Nintendo Predictions 2012
You don't have to be psychic to know the big N will have a great year.
With 2011 drawing to a close, it's time to drop our imaginary crystal ball on the table and make some Nintendo predictions for 2012. Will 3DS continue its recent surge? Can the company continue its console dominance with Wii U? All signs point to yes, so let's begin.
Nintendo unveils another Pokemon for 3DS
That's obvious, right? This series has thrived on portable systems, and the sooner Nintendo unleashes the next edition for 3DS, the happier its millions of fans will be.
With this in mind, we expect to see a revamped version of Pokemon Black and White. Pokemon Gray, perhaps.
Other big time Nintendo franchises make their way to 3DS
Nintendo has yet to show off new Kirby, Metroid and Zelda (we know a new Zelda is in development) games for 3DS. Expect this to change by the Game Developer's Conference in March, as well as the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June.
Wii U launches November 4, 2011
It's the first Sunday in November. Why is this important? Nintendo consoles have debuted on Sundays past, and we expect Activision's next Call of Duty (see above) to drop November 6.
If not November 4, then definitely the 11th, along with the most impressive batch of games anyone's seen. Pikmin 3? Grand Theft Auto 5? It may happen. No, scratch that. It WILL happen.
3DS redesign makes an appearance
With Circle Pad Pro hitting the U.S. February 7, it's only a matter of time before Nintendo realizes its vision for 3DS with a revamped system. The announcement and release date, though, will heavily depend on the handheld's performance between now and E3. In other words, Nintendo will wait for sales to taper off before dropping the bomb.
Don't expect to buy one until March 2013.
Shigeru Miyamoto demos personal project
A couple of weeks ago, the Internet went bonkers over the rumor of Miyamoto retiring. Thankfully, he plans to stay on board, in a role that lets him create new video games. No idea what his plans are, but we'll see the fruits of his labor next summer.
Nintendo's stock rises
Shareholders will breathe easier, as 3DS continues to perform above expectations and Wii U mania dominates the 2012 holiday shopping season, leading to a much healthier stock price.
[Editor's Note: Please do not purchase Nintendo stock based on this prediction.]
At least one big time first party 3DS game (aside from Kid Icarus) debuts Q1/Q2
Take your pick. Mario Tennis 3DS. Animal Crossing 3DS. Luigi's Mansion 2. Paper Mario 3DS. One of these games is further along than previously thought, and will hit 3DS within the first/early second quarter of 2012. Mario Tennis appears to be the safest bet.
Big third party franchises make unexpected jump to 3DS
The fact that Capcom has already shipped a million copies of Monster Hunter Tri G in Japan will cause other third parties to make a series of surprise announcements.
In the running: Soul Calibur, Mass Effect, Silent Hill, Call of Duty, Viewtiful Joe (out of left field, we know).