Nintendo’s turnaround in 2017 became one of the year’s greatest success stories, but will they carry their renewed spark through 2018?
With landmark titles Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey soaking up Game Of The Year awards, Nintendo face keeping the Switch’s success afloat without two of their biggest franchises on the horizon.
So what do they have up their sleeve for 2018? Here’s our predictions on what gaming’s most unpredictable company could (and most definitely should) have in this year’s pipeline.
Super Mario Odyssey DLC will be announced with no bounding in sight
Considering their DLC success with Mario Kart 8 and Breath Of The Wild, more content for Super Mario Odyssey feels like an inevitability over a wild prediction.
The game’s ‘Kingdom’ structure also begs for additional levels. With Odyssey acting as a celebration of Mario’s past, we’re hoping a return ticket to Super Mario Sunshine’s Isle Delfino could be in store.
Bayonetta 3 will release before the end of 2018
The third exclusive instalment in the Bayonetta franchise was only announced last month, but with so few big titles confirmed on the horizon – we’re making the bold claim Bayonetta 3 will be primed for release before the year is out.
The quick re-release of Bayonetta 2 for Switch on February 16 suggests Nintendo are hoping to surge interest before a new entry. Two Bayonetta titles in one year? We should (will) be so lucky.
Super Smash Bros. Deluxe will kickstart their premium online service
In another no-brainer following Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a re-release of Smash Bros for Wii U combining all the DLC characters, 3DS stages and, at a stretch, a new story mode, will make its way onto Switch.
Nintendo need a flagship title to coincide with their paid online service, so a revived version of their biggest multiplayer title feels like a logical step.
‘Netflix and Switch’ and ‘Twitch On The Switch’ will become 2018’s breakout phrases
If Nintendo have less first-party releases this year, the company would be wise to increase the Switch’s functionality to ensure people are coming back to the console.
TV streaming services would be a particularly huge step. Netflix, Amazon, Now TV and Twitch apps would make the Switch’s portability even more desirable – making the need for other tablet devices in your bag a hard sell.
A Virtual Console service will be announced but it won’t be what we expect
When Nintendo is on a winning streak, a curdling sense of dread develops anticipating their next silly decision. Call it Wii Music Syndrome or Voice Chat Anxiety.
It’s only a matter of time before we’re due another hit, and we have a feeling Nintendo’s Virtual Console could become the victim.
Nintendo said their online subscription would include access to select NES games. Considering the success of their ‘classic’ consoles however, it’s unclear whether this service will be the Virtual Console we’re hoping, or a halfway-solution designed to not strip interest from their SNES classics.
The Year Of Luigi will have a blossoming resurgence
2018 looks to be a showcase of Nintendo’s B-tier with new games from Yoshi and Kirby on Switch, but what about everyone’s second favourite plumber?
If Super Mario Odyssey’s DLC doesn’t channel New Super Luigi U, we’re completely gunning for the announcement of a new Luigi’s Mansion – with the excellent 3DS sequel Dark Moon now being five years old.
A Metroid Prime Trilogy Switch announcement to keep us ticking until Metroid Prime 4
2018 will most likely see Nintendo place a stronger emphasis on ports, third-party titles and indie offerings to build upon their strong first-party output in 2017.
With Metroid Prime 4 presumably set to play a major role at E3, we’re predicting the game’s 2019 release announcement will be cushioned with a Metroid Prime Trilogy port – helping to renew interest in the franchise for younger gamers.
A new F-Zero announcement because it really, really needs to happen
As someone who believes 2003’s F-Zero GX is the greatest racing game ever, every passing year has been an exhausting disappointment. Made all the worse by F-Zero tracks in Mario Kart 8, that terrible mini-game in Nintendo Land and every Falcon Punch in Smash Bros.
It’s now been 20 years since the release of F-Zero X on the Nintendo 64, which feels like a perfect anniversary opportunity to relaunch the series as a mainline franchise. We’ve had two console generations without a new F-Zero, surely the third time’s a charm? Please.
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