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Nintendo Directs are online presentations produced by Nintendo where news about upcoming video games, events, and other things concerning the company are relayed directly to its fanbase. They began on October 21, 2011, with only Japan and North America receiving the presentations before expanding to other regions. Worldwide directs were presented by Satoru Iwata until his death in 2015, after which Yoshiaki Koizumi took up the position. Meanwhile, regional directs are generally hosted by that branch's CCO or marketing head. Nintendo Directs are known for not being scheduled too far in advance, with announcements that one will be aired usually coming no more than two days in advance. The only exception to this are the ones done for the yearly Electronic Entertainment Expo, thanks to Nintendo always maintaining a "Tuesday at 09:00 Pacific Time" slot at the trade show. These two facts combined result in both a lot of predicting when the next one will happen and a concentrated two-day burst of hype when one is announced.


    Types of Nintendo Directs 
  • General Directs: Cover a wide variety of games and topics over the course of twenty minutes or more. On occasion, there may be one or two particular titles that are given extra focus. There is also the Nintendo Direct mini, which, as the name suggests, it is a shorter variant.
  • Specialized Directs: Focus on a particular title or franchise.
  • Nindie Showcases/Indie World: Technically seen as a different web series by Nintendo, these focus on upcoming titles made by independent developers being released on the Nintendo eShop. Similar are Partner Showcases, which share news on third-party games in general.
  • E3 Digital Event: Or Nintendo Direct @ E3. Or Nintendo Spotlight E3. Or Nintendo Direct E3. In any case, since 2013, Nintendo has forgone the usual E3 stage press conference format in favor of having a Nintendo Direct in conjunction with Nintendo Treehouse Live; a three-day showcase of recently announced titles hosted by members of Nintendo of America's localization team, with in-depth gameplay footage, interviews with developers, and an extra announcement or two.

The show can be viewed on the Nintendo eShop, YouTube, Twitch, and the official Nintendo website. An extensive list of every Nintendo Direct ever can be seen over here.

Microsoft and Sony would create their own equivalents in the following years: Inside Xbox starting in 2018 and State of Play in 2019, respectively.


Bringing the following examples directly to you:

  • Art Shift:
    • Done occasionally to promote certain games, such as Iwata having a "paper border" when presenting Paper Mario: Sticker Star, and a LEGO Iwata showing off LEGO City Undercover.
    • Perhaps most notable with Tomodachi Life, which prominently features Mii versions of Nintendo executives, and even opens with a Mii version of Bill Trinen.
    • The E3 2014 and 2015 Directs also engaged in this, with the former having animated sequences by the guys behind Robot Chicken, and the latter having Muppet versions of Iwata, Miyamoto, and Reggie in place of live action appearances.
  • Ascended Meme: The second Doug Bowser was announced as Reggie's replacement at Nintendo of America, the Internet began pointing out that he had the same name as Mario's nemesis. Later, during the E3 2019 Direct (the first where Bowser was presenting), he's introduced by having the actual Bowser appear before Doug Bowser arrives complaining about a "mix-up".
    Yoshiaki Koizumi: Are you two related?
    Doug Bowser: No, but we get that a lot.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: When Yohiaki Koizumi introduced Doug Bowser, he spoke Japanese, while Mr. Bowser spoke English (and King Bowser growled).
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Directly to you" as part of the introduction.
    • "Please take a look" when introducing the reveal trailer for a major new Nintendo-published game.
    • "Please understand" at the end of apologies for product delays and issues. Was retired upon Iwata's death.
    • "But before we go", or some variation thereof, referring to the final announcement of the Direct, usually internet-breaking ones.
  • Dream Within a Dream: At the end of the Tomodachi Life Direct Bill dreams that he is standing at a pier when a giant Reggie head rises from the sea. He is then awoken by Reggie, only to be awoken again this time by a production-crew member who tells him that he passed out.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first few general Nintendo Directs were plain, with just Reggie, Shibata, or Iwata explaining a game or product against a white background. Most of them also differ from region to region. It wasn't until roughly midway, estimated around the E3 2013 Direct, that had a more unified look with beats of lively presentation that is more similar to the tone of modern Nintendo Directs.
  • Foreshadowing: This is common when Super Smash Bros. is involved, due to the Massive Multiplayer Crossover nature of the games allowing for hints for future content. For example, the August 2018 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct used the Animal Crossing-based Smashville and Luigi's Mansion stages to highlight the new "stage morph" feature. The following September 2018 Direct was bookended by announcements for new installments in both series.
  • Large Ham: The Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 50-Fact Extravaganza is hosted by the game's announcer who is just as hammy as in Smash.
  • Lost in Translation: The Doug Bowser joke doesn't quite translate well into Japanese, as Bowser the character is named King Koopa over there. The Japanese version of the Direct has notes during the scene for those not in on the joke.
  • Memetic Hand Gesture:
    • Putting both of your hands at the sides of your face and pointing outward with them when saying the phrase "directly to you."
    • Raising a hand to snap your fingers while saying some variant on "Let's switch." Or just finger snapping when introducing a Switch game.
  • Retool: The April 12, 2017 Direct saw the debut of a headline-centric presentation format that delivers information in a more fast-paced, trailer-focused manner; this is in sharp contrast to prior Directs, which would spend some time after every trailer both discussing what they just showed and building up what we're about to see. Red and white also became the predominant color scheme over blue and white.
  • Running Gag:
    • People staring at fruits and vegetables. It started with Iwata staring at a bunch of bananas in the E3 2012 showcase, later that year Bill Trinen stared at a tangerine in the same way, and yet again with LEGO Iwata holding a carrot.
    • Bill stealing Reggie's Donuts.


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