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Our 2015 Nintendo Predictions

Neal Ronaghan, Director

by Neal Ronaghan - January 12, 2015, 9:04 am PST

Predicting Nintendo's year of releases down to the day.

Last year I wrote needlessly specific predictions that included pegging things down to the exact date. I was naturally way off in most spots, but it actually wasn't as horrendous as I expected. I did correctly predict the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U release date, and I was two days off for Tomodachi Life. Other than that? Well, let's just move on.

For 2015, I'm going to do the same chicanery. Let's start off with what we know so far:

  • 2/13 - Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
  • 3/13 - Code Name S.T.E.A.M.

We really don't know too many specifics right now, which makes this exercise even more futile, but here we go. Here's my predictions for 2015 broken up by quarter.

Note: Any mention of Amiibo will just be done by an all-caps “AMIIBO” at the end of each game that will support it. Having just completed the first two waves, I don’t want to think of what kind of nonsense I’ll have to go through to get the hundreds of things Nintendo releases under the Amiibo name in 2015.

  • 2/13 - Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (AMIIBO)
  • 2/20 - New 3DS and Majora's Mask 3D
  • 3/13 - Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.
  • 3/27 - Fossil Fighters: Frontier

I totally forgot Fossil Fighters: Frontier even existed. I wouldn't be shocked if it slips until April, but I'm not sure how else the opening quarter will be filled out. I am pretty convinced that New 3DS and Majora's Mask 3D will be out in February, though.

  • 4/10 - Splatoon
  • 5/1 - Mario vs. Donkey Kong Wii U
  • 5/22 - Mario Maker (AMIIBO)
  • 6/5 - Yokai Watch

April through June will be a big Wii U time with Splatoon hitting its spring target and Mario Maker releasing before the first half of the year is up. Mario vs. Donkey Kong will probably show up as Wii U eShop title, kicking off a series of smaller eShop games from Nintendo studios.

Yokai Watch will make the jump to North America in 2015. While I'll admit having it launch in less than five months might not happen, I think that an early June release date is a proven, successful spot. Animal Crossing and Tomodachi Life both flourished in that spot. I expect Yokai Watch to do the same as Level-5 and Nintendo team up again.

  • 8/7 - Project Guard/Project Giant Robot
  • 8/21 - Metroid Prime 3D (New 3DS) (AMIIBO)
  • 9/13 - Star Fox Wii U (AMIIBO)
  • 9/25 - Xenoblade Chronicles (New 3DS) and Xenoblade Chronicles X

July is usually an empty month for Nintendo and I don't expect that to change. August will kick off the hype for Star Fox Wii U as Project Guard and Project Giant Robot, two of Miyamoto's playable projects at E3 2014, will come out as full eShop games that start the episodic story of Star Fox Wii U.

Here’s a ballsy prediction: Metroid Prime 3D will come to the New 3DS. It might be a collection of all three games in the trilogy, or it might just be the original one. I think Retro Studios has a small team working on this while they are developing a new Metroid game for Wii U. We will hear something about Metroid this year, most likely at E3. It’s one of those things where if there’s smoke, there’s fire, and with the comments from Miyamoto at E3 last year and the concept art from a cancelled Next Level Games-developed Metroid, I’m seeing some smoke. Metroid’s coming back in 2015, gang. Maybe with a bit of a whimper since it could just be a remake, but Metroid will be back.

September will start off with a bang, as I expect Star Fox Wii U to launch after just about four years to the day of Star Fox 64 3D. It might be released episodically. If that's the case, I think Nintendo will promise a new episode once a month for six months.

September will also end with a bang with the launch of Xenoblade Chronicles X and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. I wouldn't be surprised if the New 3DS remake of the original game is renamed because that seems confusing as hell when I just wrote it out. There’s also an alternate reality where only Xenoblade Chronicles 3D comes out here because the Wii U Xenoblade game is pushed to 2016. But Nintendo wouldn’t want to awaken the Operation Rainfall hordes, so that won’t happen, right?

  • 10/16 - Devil's Third, Game Boy Remix, and SNES Remix (AMIIBO)
  • 11/6 - Animal Crossing Wii U (AMIIBO)
  • 11/20 - The Legend of Zelda Wii U (AMIIBO), Mario Party 10 (AMIIBO), and Pokémon Z
  • 12/3 - Unannounced Next Level Games Game

The past two years Nintendo banked hard on releasing a bunch of games on fewer dates. I think that will continue near the end of the year in 2015. In mid-October, I expect Devil's Third to hit Wii U. I also think that the NES Remix series will move on to other systems, with a Game Boy Remix on 3DS and a SNES Remix on Wii U.

