News Article

Nintendo Direct Broadcasts Attracting Around One Million Viewers

Posted by Damien McFerran

Videos proving popular with both core and casual players

The investor Q&A Nintendo held recently is throwing up all kinds of interesting stories. We already know that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata is warming to the idea of smartphones and has intentionally held back Wii U launch titles, and we now have some illuminating figures relating to the regular Nintendo Direct broadcasts.

Iwata told investors:

When we launched Nintendo Direct a year ago, we did not know how many people would care to watch it, but now it appears that as many as 600,000 to 1 million people watch our Nintendo Direct videos in a week.

Because Nintendo Direct can reach out to such a wide audience, we feel that it is definitely worthwhile to devote our energy to continuing our Nintendo Direct endeavours. In fact, each time we do a Nintendo Direct broadcast, more people visit the Nintendo eShop to download game demos and 3D videos, and it has become clear that it also leads to a higher use rate of the hardware, and even higher hardware sales. This convinces us that it is worthwhile to do regular broadcasts.

Iwata also revealed that Nintendo Direct is an important tool when it comes to communicating directly with players, and allows Nintendo to avoid having its message changed or altered by elements of the gaming press.

One important reason why we launched Nintendo Direct is that we had a very difficult problem where new game information that we announced was quickly distorted and then spread before we could put it up on the Internet.

Until recently, we simply had no other choice but to deliver our messages through the media, but today, thanks to the advent of the Internet, watching videos (online) is nothing out of the ordinary, and it has created new ways in which to make announcements.

Fielding questions from the audience, Iwata responded to a statement which suggested that the Nintendo Direct videos were only speaking to hardcore players, and that casual consumers were completely unware they even existed. Iwata refuted this argument:

It would be wrong to say that Nintendo Direct has no effect on a more passive audience who do not actively look for game information. And there are numbers to show that.

The Animal Crossing: New Leaf Direct video (Japanese only) that we broadcast in Japan the other day has attracted more than 1.1 million views. It is not exceptional for a three-minute music video to have 1 million views, but for a 47-minute video, which only explains in detail about a game, this figure is phenomenal, and what’s more, 65% of the views came from smart devices.

This means our audience goes beyond our fans who watch our broadcasts live for information. We can then, for example, attract those who are very interested in the Animal Crossing series but perhaps have no interest in Nintendo Direct, or those who know nothing about Nintendo Direct but heard about the video somewhere else.

Finally, in his typically self-deprecating style, Iwata stated that Nintendo would continue to produce these videos as long as people were happy to watch them:

I do not know when people will become bored with an average man in his fifties talking at length about games, but at the moment it appears that many people are enjoying and paying attention to our Nintendo Direct broadcasts, and while this is the case, we will continue to air them.


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User Comments (22)



SirSmugleaf said:

Well that sounds great: if Nintendo's finding it effective, that means more Nintendo Directs are probably on the way, and that's only a good thing!



WiiLovePeace said:

Awesome! I love the Nintendo direct presentations, they are always both informative & humourous. I'll definitely continue to watch & enjoy them as long as Nintendo keeps making them. I prefer it when its a European one since that talks more about whats happening in my region but I still try & watch them all for the game info & laughs Keep up the good work, Nintendo!



NintyMan said:

Aw, Iwata-san, of course we like watching a man in his fifties talking at length about games! It shows you're a business executive who actually cares about them.

I think these Nintendo Directs are nice. They're like mini E3 conferences, only they can take place throughout the year and perhaps every other week. Nintendo would be wise to keep them up.



Lan said:

That's honestly really surprising. Had no idea there were a lot of people interested in this stuff



Zyph said:

I actually like watching average men in their 50s talking at length about games. LOL! xD Iwata's got spunk y'know!



Chunky_Droid said:

"When we launched Nintendo Direct a year ago, we did not know how many people would care to watch it, but now it appears that as many as 600,000 to 1 million people watch our Nintendo Direct videos in a week." (laughs)



Chunky_Droid said:

But seriously, I liken the Nintendo Direct as a video version of the Playstation Blog, it's a regular thing that keeps going to let you know what's going on with your console, keep up the good work



LavaTwilight said:

I love Nintendo Direct and don't worry, I'll keep watching until I'm well into my 50s (or, hosting them myself )



aaronsullivan said:

I enjoy these. They could be slightly more streamlined and fun, BUT I would make changes incrementally and as the execs feel more and more natural with them it will naturally get better, I'd wager.

Will be great to watch these on a video player on the Wii U that isn't as horrible as the one on the Wii. It's going to be better on Wii U, right Nintendo? The video quality and playback? Better, right? Please!



paburrows said:

I really like these, but I really wish that they would bring back the show on the Wii channel with Alison and Gary/Evil Gary.



Urbanhispanic said:

It's a good way to reach out to the faithful Nintendo crowd as well as those who don't follow and/or know much about them, their consoles and their games. I enjoy them and their stats prove I'm not the only one.



Henmii said:

I may be in the minority, but I rather have 1 kick E3 every year instead on hundreds of lesser Nintendo directs! Every Nintendo direct means a lesser E3 performance!!



triforcepower73 said:

@Henmii Not if nintendo is smart about it. Then they'll hold back their big announcements till E3 and then release nintnedo directs to go more in-depth into the information released.



bezerker99 said:

They are most enjoyable for me! Waaaay better than their presentations at E3. Stick with Nintendo Direct, Reggie!

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