don’t know what to do with the Star Fox franchise. Would people really pay $60 for a rails shooter? A game they released last generation by the name of Sin and Punishment: Star Successor would say otherwise. But that could easily be attributed to the fact that it is a niche series. I think a 3DS release of a traditional star fox game makes a lot of sense. They already have an engine in place from Star Fox 3-D, and it would not be nearly the financial risk as a full console release would. Add in a well-built multiplayer mode, and I think Nintendo would be in business. I am sure some fans would still be disappointed by this, because of it being on a handheld and not on a console. But I think Nintendo shows a lot of good will to those fans who want a new Star Fox, and gives themselves minimal financial risk in the process.
Of course I could be completely wrong on most of these and none should be taken as truth. I hope for the most part I am wrong on most of these honestly. Because I love being surprised at E3 even more than I love being right. Nintendo is the type of company that does a great job at keeping things under wraps. But they do sometimes leave subtle clues about their future plans. I am incredibly excited for this years E3 and I hope you all find something to enjoy about this year. Whether it is from Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo for that matter. Let know what you think of my predictions, or even share some of your Ideas in the comments . HAVE A WONDERFUL E3 WEEK EVERYONE!
Totilo, Stephen. "The Creator of Mario and Zelda Wants to Make a First-Person Shooter."Kotaku. N.p., 13 June 2012. Web. 5 June 2014. <http://kotaku.com/5918095/the-creator-of-mario-and-zelda-wants-to-make-a-first-person-shooter>.
Sheridan, Connor . "Nintendo patent may outline Wii Music U - CVG US."ComputerAndVideoGamescom Multiformat RSS. N.p., 22 May 2014. Web. 5 June 2014. <http://www.computerandvideogames.com/464680/nintendo-patent-may-outline-wii-music-u/>.
Campbull, Evan. "Nintendo Files 'Code Name S.T.E.A.M.' Trademark - IGN." IGN. N.p., 7 Apr. 2014. Web. 5 June 2014. <http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/04/07/nintendo-files-code-name-steam-trademark>.