With the games that are sure to show up at some point during this year's E3 now behind us, it is time to take a look at the games that - while not absolute locks - do have a decent chance of appearing, whether due to rumors or due to the fact that we know they exist and that they are coming relatively soon.
The Legend of Zelda 3DS
Strangely, the Nintendo DS, the company's system with the best library since the Super Nintendo, was not awfully kind to Nintendo's main series. With the exception of Mario, who ended up finding himself in a delightfully old-school adventure, all other Nintendo franchises had some trouble: Metroid skidded in a game that got mixed reactions from fans, Star Fox kept struggling with its identity and Zelda came across the two lowest points in franchise history, aside from the Phillips games and the dreadful Zelda 2. Regardless of the reasons that made the two installments of the series to appear on the DS so weak in relation to the usual Zelda standards, the Nintendo 3DS - as shown by the masterful remake of Ocarina of Time - can be the perfect soil for the franchise to go back to its glorious portable days. With the system's power, Nintendo could either choose to do something similar to the Nintendo 64 games in terms of scope, or explore new exciting grounds. Whatever the path chosen, Nintendo has the opportunity to - for the first time ever - truly recreate the Zelda console experience on a handheld.
Super Mario Wii U
Nintendo absolutely needs a game to anchor the Wii U's launch lineup to success. If not, the Wii U could suffer through a slow start as bad as the one the Nintendo 3DS experienced, and - as an aggravating factor - Nintendo's dominance over the console market is much more vulnerable than their suffocating control of the handheld market, meaning that a slow start could be the difference between significant third-party support and watching as all great multi-console games move away from their system only to warmly walk into Sony and Microsoft's realm. In other words, it is imperative that the Wii U has a strong start, and there is not a character as suitable to help the company avoid disaster than Mario itself. Last year, the Big N gave us a glimpse of a disappointing Mario game for the Wii U which was basically New Super Mario Bros with a few extra gimmicks, but - assuming that was just a silly demo - it is clear Nintendo will need something bigger and more impressive than that to draw their audience; something bigger and more surprising than Suer Mario Galaxy itself. Can the plumber top that game's platforming perfection? I hope so.
Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney
With the crossover of Metroid and Star Fox appearing as a faint, yet very interesting, rumor, it became awfully easy to overlook another clash of two amazing franchises that, while not as popular as the two Nintendo flagships, is much more exciting due to the simple fact that we know it exists and that it is coming soon. Layton and Phoenix Wright, each in their own way, were two of the biggest stars of the Nintendo DS, starring in series that sprawled a big number of games that, despite sticking to a formula a little bit too faithfully, were intriguing and engaging all the way through, never letting the ball drop. Aside from a few storyline bits, not much is known about the game, but - by taking a optimistic outlook on the game's state and not assuming that Nintendo of America will disappoint fans once again - the fact that its American release has yet to be confirmed is probably a sign that E3 2012 could be the right time to do so, letting the title be one of the leading third-party games to hit the 3DS during the next year.
Beyond Good and Evil 2
Right out of the gate, Ubisoft seems to be one of the third-party companies that is more willing to support the Wii U. Beyond Good and Evil is currently being developed to hit the systems that will battle for the crown during the next generation, and with the PS4 and the Xbox 720 looking to be so far off, unless Microsoft and Sony decide to pull off a surprise, it is only fair to assume that Ubisoft has long been at work in doing the necessary adjustments to port whatever parts of the game they had previously built to the brand new developing kits Nintendo handed out long ago. While it is true that the Beyond Good and Evil team took a little break to work on the wonderful Rayman Origins, Beyond Good and Evil 2 has been being developed for a really long time, so the game might be complete enough to launch alongside the console, and if that is the case, now is the time to announce it.