Why the E3 Snub Is What We Should All Want 

by Tyler Ohlew - April 25, 2013, 3:26 pm PDT
Total comments: 28

Taking the Direct approach is nothing but good news.

It wasn't long ago that E3's fat, sore-ridden, bloated body washed up on shore gasping for air. "Good riddance," the enthusiast press yelled, "nothing but a bunch of hooey anyways!" Gamers echoed those statements. "Such an immature event," they wrote on their forum of choice, "it was nothing but a chance for publishers to wave their cash around, tell us what to care about." 

Sadly, E3 was able to muster the strength to push itself back into the ocean as if nothing had happened at all. 

So here we are now, faced with Nintendo forgoing the E3 of old. Unfortunately, the statements aren't the same. A lot of doom and gloom has taken its place. E3 is suddenly the most important thing in the world, and Nintendo is said to have made a rash decision. 

Nintendo has come out to soothe us, though, addressing our concerns. "Don't fret, pet," they whisper in a motherly tone. "All our announcements are coming..." they stopped to put on a pair of white gloves, "direct to you!"

So why all the fuss? Is this not all we want? Game announcements are the entire reason for tuning in. Does it matter how that's delivered to us? Is the scramble to find a working stream on any number of sites that appealing? 

What is especially irksome to me is the sudden business savvy many tune in to. "Well," they hurumph, "without an E3 presentation, the press won't care! Now no one knows what's going on but hardcore Nintendo fans!" So, since when has the press cared about Nintendo? And if it's the mainstream press you're talking about, they're gonna have their hands full of GamePads just as usual. Nintendo us still addressing the press, but they're placing their efforts on giving writers hands-on time. If an outlet only covers Nintendo's horse and pony show, that's not an opinion that deserves to be heard. 

We should have seen this coming. After every Nintendo Direct we're left wondering, "Damn! What are holding back for E3?" Turns out, nothing. We're getting the E3 experience all year long. Let those other two battle for headlines on this one special day. I'll happily take a steady stream of excitement over one day that becomes a blur and things get lost in the shuffle (I'm sure our E3 attendees will back me up). 

So is this the right move for Nintendo? Absolutely. They can take all the time they need to drum up excitement or showcase particular titles. It's different, yes, but isn't THAT Nintendo? I'm positive an eShop game could get bankrolled for the cost of appearing at E3. And if its games we want, this decision does not put us at a loss.

Talkback

joshnickersonApril 25, 2013

Since most coverage of E3 over the past few years has been devolved into "Which Company Won/Lost E3" pissing matches, I'm surprised Nintendo didn't do this sooner.

HairyChestApril 25, 2013

Perception is key.

When the mainstream load up yahoos main page and see "sony and microsoft unveil the next generation" thats what perception they will have. It will devalue nintendo.

As a hardcore nintendo fan im happy with nintendo directs which cut out all the mumbo jumbo, but as to the success of nintendo, i want to see them pull every stop to get themessage of the wii u out there.

E3 would have been key in rebranding the wiiu to make it relevant to the rest  of the population.

Sad to see this announcement

joshnickersonApril 25, 2013

Quote from: HairyChest

Perception is key.

When the mainstream load up yahoos main page and see "sony and microsoft unveil the next generation" thats what perception they will have. It will devalue nintendo.

As a hardcore nintendo fan im happy with nintendo directs which cut out all the mumbo jumbo, but as to the success of nintendo, i want to see them pull every stop to get the message of the wii u out there.

E3 would have been key in rebranding the wiiu to make it relevant to the rest  of the population.

Sad to see this announcement

The mainstream "devalued" Nintendo a long time ago. Their loss.

SonofMrPeanutApril 25, 2013

I definitely support how much stock Nintendo is putting into these Directs and and agree that E3 has been devalued over the years as a source of news, much more informed by the spectacle.  In the end, Directs are the most efficient way of conveying the content we all want out of those conferences with minimal fluff, and it's a testament to how "direct" the communication link is now between a company and their customer base.


That all said, there is one downside to taking a Direct-only approach for the public:  Only those currently interested in Nintendo and their hardware watch them, or at the very least those who pay attention to the wider video game industry.  Understandably, these people are still a mere fragment of the people Nintendo could be reaching, whether those people aren't convinced the software they want is there/it's the version to buy or they haven't even heard of the Wii U (or that it's not an accessory). 


There's one solution that comes to mind, and that's a massive advertising overhaul on Nintendo of America's part.  Marketing did wonders for the first Wii, appearing on everything from Bus Stops to the "Wii Would Like To Play" ads to a spot on Oprah.  If NoA put in the marketing effort, they could move more units.  It's really as simple as spreading awareness, at least for now.  More importantly, advertising needs to stay strong for future titles so that if a person doesn't bother with Directs or game news sites after buying their system they can still hear about new potentially interesting releases.


