A full year’s worth of surprises await!
It is that time of the year again! In just a few days, the Electronic Entertainment Expo will be upon us just as it has for years now, bringing along with it a sleuth of hot new games announcements that are sure to leave us salivating for months to come. As with every year, Nintendo will be showing off some of their newest video games in development, some of which are near release while others have a long ways to go. Nevertheless, it is important to remember to keep expectations reasonable when it comes to E3 announcements, which is why I have prepared for you today a complete guide to what to expect from Nintendo at E3 2014.
THE WII U
Despite having a rather a rather robust library for a console barely a year and a half through its life, the Wii U is sill struggling to find its place in the market, and the advertising campaign behind Nintendo’s newest console has been arguably weak. That being said, Nintendo looks to one-up last year’s impressive selection of new titles with games that are sure to delight fans both young and old alike.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Easily Nintendo’s biggest Wii U game of the year, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is sure to have a huge presence at Nintendo’s booth this E3. Alongside the usual new character and stage announcements, expect to see what new, exclusive features the Wii U game has to offer in terms of modes and the highly anticipated single-player option. As the game is most definitely going to make an appearance on the show floor, expect a lot of hands-on impressions with this game – as well as Nintendo’s newly announced Smash Bros.-themed GameCube controller – for the days to come.
Earlier this year, Nintendo revealed that they were working with Tecmo Koei (and Team Ninja) to create a Zelda and Dynasty Warriors mash-up title called Hyrule Warriors. Since then, we have seen some rather impressive screenshots and story details, but no actual footage since its initial announcement. Expect this to change at E3, with new footage of the game and hopefully some hands-on demo impressions from the show attendants.
It may have seemed like forever since this game was announced prior to the Wii U’s launch, but Bayonetta 2 arrives in Japan this summer and to the West later in 2014. Expect to see release dates and the usual new trailer at E3 this year, as well as fresh new information and impressions from the show floor. Since this game has already made several appearances in past E3’s and Nintendo Directs, do not expect this game to be at the forefront of their presentation this year, but rather a supplementary title to their long list of games that they plan on showing off at the show.
There has been some concern over whether or not Monolith Soft’s X – which still has no official name – will actually see release by the end of 2014, but Nintendo has continued to list the game as “2014” in their various press releases throughout the year. It is about time, too; X has been in development for nearly four years, so expect a near-final build to appear at E3 in some for this year. X is supposed to be the Wii U’s graphical showpiece, so be on a lookout for the usual cinematic trailer and gorgeous target screens. Although it is hard to say whether or not this game will make an appearance on the show floor, definitely expect to hear more about the Wii U’s biggest title yet in the days that come.
The Legend of Zelda for Wii U
Series producer Eiji Aonuma has confirmed that he will talk about the next original The Legend of Zelda game at this year’s E3. Whether that means mere concept art or an actual playable demo remains to be seen, but definitely expect to see more information come out at E3 this year. As for the release date, it is likely that this new game will arrive some time in late 2015, as Zelda games have traditionally been big, holiday titles – and there is no way that this game is ready for release this calendar year.
Though we saw some footage and a few target screens for Yarn Yoshi back in January of last year, little has been heard about Good Feel’s next Nintendo exclusive, which looks to adopt the art style of their previous game, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, into the world of Yoshi. At E3 last year, it was stated that the game was not yet ready to be shown, but since then much progress has been surely made, so expect to see this game in some form at this year’s show – maybe even a playable demo.
Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem
While this game was announced at around the same time Yarn Yoshi was, we have yet to see any screenshots or even hear any information whatsoever on Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem. Expect to see at least some visual indication that this game still exists, whether that be a new trailer or just a couple of screens. It seems unlikely that a game we have neither heard nor seen will be playable on the show floor, but Intelligent Systems and Atlus have a pretty good track record of pumping these types of games at a regular basis, so you never know.
Originally, I had expected this game to make a big appearance at Nintendo’s booth, but Ubisoft has since said that they will not be showing any games for Nintendo platforms at E3 this year, leaving some doubt as to whether the game will be even mentioned at Nintendo’s presentation. It is such a shame, too; there is so much potential for this game when it comes to the Wii U GamePad, it felt almost for certain that Nintendo would showcase it in some way at the show. Thus, it is difficult to predict what can be expected from this game at E3 this year, as it could range anywhere between a playable demo to nothing at all.
