It’s coming to be that time of year again. No, not summer vacation, but something much nerdier, and just as exciting. E3. 2011. Each year, all three companies pull out all the stops to make crazy new announcements, get famous stars to present, and sometimes, bribe the journalists.

With a little less than two months before this year’s E3, excitement and speculation is building. And with that speculation comes the rumors. There seems to be a lot more leaks from Nintendo than usual this year, though we’re still unsure about much of what Nintendo will be announcing. However, that doesn’t stop us from blowing these rumors out of proportion to please our fanboy dreams, which is exactly what me (Luke) and SparkChaos will be doing in this article. We’ve sifted through the rumors and predictions and picked out the top five that we want to be true. While the choices have nothing to do with likelihood of it being true, we’ve added a rating out of five for all you number-nuts on how likely we think the rumor actually is. First up isn’t a game, but could make the 3DS a hot item.

5. 3DS Movies Gets Official  
Ever since Nintendo introduced the 3DS at E3 2010, they said 3D movies will be a big focus for them. At that event, Nintendo showcased trailers from many movie studios, and in the first firmware update added a 3D music video. It’s also been confirmed that the 3DS will get Netflix in its June update. The LA Times has reported that Nintendo has made deals with Warner Bros. and Disney and even showcased the trailer of Disney’s Tangled during the presentation in June. However, there is still a lot of uncertainly about how Nintendo will handle full length movies, or how many studios will release content on the 3DS.

Ideally, we want a service that looks a lot like the iTunes store. Filter options such as genres, popularity, top rated, and prices would have be included. And as you continued using the store, it would start recommending various movies according to your purchases and ratings. Nintendo could use SpotPass to make this automatic, so you wouldn’t even have to open the store to get the latest trailers for movies you may find interesting. As for prices they’ll most likely use iTunes rates, which are $15 to own the movie and $4 to rent it. While these are sort of expensive, getting them in 3D (partially) makes up for that.

How likely is it that Nintendo will follow this business plan? We’d say it could happen, but don’t bet the farm on it. What’s far more likely is that the shop will feature only a limited number of just 3D movies. While the store layout and price should be around where we predicted, Nintendo could over-or-under-whelm us.

Probability: 3/5

4. Pikmin 3(DS?)

Seriously Nintendo, release the damn game already. [Photo courtesy of]
When was the last time Pikmin was introduced, hmm? Well it’s been seven years since Pikmin 2 came out for the Gamecube and it was re-released in 2009 for the Wii. Is it possible that maybe the sequel be released on the 3DS? Well, the creator of Pikmin, Shigeru Miyamoto, did mention that he wanted to finish up Pikmin... And think about it, Pikmin 3 would be the perfect 3D game considering its dimensions. How often do you have to adjust your camera when you’re playing Pikmin? The Pikmin world is vast and considering how important viewpoints are, I personally believe that a 3D Pikmin would be an amazing showcase for the 3D effects. 

With Pikmin 2, they introduced the Battle mode, enabling two players to face off with each other. Maybe this will be incorporated into the 3DS as well, making it fun with your friends and even for yourself if it’s made global.

And then there’s the concept of seeing your Pikmin in the real world with AR gaming. There’s already the Pikmin AR card which land the series has always been about a tiny creatures navigating a human-like world. Seeing them actually on your lawn or furniture, perhaps even interacting with it, would make us implode from excitement.

There’s always the possibility that Pikmin 3 will come out for a home console to keep up with the tradition and it would probably be easier for the players that way. And I personally would ogle at the sexy HD graphics if Pikmin 3 were to come out on the rumored Wii 2! Pikmin and Olimar are quite small and making them even smaller on the 3DS would just kill what’s left of your squinting capablities. 

I’ve heard that Miyamoto did confirm that Pikmin 3 is going to be for the Wii but he refused to talk too much about it, saying that it was still in development. With the rumored Wii 2 confirmed, who knows if he’ll have to shift gears and make us wait even longer!

