Coming off a strong launch period, the Nintendo Switch makes its E3 debut at Nintendo’s E3 2017 showcase on June 13 at 9:00AM PT (streaming here). Which major franchises will get entries on the Switch? How much is the 3DS going to hang around? Will we finally get a proper, exploration-centric Metroid? Without further adieu, here are Screen Critics predictions for the Nintendo E3 2017 Showcase.
Super Mario Odyssey is a Certainty
Getting the obvious out of the way early, Nintendo has already come out and confirmed that Super Mario Odyssey will be the marquee title of this year, similar to Breath of the Wild last year. Expect Odyssey to make up a major portion of their showcase with a new trailer, extended gameplay demo, and almost definitely a release date for this holiday season. Less likely, but still possible, is the announcement of a Switch and Odyssey bundle or Mario-colored Joy-cons, which leads me into the next prediction…
Expect less about Switch UI and bundles and more indie games
Nintendo has made it clear that their Showcase is going to focus on their games through the rest of 2017 and possibly into early 2018. The fact that Nintendo is focusing on such a specific, relatively small window has both pros and cons. With the showcase only being 30 minutes long, Nintendo will likely take the Sony approach and focus on games, games, and more games. This means their probably won’t be a lot of information about firmware updates and different bundles and instead focus on a variety of games. To fill the 30 minute span with games coming out over the next 6 or so months, Nintendo will likely highlight some of the smaller, indie titles that they first unveiled in their indie showcase back in February. This means…
Don’t expect many first party games, like Retro’s game, unless it’s launching in the next 9 months
The fact that Nintendo wants to focus on the immediate future means we probably won’t see any major titles at E3 2017. While I vehemently believe Retro is working on a new Metroid game and that Animal Crossing for Switch is well along in development, I don’t expect to see them next week because neither of those games are going to come out in 2017, or even early 2018. My expectation is that we will see first footage of the new mainline Fire Emblem game coming to Switch with an early 2018 window and that will be the extent of big first party reveals. I’ve never wanted to be wrong more than I am right now.
The 3DS will refuse to die
Nintendo has committed to developing titles for the 3DS until at least 2018 and given their adamant stance that the Switch is a home console, it’s not too surprising. Who can blame them with 65 million units sold worldwide? Therefore, expect Nintendo to showcase the continued support for the aging handheld, with titles like Fire Emblem Warriors, the controversial Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and some unannounced titles. My prediction is that Nintendo spends 7-10 minutes focusing on 3DS software, another prediction I hope I’m wrong about for E3 2017.
Either Breath of the Wild DLC or Virtual Console will be the ‘And it’s available today’ announcement
To me, it makes sense that either of these announcements could be available to consumers any day now and I predict Nintendo will capitalize on one of them. Breath of the Wild’s first expansion has already been detailed and confirmed for a summer release, while the second, story-based expansion will be released later this year. A smooth move would be to detail the second expansion in the showcase and release the first expansion all in the same breath. On the Virtual Console side, Nintendo has already announced that Virtual Console will be a separate thing from their Netflix-like online service, which will release sometime in 2018. Nintendo would be smart to get Virtual Console up and running and try to grab some revenue before introducing their own competition to the service. Personally, I’m leaning more towards Virtual Console starting next week, only because Nintendo likely wouldn’t want to introduce an update to their addictive and engrossing game just days before their next AAA title, ARMS, comes out at the end of next week on June 16.
But how do you think Nintendo’s Showcase will pan out? Let me know in the comments below.