If you ever need evidence of humanity's evolutionary start as a nervous grouping of chattering primates, just say the words "Nintendo Direct incoming." Regardless of whether Nintendo's confirmed one of its Direct video presentations is indeed scheduled, the internet will invariably begin shrieking and hooting and feeding off each other's emotions.
A rumor about a supposed January 11 Nintendo Direct has been percolating since the holiday season, and now that we're into the new year, Nintendo fans are practically foaming and frothing. At the time of this writing, however, nothing official's been announced. It's not uncommon for Nintendo to drop news about a Direct a day or two before the actual event, so there's plenty of time to speculate if / when Nintendo will speak up about the presentation.
That also means plenty of time to speculate about what we're likely to hear—and reflect on how we'll inevitably be disappointed.
Nintendo certainly has games in store for 2018, including a few we know little about. Just last week, I penned a wishlist of what I want from the Switch through the rest of the year. I'm hoping to get a whiff of my hopes and dreams if / when the Nintendo Direct hits on January 11, but I'm tamping down my expectations. I'm realistic.
That doesn't mean I can't daydream, though. It also doesn't mean I can't talk about 10 things we're probably going to see (and hope to see) in the next Direct. Join me at the wishing well.
Information about Netflix, web browsers, etc
We've already seen "leaked" video of supposed upcoming apps for the Switch, including Netflix, Twitch, and Crunchyroll (none of which have official Switch support yet). The video also includes a brief look at a friends lounge, and an option to install a theme on your profile. While this video is probably an elaborate mock-up, it still shows off features the Switch desperately needs. I honestly thought we'd see or hear more about the Switch's apps by the end of the year; I hope we're not made to wait for much longer. The hypothetical January 11 Nintendo Direct is the perfect showcase for these additions.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC info
We're practically guaranteed to hear more about the upcoming DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 at the maybe-Direct. New side-quests are coming this month, and a rare Blade pack won't be too far behind come springtime. We might not hear much about the story-based portion of the DLC pack, which isn't due out until Fall.
Information about the Virtual Console
Yeah. C'mon, Nintendo. I need to play ActRaiser for the 20th time.
HD Wii Games on Switch
A fascinating thing is happening in China: The Nvidia Shield portable is getting HD ports of classic Wii games, including Super Mario Galaxy and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Nintendo worked closely with Nvidia for the Switch, and a Wii game ported to the Shield shouldn't have any problem running on the Switch. Will we hear word about these HD ports outside China, perhaps as part of some good news about the Switch's Virtual Console? It'd certainly make my day.
More Wii U ports
Maybe I shouldn't encourage Nintendo to go port-crazy, but as I pointed out in my What We Want from Nintendo in 2018 piece, a lot of great Wii U games are still under-appreciated as a consequence of being imprisoned on an unpopular system. Xenoblade Chronicles X is already a "maybe." I'm a bit Xenoblade-crazy right now, so I hope I hear something on January 11, even if it's a long shot.
An announcement for some species of Super Smash Bros Game
We've been hearing murmurs about Smash Bros on Switch for months, but Nintendo's poker face hasn't even twitched. The wait is getting painful: We know the Switch was updated to support the GameCube adapter, so Nintendo almost certainly has something up its sleeve. The question is, what? A whole new Smash game? A straight port of Smash Bros for the Wii U? Something in the vein of the incredibly successful Mario Kart 8 Deluxe seems likeliest. Either way, toss us a Cubone here, Nintendo.
Metroid Prime 4 info and / or footage
If 2017's E3 taught us anything, it's "Never count out Our Lady of the Chozo." We received info about not one, but two Metroid titles: Metroid: Samus Returns and Metroid Prime 4. The former is out and about, but the latter remains as mysterious as the day it was first mentioned. Maybe we'll learn a few things whenever this Nintendo Direct materializes. That might be wishful thinking, since "New Metroid Prime game!" is generally E3-quailty stuff. We can dream, though. We can dare to dream.
Fire Emblem Switch info and / or footage
Nintendo's been riding the Fire Emblem train pretty hard these past couple of years, and the franchise remains hot as dragon's breath. Sure, Fire Emblem's not a household franchise like Super Mario or The Legend of Zelda, but the continued success of the free-to-play mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes demonstrates there's a rapt audience out there that's eager to gobble up whatever they're handed. A full-fledged Fire Emblem game is on-track for 2018, so there's a decent chance we'll get at least a dribble of info about the project in the next Direct video. Again, though, Nintendo will probably save the choicest bits of news for E3 2018.
News about a Zelda game
"A new Zelda game? So soon after Breath of the Wild?" It's more likely than you think. The previous week concluded with a lot of excited chatter about Nintendo contacting publications for permission to re-quote reviews for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds on the Nintendo 3DS. Is an HD Switch port of this incredible Zelda game incoming? That's an exciting prospect. So is the enduring rumor that Nintendo is planning to update Link's Awakening for the Nintendo 3DS (much like how A Link Between Worlds is a follow-up / update to A Link to the Past). On the other hand, Nintendo may just be re-releasing A Link Between Worlds, which is why it wants the review quotes. Oh, Occam's Razor. We can always count on you to puncture our hopes and dreams.
Something about Bayonetta 3, maybe
The 2017 Game Awards revealed the Nintendo Switch will be blessed with Bayonetta, including ports of the first game, the second game, and the brand-spanking-new Bayonetta 3. The staff of USgamer had a little back-and-forth about whether the maybe-Direct will give us more info about Bayonetta 3. Kat says "yes." The rest of us are skeptical. Place yer bets, ladies, gents, and angels.