Update on March 16 at 6 a.m. Pacific time: Nintendo has confirmed an Indie World Showcase for 10 a.m. Pacific time on March 17 (which is March 18 in Japan).
The next Nintendo Direct is in the works. The publisher hasn’t confirmed the event yet, but it’s in the final stages of putting the video presentation together. That’s based on what we’re hearing as well as some other indicators. Expect a Nintendo Direct soon. The company is penciling in one of its indie showcases (like the one it released around GDC 2019) for next week — likely March 18. A full, general Direct will follow soon after — likely March 26.
Unlike the last two Directs, which focused on specific games (Pokémon and Animal Crossing: New Horizons), the next Direct will take a broader look at the Nintendo Switch’s upcoming lineup. Nintendo’s first-party slate is the subject of many rumors, and I can’t confirm what it will show off. But expect the company to continue relying heavily on remasters and ports.
But Nintendo will also bring in support from third-party publishers and developers. So expect to hear about a wide variety of games that you can pick up for Nintendo’s hybrid home/handheld Switch console through the summer and beyond.
I’ve reached out to Nintendo, but it declined to comment.
What proof is there that the Nintendo Direct is happening next week?
The publisher hasn’t announced the Direct yet, so things could change. And yes, this is absolutely me hedging. But Nintendo is deep into the process of putting the event together based on what I’ve heard. It has decided many of the third-party games it will include in the event. So it’s definitely happening — and almost certainly before the end of March.
The company also updated the Nintendo Direct playlist on its Japanese YouTube account. The last time it did that was a week before the Animal Crossing Direct.
I wouldn’t normally read too much into that pattern. Nintendo doesn’t behave in a consistent manner that is easy to predict. But this is some circumstantial evidence that lines up with everything else.
Finally, Nintendo needs to communicate its lineup — and not even to its fans. The publisher is coming up on the end of its fiscal year on March 31. And investors will want to know how Nintendo plans to keep generating revenue. It could do that with a conference call with analysts and its shareholders. But it’s more likely that Nintendo would actually present its lineup to fans first at this point.
The last general Nintendo Direct was in September. And fans know almost nothing about what is coming to Switch beyond Animal Crossing. A Direct would enable Nintendo to carry some momentum into its fiscal-year end. It could then also point to the Direct as evidence of future revenue during its shareholder meeting in the spring.
If this Direct pans out, we should hear about it early next week.
Updated at 3:45 p.m. Pacific time on March 10: Clarified that Indie World is likely happening March 18, and then Nintendo Direct will happen March 26.