What’s Nintendo doing in 2021? We take a guess
Last year I wrote a ‘prediction’ article for what would happen with Nintendo in 2020 and got it mostly all wrong (not all of it though 😎). A lot of things happened in 2020 that could have changed what ended up happening anyway.
So it’s 2021 and now it’s time again to take off the tin foil hat, listen to the 5G and see what’s coming this year. Again, Nintendo only has a handful of games dated so far this year, here’s what we know so far.
Look there are other games dated, way more than there were at the started of 2020 for example, but the point is – Nintendo’s got just the one. A Wii U port – so let’s have some fun.
Technology moves fast, and the Switch is four years old. Not only that the technology that powers it is even older. We’re in a world where nearly every TV sold is 4K, all the game makers have moved onto more powerful machine and use techniques that require more power and smarts that the Switch can do.
So there’s hopefully going to be a new Switch, and it’s going to be more powerful – but also smarter. Will it have ray tracing, or AI upscaling? (something that NVidia is pretty good at) maybe not, but maybe we’ll be able to use Bluetooth headphones or have more internal storage. Maybe we’ll even see a Switch console in another form.
Why it will release: Games are choking on the Switch, and Panic Button is only so good.
Why it won’t release: The Switch is selling just fine as it is.
It’s The Legend of Zelda’s turn for an anniversary next year, a pretty big one – 35 years. We’re going to see a lot of Zelda this year one way or another. Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess HD, and Wind Waker HD – at least one of them will come to the Switch. Maybe more if Breath of the Wild 2 isn’t ready.
What about another Game Boy game remade in the style of Link’s Awakening? Just don’t make it a time-restricted release Nintendo – never mind we’re already expecting it.
Why it will release: The Legend of Zelda’s 35th anniversary
Why it won’t release: Breath of the Wild 2 is done (ha)
There’s another big anniversary this year, and that’s 35 years of Metroid. Now Metroid isn’t The Legend of Zelda in terms of sales – but Nintendo used to love this franchise once. We should see something from it again.
My bet is on Metroid Prime Trilogy, rumours of that have been running around long enough to be high school now. Metroid Prime 4 only restarted development not too long ago – so it’s not going to be that.
A separate Metroid anniversary game is also one we could see getting a Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light type special release – which would probably be limited. Sigh.
Why it will release: Prime 4 won’t be ready
Why it won’t release: Forgotten about again, is our Ms Aran.
We’ve had Sword and Shield in our lives for more than two years now, so what’s next? If history is any indication that means it’s remake time. However, it’s also the 30th anniversary of Pokémon this year and means while a remake of say, Diamond and Pearl might happen – maybe we’ll see something else instead.
I’ve gone with a safe bet here, but I’d love to see something more bespoke from The Pokémon Company in regards to celebration Pokémon – a remake is nice but something unexpected is even better.
Why it will release: Those two DLC packs didn’t take a year to make.
Why it won’t release: Pokémon games are too big to make them this often now?
There’s a trend this year, anniversaries and Donkey Kong has the biggest one of all. Donkey Kong is 40 years old next year – and Nintendo better not forget about him. I’d love to see a new spin on Donkey Kong, or a classic game with some modern touches – a Donkey Kong 35 like game.
Or you know, a new Donkey Kong Country would be good too.
Why it will release: Nintendo loves anniversaries
Why it won’t release: Old DK gets forgotten about a lot.
We’ve not had an original game Wario game (one that’s not WarioWare) since 2008. Then we got the amazing looking Wario Land: Shake It and even at 480p on the Wii it was just such a vibrant and fun game.
It’s time for Wario to roll again, and this time with no recycling of WarioWare Microgames from the early 2000s. Something fresh.
Why it will release: Kirby is tired, give Wario another go.
Why it won’t release: We’ll just get another Kirby game instead.
On March 31st, 2021 the following products and services will be discontinued.
- Super Mario 3D All Stars
- Super Mario 35
- Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch
The physical and digital versions of the above games will be removed from sale or no longer printed. The Game & Watch, sure – that’s pretty pricey to just keep making and there are some arguments for limiting the physical version of 3D All Stars. But the digital stuff? Hell no.
Hopefully sometime between now and March 31st, Nintendo will just realise, there’s no reason this celebration needs to stop and stop Mario annihilation day. At least – digitally.
Why it will happen: Nintendo was calling our bluff.
Why it won’t happen: No one will believe Nintendo ever again, and then Metroid and Zelda collections won’t be able to have the same sort of time limitedness. This is the worst timeline.
Last year I lead with this, surely Breath of the Wild 2 will be released. Then we had a pandemic which isn’t going away anytime soon, then we got Age of Calamity and then well another game released this year and reminded us all why you don’t rush games.
I want it, but I want it to be good.
Why it will release: Everyone has been loving working from home and made the game so much quicker.
Why it won’t release: Cyberpunk 2077