This week, both Sony and Microsoft experienced the video unit format. Sony had its first PlayStation "Play of Play" video focused on PSVR titles. And the Xbox released the first episode of its "ID @ Xbox Game Pass", a mouthful of a name for a presentation that included both messages and developer interviews. Neither of them was as good as a Nintendo Direct.
Xbox has been on the video scene for some time with its monthly "Inside Xbox" showcases, which tend to be too long and too light on news. While these video ads can be charming and even occasionally useful, they do not hold a light to Nintendo's Directs. Directs are usually fun and personality driven, but most importantly, they tend to contain actual news, such as release dates and demos or games you can play that day. Paul and I sat down to talk about what we were thinking of these new direct alikes, and why we like Nintendo's presentations so much.
Here is an excerpt from our conversation; You can watch the entire video above.
Paul: There's a good thing about a pre-recorded segment where it's like "Here's the thing. Roll the trailer. We're just moving to the next thing." They are usually like 30 to 45 minutes. We see a bit of a transition phase because it started with Reggie, then Satoru Iwata (resting in peace), and now we still have Yoshiaki Koizumi, who has made a lot of Switch stuff.
So I am curious how [Directs] can move on and get better? But it already works as well as it is. I don't think you really have to adjust the formula.
Riley: I don't love Nintendo Directs because I'm not really a Nintendo person, so I often feel behind when they are announcing something and everyone around me is excited and I'm like " What is this game? " I really like the Indians because they are games that I have heard of. Most of my Switch libraries are games that I already own on my PC, so I'm always like "What new games can I own for multiple platforms!".
But yes, they are very straightforward. There is not much back and forth cheesy chatting. It has the same silence that something is of course written, but it is very short. The current thing is great because I know when there is a Pokemon Direct, I'm like, "It'll all be gibberish for me. Yay!" But I'm prepared for it.
Paul: Yes, it sets your expectations from get-go. Although it is a decent Direct [just]there are some beautiful, cool things in there.