Nintendo is hosting a Nintendo Direct on Wednesday, September 13th and it will feature upcoming 3DS and Switch games primarily with a runtime of 40 minutes, twice as long as Nintendo’s E3 Spotlight. With their next huge game releasing next month, it’s a no-brainer that Super Mario Odyssey will make an appearance, so that will not be one of my predictions. Lets just get that out of the way now. So onto the predictions!
#1 - Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Gets a Release Date
First revealed at the Nintendo Switch Presentation in January 2017, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has always been slated to release in 2017. However, to date, not even a month has been given. Yet, both Nintendo and Monolith Soft insist that the game is still on track to release by the end of the 2017. As Nintendo’s third heavy hitter of 2017, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 would make an excellent title to help drive holiday sales. This Nintendo Direct is the perfect opportunity for them to finally set the worldwide 2017 release in stone with a month and day so that gamers can mark their calendars.
#2 - Fire Emblem Switch Will Receive a Teaser
Revealed during a special Fire Emblem Direct in January 2017, Intelligent Systems and Nintendo made it official that Fire Emblem would finally be returning to home consoles. Fire Emblem Echoes, a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, was likely the last hurrah for the 3DS Fire Emblem RPG’s, with Fire Emblem Warriors releasing for the Switch and New 3DS in October. This Fire Emblem RPG is slated for 2018 and exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, and given its release date, it’s definitely a primary Fire Emblem title akin to Awakening and Fates. We’ve heard nothing about this title since its initial reveal, so it feels right that Nintendo at least show a story teaser for the game during the Direct.
#3 - Super Smash Bros. Deluxe Appears in Some Form
Nintendo is slowly, but surely re-releasing their Wii U library on the Nintendo Switch, a second lease on life for these games. So far we’ve gotten Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and we’re getting Pokken Tournament Deluxe this month. The obvious next “Deluxe” release would be Super Smash Bros. The only real difference being that, unlike the previous two definitive editions, this game would be a combined version of the 3DS and Wii U versions, perhaps with the inclusion of characters that were left out due to processor limitations introduced by the 3DS version. Announcing this game, even if it doesn’t release until 2018, would make the Direct an instant success.
#4 - Pokemon Switch Will NOT Appear or Even Be Mentioned
Everyone is excited for a core Pokemon RPG to be coming to the Nintendo Switch. We’re not talking another Pokemon-lite game like Colosseum or XD, and it’s certainly not Pokemon Snap or a battle arena game. It’s a full on Pokemon game and Game Freak is going to use the power of the Switch to create a Pokemon game that would not be possible on 3DS... but we won’t hear about it here. Quite frankly, the game is likely still in the early stages of development. The team has an idea, they have a grasp of the system, and work has likely begun. But it likely didn’t begin in earnest until sometime this year and to build a Pokemon game from scratch is likely no easy task. It’s likely a 2019 title and showing even a teaser this early would not only be unusual for Game Freak and The Pokemon Company, but just premature in general. If anything, we’ll see Pokemon UltraSun and UltraMoon, because I know people are so hyped for that game.
#5 - Metroid Prime 4 is a No-Show
This is honestly the same deal as Pokemon Switch. They were both announced to generate hype, but neither are close to enough to release to feature in this Nintendo Direct. As much as I’d love to see even a teaser of what Samus will look like in HD, it isn’t going to happen. It’s too soon.
#6 - Third Parties Blindside Fans
This is a general prediction. Third parties have been a big point for the Switch. They at least have some faith in the Switch as a console and have been testing the waters. Capcom, Sega, and Ubisoft have all found some measure of success on the Switch so far with EA’s trials to come. This year and next year are important for third parties because it will decide the third party fate of the Nintendo Switch. Throughout the year, there have been rumors about older games coming to the Switch such as Dark Souls, and recently it was revealed that L.A. Noire would be coming to Switch with Switch exclusive features. No one expected that to happen, and I feel like there may be more surprises like that coming in this Direct. Perhaps Grand Theft Auto V for Switch? That would be huge. A full GTA game on the go.
#7 - Pikmin 4 Makes an Appearance
Pikmin 3 is one of my favorite Wii U games, and while it would be great to get a Switch version of Pikmin 3, we already know that Pikmin 4 is in development for Switch based on interviews with Miyamoto. According to rumors, it was placed on the backburner while Miyamoto helped move games like Super Mario Odyssey along, but that it was pretty much done at the time. If it truly is that close to being released, this Direct would be the perfect time to make it official with a trailer and Early 2018 release date.
#8 - Either the First 3DS to Switch Port Will Appear, or a 3DS Franchise Will Jump to Switch
The Nintendo Switch has more than enough power to play 3DS games. The only real snag is that it lacks a second screen and thus ports would require some gameplay reworking to function correctly. However, it’s not impossible, especially if it’s a brand new game developed exclusively for the Switch. Phoenix Wright and Professor Layton come to mind as two likely candidates for either treatment. It could be anything of course, so if you know of any series that might make the jump, keep them in mind while watching the Direct.
So Where Are All The 3DS Predictions?
Yeah, I got none. It’s not a secret that I believe the 3DS is currently on life support and will last at most a few more years before quietly being set aside in favor of the Switch. It still has a few noteworthy titles coming, such as Metroid: Samus Returns, Pokemon US/UM, Fire Emblem Warriors, and maybe a few others, but Pokemon is a last hurrah, and Fire Emblem Warriors is likely to be the last FE related title to hit the platform. I feel that the 3DS’ presence in the Direct will be overshadowed by the Switch titles, which may even include a new Animal Crossing game.
Bonus Prediction - F-Zero Switch Developed By Shin’en Multimedia
For those not familiar with the developer, Shin’en Multimedia are the developers and publishers behind the Fast Racing series, the latest release being Fast RMX on Switch. They’ve got the sense of speed down and quite frankly I feel like they’d be the best choice for an F-Zero revival. Now, not knowing about how long this theoretical game might have been in development, I can’t say whether it would actually appear in this Direct. Nintendo’s Spring schedule is likely already full up(Don’t forget the Yoshi and Kirby games that are slated for 2018.), so it would likely be a late 2018 title or even a 2019 title. This is just a fun little prediction that goes in the same bin as a Star Fox Zero Deluxe release which would ditch the dual-screen controls and perhaps make the game at least somewhat better.