Well it comes to the final part of my E3 predictions, Nintendo. In my opinion Nintendo's story for this year is definitely the most interesting with the recent launch of Nintendo 3DS and a drought of first party software on all of its systems. Not only that but Nintendo will be unveiling their next home console at their E3 press conference. It looks to be exciting and all of the current information makes it easy to predict what will happen. Nintendo has been more open this year than in the past but they still somehow have so much to still unveil. Remember, what you are about to read are my predictions and opinions so take it all in with a grain of salt.
First, let's focus on Wii games. Nintendo has not released much for Wii for the first half of this year. Their holiday lineup for 2010 was spectacular with Donkey Kong, Kirby, and Metroid leading the pack. The biggest Wii title for the first half of 2011 is Wii Play Motion which is somewhat sad. Obviously Nintendo is going to reveal some new Wii games to come out this holiday season. The only holiday showstopper we know of is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. There will no doubt be new information and I think Nintendo will also reveal a release date for Skyward Sword and will make it clear that this will be the year of Zelda. The 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda is also this year and Nintendo might tease their plans which they promise to be big. Another possible Wii game I think is Pokemon. Nintendo already confirmed that a new Pokemon game is in the works for Wii. It would make complete sense for it to be a sequel to the failed Pokemon Battle Revolution to feature the Black and White Pokemon. Again, this is just a guess but if it were true, it's gotta have some sort of single player mode that will keep fans coming back. There might also be more surprises for Wii like localizations of interesting games to recently hit Japan like Pandora's Tower and The Last Story.
For the Nintendo DS, there won't be much going on. I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo did not talk about Nintendo DS at all. I would still predict that the newest DS games to hit Japan like the Pokemon typing game and the new Kirby game will come to America later this year.
Nintendo 3DS will have the most interesting showcase of games out of all of Nintendo's existing consoles. The launch of the eShop will take place just hours before Nintendo's E3 press conference begins and I'm sure Nintendo will comment on it. I'm also hoping that 3D trailers for most or all of the new 3DS games will be available to stream and/or download from the eShop. New eShop content will definitely be shown. More 3D classics and at least two 1st party 3DSWare titles. I also think Nintendo might show off new AR and Streetpass games to download via the eShop. It's a stretch but it's definitely possible.
There will be a decent amount of downloadable 3DS titles but the amount of retail 3DS games shown will be enormous. Super Mario will definitely lead the pack as the marquee 3DS title for 2011. Kid Icarus: Uprising will also be important and will most likely receive a release date at the press conference. I also believe Star Fox 64 3D will be given a US release date or at least a release window. It hits Japan next month so the wait can't be too long. There are rumors going around that Mario Kart 3DS scheduled for release later this year might have been delayed to 2012. No matter what happens to the release date of the game, E3 2011 will hold its big debut and I'm sure Nintendo will have new game modes and features to surprise all Mario Kart players. Other 3DS games coming in 2012 like Animal Crossing and Paper Mario might get new trailers and playable demos on the show floor but there probably won't be much new info on those. 3rd party 3DS titles will also be important with Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D leading the pack.
One thing many people forget about is that Nintendo aims to make Nintendo 3DS a 3D entertainment platform. I think Nintendo might talk about an update for 3DS that allows 3D video recording but I honestly think that feature will make its way instead to the first redesign of Nintendo 3DS which will probably have better cameras. They pretty much have to talk about 3D movies and I really hope they are available on game cards instead of being downloadable or streamable. I believe either Disney or Dreamworks will be the first major studio on board. They have a lot of great 3D content that appeals to all types of people. I also think they will give a release date for Netflix on 3DS but I don't expect it to support 3D movies until maybe 2012. I could be wrong but we'll see.
But of course there's only one thing most people are interested in seeing and that is Project Cafe, the supposed codename for Nintendo's next console. So far the only things that have been confirmed is that it will be playable at E3 and it has enough processing power to match the graphical quality of its HD competitors, and obviously it will also be in HD. There have also been rumors of a six inch touch screen on the controller. This is a possibility but its probably not as crazy as everyone thinks. Nintendo usually aims to make a profit while keeping cost low. I don't think they will announce a final name at the show but maybe the real codename. Keep in mind, Nintendo never confirmed their new console was codenamed Project Cafe. Some journalists just said that and it kind of caught on. I believe it will exceed the power of PS3 but for disc format use a proprietary disc that can hold a decent amount of data, anywhere from 15-30GB minimum. There will be something unique about it and it will shock everyone. Figuring out how to please the hardcore and casual markets is easier said than done but Nintendo has got it figured out.
As for games, there will be mostly tech demos utilizing new innovations in control and interface. While new games might not be announced, I can pretty much guarantee that you'll see Mario, Link, Samus, and more in beautiful HD. Nintendo will probably announce a new Smash Bros. game and leave it at that, its probably years away. As for third parties, Nintendo's main goal with this new console is to bring the third parties back to Nintendo. The biggest rumor is that Rockstar Games is planning to bring Grand Theft Auto V to the new Nintendo console. This is probably believable. Rockstar has definitely been at work on the next GTA game for the last three years so I would not be surprised to see the first trailer exclusively at Nintendo's press conference. I would also expect Activision to be on board with a Call of Duty game at launch and obviously EA will put Madden out on day one as they always do. In terms of a release date and price, I can guarantee we won't hear a price but in terms of a release date, they will definitely announce what season in 2012 its coming out whether that is Spring or Fall.
Nintendo's press conference has the most potential to be amazing and I believe Nintendo will deliver and excite gamers even more than they did last year. See if I'm right and watch Nintendo's press conference on June 7 at 12pm EST. Check it out streaming live at e3.nintendo.com and keep an eye on this news for the updates.