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The 5 biggest announcements from the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct

Here are the most noteworthy reveals from the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct, and why we think they’re important.

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biggest announcements E3 2019 nintendo direct

Here are the most noteworthy reveals from the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct, and why we think they’re important.

Ah, the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct. Not so close to the opening of E3 that we would consider heading down early and working out of the media lounge, but just close enough that it makes us feel nervous about being late for our first appointment.

Here are all of the biggest announcements and hottest updates from the Nintendo Direct presentation, including some things we were expecting, some things we were hoping for, and one thing that completely took us by surprise.

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The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

The release date for The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, AKA the remake of the best Zelda game, reportedly leaked on Amazon Japan this morning just prior to the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct. It slated the release of Link’s Awakening for September 20, 2019. (In Japan at least. You’d like to think there might be a synchronised worldwide release, but this is Nintendo, after all.)

Today’s E3 2019 Nintendo Direct confirmed that release date globally, and also gave us more of a look at the game in motion. Of particular note is the soundtrack, which is sublime nectar of the gods, and an all-new dungeon builder mode. It’s also interesting that, in spite of the Switch having more buttons than the Game Boy, Link’s still limited to two item slots in the Link’s Awakening remake. Authenticity over convenience, folks.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is shaping up rather nicely, isn’t it? It looks like a smorgasbord of game modes, characters, and mechanics, including multiplayer/co-op modes.

This one’s coming later in 2019, but we’ve got an appointment booked to go hands-on with Luigi’s Mansion 3 today, so check back for some impressions.

Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition

We’ve all heard the rumours about Geralt of Rivia coming to Nintendo Switch. But then, there are so many rumours about games being ported to Switch, it’s had to know which ones are feasible and which ones aren’t. After some of the performance issues with Saints Row: The Third and Assassin’s Creed 3, it seemed like Witcher 3 might be out of reach, but apparently, they’ve managed it. Why is it always the third one in the series, though?

Animal Crossing New Horizons

The new Animal Crossing, New Horizons, looks like an interesting new take on the classic formula. In it, Tom Nook flies you to a deserted island, where you have just a tent and a crafting bench, and have to build a village entirely from scratch.

It’s sort of like a cross between Don’t Starve and Animal Crossing, which we’re very much here for. Thankfully the population of the island does look to grow by the end of the trailer, which is a bit of a relief. An Animal Crossing game without the villagers would be a bit weird.

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Also, Tom Nook charges you nearly 50,000 bells to strand you on a deserted island. Good to see that capitalist monster is never changing.

A sequel to Breath of the Wild

This was a massive shock. Even as the trailer was unfolding, this looked like additional DLC or possibly an expandalone for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In it, we see Link and Zelda exploring a dungeon together – possibly two-player co-op, or maybe a Naughty Dog style buddy system? – before the trail cuts to that expansive view over Hyrule from up on the Great Plateau we’re so familiar with.

But something is different. There’s no Ganon mess coming out of the top of Hyrule Castle. Is this before? Is this after? Is the timeline completely different? Who knows! But a caption on the screen confirmed that it is indeed a full sequel to Breath of the Wild in the works.

Exciting stuff.

Other assorted musings

  • There was an update for Smash Bros. Ultimate, because of course there was, including both Dragon Quest XI and Banjo-Kazooie. We’re just thankful we never have to sit through last year’s E3 Direct ever again, to be honest.
  • There was a short clip of Super Mario Maker 2, which launches in a few weeks.
  • And Pokémon Sword and Shield, which we’ll have hands-on impressions for later in the week.
  • And the Zelda/Crypt of the Necrodancer cross-over. (A lot of the extra stuff is about things we already knew about is the key takeaway here.)
  • Resident Evil 5 and 6, including split-screen co-op, are both coming to Switch.
  • Empire of Sin, a new 1920s gangster game from Romero Games and Paradox Interactive, is coming in spring 2020.
  • Bethesda and Id Software are continuing their commitment to getting very big games to run on the little console that could, bringing both Doom Eternal and Wolfenstein Youngblood coming to Switch this year.
  • Speaking of cool ports, Alien Isolation is a great addition.
  • There’s a Mario & Sonic Olympics 2020 game coming in November, which features a lot of Olympic disciplines, from classics like sprinting and fencing, with some… more unusual additions, like surfing, skateboarding, and rock climbing. We’re not entirely sure all of those are in the official Olympic programme, but the more the merrier.
  • Also, didn’t Doug Bowser do well on his first Nintendo Direct? The introduction of “the wrong Bowser” at the start of the presentation was a really cute touch.

To keep up with all the biggest developments at E3 2019, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and bookmark our E3 2019 landing page.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.