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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.note 


    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: Technically seen as a different web series by Nintendo, these focus on upcoming titles made by independent developers being released on the Nintendo eShop.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 hams it up just as much as he does in the games.
  • 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.
  • Teasing Creator: Towards the end of the December 2013 installment, Iwata declares that there's only one game left to showcase... and ends up actually showing two: Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Mario Kart 8. This is due to the Smash trailer starting off with an animation of Kirby landing on Rainbow Road and interacting with the racers, as if he's going to be in Mario Kart. Iwata then admits that the Smash trailer starting off with that scene was an unplanned coincidence on Masahiro Sakurai's part.
  • Wham Episode: Pretty much the definition of many episodes for one reason or another, with them being listed on the "Moment of Awesome" page over here. But the two biggest ones, filled to the brim with wham moment after wham moment, are:

Example of: