10 Things We Expect (and Hope) to See in the Rumored January 2018 Nintendo Direct

We've got a good idea of what's going to be announced at the next Nintendo Direct, and we've also got a wish list.

Article by Nadia Oxford, .

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.

Me after Nintendo probably won't announce a remake of Link's Awakening.

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.

Guaranteed in 2018: More Busty Blades™!

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.

Quit stalling, Nintendo. Kirby thirsts for blood.

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.

The mighty Fire Emblem shipping wars are destined to blaze anew in 2018.

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.

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Comments 19

  • Avatar for MarioIV #1 MarioIV 3 months ago
    You forgot to mention Super Mario Odyssey DLC! It's now or never.
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  • Avatar for jimgamer #2 jimgamer 3 months ago
    Likely to get: folders for games, better sorting in the eShop - keeping on top of so many good games is hard. Would love it get: joy-con with a d-pad
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  • Avatar for TheWildCard #3 TheWildCard 3 months ago
    Fire Emblem: Mo waifus, mo problems
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  • Avatar for link6616 #4 link6616 3 months ago
    @TheWildCard I think they'll do the fates/birthright thing again, but this time they'll do it as Fire Emblem: For those who like Ladies, and Fire Emblem: For those who like Men.

    Because let's not forget, the strength of Fire Emblem isn't waifus. It's the addition of husbandos.
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #5 MetManMas 3 months ago
    @MarioIV Super Wario Odyssey plz k thx bye
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #6 MetManMas 3 months ago
    I doubt that we'll see a Smash 5 anytime soon, but if they port Super Smash Bros. 4 with some new characters (Inklings, maybe an ARMS rep or two) or returning old characters (I want Snake but I'd settle for Wolf and Ice Climbers), bring along some of the 3DS stages (8-player Tortimer Island and Spirit Train, think about it), or even just add a proper adventure mode, I'd be down for that.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #7 NiceGuyNeon 3 months ago
    While I hope A Link Between Worlds arrives on Switch, maybe as a lead-in for new Virtual Console support, wouldn't it be better suited as an announcement for Nintendo Selects on 3DS to try and give it one last push on its way out the door? I could be wrong, and if it comes to Switch I'll play it because it looks pretty dang fun.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #8 LBD_Nytetrayn 3 months ago
    @MetManMas Took the words right out of my mouth.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #9 Ralek 3 months ago
    As it happens, I managed to 'finally 'finish' XC2 earlier today, and more than ever, I am confused about the prospect of DLC here. I played for like 170h and still haven't gotten all the rare blades (not to mention that I never got KOS-MOS). On top off, there is a bunch of side-quests left for me to finish, but frankly, the incentive is not really there (though maybe a few of those blade are hidden behind quests? Dunno, might have to check). Point being, personally, more side-quests and rare blades are not that enticing right now, AND I don't really see where the story DLC would go here. Sure, theoretically they could do all kinds of stuff based on the ending, but for any of that to matter, I think it would have to be rather substantial, esp. compared to Zelda's "story DLC". I haven't bought the season-pass yet, and as things stand, I'm not sure I will because I feel like I've got more than my money's worth with XC2 already.

    I'd also would much prefer to see XC1 being ported to the Switch than XCX. I started both, but finished neither, although in case of XC1 it was to any issue with Dolphin (looked so much better than on the Wii for crying out loud). Hence, I might actually start over with that game and finish it this time around. I really loved the exploration in XCX, but there is no way I am going to start that one over. If anything I will go back to it on the WiiU, but I doubt I will, because as much as I liked exploring that well, there was bunch of other things, I rather disliked about it. Not to mention that thematically, XC1 and XC2 would be a better "fit" to have on one system.

    Having said, I hope that 2018 will not be limited to ports - neither 1st-party nor 3rd-party. I'm more than a bit worried about that. I really enjoyed ALBW on the 3DS, and Bayonetta 1+2 on the WiiU, but I dunno, I have not that much of an urge to replay them already. It hasn't been that long frankly, and esp. for the latter, I doubt to see any sort of upgrade besides portability ... which is nice, but for me hardly essential with Bayonetta. It's just not a game I'll play for 100h+ hours half asleep in bed or something. It demands focus and attention and precision ... not ideal for bus ride either. Don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to any of these games making it to the Switch, esp. with the limited audience B2 found on the WiiU, but I would be disappointed if that really turned out to be the focus of 2018.

    Part of it obviously is pricing as well, and in that regard, I don't expect much either. Again, that is totally fair and makes sense from Nintendo's perspective, but as a consumer, I would need some substantial upgrades and a marked down price to bother with most of these announced and rumored/expected ports.

    As for features, I dunno, party chat is obviously fake and a total pipe-dream, given that Nintendo has already settled on a "solution" in that regard. They know it's bs, we know it's bs --- but it's what we got and they are not going to go back on this anytime soon. I'd be surprised if they did, pleasently surprised but still.

    I don't really need folders (yet), or a browser or netflix. I think it would help the system, but personally, I don't care that much. Some kind of theme-setting is definitely coming though, even if only for the reason that they can then go on to sell themes .. :-) Again, I don't feel I "need" that, but hell, why not, esp. if that means that Firewatch will make it to the Switch including that amazing dynamic PS4 theme I've been using ever since :-)
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  • Avatar for Iambiz #10 Iambiz 3 months ago
    Nadia, just out of curiosity, what's the shortest gap between announcement of and presentation of a Nintendo Direct that we've seen historically?

    EDIT: Nevermind, upon further examination, you've already said one or two days is not unheard of.

