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Big N Breakdown’s Nintendo @E3 2015 – Part Zero: Predictions

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Welcome back siblings to the Book of Frog. Today we’re going to be trying our hand at gaming prophesy, as I take a look at what may be in story for the Nintendo E3 2015 showcase, coming in just a months time.

When it comes to trying to predict what Nintendo are going to bring to the show, you’re incredibly lucky to get even half of it right. What seems like a big game announcement to the rest of the world, in the past few years has been revealed outside of E3, or at the very end of the event as a stinger. With the advent of Nintendo Direct, it is far easier for Nintendo to keep fans of their games and systems up to date in real time, reducing the necessity for their attendance at the E3 event. Even to the extent that last year, it was believed that Nintendo wouldn’t even have a press conference. While you could argue that the “Digital Event” which was broadcast live on YouTube wasn’t a press conference in the strictest sense, it was played on a cinema screen, and throughout the weekend they had some of the best Live Panels and hands on demonstrations at the event, from the Nintendo Treehouse.

Personally I’m hoping that we get more of the same this year. Treehouse live demonstrations and discussion panels were a great way of interacting and getting the concepts across to the crowds and press, and the Digital Event certainly left a mark on my heart. That said, I do understand the importance of a live press conference, and I think a way to do this may be to release the Digital Event for 2015, and then play it in the background while further information is given live on stage. Who knows, with the random stuff that Nintendo brings to the party each year. All I know for certain is that I’m psyched and E3 isn’t for another month!

I spent a lot of time looking over a number of Nintendo’s recent financial reports and press releases, as well as piecing together a number of possible clues in other games, statements and social network posts. What I will be presenting today is list combining things that I’m expecting to see, along with a number of other announcements that I want to see. This list is going to be pretty long, so I;m going to keep it as short as possible, using a bullet point format.

 

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  • img-nx001News of the NX: While Nintendo has stated that there won’t be any announcements regarding the NX, with the recent announcement that Nintendo will start producing games for Android and iOS, it would be important for Nintendo to demonstrate that they still have a focus on their future gaming consoles. As such, even if it is just a passing reference that the project is moving forward, the NX will likely be mentioned.
  • Wii U Revamp and Price Drop: Even though the past year has been really great for Wii U owners, unfortunately the new games have not been enough to make a huge turn around in Wii U sales, as many had hoped. In addition, with the reveal of the future Nintendo console project, the NX, Nintendo will have to prove that they are still dedicated to the current generation console. They can kill two birds with one stone, by revealing a redesigned Wii U, similar to what they did with the Wii mini in 2013. The Wii U mini, Wii U lite, or New Wii U, may see a change in components making the console just as powerful for a lower cost as technology has advanced, and possibly the removal of the Wii Mode functionality, which has been preemptively facilitated by the recent release of Wii games on the eShop.
  • img-3dsbundleNew 3DS coming to US: While the US has already seen the release of the New 3DS XL, the standard size New 3DS with the all importation coloured buttons and replaceable face plates (What? You gots to be stylish! Yo!) has still not made it across the pond from Japan, Australia and Europe to the US. Recently Nintendo of Europe revealed a series of New 3DS bundles, packaged with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Alpha Sapphire (and assumedly Omega Ruby also) and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D preinstalled, and special edition face plates for the console. I believe these bundles will also be announced for a mid to late 2Q or early 3Q release this year in the US, as well as Australia and New Zealand, meaning that the US will finally get the standard size New 3DS.

 

