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Young Link and Simon Belmont chug beverages in a screenshot of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo

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Nintendo Direct September 2018: What to expect

Super Smash Bros. is a given, but what surprises are in store?

Update (Sept. 12): Nintendo has rescheduled the Direct presentation for Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. ET.

Update (Sept. 6): Nintendo has postponed the Sept. 6 Direct presentation in response to damage caused by an earthquake in Hokkaido, Japan. The company has not yet announced the rescheduled date and time, so we’ll keep you posted to that end.

Nintendo’s got 35 minutes of announcements, reveals, updates and all that other good stuff coming in September. The first Nintendo Direct of the fall will give us more than enough time to speculate on what could be shown off during the presentation.

Speculating is exactly what we’re doing below; read on for what we’re expecting from the September Nintendo Direct.

Nintendo Switch Online deets, finally

Nintendo Switch Online, the console’s upcoming subscription service, feels like it should be Nintendo’s biggest priority for the month of September. We’ve been told only a handful of things thus far: Switch owners will be required to sign up for Online in order to access, uh, online features; there are both monthly and annual pricing tiers, with a 30-day free trial offered to all; we’ll finally be able to save our data to the cloud; and subscribers will get access to a selection of updated NES games that come with online multiplayer.

There are other things Nintendo has mentioned in passing that we’d still like more info on, however. How long do we get to play those NES games for? How much space are we given for cloud saves, a marquee feature of Switch Online? Is the service’s intolerable app going to get any better?

With Nintendo Switch Online expected sometime this month, it’s time for us to get answers to at least some of these questions. Nintendo promised that it will tell all before the service launches on Sept. 18 — a date revealed right alongside the new one for the Direct presentation.

More on Super Mario Party

Mario Party is back, and this latest edition actually looks kinda neat. Players can combine their Switch tablets to engage with minigames in unique ways impossible on previous consoles. We just ask that no one throw their Switch at anyone when they lose because of some poorly placed, game-winning star. Launching Oct. 5, Super Mario Party is definitely going to be in this Direct.

Luigi’s Mansion on Nintendo 3DS teaser

The Nintendo 3DS front is looking light over the next 12 months, so Nintendo is pinning a lot on this port of the original, Nintendo GameCube-exclusive Luigi’s Mansion. It’s coming out on Oct. 12 — appropriate for this ghost-riddled, haunted mansion-set game — so this may be the last chance to promote one of Luigi’s few starring roles.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate reveals

Duh. This will be the biggest Switch game of the year, and it’s out in December. It would make sense to show off a new character or two; we’d also like to see some stages, both returning and debuting. And if Nintendo unveils the mysterious mode that we noticed on Ultimate’s menu screen, we’d leave the Direct especially happy.

Pokémon: Let’s Go! cuteness

There’s no dearth of information out there about Pokémon: Let’s Go!, with The Pokémon Company regularly dropping new teasers and screenshots. We’d mostly like to see more about the Pokémon Go compatibility, as well as shots of those cute outfits you can put on Eevee and Pikachu. Both versions of Let’s Go! launch on Nov. 17.

Pokémon: Let’s Go! Eevee looking v. cute.
Case in point: This screenshot went up on Twitter just today, and it is painfully cute.
Game Freak/The Pokémon Company via Twitter

Fire Emblem: Three Houses gets some actual, concrete details

Fire Emblem’s coming back to consoles for the first time since the Wii days. That’s a frightening thought, but it also makes us even more jazzed for Three Houses (especially for those of us big Fire Emblem Heroes fans). How much will the 3DS entries influence the more traditional, big-screen RPG? Besides free-roaming between battles, are there other modern upgrades in Three Houses?

Also, what the heck is the story about? We know this game isn’t out on Switch until March 2019, but please, Nintendo: Start giving us the good stuff during this Direct.

Another plug for Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna — The Golden Country expansion

Nintendo is really into pitching us on this big expansion for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, as seen during the E3 2018 Direct. Out Sept. 14, The Golden Country will surely get plugged one more time. The premium content will be sold separately, but it’s also part of the $29.99 expansion pack for the RPG.

Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story is out on ...

Nintendo revealed that it’s porting yet another Mario and Luigi RPG to Nintendo 3DS in March, following its successful redux of the original Superstar Saga. But other than a new mode — Bowser Jr.’s Journey — we know nothing about what Bowser’s Inside Story for 3DS will include. All we really need is a release date, though; we’d like confirmation of what’s on the horizon for 3DS in 2019.

Some clarity on Daemon X Machina

One of the stranger reveals at E3 2018 was Daemon X Machina, a mech-action game from Marvelous Interactive. This isn’t to say that the company hasn’t dabbled in other genres before, but you perhaps know it best as Senran Kagura and Story of Seasons. (Also on the Marvelous docket: Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, due in January.) We’re curious to see and learn something more sensical about Daemon X Machina, especially after checking it out a bit at E3. This world of fighting robots intrigues the heck out of us.

Daemon X Machina - mech with big fireball of explosion behind it
Daemon X Machina is a reminder that we all love a good mech.

Some Yoshi, please

Yoshi was once set for a 2018 release, but then Nintendo pushed the pretty lil’ Switch game into 2019. When, exactly, in 2019 remains a mystery, as does pretty much everything else about this follow-up to Yoshi’s Woolly World. We’re hoping this is game is out early 2019, and a Nintendo Direct appearance may help cement that.

One last look at The World Ends With You

Square Enix has been eking out details about this console port of Nintendo DS’ The World Ends With You recently. With Tokyo Game Show coming, it seems like a good time for the company to just round everything up for fans. We know, for instance, that the Switch Pro Controller isn’t compatible with the game. Let’s hear it for other Final Remix tweaks before it launches on Oct. 12.

DLC for Splatoon 2, Mario Tennis Aces

Nintendo doesn’t often forget about its previously released games, especially the big ones. Give us some new players for Mario Tennis Aces, a near-perfect game worthy of all end-of-year accolades and Polygon Essentials inclusions (this is not at all a note to my editors), or new weapons and stages for Splatoon 2, especially since a new amiibo package is coming.

Third-party games like South Park: The Stick of Truth and Spyro the Dragon

Both of these games have been quietly teased by their publishers, intentionally or otherwise. We’d especially dig a Switch version of the Spyro the Dragon collection, one of the few PlayStation 1-era exclusives still clutching onto Sony. This upcoming edition does up the original games all pretty, and it seems perfect for Switch.

Spyro the Dragon hunkers down in a screenshot of Spyro Reignited Trilogy
It could happen!
Toys for Bob/Activision

A console version of Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition

Here’s something a little more out of left field. An ad for Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition recently appeared on the PlayStation Store, although it’s since been removed. Despite the “Pocket Edition” title, the mobile game could be fun on a bigger screen. But the Switch is nice and portable, so the transition would be much easier. And think about it — a (mostly) legit, (essentially) mainline Final Fantasy game on a Nintendo console. Dang.

More Wii U ports

New Super Mario Bros. Wii U? Super Mario Maker? Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE? (Let us dream.) These ports have done well for Nintendo thus far, and we welcome more chances to play Wii U games we might have missed.

Animal Crossing. Please.

We will include these in our Nintendo Direct expectations until the day a Nintendo Switch version of Animal Crossing is announced. We’ll just sit here waiting, guys.