Nintendo Direct E3 2021: the key announcements you need to see

nintendo direct e3 2021
(Image credit: Nintendo)

It was a big day for fans of the Nintendo Switch. In the course of a 40-minute Nintendo Direct at E3 2021 we got the chance to see a prominent Tekken character make their way to Nintendo's best fighting game franchise; the first new 2D entry in the Metroid franchise in close to two decades and, oh yeah, a new trailer for Breath of the Wild 2.

That said, we know that not everyone had the time to watch through the entire Nintendo Direct presentation so we've taken the time to put together a list of the biggest announcements from the showcase that you need to know about. 

Our list doesn't include every trailer shown off today – because boy, were there a ton – but it does collect all the best news and trailers from the Direct into one convenient, easy-to-read round-up. Here are the biggest announcements from Nintendo Direct at E3 2021. Want to see the full event? Here's a link to the YouTube replay.

Kazuya is coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Nintendo opened its E3 2021 Direct showcase by revealing the next fighter coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It’s none other than Kazuya from the Tekken franchise! Kazuya made an entrance by tossing several notable characters into a volcano, including Ganondorf. Kirby however managed to safely float away, just like he always does in every single match. 

Director Sakurai will be sharing more on just how Kazuya plays on June 28 at 7am PT / 10am ET / 12pm BST. Now there’s only one fighter left in the current pass... 

A Super Monkey Ball collection is coming to Switch

If you’re old enough to remember the Super Monkey Ball franchise on Nintendo GameCube, you’ll be excited to hear that Nintendo plans on releasing a new collection on Nintendo Switch. 

Included in Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania are the original Super Monkey Ball, Super Monkey Ball 2 and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, all of which have been remastered for the Switch. The good news? You can now take Super Monkey Baseball – one of the greatest mini-games ever made with you anywhere you go.

The collection will be available on October 5, 2021.

There's a new Mario Party game coming this year

After the smashing success of Super Mario Party on Nintendo Switch in 2018, Nintendo says it will be releasing a new entry in the series for Nintendo Switch later this year called Mario Party Superstars. The game will combine several maps from the N64 era with mini-games from across the series into a new, refined experience.

According to the game’s trailer, the entire game will be able to be played online against friends on Nintendo Switch Online, or locally via your standard four-player multiplayer. 

Superstars will be out on October 29 with preorders open now on the Nintendo eShop.

Nintendo's still working on Metroid Prime 4

Metroid Prime 4

(Image credit: Nintendo)

While Nintendo didn’t have any new footage of Metroid Prime 4 to share (boo!) according to Shinya Takahashi, General Manager of the Entertainment Planning & Development Division at Nintendo, Nintendo is hard at work on the next entry in the Metroid Prime series.

Nintendo has been relatively tight-lipped about the game since the teaser at E3 two years ago - though, we're hoping that might change by the next Nintendo Direct event that will inevitably happen later this year.

Until then, however, we’ll be playing...

Metroid 5... er, Metroid Dread?

Technically called Metroid Dread, Metroid is the first new 2D entry in the series in nearly 20 years. In the trailer shown off during Nintendo’s Direct event, we see Samus being hunted by E.M.M.I., an invulnerable enemy that Samus will need to hide from while gaining back her powers on the new alien planet.

The game looks like it will be slightly more intense in tone and gameplay than a standard Metroid game – especially if you’re always being hunted – but it’s still keeping to the tried and true Metroidvania formula it helped originate three decades ago.

Alongside the game that will be available on Nintendo Switch on October 8 2021, Nintendo is always releasing two new amiibo to go along with the game: one for Samus and one for E.M.M.I.

Wario is getting his own Nintendo Switch game

Yes, he’s back. Wario made an appearance to inform everyone that his company has been hard at work on a new game, which is a proper WarioWare title called WarioWare: Get it Together! The game features tons of wacky, appropriately-themed minigames and is coming to the Nintendo Switch on September 10, 2021. 

Tactical fans were gifted a 3D Advance Wars reboot

Advance Wars makes a grand return with the announcement of Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp. This remake covers the campaigns of Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2, seeing players command their army in strategic, turn-based combat as part of the Orange Star Army.

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot army marches on to the Nintendo Switch on December 3, 2021. 

The Danganronpa franchise is coming to Switch

Danganronpa Decadence

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Danganronpa is definitely a cult classic series, but one that’s gained popularity over the last few years. That trend is set to continue when Danganronpa Decadence – a three-game collection – comes to Nintendo Switch later this year.

If you’ve never played one of the games, Danganronpa combines visual novels and dating games with a traditional adventure game. The plot revolves around uncovering a murderer in your high school class – if you guess the wrong person, however, everyone dies and the murderer escapes without being punished. It’s a dark premise, sure, but the results are weird and wacky, yet oddly endearing. 

This is the only new hardware Nintendo showed off

E3 2021

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Unfortunately, we didn’t see the rumored Nintendo Switch Pro that we’ve been hearing so much about – the only new hardware Nintendo had to show off at its Nintendo Direct event was a Game & Watch Zelda handheld. 

The Zelda-themed Game & Watch will have three classic entries in the Zelda franchise – the original Legend of Zelda on NES, Legend of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link and the original Game Boy version of Link’s Awakening. 

On top of that, there’s a fourth Game & Watch classic game, Vermin, that’s on there that has been remastered with Link as the main character. 

The Legend of Zelda Game and Watch drops on November 12th for $49.99 (around £35, AU$65). 


Nintendo finally showed another look at the still-unnamed sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In addition to gorgeous vistas, we got glimpses of new abilities that Link can wield, such as what appeared to be fiery blasts and spiky metal orbs. The first game was already a vast open world, filled with challenges and secrets, but this game looks to be even bigger. Players will also get to visit the skies above Hyrule, expanding just how much there’ll be to explore. 

Unfortunately, we still don’t have an exact release date for the game. Nintendo has stated however that it is “aiming” for a 2022 release, so hopefully, we’ll learn more in the months ahead. 

  • Need something new to play on your Switch? Check out our list of the best Switch games
Samuel Tolbert

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance games journalist. His bylines can be found at Android Central, Windows Central, iMore and TechRadar.