Trying to predict Nintendo’s E3 plans is usually impossible. Everyone knows Nintendo is very secretive and keeps their lips unusually tight regarding unannounced titles. With that said it’s still possible to make some educated guesses on what Nintendo is planning to showcase at the show.
Making predictions for Nintendo’s next generation console, currently known as Project Cafe, is extremely difficult. Almost nothing is known for sure, and most of the information we do have is only rumors. Even though this is the case I would like to try and make a few educated guesses on what we may see announced for Project Cafe at E3 2011.
New Super Mario Bros. Cafe
I think it’s possible that Nintendo could announce a New Super Mario Bros. game for the Cafe at E3 2011. This possibility is, in my opinion, much more likely than seeing a 3D Mario title from the get go. This is because the team that made both Super Mario Galaxy games is currently working on a 3D Mario title for the 3DS.
Additionally it’s possible for the Cafe’s rumored touch screen controller to take advantage of a multiplayer side scrolling Mario game in ways we have yet to see. Imagine players that enter pipes appearing underground on their own screens and not forcing all the players to go under with them.
I also think that a New Super Mario Bros. title for the Cafe’s launch could be beneficial in other ways. It’s no secret that New Super Mario Bros. Wii was a huge seller and that both core and casual gamers enjoy the title. This game could help bring the Wii’s casual audience over to the new system while offering a must have launch title to the hardcore crowd that grew up with Mario at the same time.
North American F-Zero fans haven’t seen an entry in the F-Zero franchise in nearly seven years. It’s time for the super fast futuristic racer to return and the Cafe could be the perfect place for it.
If the rumors are true about the Cafe having a greater online structure, F-Zero could be one of the best racing titles on the new platform. Racing against 30 other online opponents is every F-Zero fans dream.
Another reason I think an F-Zero launch title is possible is because we all know F-Zero isn’t as popular as Mario Kart. If F-Zero launches with the system racing fans won’t have many other options to choose from which will increase sales of the title from the get go. Nintendo could introduce a new Mario Kart title for the Cafe a few years down the line and not cannibalize the racing genre from the get go.
Shigeru Miyamoto has been hinting at a new Pikmin game for years now. While this was supposedly in development for the Wii, I’m currently expecting it to be released on the Cafe at this point. Hopefully Nintendo fans will hear something about this game since Nintendo hasn’t released a new Pikmin game since 2004.
Retro Studios Game
The talented team behind the Metroid Prime Trilogy and Donkey Kong Country Returns is probably working on something for the Cafe, but I honestly have no idea what. Retro could go back and make another Metroid Prime title, the last one ended with some questions left to be answered, or make a sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns. They may even be brining back another Nintendo franchise or making a new game entirely. Regardless I think there is a good chance we will hear something at E3 2011.
New Nintendo IP
It’s entirely possible that Nintendo will announce a new IP that will really take advantage of the new controller that the Cafe will support. This game could also be bundled with the hardware much like Wii Sports was bundled with the Wii.
It’s entirely possible that a Wii Sports Resort sequel could make its way to Cafe. This title could bring some of the casual Wii fans over to the new system. While this game may not be a launch title, I think Nintendo could release a sequel to the popular series as soon as they plan the consoles first price drop hits to really hook the casual market again while maintaining a hardcore audience that is willing to pay higher prices from the get go. While this could take years to happen, it’s not that far fetched of an idea.
Like F-Zero, it’s been a long time since Nintendo has released a new Star Fox game. Nintendo is re-releasing Star Fox 64 for the 3DS later this year and could be using this title to re-introduce people to what many consider to be the best entry in the series and to bring interest back to the franchise which has seen a drastic drop in quality over the last few titles.
Nintendo could use a possible greater online structure to really bring Star Fox to a new level. Imagine online co-op modes where each player gets their own flight path and whose actions and choices could affect the others! Communication would be key. Also online dogfights could be a ton of fun as well.
Super Smash Bros. 4
I have seen some rumors about a Super Smash Bros. game coming to the Cafe. While I’m sure one will eventually be released for the system, I do NOT think it will be seen at this E3. The reason is that Masahiro Sakurai, the man who has directed every entry in the Smash Bros. Series, is currently finishing up Kid Icarus: Uprising for the 3DS. While it’s possible that the series will move forward without him, it’s also hard to imagine.
There are various other announcements I expect to see for the Cafe at E3 2011. I fully expect Nintendo to make it possible for Wii owners to transfer all of their WiiWare/Virtual Console titles over to the Cafe. Rumors are already going around that the Cafe will be backward compatible with both the GameCube and the Wii, so this idea isn’t too out there.
I expect the Cafe to take advantage of Virtual Console games in a new way. I think that as someone sits and plays a single player Cafe title that other people in the house will be able to load Virtual Console games to their Cafe controller (if it has a screen). This could give the person the ability to play a different game at the same time as someone else and will really help to stop siblings fighting over who’s turn it is. This technology could also be used to allow a person to play a game while someone is watching TV.
The Wii’s Vitality Sensor could also make an appearance for the Project Cafe. The reason I feel this way is that it would seem a bit late in the Wii’s product life cycle to announce another accessory. If Nintendo were to release the Vitality Sensor for the Wii there would only be a few titles that could take advantage of it.
Someone may claim that since the Cafe is rumored to be backward compatible with the Wii than Cafe titles could just take advantage of the technology developed for the Wii, such as the Vitality Sensor. My only argument against that is that it will take away from what could make the Cafe unique.
Fans should also expect some big third party announcements for the Cafe. If Nintendo is really going after the hardcore audience this time around they will need to bring over some big names to gain some interest. I have no idea what to expect in this regard, but I’m expecting something.
While everyone is talking about the Cafe’s new controller, I expect developers to have the option to use the old Wii Remote (and Wii accessories) in their Cafe titles if they choose to. This will likely be used for alternative control schemes, but I think that Nintendo will try to leave control options open, for most titles, to the player IF the game won’t really be taking advantage of the rumored screen built into the Cafe controller.
Other rumors are also going around about some sort of Haptic technology that will allow people to feel different textures on the touch screen. This could happen and I hope it does. One of the complaints I hear from many people that hate using a touch screen is that they don’t have any feedback after hitting a touch screen button. This Haptic technology could fix the issue and be used in new and innovative ways.
Overall, it’s way to hard to have many concrete guesses when it comes to Project Cafe. After the official Project Cafe reveal, scheduled for June 7th, 2011, this article will likely be laughed at by how far from the truth it really is. It’s the unfortunate truth, but I figured it was worth a shot at taking a stab at what we could see regarding the Cafe at E3 2011.
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