It's almost E3! Wait, sorry (presses fingers to headset) really? Hm. Okay. It's not E3!
But that doesn't mean we won't still get bombarded with video game announcements for the entire week all the same. Hooray!
Our team got together to make our own predictions, from potential Zelda news to our wildest, most hopeless dreams...
Will there be a Nintendo Direct?
KATE: There has to be, right?
OLLIE: Of course there will be! Haha… right..? RIGHT? Oh God, what if there isn’t.
ALANA: I think everyone will go into meltdown! People are very much expecting something from Nintendo this month. We haven’t had a Direct since February, so it’s about time!
OLLIE: I kinda feel like Nintendo would have said by now if it wasn’t doing a Direct. It would be mighty odd if we just went through June without hearing anything.
GAVIN: That's true — they're very good at telegraphing and managing expectations these days. I imagine we'd know by now if nothing was planned.
TOM: I strongly suspect we’ll get an E3-timed Nintendo Direct – not because of the now-absent E3, as such, but lots of dedicated fans (and the media!) are conditioned for early-mid June to be packed with reveals. Microsoft is carrying on with its event, we have the Geoff-fest as well, and various other publishers and showcases will be fighting for our attention.
In terms of what Nintendo will do, I think they may repeat the 2021 format of a pre-recorded Direct and then some Nintendo Treehouse streams to show off demos. This makes sense not only because of all the upcoming games we know about, but also inevitable new reveals.
KATE: Knowing our luck, they’ll announce it the night before and we’ll have no time to prepare!
ALANA: That’s usually Nintendo’s way! Either a week’s notice or no notice.
Should we expect Breath of the Wild 2 news?
KATE: I’m going to be the optimist here and say… yes. I know it’s easier to say no, because we saw it (a tiny bit) in March and it sounds like they really need more time to work on it, but it’s been a year since the last full Zelda trailer. And mama needs somethin’ to speculate about. Gimme.
ALANA: I can’t say I’ve got the same optimism as you, Kate! Maybe we’ll get a little sneak peek? Maybe? But I think Nintendo will want to wait a bit longer to show some more now that we know this is a spring 2023 release. Though you can’t bet on anything…
OLLIE: Yeah, it’ll definitely be there, I reckon. If you think back, Nintendo showcased the first Breath of the Wild at E3 2016 quite extensively, with the game launching in Spring the next year. So there’s every possibility we’ll see the same thing again with the sequel. I’d bet my Switch on it. NO WAIT.
ALANA: Oh no, don’t go THAT far!
Any remakes you’re dying to see?
ALANA: I’m pretty satisfied for remakes on Switch for a while – next month we’re getting Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series and Live A Live – so I’m not burning for anything. Though, this might be cheating, but can we finally get that Metroid Prime remake that’s been rumoured for so long?
KATE: I’m a wee bit burnt out on remakes for the time being, BUT, that said… I wouldn’t say no to Twilight Princess and Wind Waker. And there’s always the very, very slim chance that some day, Nintendo will announce a glossy remake of Viva Piñata. I mean, it belongs on Switch! And surely Rare misses Nintendo…
OLLIE: Definitely with you regarding Twilight Princess and Wind Waker, Kate, as is the entire Switch fan base, I’d imagine. There’s not really anything else I’m particularly interested in seeing.
GAVIN: What's Grezzo up to at the moment? Feels like it's been a while since we've heard from them, and that Link's Awakening remake style could fit any number of top-down classics. One of them might make for some fun pre-BOTW2 filler.
KATE: Ha, I actually checked what Grezzo's up to as well! I think they're doing some RPG. Unless that's a cover story...
Have you heard any rumours you think might be true?
KATE: I keep hearing about GoldenEye, so I think that’s a likely one. To be honest, other than that, I feel like the Nintendo rumour mill is having a bit of a break these days. Production seems to have slowed down a lot during COVID, so I’m interested to see if that’ll change. I mean, I don’t know what a lot of companies are even working on right now.
ALANA: No one say Switch 2… no one say Switch 2… But yeah, I’m with you, Kate. It honestly feels very quiet right now. Which is good! Except, you know, the Metroid Prime remake. Can I put that twice? Is that cheating?
OLLIE: Metroid Prime is a good bet, to be honest. We’ll probably see that toward the end of the year. I’ve not heard anything else, though!