In November, Animal Crossing Wii U will be the early marquee November release, with Zelda Wii U, Mario Party 10, and Pokémon Z rounding out the month in the typical "Friday before Thanksgiving" spot. I know people are doubtful Zelda Wii U will hit at the end of 2015. While I wouldn’t be shocked about a delay, I don’t know if Nintendo has anything strong enough to replace it. In the position that the company is in right now, I think they need Zelda Wii U to hit just as badly as they needed Smash Bros. Wii U to hit in 2014. Remember the cold darkness of 2008 when Animal Crossing: City Folk and Wii Music were the two big fall games? I imagine Nintendo does. I also imagine that Iwata’s breathing down Aonuma’s neck whispering, “finish the game, fairy boy, or else the Deku Tree gets it!”

Lastly, December will see the release of whatever it is that Next Level Games is working on. I'm not sure what it might be, but I know I wouldn't be surprised if it slipped to 2016.

Talkback

Leo13January 12, 2015

When Addison Webb mentioned Co-op on Mario Universe all I can think is I really want it IF we get 2 screen co-op (where player 1 uses the Gamepad screen and player 2 uses the TV screen) I LOVE 2-player co-op like that!!! I can't believe there aren't more Wii U games that do this simple thing!!!

As a counter-point to Addison's Super Mario Universe prediction, not only do I not think we're going to hear about it this year, I think when we do hear about it it's not going to be a Wii U game.

MagicCow64January 12, 2015

Yeah, I think it's much more likely we'll get a surprise Super Luigi 3D World expansion, as I sincerely doubt Nintendo's going to burn another mainline 3D Mario game on the WiiU. Given the existence of NSLB, I'd have to think they at least built the hooks into 3D World as an option.

AdrockJanuary 12, 2015

I thought Wii U was supposed to be in bargain bins by now.

ejamerJanuary 12, 2015

Fingers crossed for Xenoblade X coming out in North America in 2015.  I don't believe it will actually happen, and don't really trust NoA to care about the game... but it's the biggest reason I invested in a Wii U and would make the year a success in my mind.


Most interesting predication I saw: the death of Club Nintendo.  This could totally happen, although I hope that's not the case. Imagine the furor surrounding the announcement? All those "fans" who complain every month about never having anything worth spending their coins on going into overdrive when they find out the rewards program is closing... hahaha.


My 2015 predictions:
* NoA continues doing a poor job distributing or making available any kind of limited good (Amiibo cards or figures, special editions of games, collectible items) or communicating with their customers to manage expectations
* Shortly after New 3DS is released we see articles talking about how Nintendo is doomed and should abandon the hardware business.
* Xenoblade X and Zelda - my two most wanted Wii U games - both get delayed, but one is still released at the end of 2015

Quote from: Adrock

I thought Wii U was supposed to be in bargain bins by now.

Bundles have been sold multiple times in Canada for prices ranging from $150-200 over the past year.
Does that count?

SorenJanuary 12, 2015

Quote:

To celebrate the Virtual Boy's 20th anniversary several 3DS Virtual Boy Virtual Console games will be released on the eShop

Seems totally legit.

I'm not sure why people are so skeptical about Xenoblade X coming out this year. It's been almost five years since the original came out in Japan; if anything, I think it could be considered worrisome that we've seen as little of it as we have.

Leo13January 12, 2015

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

I'm not sure why people are so skeptical about Xenoblade X coming out this year. It's been almost five years since the original came out in Japan; if anything, I think it could be considered worrisome that we've seen as little of it as we have.

Not worrisome, the less we know about a game like that, the more fun it will be once we actually get it. That's why I refused to watch the tree House play it during E3

I don't see Nintendo buying out the Sonic Character.  Nintendo & Sega seem to have a pretty good working relationship already.  I also don't see the upside for Nintendo to buy out the sonic character for a "revival" when the well for Sonic seems pretty poisoned outside of kids who play the 3D games and fools like me who'll only bother playing the Sega Genesis games.

SorenJanuary 12, 2015

Jeez guys, can you tone it down with the SMTxFE cancellation talk. Bury my all my hopes and dreams while you're at it.

CericJanuary 12, 2015

Quote from: Soren

...
Bury my all my hopes and dreams while you're at it.

How deep?

EnnerJanuary 12, 2015

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

I'm not sure why people are so skeptical about Xenoblade X coming out this year. It's been almost five years since the original came out in Japan; if anything, I think it could be considered worrisome that we've seen as little of it as we have.

Between the two 40+ minute demos at E3 2014 and Iwata's quick overview in the November 2014 Nintendo Direct, I feel we have seen a lot of Xenoblade X. Also, translations (thank you Siliconera!) of the Japanese Twitter account, @xenobladejp, and the Japanese site, xenobladex.jp, have indicated that the game is on track for it's Japanese release of Spring 2015. With how much more present Xenoblade X is compared to the first Xenoblade, I would find it hard to believe that localization efforts are lagging so behind that a NA/EU Xenoblade X is not in 2015.


