After a one week delay due to the recent earthquake in Japan, Nintendo dropped their biggest Direct presentation (that isn’t purely about Smash Bros.) in a long time. With some of the content announced by third parties leading up to the show, a little bit of thunder was missing from this conference – but all in all, fans have a lot to look forward to this year and next year on the Nintendo Switch handheld / console hybrid platform.
Opening up the show with a bang, Nintendo revealed a brand new title is being developed for the Switch called Luigi’s Mansion 3 (although that name is a work in progress and may change). Previously Luigi’s Mansion was the subject os some debate among Nintendo fans as its remake will be coming to the 3DS and had not yet been announced for Switch.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 will come to the Switch some time during 2019.
The Nintendo 3DS was given some more attention after this, in which a number of titles were revealed to be coming to the handheld family of systems including 3DS, New 3DS, 2DS, New 2DS, and all of their various XL, etc. form factors. Some controversy may come once again as a number of these titles are mentioned as being ‘exclusive’ to the 3DS platform. The list of new 3DS games coming is as follows:
- Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn – 2019 (with all Wii levels, extra features, new mini-games, and new Devilish Mode)
- Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey – January 11, 2019
- Luigi’s Mansion – October 12, 2018 (with new Amiibo features, and new two player co-op modes, *gameplay varies depending if you both have the game or not)
- Yo-Kai Watch Blasters – Available Now (with free software update September 27, 2018 adding Moon Rabbit Crew content including new mission, new Yo-Kai, new bosses, and more)
After the 3DS segment of the Nintendo Direct the show took a spin back towards the Nintendo Switch and the content being provided for the new favorite console among many gamers.
Splatoon 2 was given a video showcase in which its Version 4 Update is revealed in cinematic fashion. You can view that below and if you need more info than just a cool looking video clip then be sure to check out Nintendo’s Official Squid Research Lab on Tumblr.
Mega Man 11 was given some attention after Splatoon 2 Version 4.0 and gameplay was shown with the double gear system being mentioned to slow down time, enhance weapons, and 8 bosses with their own abilities obtained by Mega Man as he progresses through the title (the classic Mega Man setup) with daily rewards for tapping a Mega Man Amiibo. A demo for Mega Man 11 is available now and the game itself will launch for Nintendo Switch on October 2, 2018.
Mario Tennis Aces was revealed to be getting a new Verion 2 Update on September 19, 2018 which will add various characters and features including the following:
- Birdo – All Around
- Shy Guy – Technical
- Koopa Paratroopa – Technical
- Petey Piranha – Powerful
- Co-Op Challenge – New Limited Time Mode
- Awards for playing online and more content coming
After the announcement of new content coming to Mario Tennis Aces, Nintendo came back to focus on Capcom once again. Many of their classic arcade titles are now revealed to be returning to prominence in the form of a Nintendo Switch game bundle being released called Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle. This bundle won’t require any quarters (hopefully) and includes the following titles:
- Final Fight
- The King of Dragons
- Captain Commando
- Knights of the Round
- Warriors of Fate
- Armored Warriors (First Time on any Home Console)
- Battle Circuit (First Time on any Home Console)
The title comes equipped with up to four player support possible using four JoyCon controllers and one Switch to gather around for local multiplayer reminiscent of the arcade gaming days. There will also be online multiplayer released later on. Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle releases for Nintendo Switch on September 18, 2018.
Next, another enhancement was announced – this time first party. New Super Mario Bros. U will come to the Nintendo Switch in a new Deluxe format with two new characters (Nabbit and Toadette). Each character brings completely new gameplay features to the title making it a very different experience. New Luigi Bros. U is included in the new bundle title with Deluxe enhancements as well with the entire project spanning 164 levels now that they’ve been combined.
Four player co-op is possible with just one JoyCon controller, Nintendo tells us, as each person tries their best to pass levels in the incredibly popular 2D format of Mario that remains most true to its origins. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe releases January 11, 2019.
