The first Nintendo Direct in five months is due to air later today, and naturally speculation on its contents is as rife as ever.
While many will be keeping their fingers crossed for bombshell announcements – a new Mario game, a title for Breath of the Wild’s sequel, even the old faithfuls F-Zero and Star Fox – there are some predictions that could be considered a little safer.
It should go without saying that any of the games Nintendo has already announced stand a chance of being featured in the Direct, so don’t be surprised to see the likes of Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp and Splatoon 3 turning up.
But what else could realistically make an appearance? We’ve put together this list that, while certainly not a guarantee of anything, consists of titles that we believe have a reasonable chance of being announced during the Direct.
A sequel to 1-2-Switch
It’s recently been reported that Nintendo is working on a sequel to its casual launch title 1-2-Switch.
While the original was met with middling reviews, it still managed to sell more than 3 million copies by the end of 2019, so we’d imagine that would have played a large part if a sequel has indeed been greenlit.
What we’d hope, however, is that a sequel would appeal to everybody, and not just newcomers getting to grips with the hardware.
While a series of what were essentially tech demos may have been passable as a launch title, we’re now nearly five years into the Switch’s life and that’ll no longer cut it.
Any potential sequel will require a lot more depth than its predecessor in order to be considered a success this time.
GoldenEye 007 HD
Last year, a leaked version of an Xbox 360 HD remaster of GoldenEye 007 managed to find its way online.
As anyone who played it (as we did) would have seen, this remaster was around 95% complete, and would have required only minor work to get it ready for release.
Ultimately, the game was scrapped, and in our interview with the development team last year it appears that this was down to Nintendo deciding it didn’t want a game it had originally published being released on another platform.
It’s now been 14 years since that Xbox 360 project was scrapped and we live in different times. Nintendo and Xbox now share a mutual respect, as seen with the likes of Banjo-Kazooie and Ori and the Blind Forest being released on Switch (the latter even having Xbox Live achievements).
In October, the game was removed from a list of games banned in Germany – this was supposed to happen automatically after 25 years, but it seems the removal was made early at someone’s request.
Add to that the fact that achievements for an Xbox One version of the game – not the previous Xbox 360 one – were spotted earlier this year on Rare developers’ accounts, and it seems clear that GoldenEye HD may indeed be imminent.
That’s on Xbox, of course. But if the scrapped 360 game was anything to go by, it looks like Nintendo at least holds some of the cards that determine whether it gets a release.
One would imagine that it may want a piece of the action too, in the shape of a Switch port, before it would give its blessing for such a remaster to be released.
Ever since the Fire Emblem series first started in Japan back in 1990, there’s never been a gap of more than three years between entries.
Of course, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be – the series’ popularity has grown rapidly in the west in recent times, and Three Houses was met with widespread critical praise.
The notion, then, that Nintendo would suddenly say “that’s enough” and hold fire on such a popular series would be madness.
We would be surprised if there wasn’t at least a teaser trailer for a new Fire Emblem game during tonight’s Direct.
Metroid Prime HD
The existence of an HD remaster of the first Metroid Prime has become such a commonly reported story that the fact Nintendo still hasn’t officially announced it is almost comical at this point.
Given the huge success of Metroid Dread, Samus is as popular as she’s ever been, so there’s no better time for Nintendo to finally bring one of the greatest games in the Metroid series to HD for the first time.
Metroid Prime 4 appears to be a year or two away at the very least, and now that Dread’s out fans of the series – both new and old – will be itching for more Metroid goodness.
This would be the perfect time to finally reveal Metroid Prime HD, and given that Prime 4 is likely still a long way off, if Prime HD is successful there could be scope for Nintendo to release HD versions of Prime 2 and 3 to keep fans occupied.
Nintendo Switch Online retro titles
Earlier today, it was reported that the NES and SNES on Nintendo Switch Online are due to undergo maintenance right after the Nintendo Direct ends.
Although, this isn’t always the case, these apps undergo maintenance when Nintendo is adding new titles to their libraries, and it would be extremely coincidental timing if this maintenance wasn’t planned as part of a planned announcement during the Nintendo Direct.
In recent times, Nintendo has mainly announced its retro additions on Twitter, mainly because they’re often more niche titles that won’t get too many people excited.
The fact that these NES and SNES titles could be getting announced on a Direct instead suggests they may be high profile titles, with one theory being that Nintendo could be adding Earthbound and Mother (released on the Wii U as Earthbound Beginnings) at the same time.
It also remains to be seen whether the much reported Game Boy library will also be announced during the Direct.