Nintendo has always been one of the most impressive presenters at E3, though it's not too hard for the gaming giant to leave their mark at the expo. Don't let the release of Splatoon fool you into thinking Nintendo doesn't have bigger plans for E3. Nintendo has a full week booked, and most of their announcements will be live streamed for all to see, as well as their Nintendo World Championship finals. Along with the NWC, Nintendo has three other live streamed events planned. On June 14th, Nintendo will have an exclusive stream solely covering new content for Super Smash Bros. On the 16th is Nintendo's Digital Event, where they will make all major announcements regarding their upcoming titles and releases. Then from the 16th to the 18th, Nintendo will stream unscripted footage of their team showcasing and talking about the development of current and upcoming titles, with an official itinerary being released soon. President Reggie Fils-Aime has said they're dedicated to "surprises" at E3. So what surprises could Nintendo have in store for us?
No NX or Smartphone Announcements.
To get this out of the way: Nintendo has stated there won't be any major announcements regarding the NX or their up and coming smartphone games. Nintendo executives said, in the spirit of E3's focus on the console and PC games, they would not be discussing their plans to release popular Nintendo titles for smartphones, as well as their Quality of Life tech. As for the NX, they say the console is still too early in development to give away any further details. There are plenty of other major announcements coming from Nintendo, but for now, these projects will wait for another day.
Hyrule Warriors 3DS Leaked Trailer
Earlier this week, a trailer was leaked revealing Hyrule Warriors would have a followup release on the 3DS. While nothing official has been released since the leak, it's expected that Nintendo will reveal more at E3. Unfortunately what Nintendo won't be talking about is the new Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U, which has had its potential release pushed into next year. Nintendo has said they won't be discussing the Wii U release at this year's E3, but Hyrule Warriors may be enough to hold dedicated fans over.
Animal Crossing, Yoshi, Star Fox, and Metroid, Maybe?
The last game to be released in the Animal Crossing lineup was New Leaf, back in 2012, so fans have been itching for a new game in the series. Last year, it was announced there is indeed a new Animal Crossing in development, but no release date or heavy details were revealed. In April, Nintendo announced that Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer would be released this year exclusively for the 3DS. The game is being released next month in Japan along with a new themed 3DS XL. The date for the North American and European release has not been revealed, but we'll likely get more details next week. As well, expect to see more about the new Star Fox title for the Wii U. Miyamoto himself has said a playable version of the new Star Fox will be available at E3 to try out, and the game is slated for release sometime this year. Most likely, we'll get an official release date from Nintendo this week.
We'll probably see more on Yoshi's Woolly World as well, as Nintendo prepares for the Wii U title's release. Woolly World revealed its official trailer in the UK today, but was first announced in 2013 and showcased in E3 last year. The game release is promised to come with new Amiibos, and a stage inspired by the game is available in Super Smash Bros. Wii. The release dates for Europe, Australia, and Japan have already been announced, but the exact release date for North America has yet to be revealed. This is the first Yoshi game since Yoshi's Island, all the way back in 1997.
One of the franchises that hasn't been mentioned is Metroid, which is worth bringing up, as many fans are begging Nintendo for a new Metroid game. The one hint we've received is that Retro Studio, the minds behind the Metroid series, shared this cryptic Tweet that's led some to believe they'll be making an appearance:
Apparently, the biggest thing Nintendo could do to take E3 by storm, would be announce a new Metroid title.
Fire Emblem If and Xenoblade Chronicles X
Fire Emblem If is being released in Japan this month, on June 25. There haven't been a ton of whispers in the United States on the topic, but with the Japanese release so close, we may hear a bit more at E3 this year. The new Fire Emblem is expected to be released in North America and Europe by 2016.
What we will definitely see, almost no question, is more on Xenoblade Chronicles X, which is planned for release this year. Most likely, we will be getting an official release date. Coming off the heels of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, X will likely be a big fall title.
Rumors, Speculation, and Pokemon
As always, it would be E3 without an abundance of rumors and sketchy "leaks," and Nintendo is certainly no exception. One of the biggest rumors grabbing people's attention is the possibility of a new Pokemon announcement. Along with rumors of Pokemon Z, many are speculating (or maybe just hoping for) a new Pokemon for the Wii U. However there has been nothing to confirm any of this and Pokemon, despite its popularity, has never had its first reveal at an E3. Anything is possible of course. The only Pokemon game you can be guaranteed to see though is the new Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon game, whose first Japanese trailer was released earlier this week.
Chibi-Robo, Devil's Third, Project Treasure, and the Rest
Nintendo has plenty of smaller franchises that we can't forget about. Their most recent Nintendo Direct spoke briefly about a 3DS title to be released featuring Chibi-Robo, a character who started on the Gamecube. Nintendo announced the new title on Nintendo Direct, with a release date in October 2015. Devil's Third, one of the few more adult titles to be released exclusively for the Wii U just had its European release date revealed, but has yet to see a release date for North America.
Probably most anticipated in terms of lesser known Nintendo IPs is Project Treasure by Bandai Namco, a four player co-op action title with few details beyond a simple trailer and basic description. The game is said to be free-to-play, and more on the game is expected to come out this summer. What better time than E3?
The Nintendo World Championship and Mario Maker Demo
While not a game release, the Nintendo World Championship may give Nintendo the opportunity to unleash some special surprises. Nintendo of America revealed on their Twitter that finalists, rather than playing through the games played in the qualifiers, will have to complete a speedrun through the first portion of the original Legend of Zelda, along with competing in other Nintendo titles. This could be to build up the reveal of Hyrule Warriors 3DS.
The finalists still haven't been announced, including the guests specially chosen by Nintendo to compete. We do know however that Nintendo has invited the champions of the original 1990 Nintendo World Championship, Jeff Hansen and Thor Aackerlund. The competition will be live streamed, so Nintendo fans can watch from home. Nintendo is kicking off their E3 events with the Nintendo World Championship on June 14.
And of course, Mario Maker will not only be appearing at E3, but at the same time will be available to try out at Best Buys across the country. Players eager to try it out for themselves can search for a nearby location here.
Lastly, amiibos. Almost Definitely amiibos.
With the massive popularity of Nintendo's line of amiibos, it's pretty much guaranteed that there will be some announcement regarding them at E3. Most likely we will hear more on the new 3DS amiibo Adapter and upcoming amiibo Cards, though the sky is the limit with this particular product. Whether it's a new figure or set, or an announcement about functionality in future games, or something completely out of left field, there will be an announcement about amiibos. The only truly shocking thing would be if Nintendo pretended the figures didn't exist at all.
There is a lot more to expect from Nintendo, including more information on Splatoon, Super Smash Bros. and their other existing franchises, and there could be something completely out of the blue coming from them this week. If you want to be the first to find out, keep an eye on Nintendo @ E3 page and watch the livestream to get the announcements as they happen.