Any surprise “and it’s out now!” drops?
ALANA: If Silksong shadow drops during “E3” then I might faint. Sports Story might be a more likely cause for a shadow drop – neither of those showed up at the Indie Showcase (the former is absolutely big-showcase material at this rate, anyway). Maybe the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters that launched on Steam could be a surprise drop?
OLLIE: I’ll go really safe with this one and say the next batch of tracks for the Mario Kart 8 Booster Course Pack. Wave 2, is it? They’ll show off the tracks and be like “it’s out later today, woooooo”. In terms of full game releases, though, I’m not sure… I doubt Silksong will shadow drop.
GAVIN: What Ollie said.
KATE: I had entirely forgotten about the Booster Course Pack. Oops.
Will there be a big addition to the NSO library… or even Game Boy games?
OLLIE: Nope! Not much more to say on that. Nintendo seems quite content with dropping new additions at the most random intervals.
KATE: I’ve been a little underwhelmed with the games so far, but I don’t think that’s Nintendo’s fault necessarily… they’ve got the big Zeldas, Banjo-Kazooie, Earthbound and Star Fox 64, but I just can’t get into the ‘90s controls now that I know better. I’d love to see Game Boy games as long as they don’t do that awful AI sprite upscaling. Please.
ALANA: I haven’t upgraded to the Expansion Pack yet, but Game Boy/GBA would probably be the tipping point. This Direct would be the place to announce that, I think. Although, would I be an idiot to say that Chrono Trigger could be announced as an addition to the SNES library? It was on the Wii Virtual Console! C’mon! Everyone wants that, right?
Should we expect more from Kirby’s 30th Anniversary, or is Forgotten Land it for now?
ALANA: I’m mixed on this. I feel like Nintendo is riding a bit of a Kirby high right now, but also, I don’t know what it could do in a Direct. I don’t think it’ll be a brand new game, of course, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards just came to NSO. So, unless Game Boy is added, I’m not sure.
KATE: I am not the Kirby expert, but I reckon that’s it for now. Maybe Kirby’s Dream Land on the NSO service to kick off the Game Boy games?
OLLIE: I ruddy hope that’s it. Hahaha. Sorry, Kirby ain’t my bag. I don’t think we’ll see anything else though. Yes, maybe a new addition to NSO, but I’m not confident on that.
How about games we haven’t heard from in a while, like Bayonetta 3 and Metroid Prime 4?
KATE: I predict no news on Metroid, and maybe a Bayo update, but I feel like I say that a lot.
ALANA: Bayonetta 3 is meant to be out this year, so I’m pretty hopeful we’ll get something. If Metroid Prime 4 shows up, it’ll be a teaser at most. Sorry.
OLLIE: Oh, you two. Have some faith! It’s been over three years now since development on MP4 restarted. Plus, we recently got that mysterious new Twitter banner on Retro Studios’ account page, right? It could have been nothing, but something’s telling me that this is our year. Metroid Dread really reignited interest in the series and I reckon Nintendo will want to ride the hype train. We’ll see a teaser, at least.
ALANA: Okay, okay, maybe. Dragon Age 4 just got an official title. A sliver of something, maybe.
TOM: Surely a date is on the horizon for Bayonetta 3. In terms of ‘surprises’, it feels like time to get a glimpse of Metroid Prime 4; its development reboot was over 3 years ago, Retro Studios has been busy and recruiting, so a trailer for a TBC arrival date may be a ‘one last thing’.
Will we get a Super Mario Odyssey sequel?
TOM: It seems inevitable that the next Mario is on the way, as it’s been a little while and there’s the movie coming next year. My suspicion is that Donkey Kong will be in it as a playable character of some sort, as a lot of ‘insider’ rumours (namely all those DK game ones) tend to get projects mixed up and we know the big ape is a notable character in the movie.
KATE: Yes please. Mario’s been quiet for ages (because he’s dead maybe).
ALANA: Well that would be nice. But yes, RIP Mario, gone since March 2021.
OLLIE: I’m not convinced it’ll be a sequel to Odyssey, but a new Mario game in general? Yeah, maybe! It’s about time, I think.
KATE: And before anyone asks, no, the Mario + Rabbids game doesn’t count.
ALANA: That has to be there, though. Just not the Mario game.
