What to expect from Not-E3 2022 Nintendo Direct: Predictions, hopes, and rumors

Breath Of The Wild Kass
Breath Of The Wild Kass (Image credit: iMore)

Every other big gaming studio has had a presentation by this point as we've waded through what is usually E3 season, however, things have remained quiet on Nintendo's front. Historically, the Japanese gaming company goes all out for their E3 Nintendo Direct, bringing us updates on projects in progress or announcing brand new games and hardware to look forward to in the near future. It's only a matter of time before we get an announcement for an impeding Nintendo Direct and this is what we expect to see.

Not-E3? What happened to E3?

E3 Cancelled Summer Game Fest Logo (Image credit: iMore)

E3 2022 was canceled this year due to concern over the Omnicron variant this last winter. As such, there are no physical or digital E3 events this summer. However, the ESA has stated that they plan to have E3 back again next year. Still, this time of year has historically belonged to the Electronic Entertainment Expo, so many people are referring to all of the gaming showcases and announcements this month as Not-E3.

Nintendo Direct date rumor

Alanah Pearce, a former games journalist who now works at Sony Santa Monica as a game writer, mentioned in a livestream that a Nintendo Direct is coming on June 29, 2022.

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She says she didn't get this information from Nintendo itself, but based on the position she holds and has held in various companies, she likely got the information from one of her many contacts. We'll have to wait and see if this is correct.

How to watch the Nintendo Direct

Nintendo always airs their presentation on YouTube and Twitch. We'll add links to these viewing areas when they become available. Nintendo hasn't announced a date yet either, but we will update when we learn more. Typically, these presentations take place in mid-June.

What we expect to see at Summer 2022 Nintendo Direct

Nintendo Direct (Image credit: Nintendo)

There are so many projects currently being worked on within Nintendo studios and while we know that some games are slated to release in 2022, many don't have specific dates. Here are all of the games we expect to see during the Not-E3 Nintendo Direct. Get ready to make room on your microSD cards cause there will likely be a lot of exciting announcements.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Breath Of The Wild 2 Master Sword (Image credit: Nintendo (screenshot))

We learned earlier this year that the Breath of the Wild sequel was delayed until "Spring 2023." Even though time is ticking down for this highly-anticipated game's release, we still don't even know the title and have hardly been shown any gameplay. Not to mention, we don't even know what the plot is. And while we have a guess as to who the decrepit man from the E3 2019 trailer is, we still don't have any confirmation.

Breath Of The Wild 2 Ghost Hand (Image credit: Nintendo (screenshot))

We'll undoubtedly get more information on Link's upcoming adventure in the near future and it wouldn't be surprising for it to happen at the biggest Nintendo Direct of the year.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet update

Pokemon Scarlet Violet Starters 3d (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

We've already gotten a bit more info on the upcoming Gen 9 games, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, this month. However, it's not uncommon for more information on the mainline Pokémon games to find their way into the E3 Nintendo Direct. In 2019, we were shown three additional Pokémon for Sword and Shield, so it's not out of the question to expect to see some of the new Pokémon for Scarlet and Violet as well as a look at battling and multiplayer mechanics at a Not-E3 2022 Nintendo Direct.

Metroid Prime 4

Metroid Prime (Image credit: iMore)

Believe it or not, Metroid Prime 4 was first announced five years ago during E3 2017. But then at the start of 2019, Nintendo announced it wasn't happy with the direction the game was taking and announced it would be scrapping everything and giving the project to the Metroid Prime series' original team: Retro Studios.

It's been three years since this change of hands and it's more than likely that the pandemic has significantly delayed progress on Samus Aran's next adventure. However, it's also possible we could see a small update or teaser during the Not-E3 Nintendo Direct.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Sword (Image credit: Nintendo)

We already got exciting news for Xenoblade Chronicles 3 earlier this year when it was announced that the release date was moving up from September to July 29, 2022. With the launch being so close it's likely that Nintendo will give us a new trailer showing off even more of the game's mechanics, characters, and combat during the summer showcase.

Bayonetta 3

Bayonetta 3 Gun (Image credit: Nintendo)

We already know that Bayonetta 3 is slated to come out in 2022, but no exact date has been revealed yet. A release date seems like just the sort of thing that Nintendo would reveal at the big Not-E3 Direct. Additionally, we still don't really know much about the plot for this upcoming game or why Bayonetta has those long braids that look just like the ones she had as a child. Fans have been waiting eight years for another Bayonetta game, and it's likely they'll get more information on this title this summer.

Splatoon 3

Splatoon 3 Killer Wail 5.1 (Image credit: Nintendo)

Splatoon 3 has already received a September 9, 2022 release date, but as we draw nearer to the game's launch we'll likely get additional information and videos showing the game off. What better place to do that than at the Not-E3 Nintendo Direct? We might hear about new modes and mechanics, and potentially get some information on an updated roadmap for what kind of events to expect once the game launches.

New Fire Emblem game

Fire Emblem Fates (Image credit: Nintendo)

The Nintendo Switch saw the most popular Fire Emblem game of all time with Fire Emblem: Three Houses which released in 2019 and sold significantly more copies than any other game in the series. Now we'll soon be getting a spin-off with Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes which revisits our favorite Garreg Mach students but in an alternate universe where main plot points differ from the original game. In addition to the spin-off, it's about time that Nintendo revealed a new Fire Emblem game for the main series.

Emily Rogers of Nintendo World Report posted on Famiboards that a brand new Fire Emblem game has already been made in collaboration with Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo, and Gust. Supposedly, Gust, which is a division of Koei Tecmo Holdings, has worked to improve visuals to make them much better than those seen in Three Houses. According to this rumor, players will control someone with red and blue hair who is also the child of a dragon and will be able to summon characters from past Fire Emblem games. So keep an eye out during the Direct to see if this turns out to be true.

New Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze (Image credit: Nintendo)

There have been rumors going around for over a year now that a new Donkey Kong game is in the works and potentially even being created by the same team that made Super Mario Odyssey. Now, this is just speculation at this point and should be taken with a huge grain of salt. However, it has been a long time since DK got his own game so it's not out of the question that we could get a reveal this summer.

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack DLC

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass (Image credit: Nintendo)

The Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack has brought a bunch of N64 and Sega games to Switch over the last few months. But it's also become the place where subscribers can access DLC from various games.

We've already had Wave 1 of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass release back on March 18, but there are still five more planned waves to come. It wouldn't be surprising at all for the next one to make an appearance during the Not-E3 Nintendo Direct.

Game Boy Emulator announcement?

Game Boy Color (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Earlier this year, a supposedly official Game Boy emulator leaked on 4Chan, however, Nintendo never addressed it. It's hard to say for sure whether this emulator — which had files for Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance titles — is real or not. However, data miners did look into the code and found that if it is really fake, someone did a heck of an impressive job at tying it back to NSO codes and Nintendo studios.

If it's real, the Not-E3 Nintendo Direct 2022 would be the perfect place to make the announcement that dozens of classic games are coming to Switch.

Excited for what's to come

Nintendo has so many fun projects on the horizon and we at iMore can't wait to get our hands on them. Big franchises like Pokémon, Zelda, Metroid, and Mario will continue to get more games on Switch and we'll be here to cover all of the exciting news when they debut.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.