Nintendo’s highly anticipated E3 Direct is nearly here, and that means fans have a chance to get a possible second look at the future of Mario, Pokémon, and potentially a new addition to the Metroid universe. Will this Direct dash the hopes of Switch gamers, or will this finally be the dream Direct they’ve been longing for?
This Nintendo Direct happens at the tail end of E3 2021 and amidst a curious time for the storied Japanese hardware maker. Despite mounting rumors about the potential reveal of a Nintendo Switch Pro hardware upgrade before this very Direct, it seems that speculation didn’t come to fruition. Instead, we’re left to muse on this software-focused showcase. Below, we outline the E3 2021 Direct start time, stream links, and a quick recap of what to expect.
But first: What are your favorite games and platforms of 2021, and what future releases are you most excited about? Take our poll!
When is the Nintendo Direct E3 2021 date and start time?
Nintendo’s E3 2021 Direct is set to take place June 15 at 12 p.m. Eastern. The presentation is expected to be about 40 minutes and will focus “exclusively on software — mostly releasing in 2021 — for the Nintendo Switch.” Following the presentation, fans can watch three hours of Nintendo Treehouse livestreams with deep dives on many of the featured titles.
How to watch the Nintendo E3 2021 Direct livestream
There are lots of outlets to watch Nintendo’s E3 2021 Direct stream, but here are four of the best options to tune in without additional commentary.
YouTube generally runs best on lower-end hardware, but Twitch streams tend to be a few seconds ahead of Google’s streaming platform. Just pick the link that best suits your taste.
What to expect from the Nintendo Direct E3 2021
As is the case with every Nintendo Direct prior to this one, there’s been lots of discussion about what fans might see during the jam-packed showcase. Starting with some of the more obvious reveals, it’s likely we’ll get another look at the known-quantity titles including Mario Golf: Super Rush, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and the Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes. This might also be one of the only Directs with as many as two Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character reveals, as fans wait for that second Fighters Pass to finally fill itself out.
What’s slightly more tantalizing, though, are prospects for lesser-known releases, like Breath of the Wild 2 and Metroid Prime 4. It seems doubtful either of these titles will actually release during this calendar year, but the fact that this Direct focuses “mostly” on 2021 titles leaves the door open for a few bigger surprises. There’s also been lots of speculation about the Super Mario Odyssey team reportedly working on a 2D Donkey Kong game as well, which will presumably leverage the team’s collect-a-thon experience to create something fresh and unique for the franchise.
As for that Switch Pro, given that Nintendo explicitly said this Direct will highlight software, it doesn’t seem likely there would be a major hardware blowout here. At best, fans may get a very small confirmation that the upgraded model exists. In our estimation, it seems like COVID game development troubles and semiconductor shortages may have pushed the upgraded console’s launch into early 2022.