E3 Nintendo Direct: how to watch, start time, livestream, full schedule, what to expect and more – CNET

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Josh Miller/CNET

It's Nintendo Direct time!

E3 is in full flow and show doors are just about to open. We've seen Microsoft, Square Enix, Bethesda, Ubisoft and EA. All that's left is for Nintendo to show what they're bringing to the table.

Will Nintendo reveal a long rumoured Nintendo Switch update? A Switch Lite? How about Metroid Prime 4? A new Mario or Zelda? A new Bayonetta? Unlikely, but possible! More likely we'll see more of Nintendo games like Animal Crossing, Link's Awakening or Luigi's Mansion 3. But a boy can dream 

This week has already been a big week for Nintendo, with the announcement of Pokemon Sleep among other things. Most recently, Nintendo also provided a release date for Pokemon Sword and Shield. But E3 is almost certainly going to be bigger as Nintendo seeks to cement the incredible success of the Nintendo Switch

This year E3 takes place between June 11 and June 13, as always, at the Los Angeles convention centre. But the big announcements and news will break ahead of the show. Sony, Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Bethesda do this through live conferences traditionally. Nintendo used to do that — now it runs a Nintendo Direct.

How do I watch?

The easiest way to watch the E3 Nintendo Direct is to watch right above these words! You're here anyway! Otherwise you could head to Nintendo's homepage. Nintendo also traditionally streams the Direct on its official YouTube page and its Twitch page

What's a Nintendo Direct?

It's a shortish video presentation where Nintendo display its upcoming wares. They started in 2011 and have quickly become a thing. At E3 Nintendo tends to release a major Nintendo Direct ahead of the show. It tends to save a number of major announcements during these videos, or showcase major upcoming Mario or Zelda releases.

When does it start?

Well it depends what timezone you're in! Here's a brief list of timezones…

June 11 at 9 a.m. PT 
June 11 at  12 p.m. ET 
June 11 at 5 p.m. BST
June 12 at 2 a.m. AET

In short, it sucks to live in Australia.

What can we expect?

Well we know for sure that Nintendo is hosting competitions for two of its biggest competitive games Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2. That will happen the weekend before E3 and most likely before the Nintendo Direct alongside a Super Mario Maker 2 “invitational”. Not exactly sure what that will entail.

What will Nintendo show at the Direct itself? A safe bet would be a big outing for Pokemon Sword and Shield, it's next “proper” Pokemon game for the Nintendo Switch. This is an eighth generation Pokemon game and the first time Nintendo has put a mainline Pokemon RPG on one of its home consoles — probably because the Nintendo Switch is a bit of a hybrid that doubles as a handheld. It's worth noting that Nintendo is running a Pokemon-specific Direct presentation on Wednesday, June 5, at 6 a.m. PT. That'll be 15 minutes long. Pretty short.

Most likely Nintendo will show a little at that Direct and a lot more at the big daddy E3 Direct.

The other major title you can expect to see is Animal Crossing on Switch. If I had to bet, I'd say that will be a major focus for Nintendo at this year's E3. It's not a new Mario or Zelda game, but it is a big deal. The series has an extremely large cult following.

What about a new Mario or Zelda?

The chances of Nintendo revealing a new major, mainline Mario or Zelda game is extremely slim. If I had to guess I'd say you'd have a better shot of seeing a new Zelda game, but even then the odds are slim.

What about Metroid Prime 4?

Rumours were this game was initially going to be handled by Bandai Namco Studios under the guidance of producer Kensuke Tanabe, but very recently Nintendo had to publicly admit that development had “not reached the standards we seek”. Development of the game has been given back to Retro Studios, who made the original trilogy. A decision that made absolute sense considering the original Metroid Prime is one of the most compelling video games ever made.

Because of the recent shift in development, I'd be extremely surprised (but also very happy) if we saw Metroid Prime 4 at E3 this year. More likely we'll see this one in 2020.

Upcoming E3 press conferences

Saturday, June 8

Sunday, June 9

Monday, June 10

  • PC Gaming Show — This annual PC Gaming Show is held at a theater a short walk from the Los Angeles Convention Center, but still draws a large crowd, filling the 1,700-person capacity Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Inside, the usual suspects, from Halo to Doom, were nowhere to be found. Instead, the crowd cheered for PC-centric games including Zombie Army 4Baldur's Gate 3 and Terraria: Journey's End. (No, the game sequel problem isn't any better on PCs.) The highlight was a brief on-stage appearance by legendary game designer Yu Suzuki, responsible for classic such as Hang-On and Virtua Fighter. His long-awaited Shenmue 3 is expected in November, 18 years after Shenmue 2. 
  • Ubisoft — The French gaming giant announced its next big dystopian hacking adventure game, Watch Dogs: Legion, launching March 2020. The new game is set in near-future post-Brexit London, where the economy is failing and government is breaking down. The company also announced a new television show, called Mythic Quest, that will launch on Apple TV Plus. And it celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Just Dance party games. 
  • Square Enix — This was a huge franchise fair. The press conference started out with juicy details on Final Fantasy VII Remake, namely that it'll be a two-part game. The first part, an entire Blu-Ray disc, will be devoted to exploring Midgar. After a flurry of trailers and an in-depth look at Final Fantas XIV: Shadowbringers, we then got the main event unveil: Marvel's Avengers

Tuesday, June 11

  • Nintendo (livestream only) — 9 a.m. PT (noon ET)

We're there

CNET will be on the ground, covering covering E3 2019 alongside our sister site, Gamespot. We'll update this page throughout the show as more games are announced.


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