Nintendo’s 2016 line-up of games is so barren that it is only bringing The Legend of Zelda to E3 this year. So, that should make for an interesting Nintendo Direct, right? Nope, the game publisher is skipping on its now expected showcase video and will only do a Treehouse livestream to fully reveal the long-anticipated action-adventure title.
A press release received from the console maker Thursday states, “To ensure [E3] attendees are able to truly experience the freedom of exploration the game offers, The Legend of Zelda for Wii U will be Nintendo’s focus of the show this year, and will be the only playable game in the company’s booth via extended demos.
“Nintendo’s kick-off to the E3 show happens at 9 a.m. PT Tuesday, June 14, when Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime introduces Nintendo Treehouse: Live, which will be dedicated to a day of live-streamed gameplay of The Legend of Zelda. This will be the world’s first in-depth look at the game, which will also include commentaries by Nintendo developers.”
The publisher also plans to stream gameplay and coverage from the E3 show floor via the Nintendo Twitch channel. What’s missing from the announcement and from the company’s E3 page is any mention of Nintendo Direct.
The video event has taken the place of the the company hosting an E3 press conference in recent years and has generally been well-received when it’s been packed full of new titles for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Unfortunately, the queue of upcoming games for the home console is exceedingly bare for the rest of 2016. The handheld line-up is slightly beefier though with Pokemon Sun and Moon plus Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, and Monster Hunter Generations planned for the rest of the year.
The big news, and likely reason for no a Direct video, is the absence of the Nintendo NX. The new console is targeting a March 2017 release, implying neither it nor its games will be far enough along to showcase during E3.