News Article

Talking Point: What We Expect From Nintendo at E3 2014

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Hype train incoming

The Nintendo Digital Event is just hours away, which means forged MK8 DLC images and many more besides that we've ignored will be consigned to another year of irrelevance. Nintendo will lay out its major projects for the remainder of 2014 and, we suspect, one or two of the biggest titles of 2015. With its current gen rivals in a tricky spot of having to show a lot of projects destined for next year, Nintendo's biggest opportunity may be to focus on 2014 games.

What the big N does perhaps have up its sleeve to distinguish itself is variety. The main trump card of 3DS and, increasingly, Wii U, is that it offers a range of titles and genres not prioritised on other systems. That can be deemed as a weakness for some, yet both systems are increasingly targeting families and young gamers with a select range of software for dedicated fans. It's a tricky balancing act for Nintendo, yet after a relatively slow release schedule on Wii U in its early life — arguably — it's perhaps in a position to unveil a host of titles that have been in development for a solid amount of time.

We shall see soon, but below are some of our expectations based not on our hopes and dreams, but what we feel are likely announcements. Some are definite, while others have a degree of logical conjecture behind them.

Release Date Bonanza

There are a number of titles with loose windows and, in many cases, lengthy development periods behind them. We should see a release date for Super Smash Bros. on 3DS as it's due in the Summer, while the Wii U version is clearly progressing well due to its consistent appearances on Miiverse and the fact it will have its own Invitational Event during E3. In terms of mechanics and physics, we would certainly expect that Masahiro Sakurai must be happy with progress for it to have such excessive exposure; as a result, a release date must be on the cards.

On top of that we have other Wii U games that either have release dates or 'Summer' windows in Japan, making localisation a priority. Two specific titles in this bracket are Hyrule Warriors and Bayonetta 2, both of which are due in the relatively near future in Nintendo's homeland.

We'd hope for release window updates on more besides, too, including Monolith Soft's X, Yarn Yoshi and Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem spring to mind.

On the 3DS front it's all about Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, which may have its November window pinned down.

Nintendo Figurine Platform (NFP)

We expect this to take up a meaty portion of Nintendo's Digital Event, especially with the Wii U products targeting the all-important Holiday season. The concept seems solid — one set of core figurines that, using the GamePad, can be utilised across a suite of different software products. It wouldn't surprise us if a range of games are offered and that these will have been Shigeru Miyamoto's focus, as it was explained to investors in January that Miyamoto-san and his core team were tasked with emphasizing the GamePad's qualities. If the unconfirmed "Mario Maker" is indeed real, we'd anticipate that as part of the NFP platform.

This could be a huge market for Nintendo, if bundled sensibly and positioned as a creative, fun and less expensive alternative to Disney Infinity and Skylanders, not to mention the fact it can leverage those famous IPs. It's already been let slip that it may play a role in Super Smash Bros., too, though we would expect its impact on the fan-favourite to be minimal and limited to aesthetics — new skins for characters, as one example, or the ability to store custom move-sets (a neat new feature for the series) on the figurines in order to scan in and use that character on another copy of the game.

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U Initial Reveal

This will be a short entry, as no-one truly knows what the new Legend of Zelda title will bring. Will it reflect the style of that E3 2011 tech-demo? Will it follow the art-style of Skyward Sword. Will Eiji Aonuma's desire for innovation bring the series into an environment that "no one has ever imagined before"?

Who knows, but it's likely to be shown in some form, with rumours of a short playable demo on the show floor.

A Major Surprise or Two

If you may recall, last year The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was first shown at E3 for 3DS and arrived just 5-6 months later. For the 3DS, in particular, we'd expect a big-name title or two to come out of the blue as late 2014 releases; Nintendo's kept itself quiet on the handheld's lineup, so expect some exciting news for games that'll join Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire. Some ideas in our office include a Mario Sports game (potentially a Strikers title, follow up to Mario Hoops 3 on 3 or another 'Mix' game). Another potential fan-favourite as a big hit could be good old Metroid Dread, or any 2D title in the franchise.

