Keisuke’s Take on the Upcoming Nintendo Direct
David posted his own set of five predictions for tonight’s Nintendo Direct (watch it at 6PM EST on Twitch or Youtube). Contrasting with David’s more down-to-earth predictions, I’m going big. I wouldn’t be surprised to see none of these come true—but I like to think they’re all within the realm of possibility.
1. Smash makes an appearance, one way or another
There was an initial flurry of Smash for Switch rumors way back in January 2016, when Dr. Serkan Toto, CEO of a Tokyo-based Japanese games consultancy company tweeted that Smash would be a launch title developed by Namco (we even called it the NX back then. How cute).
Bandai Namco is currently developing several NX titles. Smash Bros is planned to be a launch title. I am not sure about the date – yet ;).
— Dr. Serkan Toto / Kantan Games Inc. (@serkantoto) January 28, 2016
That obviously hasn’t panned out. Even now it’s unclear if we should be gearing up for an all new Smash 5, or if we’re getting a sort of Smash 4 Deluxe, a clear possibility given that Smash for Wii U launched fairly late in the Wii U’s life cycle, and the resources it takes to create an all new Smash game. All has been quiet on the Smash front save extremely minor sporadic announcements, like the (much delayed) release of the Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta Smash amiibo. There hasn’t been a real patch for the game since 1.1.6, released on May 20th, 2016 (a July 2017 update merely added support for the newest amiibo).
But on Nintendo’s Japanese YouTube page, the stream was tagged under the category Super Smash Bros for 3DS/Wii U. While this is 99% some sort of auto-generated tagging mistake by Nintendo JP’s YouTube, I’m gonna go all in: I think we’re going to see some meaningful Smash announcements today, be it a Smash 4 Deluxe or a tease of Smash 5 proper.
2. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 releases in 2017–for Japan only
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was announced as a “2017” game during the Switch reveal presentation. While Nintendo has given no indication that they’re moving off of that date, it’s now September. We still don’t have a release date.
Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X both had the Western localization come out months after the Japanese release, and I think that’s going to happen here again. It feels like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has been a somewhat popular pick to be delayed, but given the sheer scale and scope of the game, and the relatively short span of time since XCX, it wouldn’t be a huge shocker.
So here it is: I predict that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 releases in December 2017 in Japan, and in April 2017 everywhere else. Localization is being handled by Nintendo of Europe this time around, not Treehouse, so I really have almost no insight into how fast they can work. They’re aiming for a worldwide release, and are working together more closely than they did in the past, where localization began when the game was nearly complete—but I still have my doubts.
3. Dragon Ball FighterZ on Switch
I know, the devs themselves have repeatedly expressed that they’re working on the currently announced platforms. I know they’ve said that they want to funnel Switch users towards Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. That makes sense, but it’s also coming to the Switch 11 months later. Is the hype for Xenoverse 2 really there?
Logically, all of what they’re saying makes sense. And I don’t really think the Switch is very friendly towards competitive fighting games in general, so I understand the general trepidation.
That being said, I don’t care. I think that we’re going to see an announcement for DB FighterZ on the Switch for 2018. That’s enough to build hype, but far enough removed from Xenoverse 2.
Besides, it’s Dragon Ball, Japan loves Dragon Ball, and the Switch is going gangbusters over there. It’s in the best interest of both parties to get this thing on the Switch.
4. Pikmin 4, after three years
Miyamoto somewhat bizarrely revealed that the next Pikmin game was “very close to completion” to Eurogamer back in…September of 2015. Then reiterated it was “actually very close to completion” to Eurogamer in June of 2017.
I have no idea how a game can be very close to completion for 3 years…but putting that aside. I think now would be a great time to announce this game. A well-loved franchise that’s never quite reached mainstream relevance, a Pikmin reveal would feel right at home during this Direct that’s outside of the purview of E3.
5. From Software reveals a non-Souls game
From Software was a notable name on the list of third party collaborators shown at the Switch reveal presentation. Hidetaka Miyazaki has said that From is working on 3 different games (he’s also said he’s done with Souls games).
Assuming that From is working on something for Sony, that takes one of those games out of the equation (and I think that’s likely to be the “fantasy” game that Miyazaki mentioned prior). That leaves us with two more games—the mech game and “very weird game”. Assuming that the mech game is Armored Core, process of elimination leaves us with one choice. The From Software game that comes to the Switch is probably going to be that “very weird game” Miyazaki mentioned.
While Nintendo doesn’t usually reveal multiplats in their Directs, I can see it happening here. An exclusive game would be awesome, but unlikely given From’s collaboration with Sony on Bloodborne. A From Software game on a Nintendo console is already enough for me.
Bonus Prediction: Mother 3, finally
This January, Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aimé said the following in an interview with Gamespot:
“Oh, so earlier today I got asked about Mother 3; maybe you can ask me about Metroid…we are aware that there are some key IP that consumers just can’t wait for the next true installment in that franchise’s legacy. Suffice it to say, we’re aware of it, and talk to me in a year and let’s look back and see what’s happened.”
8 months, a year…basically the same thing, right? Come on Reggie. Show us the goods.
Although, logistically, I think it would be hard to reveal Mother 3 without some Virtual Console infrastructure, so…
Anyway, those are my five (+1) bold predictions for this upcoming direct. 45 minutes is a long direct by recent Nintendo standards, and I’m expecting a lot. For the first time in a while, I am truly excited for a Nintendo Direct.
Remember, hype responsibly!