It's no secret that the Switch has had a stellar first year in terms of games, perhaps the very best in the history of Nintendo hardware. Two of Nintendo's three heaviest hitters, namely Mario and Zelda, both had blockbuster games. (Pokémon is the third heavy hitter). One of Nintendo's newest IPs, Splatoon, had its first sequel, to huge success. And of course they took a risk with yet another new IP, ARMS. And now, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is less than a month away.
Nintendo is officially out of their slump.
With 2018 almost here, I have seen a lot of people begin to speculate how Nintendo will try to follow on such a great year, especially with Mario and Zelda so quickly out of the way. I would now like to throw my own predictions for 2018 out there, trying to make them as realistic as I can.
What We Already Know
The only noteworthy Switch games confirmed for 2018, as far as I am aware, are Yoshi, Kirby, and Project Octopath Traveler. They all are sure to be great, especially Octopath, but none of them will truly be able to carry the Switch through its second year.
No Metroid Prime 4 or Main Series Pokémon
We know that these games are on the way, but you are likely getting your hopes up if you expect either of them to arrive in 2018. Metroid Prime 4 has only given us a tentative title screen, and we do not even know what team is developing it, other than it not being RetroStudios. To me, that screams the game only being in early development. It is much more realistic to expect this game in late 2019.
Likewise, we should not expect a mainline Pokémon game in 2018. When it was revealed that they were making a major Pokémon game for Switch during E3, they asked us to be patient for more than a year. So again, 2019 is much more likely than 2018.
Retro's New Game is Aonther Donkey Kong
I know what you're thinking. "Is he crazy? Tropical Freeze came out in 2014. Would Retro really make us wait four years for ANOTHER Donkey Kong game?"
Well, think about this: they have basically already done that once before. Donkey Kong Country Returns came out in late 2010, and Tropical Freeze came in early 2014. The gap between Returns and Tropical Freeze would only be a little smaller than the gap between Freeze and a third DK game in 2018.
Yes, people will practically be tipping cars over if this turns out to be the case, which is really a shame. Returns and Tropical Freeze are both fantastic games. DK deserves to get at least a little of his own time in the Switch's spotlight, and if it doesn't happen with Retro, it likely won't happen at all.
New Super Mario Bros Switch, or Another Spin Off
Just because Mario got his 3D platformer doesn't mean that he is even close to being done with the Switch. It is safe to say that he will either be getting a smaller adventure in another New Super Mario Bros. game, or some kind of spin off, whether it be an RPG, Mario Maker, or sports game.
A "Blue Ocean" Game
With so many great games both on the way and already here, I think we should be more willing to forgive Nintendo for trying to make some games that will try to reach as broad of a demographic as possible. Think Switch Sports Resort or Nintendogs.
Super Smash Bros.
What else can I say? It's Smash Bros.! Of course it will come to Switch, and this is the most likely candidate to be the Switch's highlight of next year like Zelda and Mario were this year.
But the big question is, will it really only be a port of the Wii U version? Or will it be the true next installment?
Either way, there will surely be new characters and new stages. New Donk City, anyone?
This one is probably the least likely for 2018, but could still happen. We are WAY over due for another Animal Crossing game, and the Switch is perfect for it!
Animal Crossing will no doubt come to Switch. But will it be in 2018? After all, the team that makes these games also make Splatoon, so their newest project is only a few months old. And Animal Crossing takes a LONG time to localize. So maybe the wait could more realistically be untill 2019, or even 2020!
But isn't Pocket Camp supposed to connect in some way with the mainline games? If it was going to connect with New Leaf, I think they would have shown that by now. So maybe it is meant to connect with the Switch game, which therefore could be closer than we think!
It really is just a stab in the dark trying to get a feel for this one, and so I wouldn't take it to the bank.
What do You Think?
I would love some feedback on my predictions. Do you agree with them? If not, don't be shy and tell me why. And let me know your own predictions!