E3 2011 Predictions

May 26, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Gaming Article | Leave a comment
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About this time every year, the gaming world is awash with wild and outlandish predictions of what we might see at the annual E3 expo. I love speculating on what games companies have in store for us and being a Nintendo gamer I’m looking forward to seeing the new line-up of 3DS titles, the new Nintendo console, and what we can look forward to at the tail-end of the Wii & DS’ lifespan. Below is my list of predictions and things I want to see at E3.

 

 

Project Café supports 3D displays – Nintendo have toyed with 3D for home consoles before; prototypes already exist for GameCube and Wii. Nintendo will look to future-proof their next console by supporting 3D displays right from the start. They might even announce a 3D screen of their own to follow after the launch.

Project Café will be pricey – Nintendo may be a bit tight-lipped on pricing at E3, but if the specs are to be believed it’s unlikely to launch for anything less than £300. Expect the controllers to fetch around £75 as well. They will probably concentrate on showing off the games rather than discussing launch dates/prices but you never know.

Project Café to launch with timed exclusives for major third-party titles – Now Nintendo have made an effort to compete with PS3 and 360 in terms of raw power they will be hoping third-parties will be porting some of their major titles across in time for the launch. If Nintendo continue courting other companies as they did for the 3DS launch they could go as far as asking for timed exclusives.

New F-Zero and Pilotwings are first-party launch titles for Project Café – Pilotwings enjoyed a revival on 3DS and Nintendo might want to capitalise on that by bringing it to the next console. F-Zero is another franchise that has been ignored this generation, and could be a good choice to bring in hardcore gamers. Expect Monster Games (Excite Trucks) to be working on either of these games.

Pikmin 3 has moved to Project Café or 3DS – It’s probably too late in the Wii’s life to expect Nintendo to bring out Pikmin 3 on it, so it would be sensible to shift it to one of the next-gen systems. Expect to see heavy use of the new controller’s screen, as well as online play.

Project Café will support Blu-Ray discs – Future proofing the console will be an imperative for Nintendo and DVD discs are already showing signs of age. Supporting Blu-Ray may put money in Sony’s pocket but it would also mean the console could easily handle future titles in epic series’ like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Monster Hunter.

Factor 5 and Silicon Knights reveal they are working on Project Café titles – These two companies have been very close to Nintendo in the past. Both have also favoured working on graphically intensive games. The Wii may not have delivered the hardware power they wanted but that won’t be an issue on Project Café. Hopefully we’ll see another Rogue Leader (Expanded Universe – Yuuzhan Vong era battles please!) and Eternal Darkness from them.

Third Party Café titles to include Kingdom Hearts 3, GTA 5 and No More Heroes 3 – Nintendo will be keen to show off any major third-party titles and it’s very possible that these three could be amongst them. We know SquareEnix and Rockstar are working on KH3 and GTA 5 respectively, and Suda 51 has made it clear Travis Touchdown’s third outing will be built for the next Nintendo console. Hopefully we’ll get some kind of glimpse at E3.

3DS Trailer-roll to include new Mario, Zelda and Metroid – Although unlikely to be playable, Mario’s first platform adventure for the 3DS is almost certain to be shown in video form. The next handheld Zelda should also have been in development since the team finished Spirit Tracks so may be far along enough for Nintendo to give us some footage. Expect a spin-off rather than an all-new adventure; Miyamoto’s hinted at going back to A Link to the past remaking it for 3DS, Nintendo may go ahead with that idea or choose to develop the sequel to Zelda: Four Swords, which was originally announced for the DS way back in 2007. A Metroid game is also a dead cert for 3DS; my money would be on a sequel to Other M or a port of Metroid Prime. We could even see a glimpse of the long-rumoured Metroid Dread.

Endless Ocean, Advance Wars and Brain Training also revealed for 3DS – Nintendo will have a bunch of new titles in the works for 3DS that haven’t been announced yet, and these three would bolster an already strong first-party line-up. Intelligent Systems are likely to be working on a new AW game, seeing as the last DS game launched three years ago. Brain Training could see a return as Nintendo try to emulate the sales spikes the original titles triggered on the DS. Endless Ocean is a bit of a long shot but the 3D screen would make this fish-em-up an even more immersive experience.

