Nintendo finally did it.
After almost two months of waiting (post 1/11 Direct Mini), Nintendo is finally planning to flesh out more of their 2018 lineup to the public with a full-fledged Direct. Fans on social media, r/NintendoSwitch, ResetEra, and the like have been waiting with bated breath to hear what is on deck for the rejuvenated gaming company in 2018, especially on their smash hit hybrid system, the Nintendo Switch.
The company’s North American Twitter and Facebook accounts posted the following graphic, announcing the streaming event, yesterday morning:
While this past January’s Direct Mini provided fans with some answers to 2018’s road map for the company, it also left everyone with a lot of questions to be answered. No mention of the previously announced Metroid Prime 4 and new core Pokemon RPG game. No mention of the possible (one would think eventual and probable) Super Smash Bros sequel/port. No mention of the Switch’s permanent online structure, and what features will be included with it. Sure, we got a lot of good ports, such as DKC: Tropical Freeze and Hyrule Warriors, and not to mention some solid third party surprises, specifically Dark Souls Remastered (your boy has yet to play a Soulz game, so I’m salivating at the chance to get dome rocked by this beauty); but at the end of the day, the Mini left most fans feeling…underwhelmed.
This is the NEW Nintendo. This isn’t 2012 Nintendo, selling you a system that you weren’t sure if it was an add on to the previous console, or a new generation at all. This is the Nintendo that came out saying this system isn’t a multimedia device; it’s a GAMING deivce, and not some toy, but a legitimate piece of technology. Fans saw arguably not one, but TWO of the best games of all time release in a single year for the Switch. Not only that, but they saw a company that provided a big, first party title each month and a plethora of third party games to the little hybrid that could. This Nintendo is one that is trying to remind it’s core audience: we’re here to play, and COMPETE with the other kids on the playground.
That being said, it did leave fans in a bit of a lull in the first few months of the new year, in terms of news for the system. But that is behind us now, and in a few short hours, the flood gates are going to be open (well, at least cracked a bit to let a breeze in). So let’s dive into some rumors and predictions.
As with every rumor, take these with a grain of salt. Below are the current rumors running around, via RestEra:
-[1st] ERA John Harker claims the January Direct will be on the 11th. (Source) *Confirmed
-[2nd] Reddit DasVergeben claims the Virtual Console, Metroid Prime 4, Animal Crossing, Pokemon, Dragon Quest 11, Undertale and GTA5, will have some presence on the January Direct. (Source) *Incorrect
-[2nd] Reddit DasVergeben claims Rockstart is working on another game other than GTA5, probably Red Dead Redemption. (Source)
-[2nd] Reddit DasVergeben claims Killing Floor 2 is coming in 2018. (Source)
-[2nd] Reddit DasVergeben claims Injustice 2 is coming. (Source)
-[2nd] Reddit DasVergeben claims Call of Duty is coming with HD Rumble. (Source)
-[2nd] Reddit DasVergeben claims Undertale is coming. (Source)
-[2nd] Reddit DasVergeben claims Fortnite is coming. (Source)
-[2nd] Reddit DasVergeben claims tinyBuild is porting a few of their older titles, along with Hello Neighbour. (Source) *Confirmed
-[3rd] EmilyRogers claims SNK has a new game planned with a possible reveal during the rumored January Direct (Source). –> SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy is announced on the Jan 11th Direct. *Confirmed
-[4th] Verified reddit user claims Bayonetta 3 will release in 2018, possibly a Summer release. (Source)
-[5th] Switch OS 5.0 video leaks (Source) *Fake
-[5th] Nintendo’s Norway distributor claims Bayonetta 3 and Prime 4 will release in 2018. Statement was deleted afterwards. (Source)
-[7th] Twitter MysticDistance claims Final Fantasy 15 is in development and there might be an announcement about it this year. (Source)
-[9th] Nintendo posts a series of cryptic tweets, seemingly in response to Resetera’s January Direct speculation thread (good recount of the events here). Gamestop also tweets about the Nintendo Direct, but deletes it right away.
