It's been a long, weird year, but E3 is back after last year's COVID cancellation. It's still a digital event, as we're not out of the woods yet, but that means we'll be seeing all the big names on the (virtual) stage again. But will Nintendo give us everything we've hoped for, or will we be left a little disappointed?
Here are the predictions from the Nintendo Life editorial team, including Kate Gray (Staff Writer, Crab News fan), Gavin Lane (Editor, needs a haircut), Tom Whitehead (Deputy Editor, part-time Monster Hunter), and Ryan Craddock (News Editor, wants a cat).
Breath of the Wild 2
KATE: It’s been a while since we last saw BOTW 2 footage, and I’m sure the production has been affected by COVID… but I’d love to at least see a teaser with a title reveal, so we can stop calling it “Breath of the Wild 2 (tentative title)”. Plus, I can’t remember the last time I watched a Nintendo presentation where the “and one last thing” announcement wasn’t Smash or Splatoon. I may be exaggerating a little, but I really want BOTW 2 2021!
GAVIN: It’s Zelda’s 35th anniversary year — at the very least we’ll get a title reveal! Right? Right? My guess is Nintendo will take the Dawn of the Dead route and name the sequel ‘Something of the Wild’. ‘Return’. ‘Oath’. ‘Embrace’. ‘George’. Whatever.
TOM: As someone who’s played the entirety of the original (and DLC) three times, I can confirm that a) I have no life and b) I’m beyond excited about the sequel. I’m even fine with the inevitable news it won’t be out until 2022 at the earliest, I’d just love a little look at its version of Hyrule and some new areas.
RYAN: It feels like now’s the perfect time for a juicy, longer trailer for Breath of the Wild 2 to drop, finally giving us a bit more info, an official name and logo, and a tease of Zelda as a playable character (although Nintendo will purposefully leave that up in the air and refuse to answer our emails on the matter). I sure hope so, because I’m ready for more (of the game, not the emails).
Bayonetta 3: It’s in the works! But will we see the leggy gal this year?
KATE: I’m hoping we get Bayonetta 3 fairly soon, so I can mindlessly slay angels with my gun-shoes just like old times. I just… don’t think we’ll see Bayo 3 at E3, somehow. Feel free to prove me wrong, this prediction is based on absolutely nothing.
GAVIN: I think before we get any more details, we need to hear from Kamiya a few more times telling us that everything’s progressing fine with B3 and not to worry. More people need to ask him about it, definitely.
TOM: PlatinumGames have been a bit weird the last few years, with a dodgy Kickstarter and lucrative deals for mobile games, they seem to be juggling a lot of projects. I’m hoping Bayonetta 3 doesn’t become one of those games that takes so long that the financial backer, in this case Nintendo, gets fed-up and walks away, Microsoft style.
RYAN: I’m also hoping we get Bayonetta 3 fairly soon so that we can stop writing ‘TBA’ on anything and everything to do with the blimmin’ thing. But I’m with Kate – something tells me we still won’t be seeing it just yet.
Metroid Prime 4
Has Nintendo finished a new logo yet, or any of the game, for that matter?
TOM: I can live with many disappointments, but it feels like Nintendo genuinely messed up with Prime 4, which is a shame because it should be a huge release already for Switch, ideally with Prime Trilogy HD as a warm-up. To have a team that wasn’t Retro Studios making it originally seems crazy, and now we’ve had a long wait as development started from scratch. Maybe we’ll get a new logo though, that’s the peak of my expectations.
RYAN: That Metroid Prime 4 logo reveal we had 84 years ago, and especially the accompanying Prime music, gave me actual shivers. I’m not even that huge on Metroid, but it just felt special. I’d be happy with another four seconds of that music and a ‘yep, it’s still coming’ message to be honest.
Could the much-rumoured Switch Pro (tentative title) finally get its reveal at E3, or is the global chip shortage going to keep it away?
