What we want from the Nintendo E3 Direct 2021

We are less than a week until the Nintendo E3 Direct at the time of writing, and it is fair to say that expectations are high for the company this year.

The last time they presented during E3 was in 2019 and we all know how that turned out. Now we’re two years on and there has been mostly silence on some of the largest topics concerning Nintendo for several months.

In the absence of concrete information leading up to the Nintendo E3 Direct, I am opening the floor to wild speculation. There are things I would love to see come from them next week, though I’m not holding out hope for most of them. Nintendo does things at their own pace and with their own mysterious motivations guiding them.

Breath of the Wild 2

Nintendo E3 Direct BotW 2

This one is obvious and one I’ve been looking forward to since they announced it at E3 2019. A direct sequel to my favourite Legend of Zelda game? Of course I am excited, but I am tempering that excitement with the fact that Nintendo isn’t like most developers. They don’t try to manufacture hype throughout the development cycle of a game — something that other developers could learn something from (I’m looking at you, CD Projekt Red).

What I really want to see for Breath of the Wild 2 at the Nintendo E3 Direct is a release date. I’m content to wait for more trailers or gameplay showcases. In fact, I want to go into the game as ignorant as possible. That isn’t to say I won’t watch and over-analyse a trailer like everyone else, but at this point Hidemaro Fujibayashi could pop on screen, say “End of 2021”, and then fade to black and I would be happy.

An updated Switch

Nintendo E3 Direct

Ignoring the rumours of a supposed “Switch Pro”, which have been swirling for years, Nintendo have a proven record of releasing updated or restyled versions of their handheld consoles, usually even earlier than this in the console’s lifecycle. In fact, we might be a bit late into the Switch’s lifespan for them to release an updated version, though I expect that manufacturing issues stemming from the pandemic have been the cause of that.

I don’t expect a concrete release date for an upgraded version of the console at the Nintendo E3 Direct, but I would like to see some details of why people should make the investment. The Switch has been a big success, sales-wise, and there is a large portion of the population that won’t want to make the change without some big incentive. Any “Switch Pro” that exists will likely never be able to compete with the PS5 or Xbox Series X on the graphical front, going on Nintendo’s past way of doing things, so there will need to be some big exclusives to ensure the updated console sells the way Nintendo wants.

Long Awaited Sequels

Nintendo doesn’t usually put games into development hell, mainly because they don’t tend to announce games until they are 100% sure they’ll be released, but there are a couple of previous announcements that have been hanging over fans for years. Metroid Prime 4 is an exception to this, with development having to be restarted due to the work not being up to Nintendo’s standards — and that’s not including any delays that the pandemic might have caused. I suspect we’ll get a Metroid Prime Trilogy rerelease for Switch in the lead up to this one, so we’re likely still years away from this becoming reality.

Another obvious announcement at the Nintendo E3 Direct would be Bayonetta 3, though this one seems less likely. PlatinumGames have several, more profitable properties in the air at the moment, so this one will likely take a back seat until Nintendo starts to get impatient.

Plenty of remakes

Nintendo E3 Direct

Nintendo loves a good remake, which is why they are slowly but surely working their way through the entire Zelda catalogue, so I expect there to be several remakes and remasters on display from the Nintendo E3 Direct, from both Nintendo and third parties. I’d be up for seeing the next three Ace Attorney games get a Switch release, a port of Xenoblade Chronicles X, and a Western release of Mother 3.

That last one is a pipedream, of course, but stranger things have happened.

If you’d like to join us in wild speculation about what is going to get released from any of the developers at E3 2021, be sure to join us on the Rice Digital Discord server — there is nothing but wild speculation going on over there. Or you could always pen us a letter with your predictions for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!

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