Moving onto Wii U, we're certainly curious to see what Next Level Games is doing, as it's stated it's focused on Nintendo games and has been all-quiet since the terrific Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. We'd be surprised if Nintendo didn't give one of its most acclaimed partners a Wii U project, and recent trademarks for "Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace" certainly have us intrigued. Is it too soon for Retro Studios to show its next project, meanwhile? That depends whether another project was being developed alongside Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

In terms of franchises that could do with a Wii U boost, there are too many, and fan-favourites that frankly have relatively slim odds. That said, the fact that Animal Crossing: New Leaf director Ms. Kyogoku and producer Mr. Eguchi recently appeared on Nintendo Minute makes sense; combined with the Animal Crossing Plaza on Wii U, a home console entry on the series to cash-in on its ongoing popularity seems like a solid bet. We'll throw Metroid in there for Wii U as a sane prediction too, as it's been a good gap since that last entry in the franchise — see Retro Studios above.

Minecraft is inevitable, surely?

Making the old new again on Virtual Console, and with a controller to match

We expect to see more of DS on Wii U Virtual Console, perhaps even an 'out now' announcement as the service has already had a soft launch in Japan. Due to the announcement of the GameCube Controller Adapter, no doubt with a Smash Bros. focus, it opens the door again for GameCube titles on the retro platform. Everything is in position, assuming there are no crippling hardware / emulation issues, and we'd anticipate a Wii U-only wireless GameCube Pro Controller to arrive alongside the adapter. If GameCube is coming to Wii U, now is the time.

Another area we feel Nintendo could win fans is by applying incentives to cross-platform Virtual Console purchases, which applies to NES titles — potentially more in future — across 3DS and Wii U. Satoru Iwata has spoken about the company exploring new pricing models to reward loyal gamers, so to have the option — thanks to Nintendo Network ID unity — to own both versions across systems would be welcome, at long last. We can only hope.

Showing off the eShop

Nintendo has already released a huge number of trailers for new download-only games on the way to Wii U and 3DS. We expect a sizzle reel along those lines, but the recent release of Pushmo World is a continuation of Nintendo producing first-party content for its store. We'd hope for fresh projects on both Wii U and 3DS from Nintendo, fun little experiences that existing fans will no doubt embrace.

There are plenty of major franchises that have disappeared from the retail scene, too — yes, Star Fox, F-Zero, Wave Race et al. If Nintendo unveils an underutilised franchise or two as eShop-only exclusives, we wouldn't be surprised.

So those are some of our ideas of what's to come. Some are almost certainties, others can be argued as reasonably logical guesses. What do you think will be shown? Let us know.

FYI — We will be live streaming and live blogging all of Nintendo's E3 goodness today right here on Nintendo Life.

From the web

User Comments (92)



Discipledoctor said:

I wouldn't be surprised to see an announcement for DS, but I hope that N64 ends up available for today. We'll see!



KeatonTS said:

Will you guys have a live stream on this site? I've read it starts live at 9am but I don't see any live streams.



unrandomsam said:

One thing Nintendo has never done is less expensive. If anything it is more likely to be the most expensive of all of them.



SleepyCrossing said:

I have high hopes for this year. I want the NFP to truly be innovative and work across a large number of titles. I think the slew of eshop title trailers released yesterday is a really good indication of a pretty packed event today. Thoughts of Zelda, Metroid, Animal Crossing on the Wii U, and other titles are swirling in my head. Cheers to this year's presentation, can't wait!



MussakkuLaden said:

Well, everything seems possible. Major surprises like in the early 2013 direct, but also mere presentations of the AAA titles scheduled for 2014. What of both (or a mixture of both) will happen is on the one hand a question of strategy, on the other dependent on what Nintendo did or did not in secret throughout the past 12 months, and what they still expect they can make of the Wii U.