-[11th] ERA King Zell hints a “World Ends With You” game right before the rumored Mini Direct (Source). –> TWEWY Final Remix is is announced on the Jan 11th Direct. *Confirmed
-[11th] ERA Jonneh hints at Mario Tennis Aces right before the rumored Jan 11th Mini Direct. (Source) *Confirmed
-[11th] ERA ZhugeEX teases something about Funky and Donkey Kong ten minutes before the Direct (Source). –> Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is announced on the Jan 11th Direct. *Confirmed
-[11th] Nintendo releases a Mini Direct without prior announcement.
-[11th] Kotaku UK claims Bandai Namco plans to eventually bring all three Dark Souls. (Source)
-[11th] Reddit user claims their store Switch will get a huge demo and video update on the 22nd. (Source) *Fake
-[12th] Australian retailer Sanity lists South Park The Fractured but Whole for release on March 13th. (Source)
-[14th] ERA Chrom claims that there’s a small Direct (or announcement video) happening on the week of Jan 15th-19th (Thursday most likely) (Source 1) (Source 2). UbiSoft employee tweeted on the 16th that something Nintendo related will happen in a few days. (Source) ->> Wed 17th: Nintendo Japan tweets announcement of a “New Play” presentation for the 17th (Thursday 18th in Japan), other regions see similar tweets from Nintendo. Nintendo Labo is announced. *Confirmed
-[14th] ERA Chrom claims there is going to be a Direct in February (Source). Same info from Twitter MysticDistance (Source). The Direct will show a new Fire Emblem and “a green dinosaur and an RPG involving slimes”. (Source) *Incorrect
-[15th] ERA Emily claims more rumored Ubi, Square Enix, Namco games will be announced later this year. (Source)
-[15th] ERA King Zell claims there’s a SquareEnix game coming that has never been on a Nintendo system before. (Source). Claim amended, the SquareEnix IP has been on a Nintendo system before. (Source)
-[16th] ERA Plankton2 found a south African retailer listing Project Cars 2. It is unknown when the retailer added the Switch entry. (Source)
-[16th] Reddit user posted images of a Nintendo of Europe survey that lists Bayonetta 3 and Pokemon RPG for a 2018 release. (Source)
-[18th] Russian reddit user claims to work on a store that has received a Nintendo mailing list that shows Little Nightmares coming. (Source)
-[18th] Gematsu reports Wild Guns Reloaded has been rated (Source). –> Game is announced on the 25th for all regions. *Confirmed
-[18th] Max Arguile from GB Eye claims on the Licensing Source Book Europe that Crash N.Sane Trilogy will come (Source)
-[19th] Gadgets reports made-in-India games could come to Switch based on a Facebook post from Indian developer Holy Cow Productions which was visited by Nintendo. (Source)
-[24th] ERA Ehoavash claims a port of the Wii U Smash Bros will come in 2018. (Source)
-[24th] ERA Ehoavash claims New Super Mario Bros. U Plus port is coming too. (Source)
-[28th] Nintendosoup reports of a reddit user that claims French retailer Micromania listed Danganronpa V3 coming to Switch. (Source) *Fake
-[3rd] Twitter Marcus_Sellars claims Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is coming with HD Rumble, and Motion Controls. (Source)
-[3rd] Twitter Marcus_Sellars claims Nd Cube is making Mario Party 11 for 2019 (Source). He released more specific details about the game here (Source). Tweets have been deleted since then.
-[6th] Youtube Doctre81 found a Namco Singapore LinkedIn profile listing a 1st Person Adventure, and Ridge Racer 8 coming exclusively (Source). Eurogamer confirms it’s Prime 4 a few days later. (Source)
-[13th] Finland’s Gamestop lists De Blob 1 & 2, then removes the listing. (Source) *Confirmed
-[17th] Germany’s USK has given Yesterday Origins a classification. (Source)
-[18th] Amazon Mexico now lists South Park The Stick of Truth. (Source)
-[19th] Neoseeker claims Diablo 3 is coming with local co-op (Source). A few days later Blizzard’s twitter posts a Diablo lamp switching off and on. Then denied the game was coming. (Source)
-[22nd] ShonenGamez claims Naruto: Ultimate Storm Trilogy is coming. (Source) *Confirmed
-[23rd] Reddit DasVergeben claims a single player JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is in production. (Source)
-[6th] DirectFeedGames claims a Call of Duty will come in 2018. (Source)
Ok, so that’s a bit of a mouthful. The biggest rumors making the rounds currently, in my opinion are:
- Smash sequel/port launching along the Online Service this year.
