Nintendo’s E3 Direct is scheduled to begin on today, June 11 at 9am PT/12pm ET/5pm UK (June 12 at 2am AET).
We already got a few Nintendo Switch surprises ahead of the Nintendo Direct, but if history is any indicator, there are plenty more to come. During its E3 2019 conference last night, Square Enix announced a remastered Final Fantasy VIII is coming to Switch (among other systems).
The Nintendo Switch era has see a fire relit under Nintendo. While some of its best games came out for the Wii U, the Wii U itself wasn’t a success. However, the Nintendo Switch has been a dominant force in gaming since its release, and many of those overlooked Wii U games made their way to the hybrid console. But it’s more than just ports of Wii U games. Nintendo’s core franchises, like Super Mario, Pokemon, and Metroid, are all on, or making their way to, the Nintendo Switch.
Though it’s abandoned the traditional stage show in favor of a pre-recorded Direct, Nintendo remains one of E3’s most anticipated presenters. And this year, with Sony’s absence from the show, there may be more eyes on the beloved publisher than ever before.
Nintendo is coming off a divisive E3 2018, during which it spent well over half its 45-minute presentation on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Super Mario Party were also announced for Switch, but the company’s heavy lean into Smash Bros. left little else for fans of its other franchises.
Nintendo E3 Schedule
Nintendo’s E3 2019 festivities kick off on Saturday, June 8, with Super Mario Maker 2, Splatoon 2, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments. The Nintendo E3 Direct will air a few days later, on June 11, and provide new looks at upcoming Switch games. Nintendo Treehouse will then air each day from June 11-13, providing closer looks at some of its E3 games.
Nintendo E3 Direct Details
Nintendo’s E3 Direct will air on Tuesday, June 11, at 9:00 AM PT / 12:00 PM ET / 5:00 PM BST / 2:00 AM AEST (6/12). For details on the other conferences, check out the official E3 schedule.
How to Watch the Nintendo E3 Direct
IGN’s E3 coverage will be broadcast on both the homepage and IGN.com/E3. Additionally, you can watch all the E3 pre-shows and press conferences on the following apps and devices:
- Desktop Computer
- Phone or Tablet
- IGN’s iOS App
- IGN’s Android App
- IGN’s Apple TV App
- IGN’s PlayStation 4 App
- IGN’s Xbox One App
- IGN’s Roku App | IGN’s Kindle Fire TV App
- IGN’s YouTube Channel
- IGN’s Twitch Channel
- IGN’s Facebook Channel
- IGN’s Pluto TV Channel
- IGN’s Mixer Channel
Nintendo Pre-E3 Announcements
There’s been no shortage of new information coming out of Nintendo in the weeks leading up to E3. The company recently aired Directs for Super Mario Maker 2 and Pokemon Sword and Shield, in addition to a second Pokemon-focused press conference.
During its recent Pokemon Sword and Shield Direct, Nintendo revealed a November 15 release date for the duo of Pokemon games. We were also introduced to several of the Galar region’s most notable trainers and seven new Pokemon, including legendaries Zacian and Zamazenta. Nintendo also revealed new a new game mode, Max Raid Battles, and a new game mechanic called Dynamax, which turns your adorable Pokemon into building-sized creatures of destruction.
Everything We Learned in the 6.5.2019 Pokemon Sword and Shield Direct
A week prior to that Direct, Nintendo held another Pokemon press conference, during which it announced a new Detective Pikachu for Switch and a mobile game called Pokemon Masters. Pokemon Home, a cloud-based service that brings together all your Pokemon experiences, and Pokemon Sleep, a mobile game/app you “play” while you rest, were also announced.
Finally, there was the Super Mario Maker 2 Direct held in mid-May. The Direct detailed new creator tools, story details, Nintendo Switch Online features, and more.
Nintendo E3 Predictions
Like with Smash Bros. last year, Nintendo comes into E3 with a massive first-party release on the horizon in Pokemon Sword and Shield, but its breadth of new game announcements since last June creates the potential for a much more diverse show.
Before we dive into that potential lineup, let’s start with one thing we know won’t be shown: Despite multiple reports of Switch hardware revisions, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa told Bloomberg the company has “no plans” to announce new hardware at E3. While that may come as a disappointment to some, it sets the stage for a games-focused presentation.
Top among those potential games is the aforementioned Sword and Shield. The duo of Pokemon games were the subjects of a pre-E3 Direct, during which a November 15 release date and handful of new details were announced. It’s unclear if this will exclude Sword and Shield from Nintendo’s E3 Direct, but perhaps we’ll get our first at the new starters’ evolutions, finally allowing us to cleanse our minds of these monstrosities.
Elsewhere in Nintendo’s potential 2019 catalogue are a handful of other highly anticipated exclusive Switch games. Expect to see more on Animal Crossing for Switch, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Luigi’s Mansion 3, the Link’s Awakening remake, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, PlatinumGames’ Astral Chain, Super Mario Maker 2, and Town, the upcoming RPG from Pokemon developer game Freak.
And while Metroid Prime 4 would provide a showstopper moment for Nintendo, its appearance seems highly unlikely, considering development on the long-awaited sequel was rebooted in January. But don’t count Metroid out entirely; Samus could still provide that moment for Nintendo, as fans continue to await confirmation of the long-rumored Switch port of Metroid Prime Trilogy, and it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility for Nintendo to tease Metroid Prime 4 at E3 again like it did with the first announcement.
And don’t be surprised if some time is dedicated to its more unconventional initiatives, namely Labo VR and its next mobile game, Mario Kart Tour, though the focus should remain on Switch. It’s a console headed into the middle years of its life cycle, and with Nintendo looking to regain some of that early momentum, E3 2019 could prove to be one of its most pivotal shows yet.
Jordan is a freelance writer for IGN. Connect with him on Twitter @jdsirani.