After what was widely perceived to be a weak showing from Nintendo at last year's E3, many fans will be hoping for a change of approach in 2009. Despite the success of Wii Fit and other casual titles, the company's hardcore fanbase is clamouring for games, and there's no doubt that fingers will be crossed for certain key franchises - particularly those involving Link and that chap with the 'tache. We've assembled a list of potential announcements that would make us very happy indeed, using the Tightrope of Realism to cross the Deep Gorge of Blind Optimism. And look! We only fell in once or twice...
A Lightsaber Game with MotionPlus
Now that MotionPlus is effectively here, will we finally see the Jedi game that we've always wanted? This is something we (and a lot of other people) have prayed for since the Wii first surfaced, but the lightweight gesturing of The Force Unleashed didn't exactly fulfil our dreams. A proper lightsaber experience requires precise and responsive control, and MotionPlus could make this happen. It'd be a license to print money, too - but for some reason we're still filing this one under "doubtful to happen".
A Killer App revealed on DSiWare
Our ad guru Chris loves his iPhone. Seriously, you've never seen a man express such love for a shiny tablet with no battery life. Chris reckons that the DSi needs some form of killer app if its new downloadable games service is to work, and we think he may be right. It's probably a mistake to view DSiWare as a direct competitor to Apple's App Store, but there are certainly lessons to be learned. We'd like to see two or three original, eye-catching titles during Nintendo's presentation - products that really show the potential of the service. It'd be great if some gesture was made towards opening the handheld up to bedroom coders, as Microsoft has done with the Xbox Community Network. Admittedly, this is fairly unlikely - but we can dream, can't we?
Kid Icarus Returns
A remake of the vintage NES platformer has long been rumoured, and online chatter is rife with speculation that we might finally see something this year (although there are inevitably just as many claims that "it's been cancelled".). Pit the Angel and his arrow-flinging adventures are probably a bit of a mystery to anyone who wasn't born in the 80s or earlier, but we still think he could have his place in the games market of 2009. Indeed, bringing back a classic character would be a good way for Nintendo to tap into gaming nostalgia while still providing something fresh - providing it was any good, naturally.
Details of Bethesda's mystery game
Thanks to the rampant success of Fallout 3, Bethesda is riding a massive wave at the moment. It's a great big wave, with lots of momentum and strange sealife hidden in its watery depths, and we'd like to see it carry the Wii along like an abandoned surfboard, cruising towards the Beach of Happy Fun Time. To be more precise, we want to know more about the mystery Wii game that marketing director Sean Brennan hinted at earlier this week while talking to Gamesindustry.biz. Brennan strongly suggested the product will be adult-themed in some way; Wez says he'll cry if it turns out to be a Fallout game - presumably from all three of his eyes.
Pikmin 3 in the flesh (leaf, whatever)
Shigeru Miyamoto gave lots of chatter about a new Pikmin at last year's E3, so it stands to reason that we should get a bit more info this time around. The original games were among the most innovative to be released on the GameCube, and this year's Wii ports have proven that concept works well with the emote and nunchuck combo. The latest issue of Edge features a full-page advert that simply shows a patch of grass, and most people have taken this to be veiled confirmation of the game's presence in LA. In any case, we're all quite excited about this possibility - even me, and I have a near-pathological fear of sentient plant life.
Gameplay demos of Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver
Aside from the slightly awkward names, we're pretty psyched about these games. Gold/Silver were arguably the best of the older Pokemon titles, so most fans are delighted to see them resurrected. The revamped pair are due to be released in Japan later this year, but what better place than E3 to stoke the fires of expectation with a bit of footage - ideally a live gameplay demo. Tom also wants a feature where you can use the DSi's camera to have video chat with other gamers, but admits this is unlikely because "people might wave their penis" at each other. Flash-a-zor, I choose you!
New Mario Games
It's an obvious thing to hope for, but let's face facts: it's been a year and a half since Super Mario Galaxy came out, and it's still the best game on the Wii. If Nintendo is serious about re-engaging with its hardcore audience, it needs to give them some modern classics. A new Mario adventure could be a big step in the right direction, and it would give Nintendo a fine centrepiece for its presentation in LA. We're hoping for at least a trailer, or some sign that plumber-platforming is still on the company's to-do list. While we're at it, a new DS game would be nice too.
He's small, he wears green clothes and he's a bit of a metrosexual, but gamers everywhere love Link to bits. To an even greater extent than a new Mario game, the Wii is long overdue for a fresh Zelda adventure. We know that it's a question of "When" rather than "If", but if Nintendo keeps shtum next month then expect more than a few disgruntled grumbles. To be fair, we're almost certain to hear something - the real question is "What will it be like?". Miyamoto himself has said that the series needs new ideas, so with any luck we'll get a whiff of a new flavour or direction for the wandering adventurer. Hopefully he'll speak this time, and he'll be voiced by either Sir Ben Kingsley or Graham Norton. Oh, and though it goes without saying, we want more details of Spirit Tracks on the DS - the newly announced follow-up to Phantom Hourglass.
What do you want Nintendo to show at its E3 conference? Let us know in the comments section below.