FritzFrapp said:

Majora's Mask 3DS with a late 2014 release date is a reasonable expectation, given that Grezzo have been pretty quiet and it would bridge the wait for Zelda U.



TheGreenHylian said:

With Microsoft and Sony's disappointing press conferences, I expect Nintendo to blow them out of the water with a great Digital Event.



IxC said:

I hope we can get some surprise eShop games launching straight after the presentation. Doing that with NES Remix was awesome. Hope they do it again.



timp29 said:

I'm expecting a massive E3 from Nintendo. They didn't even try to compete at last years, so hopefully they have 2-3 extra aces up their sleeve. This is their chance to steal the attention away from Sony and Microsoft and sell the WiiU if it is to have much relevancy this generations console war.

Please don't disappoint me big N!!



JakeShapiro said:

N64/GameCube/Sega console games on Wii U Virtual Console would all be welcome. And of course, I'm still holding out for a new Retro-developed Wii U Metroid… or Metroid Dread back from the dead on 3DS?!



ManateeBlubber said:

I still think that Ice Climbers should come back with an eshop-exclusive indie title developed by WayForward.



IxC said:


Realistically I'm expecting Nintendo's to be disappointing as well. But they don't really have a great deal to beat. The best announcement out of E3 so far is Grim Fandango.



ikki5 said:


Of course they will and 9:00am is 9:00 Pacific time so that would be 12:00 EST or 1:00 AST for people like me.



0utburst said:

SM Sunshine HD, a Megaman (Prime? I wish.) game since Megaman made it to Smash, moar VCs, Metroid 2DS, NFC, 1st/2nd party eshop games ...



alLabouTandroiD said:

  • SNES games on the 3DS VC and maybe even GBA games depending on their success on the Wii U VC
  • Game Boy Remix and SNES Remix
  • Majora's Mask 3D


AlexSora89 said:

I forgot that Nintendo's E3 would only happen in late afternoon in my timezone (Italy), and blindly trusted SmashWiki's (wrong) countdown, which is why I ended up expecting the event tomorrow morning. It's still just 2:20 PM in my timezone, so I guess I have one more reason to help mom chopping wood today - that is, a distraction from the unbearable wait for E3 to come.
Ninty, drop some (figurative!) H-bombs today. You need such ammo more than ever.



Alucard83 said:

@unrandomsam Yes just like their console while it's a decade old CPU/GPU engine and still daring to ask at least 300$ or euro without real HDD and WII mote. Yep they are expensive. Parents will pay anyhow because there are more children players than adults. That's the succesform of Nintendo. very very smart.



3dcaleb said:

i'm hoping for youkai watch coming to NA for sure with a release date. that would make me very very happy. and also attack on titan. if we get both of those i'll be loving it.



Goginho said:

If I may recall, last year The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was first shown in a Nintendo Direct in April, I believe.



Taggsta said:

Here you go.... These are going to be announced Wave Race HD & SMarioSunshine HD on WiiU. StarFox 3DS, Zelda :Unbound King (WiiU), Project S.T.E.A.M (3DS) and more....



Shambo said:

Well, whatever they bring, I'm sure many will keep complaining about the lack of (this or that title), but same as last year, I bet there'll be some great news in there (like Mega Man for Smash). They will deliver, and if Nintendo delivers, they friggin' Deliver with capital D. They KNOW they HAVE to, and last time they knew that, 3DS went through the roof, and my wallet went empty.
And @Gohinho is right I think. I had mixed expectations due to a low-profile unveil and bland art when LBW was unveiled, and a 3D trailer was available 'right after this presentation'.



Dark-Luigi said:

As long as it's not overflown by Smash, then alright.

Majoras Mask 3D, or any other remake that I'd like.
New StarFox.
And whatever else that's good.



erv said:

I don't really expect a new zelda announcement, to be honest - I expect it to be released later than next years' summer and probably with a huge bang. So next year seems reasonable, but let's hope I am wrong



Peach64 said:

I think they need some big announcements to get everyone talking about them.