A new remaster for Katamari Damacy called Katamari Damacy REROLL is then announced for the Nintendo Switch coming from Bandai Namco Entertainment. This is a modern day classic title with the artistic thinking and fun factor put first above all else. Some new features for the Switch version include Gyro Control, HD Rumble, and multiplayer Joy-Con sharing battles. Katamari Damacy REROLL releases for Nintendo Switch during Winter 2018.
The big news everyone has been waiting a long time for… was partially given a reveal, as Nintendo Switch Online details were parsed out, but some information was still promised to be revealed “later”. For now, here’s what we’ve learned:
- Service Launch Date: September 18, 2018
- Online Play: Switch titles will now require subscription to play online.
- Classic NES Games: Access to NES classics will be a subscription benefit with full support for local and online multiplayer modes.
- Cloud Backups: Save files for some, but not all, Nintendo Switch games will be made possible through the subscription service.
- Companion App: Using a smartphone application, Nintendo Switch Online voice chat is possible – as well as game-specific features and the scheduling of matches to be played with friends.
- Special Offers: Nintendo will provide a rewards program for subscription holders that includes special offers yet to be shown.
- Individual Membership: 1 month for $3.99 USD, 3 months for $7.99 USD, 12 months for $19.99 USD.
- Family Membership: 12 months for $34.99 (Up to 7 other people)
Beyond the new online service being launched, NES classics will also be playable using a new pair of devices being made available for purchase by Nintendo soon. These are NES style controllers which charge on the sides of the Switch just like JoyCon controllers do. They’re wireless and easily connect to the Switch. Currently, the package of two NES Switch Online Controllers goes for $59.99 USD and will be available for pre-order starting September 18, 2018.
After these announcements we were given more information on the upcoming Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! titles. Some features discussed were the secret techniques which partner Pokémon can perform such as chopping down trees, moving across water, or taking to the skies. Petting your partner Pokémon will also change its hairstyle. Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee! will launch November 16, 2018 with the new Poké Ball Plus accessory / controller. There were also limited edition bundles announced containing customized Switch units that adorn graphics dedicated to these new games and come with an included Poké Ball Plus.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection was also covered. Activision Blizzard will bring the title to the Nintendo Switch with Demon Hunter, Barbarian, Crusader, Necromancer, Witch Doctor, Monk, and Wizard classes confirmed to be playable at launch. There will also be four player offline or online co-op available for the title. There’s an exclusive armor coming to the Switch version of the game modeled after Ganondorf’s styling with all Amiibos compatible summoning a group of special enemies with extra loot and challenge. Diablo III: Eternal Collection releases for Nintendo Switch on November 2, 2018.
Super Mario Party is a new Switch title coming soon that will combine motion controls, a brand new co-op mode, and creative dual-system mode with the newest edition of the classic board game itself as well. Mini-games are all brand new and there’s 80 total. Single player modes are even included. An Online Mariothon mini-game mode tops off the cake. Super Mario Party releases for the Nintendo Switch on October 5, 2018.
Game Freak (creators of Pokémon) have been hard at work on the Let’s Go! titles as well as 2019 Pokémon main-line titles, but they’ve got something completely new to show off as well. In what is currently being called simply ‘Town’ (a work in progress title) monsters invade a new RPG which sees players making strategic moves and uncovering a story which takes place entirely in a single town. Town releases for Nintendo Switch some time during 2019.
Paradox Interactive has been revealed to be working on a Cities: Skylines Nintendo Switch Edition game for the hybrid handheld / console gaming platform. Considered one of the best building games of recent times, hailing from the PC world, Skylines will come to Switch with perhaps an even more intuitive control setup than ever. DLC including After Dark and Snowfall are included for free with the game, which is available now and released during the Nintendo Switch Direct presentation.
The world and its inhabitants are on the brink of extinction and mercenary mechs are up against enemy artificial intelligence beings that drop various weaponry which you can use to customize your mech. This could be just the thing you’ve been waiting for if you’re a fan of Zone of Enders or the Armored Core series. Unlike those titles, Daemon X Machina even has on-foot gameplay! Enhancements and upgrades for the human form and mech itself will be made possible as the game progresses, and there’s support for four player online co-op against deadly boss battles. This might be a strange title at first glance, but upon further inspection it truly looks like something special worth waiting for. Daemon X Machina releases for Nintendo Switch some time during 2019.
