Sony And Microsoft Can’t Match Nintendo Directs

This week saw Sony and Microsoft both getting in on the video news show format. Sony had its first PlayStation “State of Play” video, focused on PSVR titles. And Xbox put out the first episode of its “[email protected] Game Pass”, a mouthful of a name for a presentation that included both announcements and developer interviews. Neither of them were as good as a Nintendo Direct.

Xbox has been on the video scene for a while with its monthly “Inside Xbox” showcases, which tend to go on too long and be too light on news. While these video announcements can be charming and even occasionally useful, they don’t hold a candle 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 thought of these new direct-alikes, and why we like Nintendo’s presentations so much.

Here’s an excerpt from our conversation; you can watch the whole video above.

Paul: There is something nice about a pre-recorded segment where it’s like, “Here’s the thing. Roll the trailer. We’ll move right on to the next thing.” They’re usually like 30 to 45 minutes.

We’re seeing a little bit of a transition phase because it started with Reggie, then Satoru Iwata (rest in peace), and now we still have Yoshiaki Koizumi, who has been doing a lot of the Switch stuff.

So I’m curious how [Directs] can move forward and get better? But it already works so well as is. I don’t think you really need to tweak the formula.

Riley: I don’t love Nintendo Directs because I’m not really a Nintendo person, so I often feel behind when they’re announcing something and everyone around me is excited and I’m just like, “What’s this game?”

I really like the indie ones because they’re games that I’ve heard of. Most of my Switch library is games that I already own on my PC, so I’m always like, “What new games can I own for multiple platforms!?”

But yeah, they are very straightforward. There isn’t a lot of back and forth cheesy chatter. It has the same stiltedness of something being obviously scripted, but it’s very short. The topical thing is great, because I know when there’s a Pokemon Direct, I’m like, “That will all be gibberish to me. Yay!” But I’m prepared for that.

Paul: Yeah, it sets your expectations from the get-go. Even if it’s [just] a decent Direct, there’s some pretty cool stuff in there.


  • It’s a tale as old as time, when Nintendo does something right the other two (and others in the past) are quick to emulate, often with mixed results.
    Movement controls, customisable avatars, hand helds, force feedback vibration, L & R buttons, trigger buttons, D-pad etc

    • Now if only Nintendo could make their platforms handle networking, voip, build quality, 3rd party support and pricing structure as well as their competitors.

      A story as old as time 😛

      • Yeah I didn’t say they do everything right ha ha.
        But for a company that isn’t seen as a much of a competitor anymore, when they nail something everyone takes notice.

        I’ve actually pondered if Nintendo could compete at the same level as the big two anymore and to be honest I don’t think it’s ever going to happen.
        As companies they are chalk and cheese and perhaps the biggest benefit Nintendo has retained in the modern era is that they don’t need to be a market leader to survive, they just need a market.
        On the other end it’s no secret that PS needed the lions share of the pie to become profitable on its own and one of the biggest kept secrets is that even with a fair share, Xbox has a long history of being a money sink for the company, hence why the aggressive search for additional revenue streams nearly sunk them this gen.
        (And why their latest strategy takes a leaf from Nintendo in that if you can’t own a market, you find or create new ones and try to cover the gaps others miss)

        • I thought Xbox was profitable now days? I know the first one made massive losses nearly every quarter bar one (Halo 2 release) because I got in an argument with someone and looked up MS’s financials (yeah, I was arguing on the internet. Right of passage for any teen back then).

          • Admittedly I haven’t followed it for a while.
            I figure since they’ve always been extremely cagey about its profitability and that investors have always been critical of the gaming division that they would be shouting it from the rooftops if it started paying out.

            Personally I also figured they were done with this gen and all their recent tactics and strategies are more about building trust and consumer support in preparation for the next.

      • Build quality? They’ve got the most robust hardware there is. They’ve had no red ring of death or yellow light like MS and to a lesser extend Sony. They had a problem with one of the joy cons drifting around launch but I can’t think of any other issue they’ve had.

        I’ve got several old systems that are rock solid and come out now and then but then that’s just an anecdote.

        • I hate the soft plastics that the Switch is made of, it feels horrible (on top of being for people with tiny hands).

      • Get you chucked build quality in there just to have a shot at Nintendo, but you should have picked something else. Nintendo consoles are usually very robust machines. I still have working NES, N64, GCN, WIi and Wii U consoles + DS Lite & 3DS that are fine too.

        Their 1st party games are usually super high quality – though 3rd party support was initially strong on the Wii U but died, seems to be coming back to Switch.

        • Putting aside that I thought it was clearly meant in good humour; the Switch is made of soft plastics, which feel really odd in this day and age.

          Also their 3rd party is mostly made up of games from either earlier in this gen or late last gen. They need to work on really broadening what a mobile platform with physical controls can mean for 3rd parties in order to get more devs on board.

    • Specifically whilst not as popular the Kinect as a piece of technology far outstrips the Wii’s capabilities, they just released a new hardware update to it with better performance and SDK.

      • Exactly, problen there was the technology far outstripped the bloody Xbox too, it was a V8 engine in a Lego car, completely wasted, remember project Natal?
        All we ever saw was what you could do with the Kinect……on a PC.
        It’s the perfect example too, an extremely advanced piece of technology surpassed by a Bluetooth wiggle stick ha ha.

        Shame, it could have been amazing (not to mention a good base for some interesting VR games)

  • This is no joke Sony and Microsoft cannot match against Nintendo’s Nintendo Direct because the Nintendo Direct is more better than Sony’s Playstation State of Play livestream and even better than Microsoft’s [email protected] Game Pass Direct.
    Nintendo has been hosting a lot of Nintendo Directs over the years and this year is no exception.
    Rumours are suggesting that we should be getting our last Nintendo Direct on April 11 in honour to farewell Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime who worked at Nintendo for 15 years and for Doug Bowser to take over as the new Nintendo of America president.
    Sony and Microsoft if you’re listening your livestream directs are no match against Nintendo’s Nintendo Direct and your livestreams were absolutely not good enough eat your heart out Shawn Layden.
    Nintendo if you’re listening keep bringing us some more Nintendo Directs and keep those Nintendo Switch units selling and software sales going you guys are awesome.

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