Like everything else, Nintendo holds its press conference at E3 a little differently from the other brands. Instead of a main event before the start of the actual expo, Nintendo will host a series of small events, talks, and video game competitions, all watchable via Twitch from its E3 landing page. So far, Nintendo has announced two scheduled events, as well an ongoing series of interviews, talks, and conference discussion.
The official event
For their main event, Nintendo will hold their Digital Event at 9:00 AM pacific time on Tuesday, June 16. This is usually where the brand shows off new games and extra content for existing titles. There isn’t usually a new hardware announcement at E3, but there are rumors there might be a new console this time around — we aren’t holding our breath.
After the Digital Event, and starting at 9:55 AM pacific time on June 17 and 18, Nintendo will also host Treehouse Live @ E3. Nintendo experts and members of the product development team will announce content, discuss the goings-on at E3, and interview company staff.
What might be on the horizon
Nothing is confirmed for Nintendo’s announcements at E3 except for new Super Smash Bros content, but we have some ideas of what might show up based on rumors and expectations. Take them with a grain of salt, but here are what we expect to see at Nintendo’s Digital Event, from most likely to least likely.
We’ll also almost certainly see new Pokemon games at E3 this year. Since we just saw the remastered Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire in 2014, it’s likely we’ll see new titles with original locations and Pokemon this time around. There’s been no official word yet, but these Nintendo exclusives have long been a major draw to the handheld consoles, and will continue to be for years to come.
Samus Aran could be back this year as well, if a vague tweet from Retro Studios is any indication. The last time we saw a Metroid game was with Other M for Wii in 2010, and it would make sense for the brand to try and get a title in on the Wii U before it starts making way for the next Nintendo console.
Word on the street is that Nintendo is exploring mobile platforms like iOS and Android as new homes for some of their games. Whether that means classic titles hitting smartphones and tablets, or original variations of IPs remains to be seen. There’s a lot of pressure to move games like Pokemon and Mario to these convenient form factors, but it seems unlikely that Nintendo would give up the handheld exclusivity — it’s one of the brand’s most successful market areas.
If there’s a title featuring the red-hatted plumber and friends for this year, it’s rumored to be a revival of the Paper Mario variety. These RPGs have their own unique style that would fit in well with the other games that are already out for the Wii U, and it wouldn’t be too surprising to see a sequel.
Rumors have been circulating for a while now that the Wii U might already be on its way out. Nintendo usually puts five or six years between consoles, so it’s a bit early, but it would be about the right time for the brand to announce the console’s existence. Those sorts of announcements usually end up at other conferences like GamesCom in August, so if there’s anything new to talk about, it will just be a teaser.
It’s unlikely we’ll see anything having to do with the Legend of Zelda series at this E3, especially considering Nintendo recently announced it would be delayed from the end of this year until 2016. The team is focused on building and developing the game at the moment, so unless it’s some elaborate swicheroo, don’t expect to see Link grace the screen at E3.