GAVIN: 10th anniversary of the Year of Luigi next year. Just sayin'.
Do you think the rumours of Zelda: Oracle remakes are true?
KATE: Actually, yeah! I feel like they’re a weird remake (and I’d vastly prefer Minish Cap) but if they give it the Link’s Awakening treatment, I think the Oracle games would probably do really well. I get the impression they’re really underrated and underappreciated, so it would be nice to see them get the credit they deserve.
ALANA: Oooh yes, I really would like to see these. I’m much more of a 2D Zelda fan and I never got to play these as a kid. I’d like to see them in the same style as 2019’s Link’s Awakening, but I wonder if Nintendo would let two remakes in the same style release “almost” back-to-back (I’m ignoring Skyward Sword’s HD remaster here, I know).
KATE: I’m open to a new and interesting remake style, too! I think Nintendo could take it in a really fun direction.
GAVIN: I know I mentioned Grezzo earlier, but this specific rumour... maybe? The problem is it fits too well. It's too logical and by-the-numbers for Nintendo. It feels too obvious.
GAVIN: We haven't had a Rhythm Heaven since 2016, and it would be a great family-friendly fit for the system. Seems like a no-brainer.
ALANA: Metroid coming back last year has me doubting my pessimism, but I don’t think we’ll see F-Zero. Pikmin is a possibility, I think. That’s not as dormant, what with the Switch port of 3 and the mobile game?
KATE: I’m not too fussed about F-Zero, but I’d be open to a new Pikmin. I certainly don’t have my hopes up, though. Pikmin’s always been a bit of a low-seller!
OLLIE: F-Zero would be fantastic, of course, but I’ve pretty much abandoned all hope of that IP seeing the light of day again. Pikmin could show up, though. Hasn’t Pikmin 4 been in development for like, 50 years now?
KATE: I think you mean "Pikmin (tentative title)". I checked our database and it says "assuming it's for NX" which gives you an idea of how long it's been...
What do you think the general “theme” of Nintendo’s not-E3 will be?
KATE: Lately I feel like it’s been very JRPG-focused, you know? With Live A Live, Chrono Cross, Earthbound, and Triangle Strategy, it feels like that’s somehow the direction that we’re going in. I’m not a huge JRPG fan, so while I’m intrigued by Live A Live, I’d love to see Nintendo going back into a more… N64-era Zelda direction, I think. Just proper old-school adventure games. And I want to see Capcom embracing their narrative games more, please!!
ALANA: Yeah, as a pretty big JRPG fan, I’m not expecting the same level of RPG-ness as the last couple of Directs have given us. So I think one of Nintendo’s big IPs will be taking the stage for the show. What that will be… I have no idea. I genuinely don’t have a clue as to what Nintendo will be focusing on. Most of its big series’ have had their moment. Mario and Donkey Kong are the two that don’t have a big new game coming. Maybe it’s their time?
OLLIE: It’s hard to predict exactly what kind of theme Nintendo will go for, if any. Games like Live A Live and Earthbound on NSO were such weird surprises, I really don’t know what else Nintendo has up its sleeve! I think a lot of the focus will be on games we already know about: BotW 2, Bayonetta 3, Splatoon 3, etc… Other than that, I’m happy to be completely surprised!
What’s your one wild card hope?
ALANA: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Remastered. I’m shooting low, and not expecting much, but how is that game still stuck on GameCube?
KATE: Or GameCube games on NSO… Hmmmmmm…
OLLIE: Don’t give me hope. Please… As for me, I’d quite like a complete remake of Eternal Darkness. Again, another game completely stuck on the GameCube, but I struggle to think of how they can do a simple remaster, given some of the ‘sanity’ effects that occur. A full remake would be much more appreciated!
GAVIN: I just bought a new copy of Xenoblade Chronicles X, which almost guarantees a Switch port announcement. I'd take it.
TOM: Of course, it’s Nintendo, so all of the above will be wrong and they’ll unveil a new wave of Labo instead.
A mixed bag of predictions from the NL team! And we haven't even covered our not-E3 bingo cards, which probably include things like "Geoff Keighley has a new best friend developer" and "Chris Pratt apologises for being unlikeable".
What are your predictions, hopes, fears, and snacks for this exciting week of game announcements and no sleep? Tell us in the comments!