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Our 2015 Nintendo Predictions

Justin Berube, Features Editor

by Justin Berube - January 12, 2015, 9:04 am PST

The King Nintendo Fanboy has a few 2015 Nintendo predictions.

Last year I felt unusually confident with my Nintendo predictions, but this year not so much. I feel like Nintendo is coming to another major turning point and we could, in reality, see just about anything. That said, I still have some ideas on what to expect. So let’s get to it!

Amiibo

Amiibo has, clearly, been a success for Nintendo. However, there have been some issues and Nintendo has yet to meet demand for certain figures in the Super Smash Bros. line. I expect supply to remain a problem through the release of the Wave 3 Smash Bros. figures. After that, I think the Amiibo bubble will pop when Nintendo ramps up production and even brings back currently rare figures.

Nintendo has also been talking about Amiibo in other forms, such as cards, and for other series outside of the Super Smash Bros. line. We will see both in 2015, but the lines will be significantly smaller than the Super Smash Bros. series of toys.

Amiibo is not going away and Nintendo will push them harder than we can imagine. The New Nintendo 3DS even has the same stylized logo as Amiibo, so it’s a safe bet that more software, especially for the portable, is being worked on that will take advantage of these figures.

One of my biggest concerns with Amiibo is that I still don’t find their implementation in games very compelling. Amiibo owners can’t even take their trained Smash Bros. fighters into any online mode making the entire experience feel lacking. Amiibo also don’t do anything very exciting in the other games that support them. If Amiibo are to be successful in the long run I think we need to see at least one title that basically requires their usage and does creative things with them. I don’t doubt that Nintendo could pull this off; I’m just concerned that they won’t. Hopefully Nintendo pulls through and we get this super Amiibo title in 2015.

Like it or not, Amiibo are here to stay.

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New Nintendo 3DS

I think the New Nintendo 3DS will be released in the west this March without much reason to buy it other than it being the latest and greatest Nintendo handheld. Later in the year I expect Nintendo to push this thing like crazy while making it clear that Amiibo users will get more out of it since it can read Amiibo out of the box unlike the older 3DS models that require the use of an adaptor.

Nintendo will likely release a small handful of New Nintendo 3DS only games, like Xenoblade Chronicles, and a few eShop titles. Outside of that I really don’t think we can expect to see many exclusive games made for the platform.

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Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary

2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. series. Nintendo did a ton of things to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise five years ago, and I expect that trend to continue throughout the year.

While I don’t think any new main line Mario titles will be released this year, Mario Maker will do just fine. With all of the recently announced skins for the game it actually becomes the perfect title to celebrate this special occasion.

Nintendo will also celebrate by having some cool Club Nintendo items, special edition New Nintendo 3DS XL units, New Nintendo 3DS face plates, and by hosting a level creation contest for Mario Maker judged by Miyamoto or Tezuka. There will also be some cool events at the Nintendo World Store and maybe the announcement of a new concert series, similar to what Zelda had.

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Pokémon

Main line Pokémon games seem like they have been turned into a yearly franchise. I may be getting a bit sick of these yearly releases, but the sales numbers don’t lie. It’s for this reason that I think we will see Pokémon Z released in October. Yes, it will just be an updated third version of X and Y, but it is a relatively inexpensive title to produce that could rake in millions.

Pokkén Tournament will also be released on Wii U along with an Amiibo line for the playable fighters.

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Club Nintendo

2015 could be the final year of Club Nintendo for many reasons. For starters, in Japan there aren’t any more end of year rewards for reaching an elite status. Also, just look at the rewards that have been available in North America. It’s truly pathetic.

On top of that many of the questions that the surveys on the service ask are flawed and will produce almost useless marketing data. One example is that the surveys ask people if they used Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection on Wii U and 3DS games. Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection has been dead for months and was never used for Wii U or 3DS games. So the answer should be no in all cases.

Will there be a new program put in place? Maybe. Iwata did say he wants to offer discounts to Nintendo’s best customers. It’s possible that fading out Club Nintendo is just paving the way for a new reward program.

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Star Fox

Star Fox on Wii U will include an online multiplayer mode and will come bundled with a head set like Fox McCloud’s. Maybe that’s more wishful thinking on my part, but I’m going with it!

Miyamoto’s Project Guard and Project Giant Robot will end up being parts of this new Star Fox title.

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Other

Nintendo will continue to support Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS with DLC. There will be some more characters, stages, and costumes. I’m expecting Wolf to return around the time of the release of the Wii U version of Star Fox. Maybe those who buy the new Star Fox game will even get Wolf as free DLC.

Xenoblade Chronicles X will be delayed until March 2016 in the west. I hope I’m wrong here.

We will finally see a trailer for Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem at E3.

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

We will learn about a new Wii U Animal Crossing game but it won't come out until 2016

Art Academy with lessons on Wii U will be canceled.

Nintendo’s Quality of Life platform will launch in Japan.

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So there you have it, my 2015 Nintendo predictions. Feel free to return to this and laugh at me when we find out it’s all wrong. Though if I’m right remember that you heard it here first.

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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.

Enner¸January 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.

Stratos.January 12, 2015

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

nickmitchJanuary 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?

KhushrënadaJanuary 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.

KhushrënadaJanuary 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.

BroodwarsJanuary 12, 2015

Quote from: Soren

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

How deep?

Adrock¸January 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.

nickmitchJanuary 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!

KhushrënadaJanuary 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.

Invincible Donkey KongJanuary 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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