It seems more and more, companies are taking a page out of Nintendo’s Direct handbook, a formula the Big N has perfected for years now. Pre-recorded, Direct-style videos not only reduce the costs of holding a livestream, but can also disseminate information quickly in a 30-60 minute format while generating hype with the buildup to the actual event.
Recognizing these benefits, Sony recently announced its new “State of Play” video series. Microsoft, on the other hand, is apparently seeking to emulate Nintendo’s “Nindies” showcase, a specific Direct that only focuses on upcoming indie titles. Today, the company announced its own version, ID@Xbox Game Pass, “a stream highlighting great indie games coming soon to Xbox Game Pass, premiering March 26 at 9:00 AM PDT.” The stream will be available to watch at the official Xbox Youtube channel here.
In the announcement post on the Xbox News site, Microsoft has outlined some of the titles that will be present in the debut episode, and promises “new reveals, gameplay highlights, and conversations with the developers.” There will be a closer look at some of the games previously shown at E3 and X018 such as Afterparty, Void Bastards, and Supermarket Shriek, among others. Microsoft will also be bringing fans behind-the-scenes at Night School Studio, the developers behind the acclaimed Oxenfree, for a glimpse at their upcoming project Afterparty.
Not much was revealed in terms of the promised “new game announcements”, so it would seem that just like Nintendo, Microsoft is playing its cards close to the vest to optimize viewership and inflate anticipation.
With companies now more willing to buck the trend of conventional live announcements, as observed with this year’s E3, perhaps more of them will be going the route that Nintendo has long practiced. It’s become clear that modern gamers no longer care about the marketing spectacles and stylish set pieces of traditional conferences; instead, they tune in for the only thing that really matters to consumers – the games themselves.