Last year’s E3 2020 ended up being a bust due to the global pandemic, but this year E3 2021 is going ahead full steam. The all-virtual event will be quite different from previous years, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be chock full of exciting gaming announcements and trailers.
Here at Android Authority, we’re just as hyped as the rest of you, so we decided to channel excitement into this E3 2021 wishlist. It covers our hopes and expectations for Nintendo, Xbox, and a host of third-party publishers. Let’s get to it.
Related: PS5 vs Xbox Series X — which next-gen games console should you buy?
E3 2021 at a glance
Before we get to the full wishlist, you should know some basic details about E3 2021. This year is the 26th edition, and the first to be held all-digitally. It will run from June 12-15, and anyone who wants to attend can do so free of charge.
So far, some big names like Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, and Konami are confirmed for attendance. Sony is noticeably absent, although the company previously opted out of the 2019 and 2020 editions (before it was canceled) as well. Other publishers like Square Enix aren’t confirmed to be attending the official conference, but may still release new trailers around the same time frame.
With that out of the way, let’s get to our E3 2021 hopes and predictions.
E3 2021 wishlist and predictions
1. Breath of the Wild sequel
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly two years since Nintendo announced the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild back at E3 2019 (trailer above). Since then, it’s largely been radio silence.
Still, it’s probably the most anticipated upcoming Nintendo Switch game there is at the moment, and what better time to announce an official release date than E3 2021?
The game was alluded to at the February 2021 Nintendo Direct, but the most offered up was the statement, “development is proceeding smoothly and we should be able to bring you some information this year.”
Hopefully, that means the long wait is nearly over. Even if it’s just another trailer with a 2022 release date, any news would be good news for Zelda fans.
2. Nintendo Switch Pro
Breath of the Wild was Nintendo’s killer launch title for the Nintendo Switch, so in a way, it makes sense that the sequel would launch alongside some new hardware.
This “Nintendo Switch Pro” or “Super Nintendo Switch” or whatever we want to call it has long been rumored, but if those rumors are correct, it’s drawing close to a release date. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see a 2021 release date, but hopefully Nintendo will at least acknowledge its existence.
See also: Nintendo Switch Pro — what we want to see in an upgraded Switch console
We have a separate wishlist for this new hardware, but suffice it to say that there’s plenty of room for improvement. Even minor things like Bluetooth audio support and improved Joy-cons would be nice, although obviously we’re hoping for some suped-up internals or even new 4K-ready hardware in the dock.
3. Metroid Prime 4
Before we move on from Nintendo there’s one more major title that we’re hoping to see at E3 2021, and that’s Metroid Prime 4. While the game was first announced at E3 2017, development essentially restarted from scratch in early 2019 when Nintendo decided it didn’t meet their internal standards.
That was more than two years ago now, so it’s about time the world gets a taste of what the revamped sequel entails. Even if it’s just a trailer, it would be great news for fans of Metroid Prime, who haven’t had a new game in the series since 2007. That’s two whole consoles ago, for those keeping score.
4. Halo Infinite
Of all the items on our E3 wishlist, this is the only one that’s all but guaranteed. Halo Infinite was set to be the cornerstone title of the Xbox Series X launch last year, but delays due to the pandemic put those plans on hold.
The initial reveal was reportedly set to take place at E3 2020, but after the event’s cancelation, it was instead announced via livestream. At the time, the gameplay trailer was largely panned, but hopefully a little more time in the oven has helped smooth out the edges to avoid another catastrophic release like Cyberpunk 2077.
E3 2021 would be the perfect time to reveal more about the game and set a firm launch date for later in 2021. If it lands sometime around holiday 2021, it would easily be one of the biggest releases of the year.
5. Psychonauts 2
Although it’s not at the same level as Halo, one relatively minor title we’re hoping to see at E3 2021 is Psychonauts 2. The mind-bending platformer was partially crowdfunded back in 2016, and we got our first look at the game back in 2018 (trailer above).
Since then, its developer Double Fine has been acquired by Microsoft and Xbox Game Studios. This (and other factors) meant the game was delayed to 2021, with the addition of an enhanced Xbox Series X edition. Thankfully, it won’t be an Xbox exclusive and will still come out on other platforms. We expect to learn more about the game and see a final release date at E3 2021.
For RPG fans, one of the most exciting upcoming games is Bethesda’s Starfield. It’s the studio’s first new IP in over 25 years, and it looks to provide a gritty sci-fi experience that’s unique from Mass Effect and other sci-fi RPGs.
That said, we don’t know much. The trailer above doesn’t show much at all, but with the game in development for over a decade, we should see something at E3 2021. Like a few other developers on the list, Bethesda was acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, but that shouldn’t change much for Starfield. At the most it means it will be included in Xbox Game Pass on day one.
7. Elder Scrolls 6
In November it will be a full decade since the release of Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, so it’s high time Bethesda gave us at least a peek at what the next game in the series will have in store. We’re not asking for a release date, but at least a trailer would be nice. Even some news on the setting or a subtitle. Literally anything, please.
All we know so far is that the game is in development, as it was confirmed at E3 2018 (trailer above). As mentioned above, Bethesda has since been acquired by Microsoft, which could mean that it’s now an Xbox exclusive, at least for consoles. With Starfield (hopefully) coming out in 2021/early 2022, that should at the very least free up some development bandwidth for Elder Scrolls 6.
8. Elden Ring
Elden Ring is yet another game that has been announced at a past E3 only to be followed by radio silence for years. In this case, it was announced back in 2019, and it has some serious pedigree behind it. The game is being directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki of the Souls series, with worldbuilding by George R.R. Martin, author of the Game of Thrones books.
That alone is enough to get fans hyped. It was voted the most anticipated game at last year’s Game Awards, despite no further trailers dropping in 2020. Like other FromSoftware games such as the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, it should provide challenging RPG gameplay, but this time with a fully open world to explore.
9. Grand Theft Auto 5/6
Rockstar Games has been milking GTA 5 for nearly eight years now, and its popularity doesn’t seem to be dying down. We already know that a next-gen version is coming later this year, so a new trailer and release date are all but guaranteed for E3 2021.
However, what we’d really like to hear is some news on GTA 6. We don’t expect the game to come out for at least a few more years, but a reveal trailer for a truly next-gen GTA would be one of the most significant announcements of the year.
10. Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2
While Square Enix isn’t a confirmed attendee of E3 2021, the company is very likely to capitalize on E3 season with its own “Square Enix Presents” event around the same time period. And as it happens, that very nearly coincides with the June 10 release of the suped-up PS5 version of the FF7 remake, titled Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade.
As such, we’re hoping to hear some news about the next installment. We know that part two has been in development since 2019, but don’t expect to hear any concrete release details. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a trailer at best, with a 2022 (or even 2023) release date.