I've said this several times on the forum, but I think the majority here will be happy whatever they show. Look how well received the January 2013 Direct was on here, or last year's E3, but in the rest of the gaming media, the Direct was barely picked up on and it was widely considered they had a poor E3. Neither of them helped consoles sales at all either. They have to do more than please the people that liked last year's E3.

If all they show is more footage of stuff we know about like Smash, Bayonetta 2, X and Zelda, I don't think they're going to get the buzz they need outside of Nintendo-centric sites. They will have surprises, let's just hope they're good ones.

On a completely personal level, I'm hoping for Advanced Wars 3DS, Dragon Quest VII localisation and a new Star Fox on Wii U. I think we might end up seeing a Retro developed Metroid which would be good too, but I'd prefer Star Fox out of the too. It would be great if Nintendo had managed to get a big Japanese 3rd party exclusive too, just throw money at it to make a splash and boost the system's rep.



kyuubikid213 said:

I'm going to be at work during the event...
Maybe I'll be able to watch it during my lunch break...

Anyway, I'm excited. These past few E3s I've only watched because of Nintendo (the first one I recall watching revealed the 3DS) and I've not been disappointed yet. I can't wait to see what's going to be revealed/shown off this time!

Nintendo, you won't disappoint me because I won't ask for the stars.



Cengoku said:

I'm sure DS emulator on wii u will be presented and will be available in less than 1 month.
A new Zelda on Wii U will be presented. A lots of fans are waiting for a new Metroid or Star Fox, except one of those 2 licenses shown.



MrGawain said:

If Nintendo announce an unreveal Wii U game for 2014, they will have already done enough to do better than Microsony.



QBertFarnsworth said:

@outburst I think a side-scrolling, 2D, HD Mega Man is a very realistic possibility as either an exclusive or a timed-exclusive. With his appearance in Smash, the deluge of Mega Man VC games, and perhaps to take out the legs from the Mighty No. 9, I can see this happening.



Dannyxzero said:

wonder what the Little port on the Wii U pad is for? they should use it like a Gameboy/DS/3DS player ^___^ that would be nice



unrandomsam said:

@Alucard83 Pokemon Rumble U has £80 worth of figures at £4 (RRP) now they cost more like £10. (That is the price for 2 Retail 3DS games at RRP for Comparison).



ClockworkMario said:

[If you may recall, last year The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was first shown at E3 for 3DS and arrived just 5-6 months later.]

I thought it was revealed already in April of that year. I have strong memory print of it being presented in a Nintendo Direct.



firebird3334 said:

S.T.E.A.M. Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace is for 3ds which is the 90 mins discussion for



andreoni79 said:




rjejr said:

Yeah that's pretty much everyting I want to see:

Release dates. SSBU, X, B2, HW, Yoshi Dates. Dates. Dates. Now is the time for Wii U to shine.

NFC toys. I really think N needs a dedicated game, Pokepark 3, Subspace Emmsisary 2, Nintendo Land 2, to get people to buy them, not just a skin or moveset. Thats ok as an add-on but for an initial purchase it needs a full retail game, Pokemon Rumble U was pathetic.

New games. They always have a new game, Wii Music or Donkey Kong or Kirby. Something new will be out for the holiday on hopefully both Wii U and 3DS.

And I'ld really like some type of hardware surprise. That GC adaprtor should come bundled w/ SSBU. Was the 2DS shown at E3? Maybe 2DS XL?

I really think Nitneod can "win" this E3 w/ very liitle effort. And the Wii U can actually have a 3DS like turn-around. Well at least enough to be a going entity the next 3 years. Vita looks dead, even w/ Vita TV.

The only thing that people will be talking abut for the next 18 months though is Zelda's graphics. Good or bad I think that's the lasting impression from this week.

Edit: Oh, apparently the Vita is dead as Sony renamed "Vita TV" to "Playstation TV". Makes sense as it's mostly used for PS4 streaming rather than Vta games as several popular Vita games don't work, but still has to be disheartening for the Vita fans. I know a few.