KATE: Switch Pro has GOT to be at E3, right? I’m keen to see what quality of life improvements bring the Switch into the future, especially as it’s pretty unusual for Nintendo to release a “pro” version of one of their consoles. Maybe we’ll get some new Joy-Con colours, too. I’m just hoping there aren’t too many Pro-exclusive games…
TOM: Before the recent reports I expected a revision to slide well into 2022, because trying to release new tech in the current market is extremely tough; just look at Sony and Microsoft sobbing in their corners over their launch woes. It’s hard to know what to believe. There will be a Switch revision at some point of course, but I’m also darn sure it won’t be called the ‘Pro’; that’s the least 'Nintendo' name ever, yet everyone uses it!
RYAN: I’m in need of a second Switch and the Animal Crossing one is sold out everywhere, so now would be the perfect time for Nintendo to launch a shiny Super Switch XL+cats to give me an excuse. That being said, Nintendo's already said that the E3 Direct's going to be "focused exclusively on Nintendo Switch software," so perhaps a hardware reveal is off the table.
The ratio of new games to remakes
We’ve seen a lot of remakes and sequels on the Switch already, including both retro revivals and ports of underappreciated Wii U games. Will we see anything new this year?
KATE: I think we’re going to be on the remake train for a while yet. Lots more Zelda games to bring over, after all, and I’d personally love some news on whether we’re getting a second Ace Attorney trilogy release of games 4, 5, and 6. I reckon there will be at least one new idea from Nintendo this year, but I’m noooot suuuure if E3 will be their chosen venue for the announcement… as a company, they don’t really go as hard for E3 any more. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was something at the Summer Game Fest, though.
GAVIN: There are still a couple of choice Wii U ports to come over. The Zelda’s are the most obvious, but having missed it first time round I’d love the chance to play Xenoblade Chronicles X on Switch.
TOM: Considering a lot of large triple-A dev teams are still working virtually, coding complex games while wearing pyjamas, yes I expect plenty of remakes and ‘HD’ remasters on Switch for a little while yet.
The one that everyone expects
We all know that [that one game] and [that big game] are going to be there, right?
KATE: Oh god, you think I’d have my finger on the pulse, but I have no idea. Maybe more information on Splatoon 3 after that tease we got earlier this year? Something about The Great Ace Attorney? Are those likely? I don’t know!!
GAVIN: Smash Fighter Pack news is a given. Personally, Banjo was the absolute zenith, a peak which no other announcement can possibly touch in terms of impact — it made me buy the game and the DLC! Should really get back to it sometime.
TOM: Splatoon 3 is a good shout, I can imagine Nintendo having one or two multiplayer arenas near-ready and showing them off. If they have the Treehouse team presenting they’ll have some feisty LAN matches to show it off.
RYAN: Smash is in every single presentation Nintendo drops whether you want it or not. Smash will be at E3, end of discussion.
The one that no one expects
How do you predict the unpredictable? We’ll give it a go…
KATE: I have to be careful not to double up the categories here, because “the one that no one expects” could also be “back from the dead” or “our niche favourite”, right? So, okay, something no one expects but also something I’m not personally into… Ring Fit 2? Return of the Virtual Boy? Nintendo gets really into NFTs? I hope not.
GAVIN: Mother Trilogy Anniversary Collection. Only on Switch Pro.
TOM: New Super Mario Bros x Sonic; they compete against each other in the Olympics, time they met in a platformer.
RYAN: Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland HD. With a Tingle amiibo that costs £30.
Back from the dead?
Being a Nintendo fan means sometimes having to accept that death is a natural part of life. But we’re not against resurrection…
KATE: There are a lot of serieses I’d love to see revived, but top of that list is Ghost Trick. I don’t even care if it’s a remake or a port onto Switch, because as long as it does well, we MIGHT get a sequel set in the same world. My other hope is Fantasy Life, but given that Level-5 is basically done with the West for the time being, I don’t see that happening.
