As with every other year, the days leading up to E3 are filled with speculation and rumor about what new games and hardware might be announced and unveiled at the show. One thing I love about Nintendo is that no matter what rumors or speculation are prevailing, they are a wild card where you never quite know for sure whether some big surprise announcement will be dropped during their turn. Here are my predictions for what we might be in store for with Nintendo’s E3 2019 offerings.
The Almost Sure Things
The Animal Crossing game coming to the Nintendo Switch was announced last year, but since then it’s been basically radio silence. We do know that it will be coming out at some point this year (barring any unexpected delays) so it makes sense that we would finally be shown more tangible gameplay as well as be given more concrete information about what this iteration of Animal Crossing will be like. What new features or gameplay elements will be added? Will we be the mayor again? Will Isabelle be our secretary again? Or is she too busy throwing me to my death with a fishing rod in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? These questions will hopefully be answered this E3 and considering Nintendo only has around 6 months left to finish the game I think we can at least expect to learn the title.
Pokémon Sword and Shield
This is another guarantee, especially considering Pokémon Sword and Shield are getting their own Nintendo Direct on June 6. The Direct on the 6th will probably give us a bunch of new information on the latest entries to the series, but you can be sure that Pokémon won’t be missing from Nintendo’s main E3 presentation either. With Pokémon also having a 2019 release date, we should expect a more specific date (my guess is November 15), and with some gameplay already having been shown, we should get a lot more detail on the story, world, and new Pokémon that we’ll be in store for with Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Luigi’s Mansion 3 should be making a spooky appearance at this year’s E3 as well, being another Switch game with a 2019 release date. We did get a peek at what looked like some preliminary gameplay of Luigi dealing with ghosts and exploring the mansion (although it looks like a hotel will be the setting for this installment) in question. At E3 we will hopefully get a reveal of what the story of the game will be focusing on this time around and a look at the new gadgets that Luigi will be putting to use to combat the spooky spirits that are haunting this hotel. It will be interesting to see what kind of new features will be added to the game that might take advantage of the Switch’s hardware capabilities with the Joy-Cons and find out what the title will be as well.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Another game with very few details and a 2019 release date (Nintendo seems to have made a trend out of it) that many people, myself included, were very surprised and excited about when it was originally revealed should be making an appearance at E3 as well. This being a remake of the original game that was released over 25 years ago for the Game Boy, we do already know story details and things like that, and with the gameplay footage that was shown off already, it looks like they are sticking with an extremely faithful remake for the game. That being said, hopefully, there will also be plenty of new things being added to the game to give it a fresh feel and allow it to be a bit more than just a remake. Expect a full release date to be announced for Link’s Awakening as well.
The Coin Flips
At The Game Awards 2017, we got the teaser trailer for Bayonetta 3 stating that it was in development exclusively for the Nintendo Switch and since then there hasn’t been so much as a peep about the game. The only thing we have is the teaser trailer showing what looks to be Bayonetta trying poorly to fend off some figure cloaked in light that ends with her seemingly collapsing. We still have no idea what the gameplay looks like, what the story might be about this time around, when it might release, or what new features will be coming to this installment of the series. E3 is the perfect place to tell us more about Bayonetta 3 and it has been a little under two full years since the announcement trailer was released, so there is a pretty decent chance we might see at least something about the game at this year’s E3.
Metroid Prime 4
Metroid Prime 4 almost qualifies for the longshots category, but with the fact that the game had to be scrapped and restarted, I think Nintendo will say at least something about it just to keep that small hype train rolling until there is something more substantial to show off. It would be a pretty huge shock if there was anything more than just an update on how development has been progressing and there’s a small chance they might give a release year, but more than that is highly unlikely.
Astral Chain will probably get a nice portion of time during Nintendo’s E3 presentation with it having an August 30 release date. The game has already shown off quite a bit of gameplay from its original announcement trailer, but we still don’t know too much about the game’s story or the world of the game. The game looks to be staying true to Platinum Games’ reputation with fast-paced, action-packed gameplay, and this game might be part of the reason we haven’t heard anything about Bayonetta 3 since it was initially announced. So at this point, Astral Chain should be in a relatively finished state that would allow the studio to start full work on Bayonetta 3.
The Longshot Surprises
Nintendo Switch Mini or Pro
Even though Nintendo stated explicitly that there will be no Nintendo Switch hardware announcements at E3, I still don’t fully believe them. As I said, Nintendo is a wildcard they could very well have changed their minds since they denied they’d bring the Nintendo Switch Mini to E3 and are gearing up for a reveal as we speak. They have already said that it should be launching sometime this holiday season with the Nintendo Switch Pro mostly likely coming sometime in 2020. It is still far more likely that they will stick to their word and not mention anything about the two new systems because they more than likely have their own plans for a special Nintendo Direct or conference that they wish to fully unveil both of the systems at later this year.
F-Zero hasn’t had a new game in the series since 2004 and fans of the series have been keeping their fingers crossed every E3 since in the hopes that Nintendo would finally make a new entry. The Switch would be a great system for it with the motion controls available via the Joy-Cons and with the unique ways you could implement multiplayer for the game with its portability. Nintendo could also then use F-Zero as a racing series to put out between releases of Mario Kart if nothing else, allowing them to give racing game fans more to play while they might be waiting for that next Mario Kart game. There is also huge potential for crossovers in the same way that Mario Kart uses them; who wouldn’t want to see Samus Aran in her own customized F-Zero machine racing against Captain Falcon?
This is a completely selfish personal pick for one of my favorite games of all time. Golden Sun would be a completely out of nowhere announcement, but one that I would lose it for. The last entry in the series, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, ended on a cliffhanger setting up a sequel game that never came. If Nintendo announced that sequel and that it would be coming to the Switch, I would say they won E3 instantly. The Switch would be such a great platform to continue the series, not just from the graphical standpoint that would allow the game to look amazing, but also from a gameplay standpoint that would allow the games puzzles and Psynergy powers to be created in new and unique ways that would allow for a ton of creativity on the developers part. I’m not holding my breath, but I might try to find a four leaf clover that day.
How accurate do you think these predictions are? What do you hope will be Nintendo’s bombshell surprises this year?