Nintendo Direct is a continuous series of web-based video presentations where Nintendo would reveal details on upcoming hardware and games. It was an amazing idea that’s been working superbly for the company since the broadcasts started in 2012, with social media changing every Nintendo Direct broadcast into an eagerly-anticipated event that blows up social media.
Nintendo Direct is so beloved partly because the people hosting it are not paid celebrities, but people from Nintendo and its affiliated developers. Nintendo Direct feels genuine: the people involved really love games, and are as excited to talk about gaming as you are to hear what’s going on.
This Thursday was the first long Nintendo Direct in quite a long time. It has been a noticeably long time between shows for one main reason: Satoru Iwata, Nintendo President, who would often host the show, suddenly died early in July.
Iwata was a big part of Nintendo Direct: Several of the presentations would start with him waving to the viewers, saying hello to them with a radiant, gentle warmth that made him stand out amongst his executive-level peers. He’d take part in silly skits, smile and even apologize when necessary – his “Please understand” when informing viewers about something such as a product delay rapidly became a meme. Actually, a lot of Iwata’s Nintendo Direct imagery made him a constant face in several game-related discussions.
Understandably, there was anticipation from the announcement that there would be a Nintendo Direct this week: could the show possibly manage to fill Iwata’s big shoes? Yes they did, and quite spectacularly.
Although Iwata was the main figure in several of the previous North American Nintendo Direct broadcasts, this time Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo America President, and Bill Trinen, longtime member of Nintendo’s product development team. However, Iwata’s absence was not ignored. Reggie started the broadcast acknowledging that this was the first Nintendo Direct without Iwata, and thanked fans for the waves of love and support received since his death. The European Nintendo Direct also began the same way.
However, the team did not dwell too long on this, knowing that Nintendo Direct is about fun Nintendo things. Everything viewers have come to love about Nintendo Direct was still there: enthusiastic, friendly presentations, new game footage, announcements and weird little skits.
Overall, it was an exciting lineup and presentation, and while Iwata will definitely be missed, it is obvious that Nintendo Direct still has the power to melt the hearts of nerds the world over. Nintendo has a good thing going on here, and it’s amazing to watch it make a return is such magnificent form.