Brand new, Miyamoto-helmed IP for 3DS – It’s about time Nintendo gave us a brand-new character franchise to sit alongside Mario and Zelda and the 3DS offers the perfect opportunity for Miyamoto to attempt something that’s never been imagined before; he’s been experimenting with 3D for twenty years after all.

New Pokemon CCG game for 3DS – The AR cards showed off the 3DS’ potential for hosting card games, and what better (and more lucrative) way to exploit the feature than a Pokemon branded customisable card-battling game.

Rare announce a 3DS title in the works – Microsoft recently mentioned that it wouldn’t rule out releasing some of its key franchises on the 3DS, and given Viva Pinata’s appearance on the DS it isn’t too big a leap to imagine Rare taking on the task of bringing a MS franchise to the new handheld. Kameo and Viva Pinata would seem a good fit, but don’t rule out some of Rare’s N64 back-catalogue following Ocarina of Time and Lylat Wars’ switch to the 3DS. At a stretch, maybe the SNES DKC trilogy will be reimagined for 3DS.

Third Party 3DS titles to include new FF Crystal Chronicles, Burnout and Tekken – The 3DS has had great support from third-parties and don’t expect that to drop. A new Crystal Chronicles or a redux of the original GameCube title would be most welcome. Ridge Racer and Street Fighter 4 have shown the handheld can more than handle racers and beat-em-ups so expect some big genre names to follow suit.

3DS movie streaming plans revealed – This will be a big draw for the 3DS in the next year and Nintendo will be keen to show what they’ve got in store. Expect movie rentals, trailers and exclusive content to be made available via the service.

The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower both revealed to be in line for a western release by the end of the financial year – Xenoblade already has a European release in the pipeline, and that just leaves these two big Japanese-only titles to go. Translating The Last Story will be an enormous task, given the amount of incidental spoken dialogue, but seeing as Nintendo expanded their translation team last year to help pump out Dragon’s Quest 9 and Pokemon Black & White, we believe they can turn it around before March next year. Pandora’s Tower will take far less time to translate and could even be ready in time for Xmas.

Zelda Skyward Sword will be Nintendo’s big Xmas 2011 game for Wii, Mariokart and Animal Crossing will be the big ones for 3DS – Nintendo could probably release Zelda in the summer, but doing so would deprive the Wii of it’s last big holiday game. A November release would seem quite likely as it gives Miyamoto’s team the time to give it a little extra polish. Mariokart and Animal Crossing released fairly early in the DS’ lifespan and continue to sell well even now. Getting them out before the end of the year would give the 3DS a massive boost for its first Christmas.

The Wii line-up will be bolstered by a few new titles, a second round of New Play titles, and a few previously Japan-only titles – Again this is a bit of wishful thinking, but Reggie and Satoru Iwata have both said that Nintendo have some surprises in store at E3 for the Wii. We know of Wii Play Motion already, and a Pokemon game has been confirmed as being in development, although no details have been revealed. A new Yoshi’s Island could be on the cards, following Nintendo’s willingness to return to its 2D roots. We’d bet on Good Feel being given a shot at bringing Yoshi’s world back, with a new art-style to match their hand-drawn Warioland and woollen Kirby games (Yoshi made of plasticine perhaps?).

A few years ago, Nintendo retooled half a dozen GameCube games to work on the Wii; last year, Nintendo renewed the trademarks on Eternal Darkness and Luigi’s mansion. Perhaps that means we can look forward to some more cube titles jumping to the Wii? Wind Waker and Mario Sunshine would be popular choices if a second set of New Play games were released.

The last possible avenue for filling up the Wii’s barren release schedule would be by translating some older Japanese games. Iwata-San mentioned Nintendo were looking at bringing over some titles that had never been seen outside of Japan which leads us to hope (in vain) for Captain Rainbow, the Tales of games for DS and Wii, and Zangeki no Reginleiv.

Nintendo will be celebrating Zelda and Metroid 25th anniversaries at E3 – Mario managed to get a limited edition Wii, DS and a Mario Allstars rerelease to celebrate his 25th birthday, so it’s only fair that Zelda and Metroid get the same treatment. A gold Wii and DS would be a fitting tribute to Zelda, while Samus’ famous ‘S’ logo could be emblazoned on the consoles to celebrate Metroid’s quarter-century.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the list. Don’t forget to add your own comments if you agree with any of the above, or if you just want to share some of your own.

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