This year, Nintendo once again eschewed a traditional pre conference for a direct-to-video presentation, the Nintendo Spotlight. The show was only 25 minutes long, but it was packed with announcements and fresh looks at existing Switch games due to come out later this year. The most surprising move of all was the announcement of not just one, but two new Metroid games; a series that has been absent for far too long in the eyes of its fans.
Of course, there’s always room for improvement, and despite a few pleasant surprises, Nintendo failed to address more immediate concerns for Switch owners. Let’s take a look at what Nintendo did right, what its biggest games were at the show, and where it could have done better.
This is our analysis of Nintendo as a whole at the show, but to get a deep for a deeper dive, we’ve got you covered with: All of the news and announcements from the press conference, all of the new E3 Nintendo trailers, and a list of all the new Nintendo games announced at the show!
And for analysis of the other press conferences, check out the roundup of highs, lows, and biggest games for all the other big publishers and developers.
Highlight: Nintendo revives Metroid.
After years of speculation and demands from its biggest fans, Nintendo finally answered the call and announced that Metroid is back. We now know that this was a two-fold announcement: in addition to Metroid Prime 4, Nintendo also announced Metroid: Samus Returns, a remake of the 1991 Game Boy game, Metroid II: The Return of Samus. Nintendo not only revived a renowned series, but it let fans know that it’s listening.
Highlight: The Pokemon Company teases a Pokemon RPG for Switch.
The Pokemon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara announced that Game Freak is currently working on a core, RPG Pokemon game for Nintendo Switch. No other details were shared, unfortunately, but for many the surprise announcement was exciting enough.
Highlight: Super Mario Odyssey is incredibly weird, apparently.
When we saw Mario walk among realistically proportioned humans in the first trailer for Super Mario Odyssey last January, we knew the upcoming game was going to be strange. When we saw a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex wearing a Mario Hat become Mario during the recent Nintendo Spotlight, we knew we’d underestimated how strange the game actually is. Mario can now turn into his enemies rather than simply taking on their powers, and in turn, this twist has re-energized the series’ own identity.
Highlight: A parade of new Amiibo appear.
To go along with many of its biggest games, Nintendo also revealed a slew of new Amiibo: 11, to be exact. The announced Amiibo include:
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga: Koopa Trooper, Goomba
Highlight: The Nintendo Spotlight was quick but efficient.
"All said aside," it was great to see Nintendo deliver such a well-composed event. It was substantial despite the short runtime, thanks to the number of new announcements and a range of presentation styles. Best of all: every game looked promising, ensuring that Switch owners have a lot to look forward to in the near future.
Needs improvement: The biggest announcements were teases.
It was great to know that Metroid Prime and Pokemon are in development for Switch, but it would have been great to see evidence of the progress made on either front. No matter how successful Nintendo was at making our imaginations run wild, the total lack of gameplay or release date info was a tough pill to swallow.
Needs improvement: No new Wii U ports (Mario Maker, Smash Bros., Zelda HD games)
It’s understandable why Nintendo wouldn’t focus on Wii U ports at a show where everyone wants new games to be announced, but that doesn’t erase the fact that many people are eager for more. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was a runaway success and evidence of the fact that the best Wii U games can find new life on a new console. And when you consider a natural fit like Super Mario Maker, it’s sad to see good opportunities get left behind for another day.
Needs improvement: No Mother 3 Announcement
Speaking of good opportunities left behind: Mother 3 was nowhere to be found. Again.
[Editor’s Note: GameSpot managing editor Justin Haywald has unsuccessfully predicted the game reveal of the Earthbound sequel at every E3 for the last three years.]
Biggest games: Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey is diverse, creative, and unlike any other Mario game in existence: and we can put this claim to the test as soon as October 27.
Biggest games: Metroid Prime 4
Despite knowing virtually nothing about Metroid Prime 4, we do know that it’s in development, and that’s practically enough.
Biggest games: Metroid Samus Returns
Metroid: Samus Returns was more than just an announcement, with Nintendo showcasing a substantial amount of gameplay during its Treehouse live presentation.
Biggest games: Rocket League
Rocket League is one of the most original sports games to come out in the past few years, and to get it on Switch is great news for existing League players looking to enjoy their favorite game on the go.
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