Since it’s January, one topic of discussion that crops up around this time is when the next Nintendo Direct will be out. That’s not a huge surprise, especially given that fans are always curious about what Nintendo has in store. It is not excluded that a new presentation will take place at the beginning of the new year, so that we can get a better picture of what is planned from a first and third perspective.
What is a Nintendo Direct?
If you somehow stumbled across this post without knowing what a Nintendo Direct actually is, we thought we’d give you a quick introduction. Put simply, a Nintendo Direct is a presentation sharing new information directly with fans.
Nintendo Directs has been around for over a decade, with the very first presentation airing on October 21st, 2011. They have evolved over time in terms of content, style and presentation.
At major events during the Switch era, we typically see a presenter at various points to open and close the show, and they often introduce some of the larger segments. The late Nintendo President Satoru Iwata was the host for many years, but these days it’s more likely Yoshiaki Koizumi or Shinya Takahashi. Also for the General Directs, a different narrator covers various games in a quick fashion.
Of note for the major Directs is that the content may vary by region. There have been many instances where a specific title, including a brand new announcement, was included in the Japanese broadcast but not in the North American/European versions.
What types of presentations are there?
Even when a new Nintendo Direct is announced, it’s not always in the form you might expect. However, the “general” presentations are always the largest of the group. These are usually announced a day or two in advance, streamed live, and feature a ton of games from Nintendo and other companies.
Here is a quick overview:
- “General” Nintendo Direct: usually around 40 minutes or so, with first- and third-party news; the biggest of the bunch
- Nintendo Direct Mini: A shorter presentation, often unannounced in advance, that features first- and third-party news
- Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase: only for third-party news, was mainly used in 2020 due to the coronavirus, but one appeared in 2022
- Themed Nintendo Direct: usually focuses on a specific game, movie, franchise, etc.
Pokemon Presents and Indie World Showcases are often referred to as Nintendo Directs by some fans, but in reality they aren’t associated with official branding – that’s a common mistake. Although they have the style of Directs, they are their own thing. There actually never was a Pokemon Direct or Indie Direct.
If we take a close look at the main presentations, the longest live broadcast took place on February 17, 2021 and lasted 50 minutes and 45 seconds. Keep in mind that longer presentations don’t always result in more announcements. Some fans would even argue that some of the best reveals have come during shorter ones.
When is the next Nintendo Direct?
If you look at the history of Nintendo Directs since the mid-Switch era, there are usually three big presentations over the course of the year. The first takes place in the first quarter, often in February, but January and March are also possible.
The second Nintendo Direct we’re likely to encounter tends to take place in June, coinciding with E3. However, we’ve seen clear disruption — particularly in 2020 and 2022. 2020 probably didn’t have anything at all due to the coronavirus pandemic, and 2022 only had one Partner Showcase, likely due to the cancellation of E3.
The last of the year always takes place in September. Announcements are usually made just before the Tokyo Game Show. Over the years, Nintendo has never broken the cycle of September presentations.
We should note that it’s ultimately futile to predict when a new presentation will air. Although fans often look at patterns from years past, Nintendo always works to the beat of its own drum. Even if a direct is expected at some point, there is no guarantee that one will be aired.
When the next presentation is announced, we will definitely let you know. You can find the official website here.