I did something I rarely do this week: I watched a Nintendo Direct. To be honest, I have a weird relationship with the Big N's pre-recorded events: I've watched the E3 ones before and I've always felt that, for everything they gain in pacing and structure, they lack the kind of energy that you can only get with a live audience. But on a random Wednesday afternoon in April, I found a new appreciation for the format.
The complaint I've always unfairly levelled at Nintendo Directs is that they're preaching to the choir, but I guess I've finally realised that's kinda the point. And in doing so I've finally wrapped my head around them, I suppose: I still prefer the more traditional press conferences for big conventions – especially now that platform holders seem to have figured out how to get to the point – but I like the sense of community that the streams create.
Let's be brutally honest here, there was nothing mind-blowing in this week's Nintendo Direct, but it was a great drip-feed of information for fans. The stream touched on everything from new games and release dates to Amiibo and peripherals. It offered a snapshot of Nintendo's coming quarter with a fan-heavy focus, and while the contents were unlikely to entertain the masses, the information was lapped up by the 100,000 concurrents on the channel that I was watching.
And I actually think that's pretty cool. The thing I liked about it was that it brought the hardest of the hardcore Nintendo fans together for 30 minutes of trailers and teases; the news came thick and fast, and it understood its audience. And it got me thinking: why doesn't PlayStation do something similar? If you look at the last couple of weeks, for example, it's dated both Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and WipEout Omega Collection – reveals which wouldn't feel out of place in a Nintendo Direct-esque stream.
I've really been thinking about it for the past 24 hours or so, and I guess I realised that the PlayStation Blog serves much the same purpose as a Nintendo Direct, just in a different way. I mean, the website's targeted pretty much directly at fans, and acts as an official forum for Sony to communicate information with its most engaged userbase, as well as a venue for third-parties to promote their upcoming games. That's pretty much what a Nintendo Direct is, right?
Now, don't get me wrong, I love the PlayStation Blog and don't want to see it go anywhere – but I wonder if there would be a little more pomp around some announcements if they were delivered via a pre-recorded livestream like a Nintendo Direct. There's no reason the information can't immediately be expanded upon on the PlayStation Blog once the stream's over, but I'm really enamoured by this idea of the community coming together for one big infomercial.
Many won't remember, but I do vaguely recall reporting on something exactly like this when the PlayStation Vita was new: it was a Japanese stream named Vita Heaven or something like that. The feedback wasn't very good so Sony never revisited the idea, but I do think it would be cool if it had another attempt; it'd be really nice to see the Japanese giant pull the community together to drop some trailers and release dates as part of one well-presented, pre-recorded stream.
And hey, I have to hold my hands up: it'd be good for traffic, too.
Would you watch a hypothetical PlayStation Direct? Are you a fan of the Nintendo Direct format, or do you think there are better ways to get information out? Grumble about how Sony always copies everything in the comments section below.
Would you watch a PlayStation Direct? (107 votes)
Yes, I'd take a seat in the virtual front row
Hmm, it'd depend what else I was doing
No, I'd just catch up on the news later on
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