Well, that was some Nintendo Direct, wasn’t it?
the nearly 40 minute video presentation was stuffed to the gills with new information about all the games coming out the rest of 2019 and even a few launching next year. Luigi’s Mansion 3 continues to surprise with the amount of content is has, Animal Crossing was in there, Smash Ultimate had more than a few surprises, a new “free-to start” Kirby game, Game Freak’s non-Pokemon game, and so much more.
Seriously, if you missed it, check it out. It’s worth your time:
Nintendo has become the master of shadow dropping content (though EA got in on the fun this week with the new Plants vs Zombies game) and they didn’t disappoint here either. They released a lot of stuff either that day or within 24 hours including a new co-op Kirby game, Banjo-Kazooie Smash content, and the highly requested Super Nintendo Online service.
While all of that was really exciting, this marketing method that Nintendo chooses to do is a double edged sword. It’s incredibly fun when it happens, but you also have long gaps of time that fans are left hanging for information. I think the last major news drop outside of small trailers or whatnot for Nintendo was basically E3.
I’ve written about it in the past, but there’s definitely value to announcing things this way. On the other hand, it can hurt games as well. Take Game Freak’s new and non-Pokemon game, Little Town Hero. I think the last time we saw it, it didn’t have an official name yet. The Direct gave us the first real look at the game and the surprising revelation that it launches BEFORE Pokemon Sword/Shield in October. Considering that’s next month, there’s still a ton of details we don’t know about this game. It looks interesting, but outside of the combat, how is the game going to play? Nintendo now has a very tiny window to explain what it actually is. To me, it’s an uphill battle especially when you factor in that October is traditionally a very busy month for game releases. With limited tiny and money, how many people would reasonably pre-order this on blind faith alone?
I also want to give a special mention to the second presentation Nintendo featured right after its Direct. This one was entirely devoted to Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Banjo-Kazooie’s introduction.
What I absolutely loved about this presentation is that it didn’t feel corporate or restrained. Instead, it felt like we were watching a bunch of friends playing the game. One of the hardest working developers int he industry, Masahiro Sakurai, was once again on hand to guide us through everything Banjo and what’s next.
What I wasn’t expecting were the jokes, laughter from the crowd, and just the jubilent time everyone was having. Like I hinted at above, it struck me more as if I was watching a stream or YouTuber playing. Sakurai even mentioned Microsoft and hilariously told people to go play Banjo-Kazooie on the Xbox which caused more than a few people to chuckle in the crowd.
Such an innocuous comment really shows you the power and influence Sakurai has because soon after ‘Xbox’ was trending on Twitter Japan.