On the night of February 17-18, for the first time in a long time, Nintendo held a large-scale broadcast of Nintendo Direct. The show was held in the already standard online format and gathered about three million people at the screens at the same time. We have chosen the main thing from the reviews of players and industry experts.
About the event
Recall that Nintendo Direct is an annual presentation at which the Japanese corporation talks about gaming and technical innovations. That’s just the last full-fledged Direct took place back in September 2019. From that moment on, if Nintendo organized events, it made them either small or thematic. For example, in honor of the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros.
The current Direct was dedicated to the games that should appear on Switch in the first half of 2021. The show lasted 50 minutes, and during that time Nintendo made a lot of announcements. Among the most notable are Splatoon 3, Mario Golf: Super Rush, Star Wars Hunters, the reissue of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and the remaster of Legends of Mana. The Japanese also introduced new Joy-Con controllers, designed in the style of Zelda.
The event caused mixed feelings among the gaming community. Well—known journalist Geoff Keighley asked his Twitter followers to rate Nintendo Direct 2021 on a scale from A to D, where A is excellent and D is terrible. As a result, a little more than a third of people were extremely dissatisfied with the last show. About the same number called him just bad. Nevertheless, about a quarter of respondents said that Direct was not ideal, but still good enough.
How would you grade today’s Nintendo Direct?
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) February 17, 2021What was good
According to analyst Daniel Ahmad, Nintendo always presents games much more successfully than its competitors. Its advantage is the announcements of titles that will be released in the very near future, and not in a few years. For only one project, the release is usually postponed to a later date.
Ahmad also drew attention to the fact that a console version of the “Star Wars” game from Zynga was shown for the first time at the Nintendo show. Previously, the American publisher released only mobile titles, but recently decided to switch to a cross-platform strategy. Star Wars Hunters is a direct proof of the company’s words.
This is something I've wanted to see more of for a while.
Zynga is bringing its new F2P game not just to mobile, but to the Nintendo Switch as well.
Switch is also a handheld gaming device and we've already seen proven success with previous F2P games on the platform. https://t.co/Ivrseq8rYb
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) February 17, 2021
Another analyst, Mat Piscatella, noted the physical version of the indie hit Hades presented on Direct. According to him, she is able to bring the title to the mass market and attract the attention of an even wider audience to the game.
Love the physical release for Hades. It will help with mass market discovery and brings the game to a larger potential audience. pic.twitter.com/bVexBqRlQE
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) February 17, 2021
Gaming journalist Jason Schreier was also pleased with the latest releases. He singled out the indie adventure Outer Wilds and the tactical role-playing game Project Triangle Strategy. At the same time, Schreier was a little upset by the lack of news on the Hollow Knight: Silksong metroidvania, which was announced two years ago.
Outer Wilds is one of those games that everyone must play, whether or not they're into most video games, so I'm stoked it's coming to Switch
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) February 17, 2021
However, the third part of the Splatoon shooter collected the most positive reviews. However, the title will appear on Switch no earlier than 2022.
SPLATOON 3 is real!!! pic.twitter.com/eqPWTNZ9g5
— The Game Awards (@thegameawards) February 17, 2021
What was wrong
A significant part of the criticism fell on Direct for the fact that the show showed mostly indie projects and only a few really big titles. And the lion’s share of the presented is ports and remasters. But the biggest disappointment for Nintendo fans was that the Japanese did not announce either a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, or a continuation of the Metroid series.
Name a better combination than Nintendo and charging silly money for old games
— Mike Jennings (@mikejjennings) February 18, 2021
So far it seems like Zelda and Metroid are celebrating their anniversaries and birthdays the same way the rest of us have recently: they aren't.
— Brian Altano (@agentbizzle) February 17, 2021
By the way, the editor of the VGC edition, Andy Robinson, said that before the end of the year, Nintendo will release two other Zelda remasters on Switch. It’s about The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. There are also rumors that the company plans to hold a new Direct later, which will be dedicated to the birthday of The Legend of Zelda franchise.
For those disappointed with the Skyward Sword remaster, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess are 100% coming this year. So that's at least one good 3D Zelda.
— Andy Robinson (@AndyPlaytonic) February 18, 2021
The deceived expectations about the event as a whole also turned out to be a problem. They say that the players were hoping for something grandiose after a year and a half break from Direct. According to them, the duration of the presentation hinted at this — 50 minutes instead of 20 or 30, as it often was before. But formally nothing has changed.
with over a year since the last Nintendo Direct, this is likely Nintendo's most watched event of all time, with over 3 million concurrent viewers around the world simultaneously disappointed
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) February 17, 2021
They also noted the not entirely honest position of Nintendo itself. The Japanese company promised to tell only about those games that will be released during the first half of 2021. Whereas in fact, some of the games shown will be released in the second half of 2021, and at least two titles (Splatoon 3 and Project Triangle Strategy) at all – in 2022.
Nintendo: This Direct will be about games coming in early 2021.
Also Nintendo: Splatoon 3 coming 2022. Bye.
— Tamoor Hussain (@tamoorh) February 17, 2021
Separately, the comment of Halley Gross, the screenwriter of The Last of Us: Part II, was published. She compared the new part of Mario Golf shown during the Direct with the latest game of Naughty Dog studio. Gross did not express her opinion about the Nintendo presentation, but she definitely attracted attention.
Last of Us Part II coming to Switch?? ??️♀️? pic.twitter.com/iDcdOdaZYr
— Halley Gross (@Grosstastic) February 17, 2021
Note that the unrest around Nintendo Direct 2021 did not manifest itself in the stock market. At the time of writing, one share of the corporation is being sold for ¥68.3 thousand ($648). On the eve of the presentation, its price was only slightly higher — ¥69.2 thousand ($ 657).