E3 2018 is days away and the major console makers set to begin their press conferences on Sunday, June 10. Shacknews has already started looking into what fans can expect to see through the next week, starting with what can be expected from the folks at Microsoft and Xbox, as well as Sony and PlayStation. That leaves Nintendo, which is plowing forward with its tried-and-true Nintendo Direct on Tuesday, June 12.
What can viewers expect to see for not just the Nintendo Switch, but also the Nintendo 3DS? Shacknews breaks down what to expect, while also offering up some wild guesses.
Settle It in Smash
The biggest story of the year so far for Switch owners has been the sudden early March announcement of Super Smash Bros. on Nintendo Switch. Beyond the news that series lead Masahiro Sakurai is back on the job, this new Smash Bros. is still shrouded in mystery.
A lot of answers should be expected during Tuesday's Nintendo Direct. Is it a new Smash Bros.? Is it an enhanced version of the Wii U Smash Bros.? What can players expect in terms of features, stages, and characters. While not everything will be revealed, at the very least expect to see some character reveals to go along with the core roster of fighters, as well as the Splatoon Inklings, who were confirmed in the game's first teaser. (In fact, hold this thought for later today, because Shacknews will expand on this topic soon.)
Also, keep in mind that new Smash Bros. information can come flying in even after the Nintendo Direct is over. Remember that there's a Super Smash Bros. E3 Invitational set to take place next week, which could reveal further info.
One of the most exciting announcements during last year's E3 Nintendo Direct was the confirmation that Metroid Prime 4 was in the works. Exactly who will be involved is not entirely known, as Nintendo only confirmed that Kensuke Tanabe would be back on production duty, but Retro Studios would not be returning.
At the very least, expect a status update on Metroid Prime 4, likely in the form of a new teaser trailer. Given that there's been no word on the new Metroid Prime's development since last year's E3, gameplay footage shouldn't be expected just yet.
Then again, Nintendo has been the master of surprise lately. Who knows? Metroid Prime 4 could be months away from release. Tuesday's Nintendo Direct should offer up some answers.
Back in December during The Game Awards, Nintendo surprised fans with the revelation that Bayonetta would return for a third game. And Bayonetta 3 would be a Nintendo Switch exclusive.
All has been quiet since then, with nary a peep from Nintendo or Platinum Games. The first two Bayonetta games released on Nintendo Switch back in February, which means everyone should hopefully be caught up by now. That means it's time to start looking ahead to the third (and final?) Bayonetta adventure, so expect to see a trailer of some sort to update viewers on the game's progress.
As was the case in December, a 2018 release is optimistic, but unlikely. If a 2018 release was in the cards, the original Game Awards teaser would have indicated so. While Platinum may have something to show off, don't expect to see Bayonetta 3 until 2019.
Back to Kanto
One of the Nintendo's biggest E3 announcements actually came last week, as The Pokemon Company revealed Let's Go Pikachu & Let's Go Eeve for the Nintendo Switch. And these games are closer than some originally thought, with a release date already set for November.
Nintendo has already confirmed that Let's Go Pikachu & Let's Go Eevee will be playable on the E3 show floor, so it stands to reason that Nintendo Direct viewers will learn more about it. In particular, there may be some lingering questions surrounding its integration with Pokemon GO, particularly how swapping Pokemon between games will work. There will also be some curiosity as to how this return to Kanto will differ from the original Red/Blue/Yellow generation or whether this will be those original games with a glorified facelift.
As long as Nintendo's getting into integration with mobile phones, what if Nintendo added in some sort of integration with the Nintendo 3DS versions of Pokemon Sun/Moon/Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon? Picture the idea of importing Kanto Pokemon into the 3DS games, where they can be raised alongside the newer generation of Pokemon?
There's also an outside chance that there could be more information on the full Pokemon RPG set to hit next year, but don't bet on it, necessarily. It wouldn't make much sense to overshadow Pikachu and Eevee with the new hotness already.
The Nintendo Online Plan
With Nintendo Directs often focused on games, it's hard to imagine that Nintendo would waste time on the intricacies of its online infrastructure. However, with arguably more people set to tune in on Tuesday than they would for a normal Nintendo Direct, Nintendo could have a larger audience on-hand that they can sell on their new online service.
With Nintendo Switch Online set to arrive in September, now would be a good time to reveal more of the games that players can expect to see. So far, there's already been an indication that 20 NES classics with online capability could be expected at launch, including Balloon Fight, Dr. Mario, Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, Ice Climber, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Soccer, Super Mario Bros., and Tennis. That leaves ten mystery titles, which could generate a lot of excitement, depending on what they are.
The loss of the Virtual Console is still stinging a handful of Switch owners. Potentially look for Nintendo to alleviate some of that pain with assurances that other classic games are being evaluated for Nintendo Switch Online, particularly those from the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64.
Ideally, Nintendo would surprise everyone with the ability to download their purchased Wii/Wii U Virtual Console games from the cloud, but that would only happen in a perfect world. Don't hold your breath for this one.
The Shacknews Outside the Box Pick
One of the biggest non-Smash surprises from Nintendo this year involved a whole new campaign for Splatoon 2 called the Octo Expansion. For $19.99, it adds an all-new story with 80 new stages. That should easily add more than 10 hours of single-player content. Wouldn't it be cool if Nintendo did that for one of its other first-party games?
Well... there is one certain big-time first-party game that's laying around at the moment.
Super Mario Odyssey has received a couple of updates over the past nine months, mainly centered around adding new hats and an online mode called Luigi's Balloon World. But what if Nintendo had a whole new batch of stages up its sleeve?
Imagine another bundle of stages containing hundreds of new Power Moons. Remember how everyone was obssessed with tracking down new Moons when Super Mario Odyssey first released? This could get that ball rolling all over again, with completionists looking to collect every last Moon laying around on all of these new worlds.
Nintendo could even go the extra mile and add new Power Moons to existing levels on top of that. Super Mario Odyssey was a joyful scavenger hunt, centered around picking up Moons in plain sight and in clever hiding spots. Thinking about where a Moon could be hiding was half the fun. It's way too early to start thinking about a new Mario game, but Odyssey could still have some life left in it.
And wouldn't that be the coolest way to end this year's Nintendo Direct?
What are you expecting to see from Nintendo and its platforms this year at E3 2018? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.