I know it's been a while since Reggie went on Jimmy Fallon, so that would be an easy bit of publicity to start with.  Hopefully, though, Jimmy doesn't make an error similar to last year when he called the Wii U a Wii accessory.

pokepal148April 25, 2013

at least we can avoid things like this
http://www.sonydefenseforce.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/zelda.gif

broodwarsApril 25, 2013

Quote from: joshnickerson

Quote from: HairyChest

Perception is key.

When the mainstream load up yahoos main page and see "sony and microsoft unveil the next generation" thats what perception they will have. It will devalue nintendo.

As a hardcore nintendo fan im happy with nintendo directs which cut out all the mumbo jumbo, but as to the success of nintendo, i want to see them pull every stop to get the message of the wii u out there.

E3 would have been key in rebranding the wiiu to make it relevant to the rest  of the population.

Sad to see this announcement

The mainstream "devalued" Nintendo a long time ago. Their loss.

No, Nintendo's loss, because Nintendo's depending on the Wii U attracting the mainstream casual audience the Wii had.  That has not happened, nor likely will it happen.

My biggest issue with this decision (I still have a problem with this leading to a lack of mainstream news coverage) comes down to Nintendo's timing.  If Nintendo had announced last year or even as late as January that they were planning on no longer doing E3 Press Conferences, then "whatever."  I find the Nintendo Directs very artificial and forced compared to the live nature of the press conferences, but the Directs have their strong points.  The story would clearly be that Nintendo was going in a new direction and the focus would be on the future relevancy of E3.

Instead, Nintendo waited till late April, when E3 was on the very near horizon; the Wii U has very publicly failed (so far) to either sell software or hardware; and Sony and Microsoft have captured all the media hype with their PS4 and Durango announcements.  NOW the perception is that Nintendo realized they don't have the software or hardware reveals to not be laughed off the press conference stage (especially with their "launch window games" now being the better part of a year late), so now they're plugging their ears and pretending the rest of the industry doesn't exist.  This was very bad timing and typically bad Nintendo PR.  They've given an impression of weakness.

If Nintendo was going to do this, they should have announced it months ago.  And I'd argue they would have done a traditional E3 Press Conference if the Wii U hadn't failed.

Ian SaneApril 26, 2013

If everybody was ditching E3, then I'm fine with this.  But only Nintendo is scaling back and the timing is just the shits.  This risks a diminished Wii U presence in the press right as the other systems get a huge boost.  The implication of that would be that the Wii U, a system that isn't selling and third parties are abandoning like a sinking ship mere months into its life, didn't get the same coverage not because Nintendo intentionally scaled it back but because it doesn't matter and there is nothing to report on.  This re-affirms the idea of the Wii U being a failure and there is no coming back from that no matter what games Nintendo releases.  They needed E3 to set the ship right and get as much positive PR as possible.  They have like a year to establish the reputation of the Wii U and right now it is the worst they've had since the Virtual Boy.  They can't make it up next E3 or next year.  This Christmas will determine everything.  So they pick NOW to fuck with E3?  Unless they literally have nothing to show they risk nothing by going with the same approach to E3 and they risk pretty much the console's entire future in bucking the trend.  They do not have pretty much ANY clout in the console market right now.  It is not the time to experiment with the top gaming press event of the entire year.

joshnickersonApril 26, 2013

Ian and Brood think something Nintendo is doing is a terrible idea and will lead to the complete failure of the company.

In other news, water is wet

StealthApril 26, 2013

its a brilliant move, the people here who disagree just dont get it.

The directs mean more and will get the same press

broodwarsApril 26, 2013

Quote from: joshnickerson

Ian and Brood think something Nintendo is doing is a terrible idea and will lead to the complete failure of the company.

In other news, water is wet

Well, after all the water you're carrying for Nintendo, I'd hope you'd know that it was wet.  :P:

And, incidentally, I don't think either of us think this will lead to the "complete failure of the company", not when Nintendo has the Japanese crutch of the 3DS to fall back on.  But the complete failure of the Wii U? Well, it's certainly been heading that way, but we'll see come the Fall.

StealthApril 26, 2013

^ the 3ds is a global success, and will only grow, the wii u needs software, and its getting directs, prentations, media gets early access, investor meetings

everything is the same but thankfully dogs like you wont see it

broodwarsApril 26, 2013

Quote from: Stealth

^ the 3ds is a global success, and will only grow, the wii u needs software, and its getting directs, prentations, media gets early access, investor meetings

everything is the same but thankfully dogs like you wont see it

Speaking of dogs, perhaps you'd like to go fetch a spell-checker and a book on English grammar as well, because yours is terrible.  :P: :

On the subject of the 3DS, I like my 3DS.  I never play it, but I like it.  One day, I'll get to clearing out my 3DS backlog rather than continually adding to it.  But it hasn't quite caught fire over here in North America like it has in Japan.  Japan's where the handhelds matter, and that's what Nintendo always has to fall back on.

