What Nintendo does in 2020 is anyone’s guess – so we did
Writing a ‘what’s coming this year’ article for a Nintendo site is a pretty stupid thing to do. Nintendo has precisely three games dated for 2020 so far – two of them are out this month and the other one is Animal Crossing: New Horizons in March.
Some games got delayed from last year or had 2020 dates set already and we know about Axiom Verge 2, No More Heroes 3, Bravely Default 2, Rune Factory 4 and 5, and Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition but they’re possibly months away with no firm date.
But what’s next after Animal Crossing? Will we see Breath of the Wild 2, Bayonetta 3, Metroid Prime 4? What have all the other Nintendo teams been working on? So many questions!
Before we move on, let’s look at some of the major players.
The games above are really the only games on Switch with a set date for 2020, Trials of Mana is a generic February date but everything else is set. It’s a good line up – but it’s not going to fill the rest of the year.
Like last year, and the year before that, the rest of the year is a mystery – and that’s the way Nintendo likes it. Aside from some big games, we really don’t learn about games until 3-6 months before they’re out. So with the absence of actual information – let’s speculate – and see what we think is coming out this year.
Nintendo likely wants this one out this year, it’s a heavy hitter to go up against two new consoles – but realistically? We’re not sure. This one has been in the oven for a while, probably as soon as Breath of the Wild wrapped up – but could it arrive this year? We’re 50/50 on it.
Why it will release: It’s probably a lot further along than we think.
Why it won’t release: When was the last time a new Zelda released on time?
First shown all the way back The Game Awards in 2017, we’re fairly confident we’ll see Bayonetta 3 this year. Even though we only just got Astral Chain in 2019, Platinum Games isn’t small.
Why it will release: Platinum Games know what they’re doing with it.
Why it won’t release: It’s been a while since we heard about it.
This time last year we learned that development on Metroid Prime 4 was restarted with Retro Studios – so there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that this game makes it out this year. It just isn’t going to happen.
Why it will release: It won’t.
Why it won’t release: Because it restarted just a year ago.
There’s enough out there for us to say if we’re not getting Metroid Prime 4, we’re going to get something else featuring Samus. The long-rumoured Metroid Prime Trilogy, or a Switch port of Metroid: Samus Returns is probably on the cards. Prime 4 isn’t this year, having something else out to lead into its release the year later is a good idea.
Traditionally Pokemon mainline releases come out yearly, traditionally we see Gamefreak bounce from a new game to a remake or Ultra or ‘third’ version of the game with a bunch of fixes. Nothing about Sword and Shield and its development has been traditional.
Instead of a ‘third’ game that fixes Sword and Shield, it’s more likely that DLC or patches and updates to the game are on the way. It’s been out since November and we still haven’t seen a patch for the game – they’re working on something.
While we’re not expecting Game Freak to put out a third version Sword and Sheild, it’s possible that something else will be released. A follow-up to Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, but this time remaking Johto – or something else? We’re tepid on this, but surely something else Pokemon will arrive this year. Pokemon Puzzle League, please?
It might say Super Mario Odyssey 2 up there, but this is probably more a catch-all for any new 3D Mario title. It’s been more than enough time for a new one to be cooking up, especially since apparently Super Mario Odyssey was sitting finished for some time before it’s release in October 2017.
Why it will release: Its about time.
Why it won’t release: Perhaps they’re content to let Odyssey sell
While we’re probably not due for Splatoon 3 just yet, it’s about time Splatoon got some more love outside of the competitive shooter scene. It’s such a new, original and colourful world that it could be explored in other ways.
This will upset a lot of people, but it makes sense. Super Mario Party sold better than anyone thought it would, perhaps it sold more than it had the right to sell. When the original game got absolutely no DLC or support in the months post-release and then sold 10 million copies people – sequel time.
Why we’ll see more Super Mario Party: It sold too much to ignore.
Why we won’t see more Super Mario Party: They’re hard at work on DLC for the original ?
Like a broken clock being right twice a day, Nintendo will release at least two Kirby games a year. Whether its a port, a party game, a brawler or a classic platformer – Kirby gets a guernsey.
Why we’ll see more Kirby: There have to be 2 Kirby games a year, it’s like the law.
Why we won’t see more Kirby: Nintendo are taking their time to do something different with the pink puff.
This is an easy quick win for Nintendo, especially if there’s not a new 3D Mario title ready. Just roll this one out. It’s perfect for the Switch, it’ll look even better on it and more people need to play it.
Why it will release: It makes even more sense on the Switch
Why it won’t release: Is the window for Wii U ports done?
This has been rumoured longer than the Switch has been around. Nintendo loves Pikmin 3, it’s the game with the most Nintendo Directs based around it. It went to two E3 Expo. For two years I covered this game (and nothing much else) during the Wii U era – it’s a great game (I even reviewed it). I just don’t want to have write about it again.
There’s no way it’s not coming to Switch and it’ll fill a hole sometime this year.
Why it will release: To punish me.
Why it won’t release: Maybe it all got rolled into Pikmin 4?
Come on Nintendo and Microsoft, you can do it. Please. I don’t ask for much.
Why it will release: Nothing surprises us anymore.
Why it won’t release: Microsoft hate money?
What do you think will arrive? Did we get it right – or horribly wrong? Only time will tell.