Nintendo has announced that their E3 2021 Nintendo Direct stream will take place on 15th June 2021 at 9AM PDT / 12PM EDT / 5PM BST (UK time) / 6PM CEST.
The stream will last for around 40 minutes, and then be followed by a 3 hour Nintendo Treehouse Live stream that lets them deep dive into the games that have just been announced and featured. The one thing that’s missing from all this? Hardware. There will not be a Nintendo Switch Pro announcement at E3 this year.
🗓 Nintendo at #E32021: 6/15, 9am PT!
Tune in for a #NintendoDirect with roughly 40 minutes of info focused exclusively on #NintendoSwitch software, mostly releasing in 2021, followed by around 3 hours of gameplay in #NintendoTreehouseLive | E3 2021.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 2, 2021
Of course, you can’t make a hardware announcement if the hardware has already been announced, right? The rumour mill is whirring around right now, with all speculation and reports pointing to an imminent announcement of an enhanced Nintendo Switch hybrid console.
It has already been mooted that a Nintendo Switch Pro / ‘New’ Nintendo Switch / Super Nintendo Switch will be announced before E3, so that third parties can discuss upcoming Switch games and their enhanced features. This also frees up Nintendo to have a tight and focussed Nintendo Direct where they talk purely about upcoming games like Metroid Prime 4, The Legend fo Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, Splatoon 3, Mario Golf and more.
Recent reports from Bloomberg suggest that the Switch Pro will feature a larger 7″ screen, switching from LCD to OLED panel technology, but retaining the 720p screen resolution. That might feel low, but in tandem with improved chipset in the console it would allow for more ambitious games to be played at 720p with 30fps with reasonable battery life, before ramping things up when the console is docked. Rumours also suggest that Nintendo are to use Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling technology to better accommodate 4K TV screens.
A higher-powered Nintendo Switch has long been rumoured. Speculation was initially that Nintendo would release both the Switch Lite and a Switch Pro in 2019, though in the end they only released one new model (and revised the internals of the original Switch design for better battery life). Naturally, analysts then shifted their expectations to 2020 and speculated that Nintendo would boost their hardware power to counter the launch of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. However, Nintendo completely ruled out a Nintendo Switch Pro release in 2020. Now all eyes are set on later this year.