TJ SpykeApril 26, 2013

Handhelds in general are more popular in Japan than anywhere else, but the 3DS is still selling really well in North America too.

Ian SaneApril 26, 2013

Nintendo would do just fine as a handheld company.  Hell I think unifying their console and handheld into a handheld that connects to the TV is the way to go next gen.  The only way a Wii U failure would completely ruin the company is if it flopped and they hung on to it too long before dropping it.

KeyBillyApril 26, 2013

I don't think we have enough information to know whether this is good or bad, but it should at least serve them better than the lackluster press conference they had last year.  It may hurt their image to not hit E3 hard this time, but will it hurt sales?  That is what they care about, and I don't expect them to spend the money just to entertain us.

From the perspective of this Nintendo fan, my only concern is the lack of the fun live atmosphere and spectacle of the big yearly conferences.  Nintendo Directs are better produced and convey information more clearly and with less fluff for retailers and mainstream press.  They will never rival the big moments with cheering crowds from the ridiculous live events, though.

So, a practical business decision that will likely result in a good flow of information to both retailers and us, but we are also losing something less tangible.

Mop it upApril 26, 2013

There's no way to know whether or not it's a good thing without knowing exactly what Nintendo will be showing, but assuming they do have stuff planned then this could be a very good thing. E3 hasn't exactly gone well the past few years.

KhushrenadaApril 26, 2013

Eh. To be honest, the last couple years seem to have resulted in people complaing each time about Nintendo's poor showing anyways. People keep getting way overhyped and then moan that the conference didn't come close to their expectations. Then Nintendo has to make a few extra announcements afterwards to try and appease all these hurt "fans". Personally, I've long gotten over E3 hype. Yes, it's exciting to learn what's being planned or how a title is progressing after being announced awhile ago. But I've long come to accept that Nintendo will only show what it wants not what fans want or wish for so I'm not going to get bent out of shape over it.

Moreover, even at these past E3's where people were declaring who won and sometimes it was Microsoft or Sony, I didn't know how because I didn't watch their press conferences or really care what they announced. I'm not going to buy their consoles and if the game isn't appearing on the Nintendo console I own, I don't care since it doesn't affect me. Whatever big announcements they made, I wasn't aware of them and they didn't have that big an impact and I'm in tune to the gaming world. I don't think it's going to be as big a deal as people make it out to be. People were just getting themselves too psyched up again about E3 and Nintendo has decided to pre-emptively say chill out for once and deflate things before people get too overly jacked up. I bet they end up wowing everybody anyways because now expectations will be low.

Ian SaneApril 26, 2013

I find that a good E3 showing usually is followed by a good year and vice versa.  When I think back to the most disappointing Nintendo E3 presentations they were followed by a weak release schedule.  When Nintendo doesn't do a good E3 presentation it isn't like the execution is the problem (every company seems to dedicate effort to having at least one embarassing segment per year) but the fact that if they show nothing impressive it's because there is nothing impressive in the immediate pipeline.  Like the infamous Wii Music E3 was incredibly unpopular... and that Christmas we got Wii Music and then waited around for months and months while jack squat else got released.  THAT is the problem.  Nintendo doesn't do a poor show when they have some awesome game due in the next 8 months.  If that game exists they show it because that's the whole damn point of the presentation.

"Well their E3 presentation will just go over poorly anyway..."  No, their E3 presentation will go over poorly if they have a weak lineup to show off and that will also mean the Wii U will have a weak lineup for the next year.  E3 actually has real impact on us beyond being informed because it comes down to the games.  No games at E3 means no games period.  The issue is not that Nintendo has a lousy show but that their upcoming release schedule is lousy.  The two go hand in hand, particularly for us Nintendo fans who will dig through the fluff to find out exactly what games are coming, what they're like and when we can realistically expect to see them.

PodingsApril 27, 2013

Some of these comments seem to think that Nintendo will not be at E3, and won't be showing the Wii U to press at this event.


They Will.


They just won't be hosting the hour-long, on-stage, lights-smoke-n-mirror show this time around.

S-U-P-E-RTy Shughart, Staff AlumnusApril 27, 2013

Quote:

It wasn't long ago that E3's fat, sore-ridden, bloated body washed up on shore gasping for air. "Good riddance," the enthusiast press yelled, "nothing but a bunch of hooey anyways!" Gamers echoed those statements. "Such an immature event," they wrote on their forum of choice, "it was nothing but a chance for publishers to wave their cash around, tell us what to care about."