- Metroid Prime Trilogy in HD being pumped out this year, Prime 4 next year.
- Bayonetta 3 dropping this year, possibly revealed pre-E3
Most recently, this little tidbit popped up on RestEra, claiming that the new core Pokemon RPG for Switch will be a reboot for the series. Personally, I’d love this. I haven’t truly played a Pokemon game since Emerald, but recently have started playing Y on my 3DS and loving it. With that being said, I’m all in on a reboot. There are over a thousand Pokemon now, and while the new content is awesome and provides depth to the series, the formula has began to run its course. The Switch is specifically being marketed to the 18-35 age demographic. Look at their marketing from this past year and tell me otherwise. While they are now moving into the casual audience demographic with Labo and other announcements, the focus is on the college to young professional age. Nostalgia only carries so much weight, but if you bring back Kanto and the original 151 and put that into UE4, woah.
I’m going to keep this pretty quick and simple, since I feel like I’ve written a novel already and I plan to write a recap tonight on the event itself. I’m going to include a mesh of what I think is expected or safe, and what I think is outside chance. With that being said, here is my official predictions for how the show will go:
- A reminder for Detective Pikachu launching this month, relatively quick but hits on a lot of main points. (Safe)
- One or two other AA games announced/shown, possibly Dragon Quest 11 but could be something else with name value that is third-party. (Safe)
- The rumored Link’s Awakening remake in the Link Between Worlds engine (outside chance)
- Reminder of Kirby Star Allies releasing next week. Quick and to the point, with possibly a new mode shown off. (Safe)
- Mario Tennis Aces gets a decent chunk of time. Not outrageous, but over five minutes. New story mode shown off, a good look at the roster, and gets a release date of June at the latest. (Safe)
- Mario Odyssey premium DLC is announced, which was possibly leaked on Twitter yesterday. Two packs, first launches this spring in April. Supposedly Luigi’s Mansion themed for the first, which would be dope. (Actually going “Safe” on this one. Seems DLC would be obvious for this game)
- Third party reel of games is shown, and Wolfenstein 2 gets a Switch exclusive trailer/gameplay, along with Dark Souls Remastered. Surprise third-party announcement: South Park: Stick of Truth AND Fractured But Whole. (Safe)
- Surprise Reveal: Fire Emblem for Switch. Vandal Leaks again posted some leaked info on this, stating the subtitle of the game would be “Elegy for the Brave”, but also states that this may just be an internal working title. To be honest, this is the safest bet for a surprise reveal. Not only has the game been slated for a 2018 release, but we have yet to receive ANY info on it whatsoever. Plus, while the Fire Emblem series is one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises with their core audience, it doesn’t have the same impact as Mario, Zelda, and Smash, so an E3 announcement as their major blowout game doesn’t make sense, so today seems like the perfect fit. I believe the “Summer 2018” release window, but I’d count on it being late summer. (Safe)
Switch (Outside Chance)
- Smash port/sequel is announced TODAY. While announcing it today would give Nintendo time to flesh the game out and have the big blowout at E3, I think it’s just too early to do it. I still think it’s coming this year, alongside the Online Service in September.
- New core Pokemon RPG revealed today. While we are just inside the normal Pokemon announcement time frame, the Pokemon Company and Game Freak usually do their own thing and have their own Directs to announce games. Still a chance this comes out this year, but I think if the rumors of the reboot are true, I can see 2019 being more plausible.
- Online Service information. I think we get a full blowout of the service at E3. Makes the most sense, as the hype window for what they could do with it is smaller than a game.
- Virtual Console. Yup, still holding out for a sliver of hope.
- Metroid Prime 4. It’s just not happening here today. This is E3-level reveal. We’ll see it in June, with possible game play for 2019.
Well, there you have. Looking forward to seeing what I get wrong at
5 PM (waiting until I get to my fiancée’s place to watch it around 7:30 or so. I’ll be going off the grid pretty soon so I don’t get spoiled).
Whether we get a sub-par show, or one that blows the socks off of us, it’s always a fun ride leading up to Directs. Plus, you know what’s the best part? This new Nintendo leaves us with so much to look forward to continuously.