    My wishlist: DLC for BoTW that will finally allow us to have 30 heart containers AND 3 stamina rings.Edited January 2018 by Iambiz
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  • Avatar for wingzero98 #11 wingzero98 3 months ago
    @TheWildCard the mo waifus we come upon the problems we see
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #12 donkeyintheforest 3 months ago
    @wingzero98 i know of one game, you play it tactically....
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  • Avatar for Vanderdulpp #13 Vanderdulpp 3 months ago
    Don’t forget Pikmin 4 news! Now’s the perfect time to get it out there.
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  • Avatar for docexe #14 docexe 3 months ago
    I presume we'll see release dates for Yoshi and Kirby, which are the most likely games to be released on the first half of the year. Probably some Fire Emblem news as well. Bayonetta and Metroid Prime 4 would be great, but I don't think we will see more of them until E3.Edited January 2018 by docexe
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  • Avatar for Tetragrammaton #15 Tetragrammaton 3 months ago
    Xenoblade 2's getting a pretty substantial, non-DLC update this month that's adding NG+ and some "specific" new Blades (dropped by certain terrorists I imagine) so I'm okay on Xenoblade news for the time being. Unless they want to announce that X port after all, in which case CHOO -CHOO HYPE TRAIN INCOMING.

    I wonder if the Switch will get many 3DS ports and remasters? ABLW's got to be one of the easiest, since there's basically no second screen functionality and lots of places where a bit more power can make the graphics pop.

    I bet there's Bayonetta news as well.
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  • Avatar for Mr.Spo #16 Mr.Spo 3 months ago
    Personally I hope that if this Direct happens, it's not a standard broadcast, but is more along the lines (content wise) of the Switch event this time last year. Nintendo showed most of their major cards for 2017 that January - there was a lot of skepticism, not least because Nintendo don't normally deliver all their games on time. However, in 2017, Nintendo did not delay a single title. I want Nintendo to accomplish the same feat this year. Show us most of the major first-party cards in your 2018 hand this month, and then deliver on that throughout the year. It'll be supplemented throughout the year the way Switch's lineup was in 2017 - this time last year, who thought Doom, LA Noire and Rocket League would be on Switch? Who thought there'd be a flood of indie titles?

    So, with that in mind, I'd like to see at least couple of Nintendo's big releases. Personally I expect Animal Crossing is one - and might be out as soon as summer 2018. I'd hope Smash Bros DX and Pokemon are two others, with the fourth being either Mario Maker or a new IP. People say Nintendo played all their big cards last year, but Animal Crossing, Pokemon and Smash all have the potential to shift 10 million copies. Hell, Pokemon should break 15 million at least. Last January we had confirmation that Mario Kart 8 DX, Splatoon 2, Zelda and Odyssey would all launch in 2017, so I'd hope for something similar this year. All have - or soon will - smashed the 5 million mark, and in the case of Zelda and Odyssey, the 10 million mark is likely only a matter of time. Nintendo need 2-4 titles of similar or greater selling power, and I think Smash, Animal Crossing, Pokemon and Mario Maker fit the bill. Smash and Mario Maker could easily be DX versions.

    Of course, Nintendo also complemented their major sellers with smaller releases, so I'd hope we get release dates for Kirby, Yoshi, and Fire Emblem. Ideally they should be out within the next 4-5 months, along with Bayonetta 1&2, and from third parties, Dragon Quest Builders, Lost Sphear, and maybe Wolfenstein. I'd hope we see Pikmin 4 this year as another middle-tier title, and maybe a new IP. Finally, I'd dearly love the rumours of the Link's Awakening remake/re-imagining to be true, but I'd want it to be on Switch as well as 3DS. Confirmation of some more third party titles would be good, especially if they're new. I don't expect to see all of these, but Dragon Quest Heroes 1&2, Dragon Quest XI, Octopath Traveller, No More Heroes, and Shin Megami Tensei V are among the titles already confirmed but without release dates. How much stronger would Switch look with all that support, plus new announcements, in 2018?

    There could easily be more, though not necessarily confirmed at this event. It's not uncommon for Nintendo to publish 20-30 titles a year across portable and home console. Equally, it's not uncommon for the second and third year of a Nintendo system's life to see 12-15 Nintendo published titles. Assuming a best-case scenario, Bayonetta 1&2, Kirby, Yoshi, Pikmin 4, Animal Crossing, Smash DX, Mario Maker DX and Pokemon would be the beginnings of a great 1st party line-up for 2018 - and I think we'd see anywhere from 4-8 more Nintendo-published titles joining them; a mixture of middle-tier, ports and new IP. Again, I don't expect see all of that this month, but I'd like Nintendo to give us a clear idea of what's in store in 2018.

    Finally, I don't think we'll be seeing Metroid Prime 4 or Bayonetta 3 until E3. Neither title will be a big seller, and I expect they're both going to be part of Nintendo's 2019.
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  • Avatar for JamesSwiftDay #17 JamesSwiftDay 3 months ago
    Link's Awakening doesn't need a remake, it still holds up amazingly well for an original Game Boy game.
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  • Avatar for shurn #18 shurn 3 months ago
    Sega 3D classic collection 2 based on Japan's collection 3 for us 3ds and for Japan an announcement of sega 3D classic collection 4. Wario land virtualboy dx - its wario from the virtualboy but full recoloring and keeping the handrawn sprites. Switch dogs cats and birds.
    123 switch dlc for more games or a sequel.
    Downtown nekketsu samurai era for us localization on 3ds.
    Dark souls switch
    Project diva future tone for switch
    Nier automata switch
    Monster hunter generations ultimate for us. Shenmue 3 for switch.
    Gta v switch
    Red dead switch
    Marvel vs capcom I switch.
    Falcom games for switch.
    That's enough for now I can keep pulling from the ether but it's already too long to read.
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