I can feel it in the air. I can almost sense a January Nintendo Direct announcement being tweeted out by Nintendo in the next few days. Of course, I could be wrong but it’s just the feeling I’ve gotten as of late.
As you may have heard by now, the Nintendo Switch just became the worlds fastest selling video game console ever and considering the sales of the Wii that is truly something else. Nintendo has just been knocking it out of the park with the Switch throughout 2017 with game release after game release, giving consumers little to no excuse to not own one. Especially after the flop of the Wii U, the first year line-up for the Switch was a breath of (the wild) fresh air for Nintendo fans all around. However, I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details of the first year as that’s something I plan to tackle in a separate entry.
What I intend to do for this piece is compile a list of things I expect from Nintendo in 2018. I’m going to do my best to keep my expectations as realistic as possible.
5. More Wii U ports to the Switch
I know a lot of people might deem this option to be the lazy route for Nintendo to take, but I think it would be very smart as well. The downfall of the Wii U can be deemed a blessing and a curse in that they’re still sitting on quite a few finished Wii U games that could be highly successful on the Switch.
The titles I’m mainly referring to are Super Smash Bros U, Super Mario Maker and Wind Waker HD. I think all three of these titles could heavily benefit from being on the Switch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m evidentally not expecting all three of them to just be announced during the course of 2018 but I am expecting at least one of them to be ported over this year. I feel as though that’s a realistic expectation.
I feel like porting any of these titles would pad out the development time for the creators hard at work on the new Switch titles.
4. Introduction of the paid online service alongside Virtual Console implementation
I mean, you could argue this is hardly speculation worthy since Nintendo has officially confirmed that the launch of the paid online service is slated for 2018. That being said, I think this will mark the point in which Virtual Console titles will be integrated with the eShop as well.
However you put it, Nintendo intentionally withheld Virtual Console titles for some reason. In my opinion, this is either because they want to re-work them to function differently from their 3DS, Wii and Wii U counter-parts or because they didn’t want them to outshine indie and third-party titles in the eShop and instead opted to introduce them at a later date in order to coincide with the paid online service. How they plan to implement VC with the service remains to be seen, as they could either go the PS+ route or something akin to a Netflix subscription and both are equally enticing.
I do expect there could be more delays in the horizon for this monthly service, but I don’t think Nintendo will drag it out past 2018.
3. Fleshing out the bare-bones aspects of the Switch
I’m hoping Nintendo will introduce Cloud Saves sooner than later, and I’m banking on that this will be the year. Other additions such as themes and a functional internet browser aren’t as expected in my opinion, but would be appreciated regardless.
Hulu was recently added (come to Sweden, you’re past due) which opens up hope for future streaming services like Netflix or HBO.
I think the Switch will receive various UI overhauls during the year, and hopefully that’ll apply to the eShop as well.
2. Super Mario Odyssey DLC
I definitely find this plausible, seeing as Breath Of The Wild had two DLC expansions released in the span of the same year. They could provide us with new worlds to explore, maybe even a throwback to Delfino Plaza from Sunshine. Either way, I think this is more than just a pipe-dream, so unless they plan to save all the goodies for the inevitable Super Mario Odyssey 2 then I could easily see some more worlds being added in for DLC in the later part of the year.
1. A lot of third-party announcements
Now that the initial third party games such as Skyrim, DOOM, Rocket League, LA Noire etc have been introduced I think now is the time that the floodgates will open in terms of third party developers announcing content for the Switch. Bethesda was faithful from the very beginning and it paid back in spades. I could easily see them porting other previously released games like one of the Fallout titles in the future, but not necessarily this year.
That being said, I think there’s enough trust in the Switch now for developers to hold off any longer from producing titles for it and I could easily see 2018 filled with quality ports and new releases from third party developers all across the board.
Recently a Brazilian retailer listed a remaster of Burnout Paradise for the PS4, which was also slated for the Switch. I think that announcement will come forth in due time as well.
I can’t tell you what titles as of yet, but I can say with reasonable confidence that I think this year will be a doozy for third party releases.