The first Nintendo Direct of 2021 promises to be a substantive one. This afternoon (February 17, 5 PM ET), Nintendo will share almost an hour of announcements about what the next few months hold for the Nintendo Switch. This is incredibly good news since, at present, there’s a dearth of new, first-party titles on the docket for Nintendo’s hybrid handheld this year.
We’ll be live-blogging the Nintendo Direct presentation as it happens, so stay tuned to this page for more information as it’s announced. In fact, you can even watch the full presentation without leaving this story; the video is embedded just below. As for what we know to expect, and what we hope Nintendo will announce, read on for more information.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Aside from the Nintendo Direct presentation’s time and duration, Nintendo shared only one piece of solid information with us. The livestream will be “focused on available games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” according to a tweet from the Big N.
Tune in 2/17 at 2 p.m. PT for a #NintendoDirect livestream featuring roughly 50 minutes of information focused on available games like Super #SmashBrosUltimate and games coming to #NintendoSwitch in the first half of 2021.https://t.co/fbG3hEtD0Q pic.twitter.com/w8J6lbdIkQFebruary 16, 2021
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the only title that Nintendo called out by name, so we’re almost certain to see some new content for the game. The safe bet would be on a new character for the game’s already-enormous playable roster. There’s a lot of wishful thinking online about who it could be (Crash Bandicoot? Chun-Li? Tails?), but no solid information, so we’ll just have to wait a few more hours to find out.
Switch games in 2021: The (presumably) more substantive part of the Nintendo Direct will focus on “games coming to Nintendo Switch in the first half of 2021.” What this could include is a mystery – and a topic of spirited discussion on social media. Bearing in mind that Nintendo has not yet dropped the slightest hint about what it could announce today, here are a few educated guesses:
February 2021 marks the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series. Just as Nintendo celebrated Super Mario’s 35th anniversary last year with remastered games and in-game events, it seems reasonable to think that we’ll see something Zelda-related today.
Since Nintendo has a spectacular habit of subverting fan expectations, I wouldn’t put any money on which Zelda games the company might discuss. However, it’s worth pointing out that the Wii U had ports of both Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, and Nintendo has ported an awful lot of Wii U games to the Switch (Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, Super Mario 3D World, etc.).
We also know that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is in the works. While I wouldn’t necessarily count on it coming out in the first half of 2021, it’s not at all ridiculous to think that we might get some more information about it today.
Another hotly anticipated property is Metroid, but frankly, Nintendo almost never talks about this franchise. It also seems like Metroid 4 is a long way away, based on its development-side setbacks. Fans spread rumors about a Metroid Prime Trilogy remaster on Switch every few months, but it hasn’t happened yet, and this doesn’t seem like the right time to introduce it. I’d love to be wrong, though.
Beyond that, anything could happen; we’ll know for sure in a few hours.