In a lot of people’s estimation, Nintendo “won” this year’s E3, which is impressive considering the company entered the show with all the forward momentum of a drunken buzzy beetle. Despite trailing in the console race, Nintendo dominated social media, and you’d be hard pressed to find anybody who doesn’t think better of Nintendo of and its products after E3 than they did before. That’s a win any way you cut it.
A lot of Nintendo’s success this year stems from them breaking from E3 tradition, or at least what’s become E3 tradition over the past few years. I very strongly suspect we’re going to see Sony and Microsoft lifting a page from Nintendo next year — I mean, if Nintendo can steal the show with the wounded Wii U, imagine what Sony could do with the same tactics. Here’s 5 ways Nintendo may have changed E3 for the better this year…
The Death Of The E3 Press Conference
E3 press conferences suck. In the long history of E3, how many good ones have there been? Uh, the one where Reggie debuted? The Konami one from 2010 (for purely unintentional reasons)? I spend a decent chunk of almost every day obsessively keeping up with video game news — 90-minutes of new game trailers and hardware announcements should make my skull literally explode with endorphins, but instead I’m usually checking my watch.
Fans questioned Nintendo’s decision to do a pre-recorded video in lieu of a press conference last year, but this year they significantly upped the polish and production values and delivered something that wasn’t just a dry vehicle for new trailers and game announcements, but actually entertaining in its own right. The traditional E3 press conference needs to be taken out behind the barn, and I would be truly surprised if either Microsoft or Sony (or both) don’t jump on the pre-recorded bandwagon next year.
If you only watched Nintendo’s Digital Event, you missed some interesting stuff.
They Held Something Back for the Show Itself
The press conferences aren’t, technically speaking, even part of E3. They’re just pre-show wank sessions. The part where journalists go around and actually play the games, that’s the actual E3. For some time though, you’d be right if you called the actual E3 tradeshow the boring part of E3 week. The press conferences are home to all the big announcements and coolest footage — nothing actually happens at E3 itself.
Nintendo changed that this year. They held off announcement of games like Devil’s Third and Code Name: STEAM for E3 itself, and their demos imparted some genuine information and gave a better idea of how their games played. For the first time in a while, something other than the press conferences actually mattered.