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  • No big Game… as such: This year it really doesn’t seem like Nintendo has a particularly big game planned for reveal. We already know a lot of the big games that they have been working on, and know that games like Legend of Zelda Wii U, won;t be out until next year. Instead I think Nintendo will be pushing a multitude of new games from older IPs, some of which we’ve already seem glimpses of, and others that have been hinted at, preparing for another star packed year in 2016. I actually think the majority of the Nintendo E3 show, will be more focused on their 2016 releases, rather then the second half of 2015. Again, this strategy will be fall out from the NX announcement, as Nintendo attempts to prove that they are still thinking an entire year ahead for the Wii U console. With that said, these are the games I believe will get a big reveal in June:
  • img-starfoxStar Fox Universe: It’s no secret by now that Star Fox is coming to Wii U. If you weren’t aware, then WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE PAST ELEVEN MONTHS? I will admit there is no evidence that it’s going to be called Star Fox Universe, but it being a sci-fi starship game on the Wii *U* game it seems to make a certain amount of sense. We’ve already been teased by Shigeru Miyamoto twice with this game, and so I strongly believe that well finally get a full trailer and release date at E3.
  • Pokémon Z: If Pokémon remains as formulaic as ever, there will be a reveal for Pokémon Z at E3. As much as I enjoyed X when it first came out, I really didn’t have the time for it after a while and unfortunately, I’ve not continued to play it. Personally I think releasing Pokémon Z would be a mistake, but I still think they have this in the schedule. Personally I would rather see a Mystery Dungeon game for Wii U.
  • Retro Studios reveals it’s secret game: For a while we have been well aware that Retro Studios has been working on another exclusive project for Nintendo. We have seen that they have been hiring specialist developers for action games, and all signs SEEM to point to a new Metroid game. While I would love a new Metroid game by Retro in the style of Prime, there is something deep in side me screaming that this is not what the big reveal is going to be. So I’m going out on a wild limb and say: Nintendo and Retro Studios will reveal a new F-Zero game for Wii U. However, this img-retrobananawon’t be the standard racing game that we’ve had in the past, instead this new F-Zero game will be an action sandbox game, like a Nintendofide Grand Theft Auto in the distant future of 2216, where you play as Rick Wheeler and Captain Falcon, uncovering the dark underbelly of the racing circuit, in a similar fashion to the F-Zero Anime. With all the hints to F-Zero that are being thrown around, like Mute City and Big Blue being DLC tracks for Mario Kart, it seems Nintendo are building up to something, and I think this is what it might be. It’s probably going to be a new Metroid game though, but where’s the fun if I can’t throw out some crazy ideas in my predictions?
  • New Mario Game: Yes yes, I said above that there wasn’t going to be a big game, and I meant it. When I say New Mario Game I mean something of a side project game, rather than a brand new release, so don’t expect Mario Galaxy 3 or Super Mario 3D World 2, but my gut is telling me there is a New Mario game that will be revealed. Instead I’m thinking something along the lines of a re-release of Mario Sunshine for 3DS. Nintendo have recently been pushing some of their underachieving games back to the forefront with 3DS releases. Majora’s Mask was a good game, but sold less than half of it’s predecessor Ocarina of Time, Xenoblade Chronicles is a virtually unknown, but great game. I think Mario Sunshine fit’s into this category, and with the remake will come necessary improvements to the game. Sing your praises for Mario Sunshine all you like, the game was buggy as hell in places, especially with the messed up camera, something that would be fixed with the New 3DS C-Stick.
  • img-animalcrossingwiiuAnimal Crossing Wii U: Similar to my reasoning for F-Zero, there feels like there has been a lot of references to Animal Crossing recently, and with the recent reveal of the Animal Crossing Amiibo Cards, I have the feeling that a new home console Animal Crossing game is coming soon, and will be revealed at E3. Otherwise I wonder what benefit outside of Happy Home Designer will the Amiibo cards actually have? They need to make something of this and I think it’s all leading up to a Wii U release.
  • Mother 3: Yes I know, for yet another year I’m wishing! None the less, it was mentioned in the Digital Event last year, which shows they are more than aware that the fans want it, they have a no loss, no fuss distribution system through the eStore, Lucas was just added to the DLC line up for Smash Brothers, all they would need to do is localise it. The time feels right for Mother 3 to finally get it’s western release. Besides, I am going to predict this one every year until it actually happens.

 

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  • Mario Kart DLC Pack 3: The Nintendo Investors Financial Report for the fiscal year of 2014, and projections of 2015 talked about a future Mario Kart 8 DLC pack. Now this may have been referring to the, at the time, unreleased Pack 2, however with it already being revealed and firmly in everyones minds at the time, the financial review felt like it may have been referring to a future third installment.
  • img-smashdlcSuper Smash Brothers: There have been so many rumours of late regarding DLC characters for Sm4sh. Apparently one hacker recently decoded a bunch of information int he data files on the Wii U for Smash Brothers and discovered files for Street Fighter’s Ryu, Fire Emblem’s Roy, as well as a bunch of music relating to the two. Masahiro Sakurai said during the development of Smash 4, that if he were to include further Third Party characters they would have to be iconic of their game franchise. Well with the fans crying out for Roy to return (despite that by now it just feels like a band wagon thing), Ryu fitting the bill of iconic, and the foreknowledge that they are indeed working on other characters, it doesn’t seem like too far of a stretch that Ryu may appear as DLC in the future. Hopefully in adorable Pocket Fighter form!
  • Smash Brothers Character Ballot update: With so many people voting regularly for new character to appear in Smash Brothers in the future, I think that even if Nintendo aren’t ready to reveal the results of the poll by E3, they will at least have an update on it, so we can see who the front runners are.

