Four things to look for from the first post-Iwata Nintendo Direct

Nintendo has been in a state of flux since the passing of Satoru Iwata and in the wake of some high-profile delays. Now it is ready to carry on with its first Nintendo Direct since Iwata's passing. Here are a few items that viewers should be on the lookout for.


It's been a long couple of months for Nintendo, in an uneasy period of transition following the untimely death of former CEO and spiritual leader, Satoru Iwata. While the company has been active in some areas, it has been noticeably quiet in regards to directly addressing its customer/fan base. That's understandable, given that was where Iwata so often took center stage.

But Nintendo is finally ready to move on and hold its first Nintendo Direct since Iwata's passing. It's set to take place tomorrow and it's difficult to imagine what the company is planning, given that its holiday lineup has either been exhausted or delayed into next year. So what exactly will Nintendo show off tomorrow? Here are a few educated guesses.

The full Xenoblade Chronicles X promotional push begins

Over the weekend, our own Chatty community started thinking about what's left of the major fall releases. Naturally, everyone pointed out the major players: Rise of the Tomb Raider, Just Cause 3, Rainbow Six Siege. Know which game wasn't pointed out? Xenoblade Chronicles X. That's not surprising, given that Nintendo has given the title very little promotion in the past couple of months, with only a single video going up in the last month.

Thursday's Nintendo Direct should finally signal the beginning of the Xenoblade Chronicles X push. Monolith Soft has put a lot of effort into this one, crafting a full open world experience with what's said to be over 60 hours of content. It's a project with such ambition that it's hard to imagine Nintendo trotting it out with no fanfare. And with The Legend of Zelda and Star Fox Zero pushed back to next year, it's pretty much Nintendo's biggest holiday release by default. Speaking of which...

Star Fox Zero update

Star Fox Zero was first unveiled at E3 2015 to a captive audience of the worldwide gaming press. It did not impress. It trudged along to San Diego Comic-Con, PAX Prime, and GameStop Expo. The concerns only continued to grow. Apparently not immune to such criticism, Nintendo decided to delay the game's projected November release.

With nearly two months passed, it's about time for an update on Star Fox Zero's progress. It could be something as simple as a new trailer, but it could also be something more substantial, like some illustrated changes to the game's development. The biggest criticism, by far, has been the game's unfriendly Wii U GamePad control scheme. Will Nintendo address it or will it do a barrel roll and boldly stay the course? Tomorrow's Nintendo Direct should hopefully provide the answers.

Celebrating 20 Years

Nintendo sure loves its anniversaries and it loves celebrating milestones for full years at a time. (See: The Year of Luigi, for precedent.) So it must be an exciting time for the company to see that a major anniversary is nearly at hand. Next year will mark 20 years of the Pokemon franchise. So while tomorrow's Nintendo Direct will likely contain a final push to Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, it should also mark the march towards something much grander.

Look for at least one reference to Pokemon's 20th anniversary, whether it's something as simple as a passing reference or some quick footage of next year's Pokken Tournament. It's also possible that Nintendo will give its Nintendo Direct viewers a first glimpse at the upcoming Pokemon GO. But don't look for a reveal of the next new generation Pokemon game just yet. That's the kind of announcement that will likely be saved for the spring/summer. Tomorrow should merely act as the warmup.

The Ballot Results Are In?

Almost two months have passed since the last Super Smash Bros. update for both Wii U and 3DS, so it's almost time for another patch and possibly another batch of DLC. That raises quite an important question: What are the results of the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot launched back in April?

There has been no word on the results of the ballot since it closed back on October 3, leaving legions of Smash Bros. fans to stew over who might have come out on top. Tomorrow's Nintendo Direct will almost certainly offer some sort of update on who emerged as the top vote-getter, or at the very least, reveal that the votes are still being tabulated. The heavy favorite remains Shovel Knight, a rumor that's largely helped by the fact that the character is still slated to receive his own Amiibo.

The time for speculation should hopefully be at an end and tomorrow's Nintendo Direct should finally give some answers. If not, at the very least, maybe fans will learn about a new patch.

The next Nintendo Direct kicks off at 2PM PT tomorrow. Shacknews will be on top of any news that emerges, so be sure to join us.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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