English news of Xenoblade X is not easy to come by, and NoA has yet to rev up the marketing machine for it. But English-language information of it's progress is out there; it is not some mysterious unknown.

Quote from: Soren

Jeez guys, can you tone it down with the SMTxFE cancellation talk. Bury my all my hopes and dreams while you're at it.

I find it odd that both predictions fail to mention that Nintendo answered a question on SMTxFE at the Codename STEAM E3 2014 roundtable with a statement saying that the game's development is progressing normally ( http://www.siliconera.com/2014/06/11/shin-megami-tensei-x-fire-emblem-schedule/ ). It is a small quip that can be easily dismissed or missed, but it is the latest official news on the project. While there has been no actual footage of the game since it was announced in January 2013, I don't see why we should so easily think Nintendo producer Hitoshi Yamagami is lying when he said the game is on schedule.

We still live in a Nintendo age where we see very short PR/marketing lead-ups. Xenoblade X and The Legend of Zelda Wii U are exceptions to very established pattern. It has only been two years since the announcement of SMTxFE and it is possible that the time of the announcement was when the deal was finalized. If we don't see a screenshot of SMTxFE in 2015, then I will concede to it being vaporware.

marvel_moviefan_2012January 12, 2015

it will release right along side Project H.A.M.M.E.R and Thornado as launch titles on Sega's next game console.

ejamerJanuary 12, 2015

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

I'm not sure why people are so skeptical about Xenoblade X coming out this year. It's been almost five years since the original came out in Japan; if anything, I think it could be considered worrisome that we've seen as little of it as we have.

Personally, I finding setting low incredibly expectations is key to being a successful Nintendo fanboy...
;)


For example, some people expected that NoA would offer enough stock to make buying (or even preording) an Amiibo figure that isn't from a Mario game a possibility after Christmas. Or that critical success in every other region would give NoA sufficient reason to release Xenoblade on the Wii when there was virtually no other software coming out, without requiring an outside party to share publishing fees.  Fools!

SorenJanuary 12, 2015

Quote from: Enner

I find it odd that both predictions fail to mention that Nintendo answered a question on SMTxFE at the Codename STEAM E3 2014 roundtable with a statement saying that the game's development is progressing normally ( http://www.siliconera.com/2014/06/11/shin-megami-tensei-x-fire-emblem-schedule/ ). It is a small quip that can be easily dismissed or missed, but it is the latest official news on the project. While there has been no actual footage of the game since it was announced in January 2013, I don't see why we should so easily think Nintendo producer Hitoshi Yamagami is lying when he said the game is on schedule.

There was a rumor from 4chan a month ago that fanned the flames of a possible SMTxFE cancellation but nothing happened. This is clearly a case of "no news means bad news" and I'll be eagerly awaiting the day Alex and Addison's predictions are proven wrong.

Evan_BJanuary 12, 2015

Oy vey.

Zelda is on a tight development schedule, but I don't think it will be delayed. It can't be, or else the momentum they started with Mario Kart and Smash will be ruined. I think, in the case of a console that is already on life support, Nintendo has to have planned out their releases for 2015 very carefully.

tendoboy1984January 19, 2015

You guys really need to stop the "Nintendo is doomed" crap. I've heard the same stupid complaints for the past 20 years, since the N64 was released.

And FYI, we should all be worried about the future of Sony, a company that hasn't been profitable for over 6 years.

As for Nintendo's 2015 lineup, I'm still waiting for that Mario Maker release date. I know I can easily play all the PC hacks, but those aren't the same as an official level editor made by Nintendo. Nintendo should have announced the release date during their Nintendo Direct, but I guess they're saving it for a surprise announcement in the next few months.

marvel_moviefan_2012January 19, 2015

Quote from: tendoboy1984

You guys really need to stop the "Nintendo is doomed" crap. I've heard the same stupid complaints for the past 20 years, since the N64 was released.

And FYI, we should all be worried about the future of Sony, a company that hasn't been profitable for over 6 years.

As for Nintendo's 2015 lineup, I'm still waiting for that Mario Maker release date. I know I can easily play all the PC hacks, but those aren't the same as an official level editor made by Nintendo. Nintendo should have announced the release date during their Nintendo Direct, but I guess they're saving it for a surprise announcement in the next few months.

You need to learn how to read, nobody is saying anything along the lines of Nintendo being doomed. Also Sony is a bigger company than you realize they won't be going anywhere they have ridden worse storms than this and they have assets they can sell off to reap profits easily.

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