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
Sonic Boom is Sega’s third and final game in their exclusive three-game deal with Nintendo, and is no doubt one of their biggest titles of this year. When it was first announced just a few months ago, it seemed that Big Red Button was trying to push the Sonic franchise in a more action-oriented setting than what we were used to. As with Hyrule Warriors, expect to see tons of new screens and footage as well as hands-on impressions on the show floor.
Indie Sizzle Reel
It is no secret that the Wii U has become a hidden treasure trove for indie developers. With over 120 new eShop titles arriving to the platform, Nintendo has proven that they are indeed willing to do what it takes to make their development ecosystem one the of the most accessible around. Expect to see a huge sizzle reel for the tons of great eShop content coming to the Wii U this year, as well as the usual hands-on impressions both on the show floor and at Indiecade next door.
And now for a few titles that have yet to be announced. Keep in mind that the games below are merely speculation and based mostly on rumors, but seem entirely plausible based on the current position of Nintendo and the Wii U.
New 3D Mario
Although a new 3D Mario game has not technically been announced yet, it is inevitable that such a game in the same vein as Super Mario Galaxy will arrive onto the Wii U eventually – the only question that remains is: when? Nintendo has mentioned that they will be showing off some games that are still early in development at E3 this year, and a new Super Mario game would definitely fit the bill. Although it may sound early, keep in mind that Super Mario Galaxy was released a year and a half after it was announced back in E3 2006, so it is certainly possible that a new 3D Mario game released in 2015 will be announced this year.
Miyamoto’s New IP
A lot of hype has been surrounding Shigeru Miyamoto’s secret project since he announced it a few months ago, but the public still knows little to nothing about it. Although it is unknown as to whether or not this mystery title will make an appearance at this year’s E3, there is a good chance that we will hear at least a little something about it through the many interviews Miyamoto is scheduled to appear on. Definitely expect to hear some new information, but remember to keep expectations low – at this point, the game could really be anything.
THE NINTENDO 3DS
The Nintendo 3DS has become a very respectable gaming platform as of late, and its library of games continues to grow and expand as we speak. Although very little is known about the platform’s future beyond 2014, it is even more reason to expect some huge announcements at E3 this year.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Even though the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. will likely take the spotlight at this year’s E3, there will be undoubtedly be tons of new information on Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS as it inches closer and closer to its Summer 2014 release. Many of the 3DS version’s unique features have already been revealed, and much of what we will learn about Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will also apply to this version as well. However, several lingering questions remain: how will Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS utilize StreetPass and SpotPass? Will it support DLC? How many players can play on one wireless connection? Expect to hear the answers to these question as well as hands-on impressions in the days to come.
Pokémon AlphaSapphire and OmegaRuby
Even if you are not a fan of the Pokémon franchises, it is hard to ignore the hype surrounding the remakes of the Gen III Pokémon games. GameFreak has always done well when it comes to their Pokémon remakes, and AlphaSapphire and OmegaRuby lookt o be no different. Expect to hear loads of new information on these two titles as we did with Pokémon X and Y during last year’s E3.
Third Party Sizzle Reel
Unlike the Wii U, the 3DS has enough third-party support to warrant its own sizzle reel. Just to give you a glimpse of what to expect, here is a list of upcoming third-party 3DS titles coming within the next year: Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom, Cooking Mama 5, Harvest Moon: Story of Seasons and The Lost Valley, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright, Skylanders Trap Team, Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, and Theathrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call.
Indie Sizzle Reel
The 3DS has long been a great platform for independent developers to publish their own games via the eShop. Expect to see games like Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, Shovel Knight, and Moon Chronicles to make some sort of appearance at the show.
A New Title for Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo will be hosting a roundtable for an unannounced 3DS game presumably coming this year. In the past, such roundtables have been reserved for big titles as Super Mario 3D Land and Animal Crossing: New Leaf (this year, they are also doing one for both Super Smash Bros. games), so whatever this mystery title is, expect it to be huge. A lot of rumors about what this game might be have been flying around lately, but until the game gets officially unveiled at E3, your guess is as good as mine. Expect to hear tons of new details on this title.