 

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  • img-howamiiboHow Amiibo will work with upcoming games: If there is one thing Nintendo really need to address it’s the future of Amiibo. With the end in sight for the Smash Brothers series, excluding the DLC characters that will be released later, people are going to want to know how Nintendo intend supporting the Amiibo after the initial hype dies down. Nintendo have done well with the Amiibo Play free app, that gives you access to a free demo of a retro game with every new amiibo you touch, but they will need a lot more than demo unlocks to keep this gravy train rolling. Nintendo need to dedicate an entire section of their E3 showcase to the future of Amiibo.
  • New Amiibo Type: With that in mind, I think they will also reveal as a part of that a new Amiibo type, that will be released around the end of their year before Christmas, or the first half of next year. I honestly have no idea what this new Amiibo Type might be, with with the reveal of the Cards and the Woolen plushies, I get the feeling they will reveal something else. Maybe something like Amiibo Minis.
  • An Amiibo based Pokémon game: Since the very first insinuation of the Trading Card style Amiibos, I figured that Nintendo would eventually release a series of Pokémon Amiibo in this style, however, unless they have a game that is based around the Amiibo concept, releasing Pokémon Amiibo would be pointless. I talked briefly above about Pokémon Z being a possible part of the games line up, and maybe that game has Amiibo support, but I think it’ll go beyond that, and they will release a Pokémon Stadium style game that will use Amiibo.
  • img-smashamiiboSmash Brothers Amiibo: The Final Set of Smash Brothers Amiibo will be revealed, possibly even a first look at the Mewtwo and Lucas Amiibo. If we’re really lucky and the rumours are true, also our first look at Roy and Ryu Amiibo.
  • Super Mario Amiibo: So far as a part of the Super Mario series of Amiibo, Nintendo have released six of the thirteen characters that appear in Mario Party 10. As such the next reveal we are looking for is the final seven. There’s no good reason why these Amiibo won’t be revealed at E3. I perosonally am especially looking forward to Toadette and a new Rosalina.
  • New Amiibo Set: This slot could arguably be taken up by the Pokémon trading card Amiibo, but I think they will focus on the game, and reveal the cards as a part of that, in a similar way to how they did with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. No these new Amiibo I think will be related to a new game coming out in the future. As such I’m thinking F-Zero or Metroid from Retro Studios, Star Fox, or Legend of Zelda.

 

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  • img-zelda3030th Anniversary Announcement: I bet when you saw the title you thought “Oh Jeez… here’s another Zelda fanboy thinking Legend of Zelda needs it’s own section.” While every single bit of that is true, there is good reason. On 21st February 1986, thirty years ago, the original Legend of Zelda was released on the Nintendo Famicom. Do you really think there WON’T be a 30th Anniversary big deal made? As such I expect to see a lot Zelda related material in general at E3 this year, revealing the plans of a load of Zelda related goodies for 2016. I’m actually starting to think that Legend of Zelda Wii U was pushed back intentionally, so they can release it on 21st February 2016.
  • Legend of Zelda Wii U: Despite nintendo stating that there will not be a playable demo of LoZ Wii U at E3, and that the game will not be the focus of this E3, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be there at all, like so many media outlets have jumped to the conclusion of. I believe that there will be a new trailer, and a short progress report, as a part of their segment on Zelda’s 30th Anniversary.
  • Zelda Dungeon Maker: Nintendo’s Mario Maker isn’t even out yet and already you have so many Mario fans, chomping at the bit to get their hands on this amazing new game. Nintendo know a cash cow when they see it and my thoughts are, that with the realisation that this is going to be a huge fan favourite, so they prolonged the development process to make sure they made it exactly right, so they could make more similar games in the future. With that in mind, I think their first variant is going to be a Legend of Zelda Dungeon Maker, where you can set up traps and puzzles for your friends to play through, and share on the Miiverse. It just feels like the right direction for this maker series.
  • img-fourswordsTwo Zelda Re-releases: When word was leaked that a Zelda remake was in the works, everyone wanted Majora’s Mask, but expected a 3D remake of Twilight Princess. We were overwhelmed and overjoyed that Majora’s Mask was finally coming back! So what of Twilight Princess? I want to see Twilight Princess on 3DS. Twilight Princess is one of my favourite Zelda games, and seeing that get the treatment of Xenoblade as a New 3DS title, would be awesome. Uh… but that’s not what I think they’ll go with. The port i think we’re going to see on the 3DS is The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. Four Swords Adventures was a good game, it simply suffered from the fact is was primarily a multiplayer game, with a full story. Sure that’s great and all, but a game that is entirely co-op mode, on a home console without internet, not the best move. On 3DS however, with LAN and internet connections, Four Swords Adventures would get a well deserved new lease on life. Going back to Twilight Princess however, I think it’ll get a re-release on the Nintendo eShop.
  • Something brand new!: It’s the Year of Legend of Zelda! I once again have that gut feeling that something new is on the horizon, that isn’t Legend of Zelda for Wii U and isn’t a remake. I have no idea what it might be, my Zelda sense is just tingling. Maybe a Zelda horse racing game, or a new Bow Training, a Zelda themed WarioWare like game, maybe a new game done in the classic style, like Mega Man 9 and 10. I don’t know, but I find it hard to believe that Nintendo don’t have something up their sleeves for Legend of Zelda.

