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Nintendo is Shaping Up to Have Their Best Year Yet in 2019

After yesterday's Nintendo Direct, it looks like Nintendo is preparing to have one of their biggest and best years yet with the Switch.

February 14, 2019

Nintendo’s plans for 2019 have come much more into focus thanks to the Nintendo Direct that aired yesterday. In the latest Direct, the Big N has provided a little more for Switch owners to be excited for throughout the year and their 2019 is shaping up to be one of their biggest and best yet.

That being said, I wanted to take a look at how Nintendo’s 2019 is shaping up all in one place, in one big ol’ editorial. So let’s take a look at the Switch’s incoming future for 2019 together.

First-Party Goodness

Yoshi’s Crafted World

The front half of 2019 may be light for Nintendo’s first-party offerings, but we can’t neglect the mighty Yosh’s next game. Yoshi’s Craft World is going to be out on March 29 and looks like it’ll be a winner in the light platforming, collectathon genre that Yoshi occupies.

A demo was just released yesterday after the Nintendo Direct and I tried it out. There are some interesting foreground and background mechanics at work, plus the attention to detail is fantastic. It may be a lighter start, but I don’t think anyone should ignore the Yosh this March.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Ver 3.0 and Joker DLC

It may just be a patch, but when it comes to Smash and new fighters, a patch can be everything. After being revealed at The Game Awards, Persona 5‘s Joker will make his way to Smash sometime this April. This will be a substantial patch for the game and mark the beginning of the five DLC fighters coming to the game.

Now to speculate for just a spell, we may get our second fighter announced around then too! All five fighters are scheduled to be out by February 2020. By April, that will only leave 10 months for four more fighters to be revealed and added to the game. It’s probably a safe bet that the next reveal isn’t too far off once Joker arrives.

Also, Persona 5 R is getting new info in March. While it is currently only confirmed for PS4, the rumors (and dreams) for Persona 5 on Switch are fervent. Who’s to say we don’t get some sort of news about a Switch version just before Joker joins the roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? A port of Persona 5 would certainly bolster the Switch’s 2019 line up too!

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

After being announced in January 2017 as just a new Fire Emblem title for Switch, Fire Emblem: Three Houses finally has a release date of July 26. The game has been delayed twice now, once out of 2018 into the Spring of 2019 and now delayed to this July; it feels good to have a date locked in for the next strategy game from Nintendo.

The game sounds like it’ll be quite expansive with the three different kingdoms and your new role as a professor at an academy. As my friend and follow DualShockers writer Logan Moore pointed out, “I think it’s a Professor Snape simulator or something,” which sounds pretty rad to me. It’s almost like a reverse Persona, where the studying and homework is war.

Super Mario Maker 2

Out of the blue, Nintendo announced Super Mario Maker 2 right at the beginning of the Nintendo Direct yesterday with a release window on June 2019. That’s a four-month turnaround from public announcement to release! The game is worthy of the number “2” slapped on the end too, with new features, enemies, items, and a new art style filling out the game’s already robust feature set.

The sky really is the limit with Super Mario Maker 2. The original was released on the Wii U, where the lifetime system sales were just shy of 14 million units, which the Switch has already long surpassed. 4 million copies of Super Mario Maker were sold on the Wii U, meaning that 29.6% of Wii U owners had Super Mario Maker. The 3DS port only sold 2+ million units, by comparison. Imagine the success for Super Mario Maker 2 on a marginally more successful system like the Switch, with over 32 million units already sold and no real signs of slowing down yet. The hype is real.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Nintendo did a double whammy yesterday with the intro and outro to their Direct, between the Super Mario Maker 2 intro and closing out with a complete remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for Switch. From the cute, 3D toy-esque models to recapturing the charm of Zelda‘s first portable outing, this remake brings the powerhouse Zelda franchise back to the Switch this year.

The soundtrack also sounds quite promising. The trailer had a killer woodwind arrangement, and I cannot wait to hear this game’s rendition of “Ballad of the Wind Fish.” With only a release window of 2019 for now, the wait for Link’s Awakening will be tough.

The No-Shows

Animal Crossing & Luigi’s Mansion 3

Two of the most notable no-shows during yesterday’s Direct are still slated as 2019 releases. Both announced in the same Nintendo Direct last September, Animal Crossing for Switch and Luigi’s Mansion 3 are exciting releases. We’ve certainly seen a lot more of Luigi’s Mansion 3 since it was revealed with a more fleshed-out trailer, but both games have been silent since their reveal.

It will have been almost 6 years since the last full-fledged Animal Crossing game and almost the same amount of time since Luigi’s Mansion‘s sequel, Dark Moon (not counting last year’s 3DS port). We can probably bet on seeing both games in some capacity at E3 2019, if not in another Direct before then.

Pokémon (Generation VIII)

The white elephant in the Switch’s 2019 lineup is the next generation Pokémon game. Announced in May 2018, all we know about the next generation of Pokémon is that it is coming to the Switch and will be released sometime in the second half of 2019. It wasn’t entirely surprising to not see this game in the Direct though: The Pokémon Company usually handles announcements on their own.

It’s hard to imagine the announcement is too far off either. I suspect the game will be properly announced before or at E3. It’s no secret that Pokémon is a massive seller, and if this game can be out before the holidays, the Switch will likely sell like never before.

Summer/Fall 2nd & 3rd Party Releases

Aside from the first-party games shown during the Direct, the second and third-party titles for Switch seem to be really rolling in starting this summer, too. There are a ton of games ranging from action games to JRPGs that are really fleshing out the Switch’s library with console exclusives, giving folks yet another few solid reasons to own a system.

I can’t speak really to any of these franchises myself–none have ever crossed my path–but I sure do know that Dragon Quest is a big deal. Who knows what other exclusives and games will be announced at E3 to flesh out the fall lineup even more?

Switch Redesign?

I saved this for the end simply because it falls entirely in the realm of rumor and speculation. There have been rumblings that the Switch may get a smaller, cheaper redesign by the end of the fiscal year (March 2020). The idea has its pros and cons to me–it’d allow for more people to play Switch games and enter that ecosystem at a cheaper price, and it’d help finally lay the 3DS to rest.

It does seem odd to make a smaller one though. We will just have to see how it plays out; a brand new Switch will definitely get people and the industry talking though, which can be another big help for Nintendo and the Switch throughout 2019.

When you look at it all laid out, the Switch really does appear to have a killer 2019 lineup. It’s an exciting time for Nintendo fans, especially with so much more to come. There could be another Direct between now and E3, and then there is just E3 itself, where games like Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion, and Pokémon can really shine. There will probably be a few more surprises along the way too, and that has me stoked for Nintendo’s future.

What do you all think of the Switch library (so far) for 2019? Is it as rad as I think it is? Let’s chat in the comments and dive deeper into what the Big N has in store for us all this wonderful year.

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Max Roberts

Max Roberts is a Staff Writer at DualShockers located out of Orlando. When he's not buying Shovel Knight for the umpteenth time, he is probably tweeting about how DOOM was too long or how Uncharted 4 is the best.

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