Monolith Soft’s 3DS Title
Many people forget that Monolith Soft is actually comprised of two separate development studios. The main one is currently working on X, but the second one is working on a 3DS title that is still largely unknown. Although there has not been an official announcement by the company that the game will make an appearance at E3, there is certainly a possibility considering how long the title has been in development. Of course, it is complete possible the this is also the same mystery 3DS game I mentioned above, so there may end up being just one new game announcement instead of two. Either way, I hope to see this game at E3 this year.
Nintendo has always been about video games when it comes to E3, but that does not mean they will not be showing off some other things as well. Below is a list of miscellaneous things that you should expect to see at this year’s E3.
Nintendo Figurine Platform
Nintendo has long talked about the Wii U’s near field communication capability, which allow users to scan real world objects into the Wii U just by tapping them onto the Wii U GamePad, though as of right now we have seen very few games take advantage of it. This changes with the Nintendo Figurine Platform (or NFP), which consists of a line of Nintendo-related figurines that will scan into certain games and add to them extra functionality. Very little is currently known about what these figurines will actually do and which games support them, but definitely expect Nintendo to put a huge focus on NFP during their E3 presentation this year.
Quality of Life Platform
Nintendo announced their desire to create “Quality of Life” (or QOL) products at an investor’s meeting a few months ago, and up to now we still do not know what this entails, or whether it will even show up at E3 at all (some would argue that E3 is not the place to announce this sort of thing). However, it goes without saying that there will be many reporters snooping around trying to find as much information about the project as they can, so expect to see at least a few neat tidbits here and there to come out of the show.
Super Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament
If last year’s EVO Tournament was anything to go by, professional Smash Bros. matches are exciting. This year, Nintendo will be hosting their very own Super Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament at E3, which will be streamed live on Nintendo’s Twitch channel. In addition to all the new juicy details we might learn from watching the tournament itself, there will undoubtedly be plenty of interviews going on with the sixteen professionals Smash players – an excellent chance to hear what the best of the best feel about the new Super Smash Bros. games.
Nintendo Treehouse Live
Nintendo is planning to live stream tons of game demos and interviews straight from the show floor this year, which is something that no one, apart from large gaming websites as IGN, has ever done. Think of it as a longer, more in-depth version of their E3 presentation, one that lasts throughout the entirety of the show. You can be sure to expect loads of new information on each and every game Nintendo has to offer, as well as inside developer information that you can only find in an in-house feature as this.
Third Party Licensing
Nintendo has continuously stressed the importance of licensing their intellectual properties to third parties, and as of right now, it is their only real avenue when it comes to third-party support on the Wii U. Though I hesitate to make predictions for the show in this post (I am writing a blog about reasonal expectations after all), I would expect to see some announcements regarding third party licensing at E3 this year, even if they may not be related to video games at all.
Twitch’s Unannounced Nintendo Streams
Twitch has announced that it will stream dozens of different new games at E3, four of which are labeled “Nintendo (Unannounced title).” What these unannounced games can be is anyone’s guess; in the sections above, I mentioned five possible new titles – a new Zelda game, a new 3D Mario, Miyamoto’s New IP, a new 3DS game, and Monolith Soft’s 3DS game – of which at least some of them may certainly be the ones Twitch is referencing. Also, it is unclear as to whether it is the games themselves that are unannounced or that Twitch simply has not announced which Nintendo games they plan to show on the stream, but either way it will be interesting to see which Nintendo games make the final cut.
Zelda Williams’ Tweet
Zelda Williams, a long-time fan of Nintendo and frequent promoter of Nintendo products, is going to E3 this year for an unknown purpose. Though it may seem like she is there to promote either Hyrule Warriors or the new Zelda game for Wii U, she warns that “it’s not what you think.” But whatever this “extra special” things turns out to be, expect to hear more about it in the coming days.
Well, that is all for today! As E3 comes and goes, remember that regardless of which company you are following, keep expectations at a reasonable level and enjoy the flood of new announcements as they pour in. Enjoy E3, everybody!
Which Nintendo-related announcements are you most looking forward to at this year’s E3? Discuss in the comments below!