FritzFrapp said:

@Riptide515 In 2.5 hours. Here are some world times for the conference:
Los Angeles 9 am
Chicago 11 am
New York 12 noon
London 5 pm
Berlin 6 pm
New Delhi 9:30 pm
Tokyo 1 am
Sydney 2 am



NintyMan said:

I agree that there a release date for Smash Bros. 3DS is pretty much guaranteed, and a Wii U version release date as well. A good NFC game should also be coming. GameCube VC would be welcome.

I got very little sleep last night from all the exciting things going on today.



Palunken said:

I'm hoping for some Mother/Earthbound related announcement. There is still that "Onett Times" community on Miiverse. Mother 3 on GBA VC! Or that new 3ds game...




I would love to see to see metroid prime hunters 2 for 3DS, a release date for X and bayonetta 2, I want zelda to look like the 2011 tech demo.

And err........... I dunno really



smikey said:

with regards to unannounced games I'm hoping for Animal crossing wii u I know it will happen eventually but i'd like it sooner than later.

I think there is a good chance of mario party for wii u too, probably metroid and surely gamecube vc will be announced at some point but I don't think they'll put it up before smash u comes out people will need the adapters which aren't available yet.
N64 vc would be nice if it were available after the presentation but if anything more likely be ds.

I generally don't mind what gets announced i'll buy everything & will always have more than I can ever play though i'm hoping for f-zero, metroid & star fox just so people will be happy & because miiverse will be full of complaints if not though all 3 will never get announced at the same time.

Wouldn't mind a nintendo land 2 if it were more fleshed out & allowed single player to play multi player games or online play.

Finally a nes remix trilogy (retail) & snes remix 1 e-shop wouldn't be totally out of the question



Oaf7724 said:

Very anxious for the event! I thought Microsoft had a great presentation yesterday and Sony's was ok but Nintendo has a chance here to take the cake. I think if they confirm one of the four main IP rumors (Zelda, Metroid, Star Fox, F-Zero) they will have a successful presentation. Go Nintendo!



siavm said:

Link between worlds was shown in April last year. Two months before E3. Just had to say that. I really do hope they have something good besides smash. More smash news is awesome but there are other games that need time to shine. And I really hope no new Mario is coming this year. I know they did that a lot in the nes and snes gens but I started playing Mario in the 64 era. Where one Mario game is enough to turn heads. I wish they stop trying to annualize Mario and put a star fox, f zero, a long dormant franchise out, or make a AAA new ip that is not downloadable out.



malown said:

I didn't know there was a mario football game for Wii, but I really enjoyed playing Mario Smash Football on GCN. Mario Strikers U would be awesome, now that a Nintendo console finally has proper online functionality

Also N64 games on the eshop.

...And since i kinda freaked out when i read about the rumour of an MK8 DLC with new modes yesterday... THAT



jjmesa16 said:

I'm hoping for a announcement for Pokemon games on virtual console. Ok maybe I'm being way too optimistic but I do expect to see more of the Pokemon game for Wii U that we saw last year.

What ever happened to Yarn Yoshi/Yoshi's Yarn?

Edit: Another bold prediction is that GameFreak will announce multiple save save files for Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby.



Zach777 said:

I simply hope that Nintendo doesn't shoot themselves in the foot, and that fans aren't too heartbroken with unrealistic dreams left unfulfilled.

(Of course some dreams may become reality today )



Evenmoresteven said:

I think this may be a stretch, but I think it would be cool if the Shin'en game Fast Racing Neo (that we oddly haven't heard much about since it was announced like 2 years ago) would be retooled as a F-zero game. Nintendo has been licensing out their characters and IPs, and the first Fast Racing game was very Fzero-like. I wouldn't put it past Nintendo to give Shin'en that IP. Their games have performed well on Nintendo's platforms, and they are very high quality.



Dragoon04 said:

Thses predictions are very solid and logical. I think it is going to be exciting. Those release date games better come with new gameplay trailers



unrandomsam said:

I hope we get a Wario game on the 3DS. (Warioware or Wario Land.)

