Emily Rogers

Sunday Thoughts — 2.10.19

3DS turns eight-years-old this month. Its revenue stream is shrinking, stores are slowly clearing out stock, and there’s no next-gen handheld successor in sight. Not only is the company running out of 3DS software to release, but the 3DS games that are being released just aren’t making Nintendo much money these days. I know Nintendo’s president says 3DS won’t be discontinued this year, but I think it’s safe to say that the system doesn’t have any gas in the tank left.  Unless Nintendo decides to keep microwaving ports of old Wii and Wii U games for the next two years — like “Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn” and “Poochy + Yoshi’s Wooly World” — this might be the year where 3DS finally rides off into the sunset.

Now is the time for Nintendo to begin migrating that 3DS audience over to Switch.

A journalist friend of mine joked about how Switch’s 2019 software lineup feels like “DS on Steroids”. Even though he was simply joking, he’s not really that far off from the truth. Many of the IPs and software titles releasing this year on Switch are aimed at the DS/3DS audience: Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing, Yo-Kai Watch, Luigi’s Mansion, Dragon Quest.  All of these IPs played a major role in the commercial success of 3DS.

Another reason this year reminds me of 3DS is because it seems heavily focused on the role-playing genre. The year started with Tales of Vesperia and Wargroove. Then we get to April and there’s a bunch of Final Fantasy games coming. Then there’s Fire Emblem and Pokemon. There’s no denying that it’s a very RPG-heavy year. Five years from now, Switch will easily surpass SNES, DS and 3DS as Nintendo’s greatest RPG system of all time.

Completely different topic.

It’s fascinating to see how many PlayStation 2 titles are winding up on Switch. To name a few: Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XII, Okami,  Onimusha Warlords, Resident Evil 4, Katamari Damacy, Grandia II, The King of Fighters 2000 and 2001.

Seriously, Switch’s library is slowly building up a lineup of PS2’s greatest third party hits.

Should we expect even more third party PlayStation 2 remastered titles jumping over to Switch in the future? Yes, I think that’s a safe bet.  Bringing older PS2 titles to Switch doesn’t require a substantial amount of effort, and these games have never appeared on Nintendo systems before, which makes them easy profit for third party publishers.

 

 

Anyways, I’m sure you want to hear my general expectations or predictions for this year.

Nintendo’s president said Labo didn’t sell as well as they had hoped, but they were formulating new methods to convey its allure. I’m predicting Labo to return with a fourth kit as early as this spring (April). I also think the new kit’s name (and gimmick) might surprise some people too.

You may have read in the news recently that PlatinumGames is no longer developing GranBlue Fantasy: Relink. According to both companies, Platinum’s contract has come to an end, and Cygames will solely handle development internally. After the news broke, many readers asked me if Platinum is in any kind of trouble or danger.

Personally, I don’t know anything about Platinum as a business. However, since late November 2018, I have consistently teased that Switch owners should “keep an eye on PlatinumGames in 2019”. Believe me when I say that Bayonetta 3 isn’t Platinum’s only Switch-developed project.

Now let’s talk about the eShop side of things. This year, I believe Switch could see as many as three or four smaller digital eShop titles published by Nintendo. That’s a big increase compared to last year, when the only Switch eShop title published by Nintendo was a free-to-play game called Pokemon Quest. Previously, I heard two smaller digital eShop titles (eShop game #1 and eShop game #2) were coming, but there’s actually a third eShop digital game as well!

The mysterious “eShop game #3” has now been added to my list of potential 2019 Switch software titles. Feel free to use this list to keep track of the year as Nintendo makes official announcements. I’m expecting the majority of these 12 software titles to be announced this year — at least eight of them.  (Side note: Any of these smaller eShop digital titles could receive retail versions later in the future with new DLC. Example: Snipperclips Plus).

The “Most likely” Nintendo-published game announcements for 2019. (70% chance or higher)

1. Mystery game #1
2. Mystery game #2
3. Mystery game #3
4. Mystery game #4
5. eShop game #1
6. Mystery Wii U port #1 (2013 title)
7. eShop game #2
8. eShop game #3
9. New Labo Kit

The “Maybe” games for 2019. (The wild card titles – 50% chance or less)

10. Retro Studios secret game (this is assuming it wasn’t canned)
11. Metroid Prime Trilogy (assuming Zell’s info and Imran’s info are correct)
12. Mystery Wii U port #2

Oh, and fair warning: Don’t look at internet rumors and automatically assume that every rumored game must be a big, meaty expensive retail title. That’s the danger of people spreading rumors – even the correct rumors sometimes don’t tell you the full story of what a game actually is. As I said before, there is a mix of announcements coming soon — smaller digital eShop titles and larger retail titles.

Thank you for reading this brief blog post. Hopefully I’ll find the time to post blog posts more regularly in the future.