Since it’s January, a topic of discussion that tends to come up at this point is when the next Nintendo Direct will be. That’s not too surprising, especially since fans are always curious to see what Nintendo is up to. It’s not out of the question that a new presentation will happen as we start the new year so we can get a better idea of what’s planned from a first and third party perspective.
What is Nintendo Direct?
If you’ve somehow stumbled into this post without knowing what Nintendo Direct actually is, we thought we’d give you a brief introduction. Simply put, Nintendo Direct is presentation where he shares new information directly with fans.
Nintendo Directs have been around for over a decade, with the first presentation airing on October 21, 2011. They have evolved over time in terms of content, style and presentation.
With the main events of the Switch era, we usually see the host at various points to open and close the show, and they often feature larger segments. The late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata ran it for many years, but these days it tends to be either Yoshiaki Koizumi or Shinya Takahashi. Also, another narrator for General Directors covers various games in rapid fire fashion.
For large Directs, it’s worth noting that content may vary by region. There have been many cases where a certain title, including a brand new announcement, is covered in the Japanese broadcast but not in the North American/European versions.
What kind of performances are there?
Even when a new Nintendo Direct is announced, it’s not always in the way you might expect. However, the “overall” presentations are always the biggest. They are usually announced a day or two in advance, streamed live, and feature many games from both Nintendo and other companies.
Here is a brief overview.
- “General” Nintendo Direct. usually about 40 minutes or more, with first and third party news; the biggest of the bunch
- Nintendo Direct Mini. a shorter presentation, often unannounced, that has first- and third-party news
- Nintendo Direct Mini. Partner Showcase. for third-party news only, mostly used in 2020 due to the coronavirus, but one appeared in 2022.
- Theme specific Nintendo Direct. usually focuses on one specific game, movie, franchise, etc.
Pokemon Presents and Indie World Showcases are often labeled as Nintendo Directs by some fans, but are not actually associated with official branding; this is a common error. Although they have the style of the Director, they are their own. There was never really a Pokemon Direct or an Indie Direct.
Looking strictly at keynotes, the longest Direct took place on February 17, 2021 and lasted 50 minutes and 45 seconds. It’s important to remember that longer presentations don’t always translate to more announcements. Some fans would even argue that the best discoveries happened in shorter periods.
When is the next Nintendo Direct?
Looking at the history of Nintendo Directs since the middle of the Switch era, there are usually three main presentations throughout the year. The first is held in Q1, often in February, but January and March are also possibilities.
The second Nintendo Direct we’ll likely have will tend to be in June and coincide with E3. However, we have seen clear disruptions to this, especially in 2020 and 2022. There was nothing at all in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and 2022 only saw a Partners show, likely due to the cancellation of E3.
As for the end of the year, it always happens in September. Announcements are usually made just before the Tokyo Game Show. Over the years, Nintendo has never broken the September presentation cycle.
We must note that it is ultimately pointless to predict when a new play will be shown. While fans often look to patterns from years past, Nintendo always works to the beat of its own drum. Even if a Direct is expected at some point, there’s no guarantee it will air.
We’ll be sure to let you know when the next presentation is announced. You can find the official website here.