Nintendo E3 2021 conference date, times, and Switch Pro predictions

What is Nintendo planning for E3 2021? (pic: Nintendo)

E3 is approaching and rumours of a new Switch console, and multiple new Nintendo games, are mounting but which are most likely to be true?

If there’s one thing you should never do, it’s to try to predict Nintendo. So welcome, to our prediction of what Nintendo are going to show at E3 this month! Joking aside, it’s best never to assume anything of the world’s oldest video games company and unless they’ve confirmed it themselves nothing should be taken as granted. For example, they have said they will have an E3 conference this year – they were even unusually enthusiastic about it – but they haven’t said exactly when.

We’ll update this article when they do but the best guess, based on previous years is Monday, June 14. Although, of course, previous years might not have much relevance to E3 2021, since there is no physical event, thanks to the coronavirus, and it’s all online. Even so, Nintendo seems to be taking a fairly traditional approach, with a Nintendo Direct style livestream planned for on or around the 14th.

Prior to that though, Nintendo is rumoured to have a shorter announcement planned, something that could hit any day and which will be used to announce the much rumoured Switch Pro. That’s a fan invented name for a more powerful version of the Nintendo Switch, that’s believed to be the centrepiece of Nintendo’s E3 plans.

The Switch Pro, or whatever its official name ends up being, has been leaked so many times now it seems the closest thing to a dead cert Nintendo has ever had. Nintendo will hate to prove rumours correct but assuming there’s not a last minute manufacturing problem (which is a fairly big if) they will almost certainly announce the Switch Pro this month, for release just before Christmas.

If the hardware announcement is taken as real though the bigger question is not so much which games will be talked about at E3, but which ones will be enhanced for Switch Pro or even possibly exclusive. That’s not a question that can be speculated on at the moment, but rumours suggest that Nintendo has a ‘bounty’ of new games to announce at E3 – so let’s take a look at what they might be…

The only confirmed summer release Nintendo has at the moment, this will launch on June 25, a couple of weeks after E3. Nintendo are likely to give it some screen time, although there probably isn’t much more to say now other than it looks surprisingly good.

Due out on July 16, this Wii remaster of one of the most controversial Zelda entries is unlikely to take up too much time at E3… unless a remaster of The Wind Waker and/or Twilight Princess is announced at the same time. Remasters already exist for the Wii U, so they’d take very little extra work, and it’s probably a case of if, not when, they appear on Switch.

These remakes of Diamond and Pearl, along with Pokémon Legends, recently announced their release dates – in November and January – but didn’t show any new footage, which suggests Nintendo might be holding it back for E3.

Nintendo generally don’t spend too much time on Pokémon at E3, but this open world 3D game is an important release whose initial appearance left a lot of unanswered questions. If it’s not due out until January it presumably will have some sort of Switch Pro compatibility, so it could be shown off in that context.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5JIjeRZpUc?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

This was something of a surprise announcement back in February, not because a sequel wasn’t inevitable, given the originals’ popularity, but because it’s not out until 2022 and Nintendo don’t often announce games that far in advance – the delays for Bayonetta 3 and Metroid Prime 4 showing exactly why. It may be too far out to feature much at E3 but hopefully the new Splatoon will get at least a mention.

This is the big one that everyone wants to know about and yet there’s no clue whether it’s going to be at E3 or when it will be released. Absolutely nothing has leaked about the follow-up to Breath Of The Wild, so there’s no clue as to what it’s about or how important it will be to the release of the Switch Pro.

First announced in 2017 and yet nothing substantial has ever been heard about the game since, including any indication of its release date. Given the previous title’s intensive graphics it’s easy to imagine it might be being held back for the Switch Pro though, even if it’ll probably be released on the standard model as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00Fv-O103Gw?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

Samus Aran’s latest outing wasn’t delayed, it was outright cancelled and started again from scratch. That was in early 2019, so it may still be too early to see anything substantial of the game. There’s not even a rumour of a rumour about how it’s doing, so whether it’ll be at E3 or not is something only Nintendo knows.

Remasters of the original three games have been rumoured for years now, with multiple sources suggesting that the compilation has been complete for some time. Nintendo is likely waiting to release it closer to Metroid Prime 4 though, to act as an appetiser, so its release date, and appearance at E3, is tied to how far along Metroid Prime 4 is. The same is likely true of rumours of a new 2D Metroid from Metroid: Samus Returns developer MercurySteam – if such a project actually exists.

New consoles are a hard thing to keep secret, but usually there’s no such thing as a leak about Nintendo games. Except recently multiple sources claimed that the same studio behind Super Mario Odyssey is working on a new Donkey Kong game, since it’s the 40th anniversary of the big ape (and Mario himself) this July. There were no other details, and no agreement on whether it was a 2D or 3D title, but given the anniversary it does make a lot of sense – and would explain why there’s been no talk of a new Super Mario game recently.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLovt-YsfvU?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

The release of the first new patch for two years inspired a new wave of rumours that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe may be getting new DLC. However, a brand new game is almost just as likely given that Mario Kart 8 is not a native Switch game and the original Wii U version came out seven years ago now. Under normal circumstances that would make a sequel entirely justified, especially if it tied in with the launch of the Switch Pro.

Super Mario Party 2

At one point in its career Super Mario Party was getting yearly sequels, so that makes the fact that Super Mario Party is the most successful entry so far and yet still hasn’t got one very suspicious. The recent online update made it very obvious that Nintendo is interested in expanding the series further and since it’s usually released around Christmas, there’s a good chance a new one will be out this year.

Fire Emblem: Genealogy Of The Holy War remake

There have been a lot of rumours about what the next Fire Emblem might be but the most convincing is a remake of SNES entry Genealogy Of The Holy War. Fire Emblem has seen many remakes over the years and it’s not clear how much this would stick to the original design or if it would turn it into something closer to Three Houses. Whatever is going on the rumour is the game is nearly finished, since franchise creators Intelligent System only worked as advisers on Three Houses – whereas most of the development was done by Koei Tecmo.

New Kirby

Nintendo knocks out new Kirby games far more frequently than any of its other franchises, so this is the one no-brainer amongst all the rumours. Except it’s not even really a rumour, as series Shinya Kumazaki himself has spoken publicly about the ‘next phase’ of the Kirby series. The only problem is that doesn’t help to guess whether it’ll be at E3 or not.

Of course, there is every chance Nintendo will have brand new games to show at E3 that are not part of an existing series and haven’t been leaked yet. There’re certainly likely to be some smaller, indie style games that fit that bill and possibly even some new third party announcements. There’re rumours of more games in the style of Tetris 99 and Pac-Man 99, but there’s also a strong likelihood that the penultimate character for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass Vol. 2 will be announced at E3.

Or at least that seems like it would be the logical thing to do. But Nintendo logic is not the same as everyone else’s, so the only thing you can do is wait and see what they announce on the day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31f0mRaGazY?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

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