Probability: 3/5

3. Portal 3DS
Like this, but in glasses-free 3D
Here’s another potential 3DS game, but this one probably wasn’t on most people’s rumor radar. Portal? On a Nintendo platform? I hadn’t even thought of that before IGN AU posted a E3 predictions piece, saying Portal 3DS had a 60% likelihood of showing up at E3. Most readers just thought IGN AU was talking out of their ass, which could be true. Valve has never published a game on a Nintendo platform, and as far as I know, hasn’t commented on the 3DS at all. While all this makes Portal 3DS, there are a few things that make this seem just a little possible.

Valve has been known to make some extremely shocking announcements, like during last E3 when they announced that Portal 2 was going to the PS3, and was going to be the best version. So while a Valve game appearing on a Nintendo platform is unlikely now, a year ago it was equally unlikely that Valve would ever port a game to Playstation. Since this would be on a handheld, I doubt it would take all 190 staff members. And with the recent release of Portal 2 (and my recent finishing of the original), it would be the perfect time to announce a spin-off for Nintendo’s handheld. Hopefully, it would be a spin-off; there is a few hundred years of story to fill in. While we’re dreaming, let’s say there will also be co-op, a level editor and the return of challenge rooms. I mean, it could happen right? Right?!

Probability: 2/5

2. Smash Bros. 3DS / Wii2
We need THIS many characters. At least.
Super Smash Bros. Super Smash Bros. Melee. Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Ring a bell? This series is probably one of the most recognized series in the gaming world... but will Masahiro Sakurai, the creator, step up to create another one? We all remember when Sakurai made it seem that Melee was going to be the last installment in the series, resigning from his position at HAL Laboratory but out comes Super Smash Bros. Brawl in 2008. For this article’s sake, I will dub the possible game Super Smash Bros. Finale!, seeing that Sakurai will probably want to conclude this series on a firm note and personally, I hope he works his ass off on it. The roster, I’m hoping, would consist of the biggest cast and available characters with the most wicked 1 player adventure ever. Whew, I can understand why he might’ve backed out; the demands and expectations of millions of gamers worldwide are insanely high. 

Probability: 4/5

1. Wii 2 / Project Cafe
Awesome fan design by Aaron Carr
The rumor we’re most excited about is also coincidentally the one that we know the most about. Project Cafe has been confirmed by Nintendo, and what’s more it will be playable this year at E3. Gah!! However, the confirming stops there. We still aren’t sure what Project Cafe will look like, what features it will have, or how powerful it will be. The rumors say that it will be a bit more powerful than the PS3, will feature a touch-screen controller, and will cost $400. Is this good enough for us though? Pretty much. When Sony and Microsoft announce their next-gen consoles, they will no doubt be more powerful than what Nintendo has in Cafe. But right now, slightly better than PS3 will still be able to produce absolutely gorgeous games (Crysis 2 anybody?) The only other thing we want for it is an online system about as good as PSN (free, but still decent). Oh course, without as many crashes.

To truly win back the gamers that stopped caring about Nintendo’s home console (us included), they’re going to have to bring a lot to the table at this E3. Having it playable is great, but if all that is playable is Tic-Tac-Toe that isn’t going to sway anyone. With the system launching in 2012 we can’t expect completely finished games, but there should be one killer app that shows off all of Cafe’s new features and graphical power. The above rumored Smash Bros. would be perfect as it could show off all of Nintendo’s flagship characters in heart-melting HD. And a completely new franchise would be interesting to see as well appear on it. Nintendo. Make it happen!

Probability: 5/5

So there’s our list of rumors. A lot should be revealed at Nintendo’s press conference on June 7th at 9 a.m. PDT, which will stream live on Nintendo’s website. Being Nintendo, they could announce all of these, none of these or something totally different yet equally amazing. And the waiting game begins...

What rumor are you must excited about?
3DS Movies
Pikmin 3(DS?)
Portal 3DS
Smash Bros. 3DS / Wii2
Wii 2 / Project Cafe
Other (you'll post in the comments, won't you?)

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