E3 2018 is just a few weeks away. The most anticipated gaming expo of the year returns to Los Angeles on June 12 and you can expect Nintendo to go all out with this year’s presentation following one of its most successful years to date.
Simply put: Nintendo is looking stronger than its has ever been. With new Pokémon and Super Smash Bros. titles already announced alongside the likes of Metroid Prime 4, Kirby Switch and a new Yoshi game for the Switch console, Nintendo is ready to make some noise.
Nintendo's newest console, the Nintendo Switch, has sold over 18 million units since its release, which means its the fastest-selling console in Nintendo's history, as well as the fastest-selling console of all time in Japan and the United States.
With so much at stake, here's how Nintendo will keep the momentum going and rule E3 2018 with yet another headline-stealing showcase.
1. Nintendo Will Smash the Competition With New Super Smash Bros.
You’ll struggle to find a better multiplayer experience than Super Smash Bros. A new title was announced for the Switch at Nintendo’s Direct presentation in March, which revealed it will feature its traditional character roster alongside new characters from Splatoon.
Nintendo hasn’t shared any new information, other than it will have gameplay demos at this year’s E3 and that its Treehouse presentation in particular will focus on the game. Given it’s one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, you can expect this year’s show to be dominated by Smash footage with new characters revealed throughout the event.
2. More Momentum with Mobile Gaming and Mini Consoles
After dipping its toes in the mobile market with the likes of Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes and Pokémon Go, it’s expected that Nintendo will reveal more information on its next run of mobile titles at E3 following the announcement of Mario Kart Tour for iOS and Android earlier this year alongside new updates to Pokémon Go.
Nintendo’s Classic Mini consoles sold out everywhere as soon as they were available for pre-order and Nintendo had to make more consoles to keep up with the incredible demand. It makes sense for Nintendo to follow up its Classic NES and Classic SNES consoles with a Classic N64 Mini, although many of the games originally on the console such as GoldenEye 007 wouldn’t be available due to licensing issues.
3. There’s a New Mainline Pokémon Title for Nintendo Switch
During last year’s Nintendo Direct showcase, Tsunekazu Ishihara, President and CEO of The Pokémon Company, announced that Game Freak is currently developing a "core Pokémon game" for the Nintendo Switch. It means this installment will count as a main entry in the series and won’t be a spin-off title like previous console entries such as Pokémon Coliseum (NGC) and Pokémon Stadium (N64).
These new titles were recently revealed to be Pokémon Let's Go! Pikachu and Pokémon Let's Go! Eevee for the Nintendo Switch and will see players return to Kanto, the setting of the original games. Nintendo also revealed that these new titles will link up with Pokémon Go for mobile.
4. Capcom Will Reveal a New Unannounced Game For Switch
Nintendo and Capcom have a history that goes way back and Nintendo consoles have had their fair share of titles developed exclusively by Capcom. It’s interesting to see that Capcom is currently listing an unannounced Action/Adventure title for the Nintendo Switch over on its exhibitor E3 page.
This could be the announcement of the Resident Evil 2 remake for the console, or it could be an all-new exclusive for the Nintendo Switch. We’ll take either.
5. More Third Party Support for the Switch
After the colossal failure of the Wii U, it’s no surprise that developers didn’t rush into supporting the Switch. Fast forward a year and 18 million sales later and we’re finally starting to see decent third-party support on a Nintendo console. Titles such as DOOM, Wolfenstein and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim show Bethesda is fully backing the console. At the time of writing, over 100,000 people are currently watching Bethesda’s Twitch channel for an imminent Fallout announcement. Could we finally see Fallout on a Nintendo console?
Fortnite is one of the most popular games of all time, with millions of players struggling to put it down, including some of the world’s biggest musicians, celebrities and professional footballers. Its overwhelming popularity means it wouldn’t be surprising to see it finally announced for the Switch. It's been rumored for a while now but an official confirmation would send fans of portable gaming over the moon.
6. Nintendo’s Greatest First-Person Shooter Series Returns
The internet collectively lost its shit at last year’s E3 when Nintendo showed a 42-second trailer showing nothing but a logo to announce Metroid Prime 4. There’s a good reason for the hype behind the announcement. If you’re not familiar with the Metroid Prime trilogy, they’re regarded as some of the greatest first-person shooter video games ever made, especially when played using the Nintendo Wii’s motion controls.
This newest installment isn’t being developed by Retro Studios who handled the original trilogy. Instead, development of the title has been handed over to Bandai Namco. Given the last new game Retro worked on was Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze four years ago it leaves us wondering when Metroid Prime 4 will see the light of day.
7. Retro Studios Will Reveal What It’s Working On
Now that Metroid Prime is in the (very safe) hands of Bandai Namco, what could Retro be working on? Given they were trusted with overseeing the transition of the Metroid series from a side-scrolling action shooter into an atmospheric, narrative-driven FPS, it wouldn’t be surprising if Nintendo handed over the reins of its forgotten IP such as the F-Zero series (which hasn’t seen a new release in 14 years).
Multiple rumors also suggest Retro might be working on an entirely different racer in the form of a spin-off Star Fox game. A new Retro game could even be entirely new IP. If it’s the same quality as their usual titles, we’ll be content with whatever gets announced.
Nintendo’s main presentation will run June 12 at 9:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET) with live-streaming events following for the remainder of the expo. We’ll be sure to keep you updated with the latest news and reveals throughout E3 2018.