I’d like to keep expectations realistic, and the way I conclude what is realistic, is by looking at the content of past directs. The best comparison would probably be last year’s Nintendo Direct “mini” that happened on January 11th, 2018. Like the upcoming Direct, the “mini” was used to kick-start a new year and make some big announcements after closing out a successful holiday season. In the “mini” we ended up getting several new announcements, 3 New Ports, 2 Remake/Remasters, 3 Newly Announced Games, 2 New DLC’s Announced and 2 Updates. I would be ecstatic to get an equal line-up of announcements this year, and it’s why I keep pointing out this was labeled as a “mini”
When going into 2018 we were pretty much in the dark about the year’s upcoming line-up. The only confirmed Nintendo published releases at this point were Bayonetta 2/1 (announced only a month before) and Kirby Star Allies.
In 2019 we already know about several Nintendo published games expected for release:
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Daemon X Machina
Yoshi’s Crafted World
Fire Emblem Three Houses
Pokemon (Main Game)
Yo-Kai Watch 4
Town (Tentative Title)
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (already released)
Bayonetta 3 – (Maybe not 2019)
This probably means we are less likely to get as many “new” announcements this year, but more likely to receive plenty of new information regarding these previously announced titles. Most of these games we only know are in development and we don’t know anything else as we’ve never seen footage of them. Surely through the year we will encounter some other surprises and new games too though, but maybe not as much from Nintendo as last year.
Third parties now have had a good amount of time to gauge the market for the Switch, and surely they’ve seen it’s a huge success. Studios have also had time to sit down with development kits for about 2 years now, so that also means they’re probably ready to start rolling out more projects now. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the “new” announcements we get this year are in regards to third party games.
Here is a re-cap of last January’s Nintendo Direct, just to see the caliber of titles that were announced.
Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
Y’s VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Dark Souls Remastered
Mario Tennis Aces
SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy
Kirby Star Allies Release Date Announcement
Payday 2 Release Date Announcement (February 27)’
Donkey Kong DLC (Mario + Rabbids)
Luigi Balloon Hunt Free (Super Mario Odyssey)
There’s some rumors and speculation about what’s going to be shown/announced in the next Direct. I’ve put together a list of things that have been circulating as possibly being announced
Already Announced Games Get Updates – We already know we’ll get a look at Fire Emblem 3 Houses, but we might also get to see some Luigi’s Mansion3, Bayonetta 3 or Animal Crossing updates too. Dragon Quest Builders 2 and Dragon Quest X-S will likely get a release date (and maybe a related Smash character reveal). I would expect a release date for Spyro Trilogy remaster, and definitely expect release date/windows on all of the Capcom and Square Remasters/Ports that were announced in the last Nintendo Direct. Another forgotten title I’m expecting updated release info on is Shakedown Hawaii by VBlank (creators of Retro City Rampage), I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s released in the eShop tomorrow.
Assassin’s Creed III Remaster – There have already been leaks that this is coming to Switch, and it was already on the Wii U, so it might not be too hard of a port. The funny thing is, I bought this on 360 and sold it later without ever playing it. After that, I bought it on Wii U and sold it without ever playing it. I wonder if I’ll buy it and play it on Switch.
Frostbite Engine on Switch – There’s rumors that EA has got the Frostbite Engine running on the Switch, if that’s true, what games become a possibility? Most likely it means we get a version of FIFA 20 that will be closer to the PS4/XB1 counterparts, but I do not think we’d get that announcement this soon. It also opens the possibility for Madden 20, but again, I don’t think that announcement is happening this time of the year (maybe some sort of Madden 19 Super Bowl Edition?). Battlefield V would be an awesome game for the Switch, but it’d have to be severely gimped, and it’d probably run awful on the Nintendo online service. So what the hell might they announce!? Maybe we’ll see a Need For Speed, Plants vs Zombies or maybe even some sort of Anthem port is coming later 2019 to the Switch.
Mario Kart DLC – This goes with my previous mentioned of Nintendo President’s stance on DLC and that I personally don’t think we are getting a Mario Kart sequel on the Switch for a long time…if ever. I can elaborate on that theory at another time but I strongly believe Mario Kart DLC will come in 2019, but having nothing but speculation to back it up.
Mario Sports Title – This is a complete wild guess, but I’m thinking we will see something like a new Mario Golf or maybe Mario Baseball this year, and possibly announced in this Direct. I’m doubtful of Strikers because it’s made by the same team making Luigi’s Mansion. A Mario Sports title would be a great fill-in on the 2019 release schedule
Metroid Prime Trilogy – For well over a year there have been rumors of a Metroid Prime Trilogy port or remaster coming to the Switch, plenty of people hoping and speculating it would come to pass time before Metroid Prime 4. I personally have wanted to replay the series for a while but have been holding out for a Switch version before I get restarted. Recently it was announced that Metroid Prime 4 development was scrapped and restarted, back in the hands of Retro Studios. This has caused expectations of Metroid Prime Trilogy to increase even more, and there’s been leaks that Retro had been working on it. This seems highly likely to be revealed in the Direct
Skyward Sword HD – There were rumors of a Skyward Sword HD being in the works after Eiji Aonuma asked an audience if they’re interested in Skyward Sword for Switch. Nintendo came out shortly after and stated they had no plans for a Skyward Sword HD. Nintendo doesn’t usually comment on those kind of things, but since Aonuma said something they probably felt the need to jump in. I’m doubtful of this being revealed, but I’m hopeful.
Star Fox Grand Prix / Retro’s New Game – Last spring rumors started up that Retro’s next game was a racing game in the Star Fox universe. Nothing was ever shown throughout 2018 like many expected, maybe now we’ll finally see it (if it exists). Either way, we should be hearing about Retro’s new game between now and E3 considering they’ve already moved onto development with Metroid Prime Trilogy. I’m just hoping the last 8 years Retro has been working on more than just a DKC: Tropical Freeze port and a Metroid Prime Trilogy port.
Wario Ware / Wario Land – Wario Ware Gold just came out for 3DS, but a new Wario Ware showing off some of the Switch functionalities would be great. Switch just feels overdue for any kind of Wario game so another wild guess of mine is that we might see a new Wario Land or Wario Ware.
I don’t think these are going to happen, or even very likely (eh, maybe some) but they’re ones I’m rooting for
F-Zero Game – I love the F-Zero series, and I want to see a sequel for it badly. I’m doubtful they’ll ever be able to top GX, but man I would take almost anything from them if they at least explore the story and characters in it.
Mother 4 – This, I’m not expecting AT ALL, but if it did happen I’d be blown away, especially if they opened it up to maybe a 3D world with cel shaded characters.
Eternal Darkness Sequelor Remaster – I know Dennis Dyack tried to get a sequel funded through Kickstarter and failed to do so, but maybe Nintendo wants to take a shot at publishing one (even without Dyack). A remaster would be very nice too
Excitebots Sequel – I loved Excitebots on the Wii, I think it’s such an under appreciated game that was very fun and would absolutely love to see a similar crazy Excite game.
Advance Wars (Switch Wars) – I think Advance Wars would be awesome on Switch, even if we do have Wargroove, a genuine continuation of the Wars series would be great. I imagine the two armies being somehow linked to joycon colors.