Since it’s January, a topic of discussion that tends to pop up around this time is when the next Nintendo Direct will be. That’s not much of a surprise, especially since fans are always curious as to what Nintendo has in store. It’s not out of the question for a new presentation to happen as we start the new year so that we can get a better idea as to what’s planned from a first and third-party perspective.
What is a Nintendo Direct?
If you’re somehow stumbling into this post without knowledge of what a Nintendo Direct actually is, we thought we’d give you a brief introduction. To put it simply, a Nintendo Direct is a presentation in which it shares new information directly with fans.
Nintendo Directs have been around for over a decade with the very first presentation airing on October 21, 2011. They have evolved over time in terms of their content, style, and presentation.
With major events during the Switch era, typically we see a host at various points to open and close the show and they often introduce some of the bigger segments. Late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata was the host for many years, but these days it tends to be either Yoshiaki Koizumi or Shinya Takahashi. Also for the general Directs, a different narrator covers various games in a quickfire manner.
Something worth noting for the big Directs is that the content can differ by regions. There have been many instances where a certain title, including a brand new announcement, is covered 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 biggest of the bunch. These tend to be announced a day or two in advance, are live streamed, and show off a ton of games from both Nintendo and other companies.
Here’s a brief rundown:
- “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 not announced in advance, that has first and third-party news
- Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase: only for third-party news, was mostly used in 2020 due to the coronavirus but one did appear in 2022
- Topic-specific Nintendo Direct: usually focusing on one specific game, movie, franchise, etc.
Pokemon Presents and Indie World Showcases are often labeled as Nintendo Directs by some fans, but in reality aren’t associated with the official branding – this is a common mistake. While they have the style of Directs, they are their own thing. There has never actually been a “Pokemon Direct” or “Indie Direct”.
If we’re looking strictly at the main presentations, the longest Direct happened on February 17, 2021, and clocked in at 50 minutes and 45 seconds. Something to keep in mind that lengthier presentations don’t always translate to more announcements. Some fans would even argue that some of the best reveals have happened during shorter ones.
When is the next Nintendo Direct?
Looking at the history of Nintendo Directs since the middle of the Switch era, there are typically three major presentations throughout the year. The first is held in Q1, often in February, but January and March are also possible.
The second Nintendo Direct we’re likely in for tends to happen in June to coincide with E3. However, we’ve seen clear disruptions to that – notably in 2020 and 2022. There was nothing at all in 2020 likely due to the coronavirus pandemic, and 2022 only saw a Partner Showcase, which was probably due to the cancellation of E3.
As for the last one of the year, it always happens in September. Announcements are usually made just ahead of the Tokyo Game Show. Over the years, Nintendo has never broken the cycle of September presentations.
We should note that it’s ultimately futile in predicting when a new presentation will air. Although fans will often look at patterns from past years, Nintendo always operates to the beat of its own drum. Even if a Direct is expected at a certain point, there’s no guarantee that one will air.
When the next presentation is announced, we’ll be sure to let you know. You can find the official website here.