Just being playing Wario Land 4 and it is brilliant. (Its crazy how many mobile games are based on one tiny part of a Wario game).

Endless runners / Fruit Ninja they were all in Wario first.



xxAcesHighxx said:

My top 10 Wii U predictions for Nintendo's E3 presentation:

1 - A proper trailer for the upcoming Zelda game, a full title reveal, and an approximate release window. I wouldn't be surprised if they even have a short playable demo for fans at the show.

2 - A teaser reveal for the next 3D Mario Game. But will it be Wii U or 3DS? My guess is the former.

3 - More details, trailers and confirmation of 2014 launch windows for Bayonetta 2, Monolith's X branded title and Yarn Yoshi.

4 - A brand new Wii U game from an existing first-party franchise. If it isn't Metroid, then I'd have to plump for one from Animal Crossing, Pokemon or Star Fox.

5 - Three new budget titles presented by Miyamoto, with one being a brand new IP that will specifically revolve around the GamePad and demonstrate just how great it really is!

6 - Details of the first batch of DS games to hit the Wii U Virtual Console. They may even go as far as releasing the first two or three straight after their presentation today. Possibly something like NSMB, Super Mario 64 or Phantom Hourglass.

7 - Speaking of the VC, I reckon they'll have some news regarding a 2015 launch for GameCube titles to join the service. And maybe even GBA games for 3DS??!!

8 - This ones a bit of a long-shot as the franchise is still very new, but after the success of the two NES Remix games on the Wii U eShop, they may well announce a forthcoming SNES Remix iteration.

9 - A tediously long and convoluted NFC presentation.

10 - This is probably the least likely of my ten predictions, but I wouldn't be completely shocked if they announce their intention to add full GamePad support for retrospective Wii games played on Wii U! A guy can dream right?



Shadowkiller97 said:

@ClockworkMario You are right. It was revealed in the April direct last year. The real story should have been SM3DW which was announced at E3 and released 5-6 months later. Or even DKC:TF which was also first announced at E3 and came out within a year. I honestly don't remember any new 3DS game that was first announced at E3 last year. But at the same time, Nintendo Directs were a monthly affair last year. Since we haven't had many so far in 2014, I expect more announcements today.



nuke13 said:

Time is reporting a story about a Wii u starfox shown off by Miyamoto.



Action51 said:

I predict: Nintendoooom!!!

Actually I think this will probably be a pretty good digital event/direct...but when all the wild rumors and speculation and fake leaks that were floated by everyone from random internet trolls to so-called established gaming journalism sites aren't all realized, the inevitable will occur.

Everyone who had their hopes built up to massive hype levels thanks to these fake leaks and rumors will be disappointed, and the strange phenomenon of "can't see the forest for the trees" fans with their incredibly specific demands will not get their set of obscure wishes granted and hate Nintendo for it.



vio said:

I'm really pumped to see the new Star Fox! There hasn't been a new console entry since the Gamecube days... I don't know what this new control method is all about yet, but Star Fox on powerful HD hardware has me foaming at the mouth just thinking about it!



Ninhau said:

I expect Majoras Mask 3DS and maybe a new Fzero... and lets go crazy here, a new franchise, no? Rehashes are nice... but new franchises are better



Neferupitou said:

A look into the new Zelda is MANDATORY!
and.. a pokemon game for wii u, with BATTLES and maybe an adventure too...

Pack it with a new Paper Mario for wii U and ti,s all GOOD!!



Heiki said:

I was utterly disappointed by both Sony and M$. I'm not getting my hopes up for Nintendo either, but well... both conferences were all about Western stuff, so I'm expecting something else from Nintendo. I'm much more interested in Japanese games.

Heck, just give me a release date for X and I don't need anything else. I've read somewhere that it is going to be released this year in NA.



Action51 said:

I see Starfox is the last minute desperation hype story meant to get fans riled up and then disappointed.

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