RYAN: My go-to answer for this kind of thing has been Pokémon Snap for as long as I can remember, so what am I supposed to say now? Let’s say F-Zero. Hahahahahaha. Hahaha.
TOM: What Ryan said, with an extra hahahahaha.
Finally, it's on Switch
The Switch is full of old Nintendo games remade for a new audience, but there are plenty of games on Xbox and Playstation that we haven’t got. Now that we have Control and Hitman 3 (thanks to the Cloud), what else might we see?
KATE: I don’t want to jinx this one, because there are some games that will just not run well on the Switch’s less-powerful software — I don’t think we’ll see Resident Evil Village, for example. But I’d love to be able to play a few of the older Bethesda and Bioware games — the new Mass Effect Trilogy remaster, for example, or Fallout: New Vegas. I already own Dragon Age: Inquisition on every platform it’s come out on, but if it came to Switch, I could be convinced to play it again…
GAVIN: Perhaps events of the past year have turned my brain to cheese, but I still dream of a ‘Rare Replay Switch Remix’ package that includes all previous games plus the Rare-developed Nintendo-owned ones — specifically the DKCs, Diddy Kong Racing and Star Fox Adventures. What a well-deserved pick-me-up and thing of infinite beauty that would be! Cuphead and Ori are on Switch, Steve and Banjo are in Smash — anything’s possible.
TOM: MLB The Show, albeit with drastically reduced visuals. Some of us want to feed the obsession on the go, too.
The next indie darling
Every now and again, we get a runaway success like Celeste, Undertale, or Night in the Woods — are we likely to see something new this year?
KATE: There are quite a few indie studios that I’m curious about right now. House House, the chaps who made Untitled Goose Game, have to be working on something, right? And what about Disco Elysium’s ZA/UM? ?
TOM: It’s impossible to predict the next breakout Indie success, which is also what makes it so awesome to follow.
Our niche favourite
We all have our weird faves, and we all know the disappointment of having them ignored for years. Maybe this year is different...
KATE: My niche favourites aren’t really that niche. It’s mostly visual novel adventure games, to be honest: Ace Attorney, Zero Escape, something with a little bit of murder and a whole lot of mystery. A nice twisty game.
GAVIN: Niche might be a bit much, but I’ve got a soft spot for Excite Truck on Wii. I’d play a new take on that in an instant. As long as I could funnel some Gwen Stefani tracks onto the soundtrack like I did on Wii.
TOM: It’s never happen in a million years and has no relation to Nintendo, but I’d love functional and faithful ports of Theme Park and Theme Hospital on Switch. Playing the excellent Two Point Hospital recently just made me want to play the originals again without fighting with my PC.
RYAN: It’s not exactly niche, being tied to the Mario franchise and all, but I’d quite like a revival of Super Princess Peach. We’ve only ever had the one game on DS and I think a sequel with new bells and whistles would be just… Peachy.
A surprise remake/remaster
It’s not E3 without some nice surprises, right? It’s hard to predict a surprise… but we’ll try anyway.
KATE: I think the best surprise would be a game I had forgotten, but am excited about. More sequels, perhaps, or a game from a studio I really like. I think a really good surprise, though, would be something like Famicom Detective Club — a game I knew nothing about, but turned out to be excellent.
GAVIN: I’ve wanted to see Kirby’s Epic Yarn in HD for years. That. They’re more likely to port Yoshi’s Woolly World from Wii U, but we all know which is the better game.
TOM: Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure was silly and a lovely music-rhythm game, I want it in scruffy HD, even a lazy port will do.
RYAN: Dino Crisis Remastered. And I don’t even care that the original never launched on a Nintendo platform, just do it.
We’re begging. Please. Bring these games to Switch.
KATE: Baldur’s Gate 3. Pls.
GAVIN: I need a shot of Rhythm Heaven and/or WarioWare Switch, stat.
RYAN: Tom Nook simulator.