Arts and Crafts replaces Yarn and Wool in the next incredibly artistic and creative title from Nintendo’s spin-off lineup. In this new game, everything is made of craft material such as cardboard, scrap-booking supplies, and more. Playing courses in reverse, local co-op, and more are among some features shown. Yoshi’s Crafted World releases for Nintendo Switch some time during Spring 2019.
Nintendo Switch and tabletop gaming will combine together in asmodee Digital’s offerings for the system. Full adaptations are coming to the Nintendo Switch with high levels of polish as well as intuitive game design for controls and visual user interface. Among the titles being launched for Nintendo Switch are Carcassonne (December 2018), The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game (April 2019), and Pandemic (March 2019). These definitely look pretty cool on the Nintendo Switch. More games will follow these releases with CATAN and Munchkin being confirmed.
One of the biggest launches in its series, Civilization V saw major success across a wide variety of demographics on the PC Gaming platform. Being a series that has lasted the test of time since the MS-DOS days of its original release in 1991, Civilization will now make its debut on the Nintendo Switch. Coming full of intuitive control designs akin to the new Cities: Skylines announcement earlier in the Nintendo Direct, Civilization VI from 2K Games was debuted with exclusive four player multiplayer. Civilization VI releases for Nintendo Switch on November 16, 2018.
One of the big reveals of this year’s Ubisoft E3 Press Conference was of a title named Starlink: Battle for Atlas. As part of Ubisoft’s ongoing partnership with Nintendo, Star Fox will have his own special place in the game. Nintendo Switch exclusive missions feature the cast of Star Fox characters and even appearances by Fox’s arch enemy Wolf alongside the Star Wolf squadron. Starlink: Battle for Atlas releases on Nintendo Switch October 16, 2018.
The World Ends With You: Final Remix and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will both arrive on Nintendo Switch during Fall 2018 as well, as if Octopath Traveler wasn’t enough to keep you going! A whole new story segment with new monsters will be included in The World Ends With You. The prequel and refined battle system for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are also included. The World Ends With You: Final Remix releases for Nintendo Switch on October 12, 2018. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country releases for Nintendo Switch on September 21, 2018 but owners of the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Expansion Pass are able to get the DLC today on September 14, 2018.
A sizzle reel is given to us next to show off some of what else Nintendo fans can expect coming to the Switch, including:
- Warframe – November 20, 2018
- Just Dance 2019 – October 23, 2018
- FIFA 19 – September 28, 2018
- Team Sonic Racing – Winter 2018
- NBA 2K19 – Available Now
- NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 – Fall 2018
- LEGO DC Super-Villains – October 16, 2018
Beyond that, a plethora of Final Fantasy releases are coming as well.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered (info here) – 2019
- Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD (info here) – Available Now
- World of Final Fantasy Maxima – November 6, 2018
- Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY! – 2018
- Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age – 2019
- Final Fantasy VII – 2019
- Final Fantasy IX – 2019
- Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster – 2019
A new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Switch bundle was also revealed with a customized hardware adorned with Smash Bros. graphics and the game itself (digital copy) with Smash Bros. JoyCon controllers included. The bundle is available for pre-order and launches November 2, 2018.
A new character was also revealed for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the following reveal trailer below:
Perhaps one of the most exciting moments for Nintendo fans though, was the announcement of Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch coming in 2019.
Editor’s Note: As always, big shout out to our friends over at GamersPrey for providing complete and high quality (often 4K and/or 60fps) video coverage to all events. If you haven’t checked them out yet then you’re behind the curve, they’ve also got gameplay walkthroughs with no commentary on some of the latest games – so you can see how they progress without worrying if the person on the microphone is going to drag the footage down. They also host compilation videos and credits to major projects so if you’re in the business or just a very enthusiastic gamer you can see who did what on your favorite games’ development team. Until next time, keep it real and keep it gaming!