Nintendo Direct E3 2021: How to watch, start times and predictions


Will we finally see what Zelda and Link were searching for?

Screenshot by CNET

Nintendo’s E3 Direct is happening on Tuesday, June 15. The video game trade show is entirely digital this year, and the Japanese company may have some major reveals, like news about the heavily rumored upgraded version of the Switch and a release date for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. 

When and where can I watch the E3 Nintendo Direct?

It’ll be livestreamed on Tuesday at 9 a.m. PT (noon ET/5 p.m. BST/2 a.m. Wednesday AEST), and it’s embedded below.  It’ll last 40 minutes, with around three hours of gameplay afterwards.

What is a Nintendo Direct? 

When Nintendo wants to show off its upcoming games or hardware, it’ll showcase them in livestreamed Nintendo Direct event. Sometimes it shows off a bunch of titles, whether they be major franchises or indie games, and other times it spends an entire program dedicated to a single game, as it did with Pokemon Sword and Shield

What should I expect from Nintendo’s livestream?

It’ll focus exclusively on Nintendo Switch software “mostly releasing in 2021,” the company said. 

Despite Nintendo’s assertion that the Direct will only be about software, the most anticipated news is the heavily rumored new Nintendo Switch. Unofficially known as the Switch Pro, the next iteration of the hybrid console is rumored to have a 7-inch OLED screen, which might mean it’s capable of 4K gaming. It may also have better battery life and other hardware improvements. If it’s announced, expect the Switch Pro to be the biggest gaming news this holiday season. 

On the gaming front, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is the most anticipated upcoming title from Nintendo. The sequel to the beloved 2017 Switch launch game was announced at E3 2019, but we’ve heard little about Link’s next big adventure since. It’s the series’ 35th anniversary, so we could hear other Zelda announcements as well.

Aside from Zelda, Splatoon 3 was revealed as a 2022 release in February, so we could get a release date for the multiplayer-centric paintball shooter. Metroid Prime 4 and Bayonetta 3 were announced in 2017, but we’ve heard little about either since — perhaps 2021 is the year we get some more details.

On the services front, Nintendo’s Switch Online subscription service hasn’t seen a major update since SNES games were added in 2019. The addition of some N64 games would be a huge boost, especially if 1998’s glorious The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was among them. 

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