The excitement surrounding the Nintendo Switch continues to be outrageous, but it’s nothing in comparison to the hype building for Nintendo’s E3 2018 presence. It’s the year of Super Smash Bros. and Pokemon Let’s Go, two titles that could easily surpass the sales of both Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That’s not to say that Nintendo doesn’t have plenty else in store, just that they know to give fans what they want. Not only will Nintendo have its annual pre-recorded E3 Nintendo Direct this year, but it will also be holding a big Super Smash Bros. tournament celebrating the reveal of the Nintendo Switch fighting game.
Nintendo Direct: E3 2018 will go live on Tuesday, June 12 at 9:00 am PT and will be available to watch on Nintendo’s official E3 website. Additional sources for the video will be made available closer to June 12. Before the Nintendo Direct, Nintendo will be holding a Splatoon 2 tournament on June 11 and then on June 12, the Super Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament begins. And throughout the duration of E3, Nintendo Treehouse will be broadcasting live gameplay demos and interviews.
The Nintendo Switch is only beginning to hit its stride as more and more third-party publishers decide to support the console. Nintendo may not have the same breadth of announcements and rumors as other hardware manufacturers, but it definitely maintains parity in terms of fan excitement.
Super Smash Bros. is the heart of Nintendo’s E3 2018 plans, which is all the more exciting because virtually nothing is known about the fighting game. Expect Nintendo to introduce at least part of the Super Smash Bros. roster for this E3, with a healthy mix of returning and new fighters. The rest of the roster will trickle out leading up to the game’s release date, which could also be announced during E3. If there are surprises in store related to Super Smash Bros., they’ll be related to the game’s online mode. Nintendo is depending on Super Smash Bros. to get Nintendo Switch players to subscribe for online multiplayer, so hopefully there’s a robust selection of options.
Second to Super Smash Bros. at E3 will be Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, but it’s unclear how much Nintendo will show. Let’s Go is meant to pull Pokemon GO players away from mobile and onto a Nintendo Switch, but Nintendo is also capitalizing on confusion over whether Let’s Go is the 8th generation Pokemon game — which it isn’t. Nintendo will likely show some more Pokemon GO-related functionality and maybe some online features. Don’t be surprised if Nintendo then decides to hold back on showing more.
Other potential exclusives or first-party games that could show up include the Nintendo Switch Yoshi and Fire Emblem games, both of which are supposed to launch in 2018 but are otherwise complete mysteries. Then there’s Metroid Prime 4, which isn’t rumored to appear but would bring down the house if it did. Some have spoken about possible Super Mario Odyssey DLC, too, but there’s not much evidence to support it.. As for any other surprises, Nintendo likely has a few.
A rare occurrence happened this year and a Nintendo E3 leak came through with several likely games planned to be revealed for Nintendo Switch. An order form for E3 signs was leaked, showing nine games likely to be playable on the E3 show floor. Those games include Fortnite, Paladins, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, FIFA 19, Starlink, Mario Tennis Aces, and the otherwise unannounced indie titles Killer Queen Black and Overcooked 2. Most of these games have not yet been announced for the Nintendo Switch, so Nintendo will likely touch on them during its press conference. Fortnite, in particular, is going to be a very popular game on Switch.
Between Super Smash Bros., Pokemon Let’s Go, assorted exclusives, and big ports like Fortnite, it’s hard to imagine Nintendo having much time for anything else. But in case they do, there are plenty of awesome third-party and indie games coming to the Nintendo Switch in the near future. Wargroove, Octopath Traveler, and the next Shin Megami Tensei are just the start.
Here’s where Nintendo’s usual leak-prevention systems come into full effect. If Nintendo has any major hardware announcements planned for E3, they’ll be a complete surprise. There’s some talk of a new Nintendo Switch remodel and some talk of the latest 3DS iteration, but there’s little to no supporting evidence for either rumor. When the Nintendo Switch remains as successful as it has been, why change anything? Don’t even expect a price drop.
There are other possibilities beyond the Nintendo Switch and 3DS hardware that may get announced during E3, however. And that’s not a reference to the inevitable Amiibo and new JoyCon customizations that almost certainly be made. Rather, the one big rumor that deserves to be mentioned is Nintendo’s next classic mini-console. With the SNES Classic Edition selling out still and the NES Classic Edition making a comeback, rumors are spreading about a possible Nintendo 64 Classic Edition.
Whether or not Nintendo delves further into its plans for the Nintendo Switch’s online subscription and the way accounts will work is also a mystery. There’s likely to be a substantial update coming for the Nintendo Switch that will add all of the new functionality and probably some as-yet-unannounced features to go along with that. Nintendo will probably wait until after E3 to discuss that, however. Best to just let the games sell the service without getting into the details.
Nintendo is unlikely to release any teasers or make any early announcements prior to the start of the E3 festivities. Fans will just have to wait until the Nintendo Direct on June 12, if not the Splatoon 2 tournament starting June 11, for the fun to begin. Super Smash Bros. and Pokemon Let’s Go are guaranteed to be the main focus of the event but there may be a possibility that Nintendo doesn’t announce any other big first-party releases, just to give those games the spotlight. And it’d still be one of the most popular events of E3. Or Nintendo could unveil 15 new games for the Nintendo Switch on top of debuting Super Smash Bros. Either way, it’s going to be a great time.