 

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There we have it, dear siblings,  these are my Nintendo predictions for E3 2016. Well… that was all, but of course as I was actually finishing off this update today, I discovered this tweet from Nintendo of America:

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This made me want to scrap the entire list of predictions that I had written and just wait for more information tomorrow, but I figured, hell, let’s get the predictions up now, before the announcement, that way I would have least said my piece before Nintendo blurt out all their plans. It may be a little redundant, but hey, just keep an eye out for the Nintendo announcement at 9AM PST, and we can count how many predictions I got wrong!

I do have a few other general comments that I’m just going to go over briefly, before I finish. Like I said at the top, I really feel like E3 is going to be used to Push 2016, and the rest of 2015 will be dealt with in Nintendo Direct streams. Nintendo really have to keep the train a-rollin’ with great games that people are going to want to play over the next year, and that can only be achieved if they continue to think six months ahead. As consumers we need to know that Nintendo are not going to leave us out to dry on the Wii U, so future continued support of the system has to be their main driving point.

I’m sure it’s not been lost on anyone what one of their most recent strategies have been with their release of a multitude of cross over games. Shin Megami Tensai X Fire Emblem, Super Mario X Puzzle Dragons, Persona X Etrian Odyssey, Zelda, Animal Crossing F-Zero represented in Mario Kart, I think there are going to be a whole lot more crossover games in the future, one I would like to see is Pokémon X Monster Hunter. And on that note, I think Mario Kart 8 is the last Mario Kart game we’re going to see, but hey, I think that may be a good thing. There is no question that Smash Brothers is a roaring success, and they appear to be testing the waters of introducing more Nintendo franchises into the Mario Kart games with the DLC packs. I think, even if it’s not going to be revealed at E3 this year, that soon, we’re going to see Nintendo Kart: All-Star Racing! Built of the exact same engine, as a continuation of the series, but this time with a much more varied roster, with tracks from all over the Nintendo Mltiverse!

Finally, I think they will reveal the first Splatoon event at E3, or just before E3 to take place over the E3 weekend. Makes sense, especially if you could watch a team of Reggie Fils-Aime, Bill Trinen, Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata, playing against you on Splatoon, LIVE on YouTube. That would be one hell of a good day!

Oh yeah… and there’s going to be a new Punch Out game… c-can you tell? It’s subtle. Hidden in the context of the NOA tweet. But Don’t let them fool you…

So what do you think about these predictions? Do you agree or disagree with my assessments? What do you think will be revealed at E3 this year? What would you like to see revealed at E3? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below! Thank you all for reading, I’m really excited for E3 this year, if you can’t tell already, and I hope you’ll join me int he future, when I dissect my favourite parts of E3 in June.

Until next time, I’ve been Andy Frogman, and this has been Big N Breakdown’s Nintendo @E3 2015 – Part Zero: Predictions, only on The Book of Frog!

Peace and Highscores everyone!

 

UPDATE: Well after actually finding out what the big reveal this morning actually was, I’m very glad I decided to post my Predictions after all.

There was no way I was going to be able to predict that they would be bringing back the Nintendo World Championship from 1990. What a move! I really hope they span multiple generations of Nintendo console, and please, PLEASE include head to head Virtual Boy Mario Tennis!

 

Yeah… probably not.