Wait, what? This never happened. E3 has always been hype as all heck.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterApril 27, 2013

Quote from: S-U-P-E-R

Quote:

It wasn't long ago that E3's fat, sore-ridden, bloated body washed up on shore gasping for air. "Good riddance," the enthusiast press yelled, "nothing but a bunch of hooey anyways!" Gamers echoed those statements. "Such an immature event," they wrote on their forum of choice, "it was nothing but a chance for publishers to wave their cash around, tell us what to care about."

Wait, what? This never happened. E3 has always been hype as all heck.

You don't remember? E3 got cut back, only press, no booth babes, just business. I think it went like that for 2 years. Companies were complaining it was turning into some kind of giant night club. I've only been twice, maybe 3 times now and I can only stand it for maybe a couple hours before I'm ready to go back to my super secret and super haunted parking space.

S-U-P-E-RTy Shughart, Staff AlumnusApril 27, 2013

That's definitely a thing that happened, but I don't believe gamers or the press ever said "good riddance" and to say otherwise is a fib. As a non-stockholder, I've always preferred that game companies jizz as much money as possible into super hype events. It's much more fun and interesting that way.

I've spent several cumulative weeks at E3

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusApril 27, 2013

The press events was always a bit of nice show and tell trainwreaks, but if last year press events are anything to go by Nintendo doesn't have to worry too much. Sony will launch their next gen stuff and the question becomes where are the bloody games as they prattle on about multimedia and social for the next 2 hours lead by fat white bald guys and H list celebs who haven't done porn yet.

I hope Nintendo turns around and invests that money back into the show floor and let the games speak for itself.

MagicCow64April 28, 2013

Quote from: S-U-P-E-R

That's definitely a thing that happened, but I don't believe gamers or the press ever said "good riddance" and to say otherwise is a fib. As a non-stockholder, I've always preferred that game companies jizz as much money as possible into super hype events. It's much more fun and interesting that way.

I've spent several cumulative weeks at E3

Yes exactly! It's a big stupid waste "technically," but is there anything else like it for any other hobby? This feels like replacing roman candles with sparklers.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterApril 28, 2013

When people talk about mainstream press from E3 I honestly don't think it is as significant as people think. I live in LA where the local press drops by for a bit, interviews people and we see it all on the TV later that night. I used to flip through the news stations seeing what they had to say about E3 and what a waste of time that was. Like I said in another thread the only time the press has really focused on video games is when it's something about violence ruining our children or when Wii Sports, Fit and Kinect were introduced. Before and after they give like a 5th of second devoted to what happened at E3 and then real news.

People talk about Nintendo being in their own bubble, but everyone who thinks an E3 presentation turns the general population towards gaming is only kidding themselves. The only people who care about E3 is us, the core gamer. Even people who call themselves gamers aren't even aware of its existence let alone the casuals.

With all that said Nintendo is going to be there with new games and announcements. Tell me with a straight face you want to sit through sales data, lame jokes, and on stage demos? They slow the entire thing down while 99% of us complain they don't move faster cause we just want to see what's next. If Nintendo has a prerecorded message, detailing everything that's coming with back to back trailers and service announcements lit up on the screen in the Nokia theater with all the sales nonsense done else where why would anyone not like that and assume any of that will ONLY be revealed during a Nintendo Direct?

Seriously use your brains. If this is Nintendo "throwing in the towel" or the start of Nintendo losing the vast amount of mainstream press that comes from E3(LAUGHS!!!) I will unhappily eat crow.

ZapApril 29, 2013

Quote:

Tell me with a straight face you want to sit through sales data, lame jokes, and on stage demos? They slow the entire thing down while 99% of us complain they don't move faster cause we just want to see what's next.

Now they can do 90 minutes worth of Reggie/Iwata skits while scrolling the year's game announcements along the bottom of the screen. Win-win.




Iwata: Reggie, the milk? Why didn't you buy some more yesterday?
Reggie:

Wii U Music Announced. PS4 and Xbox 4 Sales Hovering Around Zero; 'Will Sony/Microsoft Go Third Party?', Analysts Wonder. Pokemon-Related Seizures Top 200k, Worst Since 1999. Syrian Rebels Enjoying Mustard Gas BLT.

Iwata: But you promised!
Reggie: Hey, you can't do that! Don't you know who I am?
Both:

TJ SpykeApril 29, 2013

Quote from: Zap

Quote:

Tell me with a straight face you want to sit through sales data, lame jokes, and on stage demos? They slow the entire thing down while 99% of us complain they don't move faster cause we just want to see what's next.

Now they can do 90 minutes worth of Reggie/Iwata skits while scrolling the year's game announcements along the bottom of the screen. Win-win.

LOL, I hate to say that I would probably enjoy that

pandaradoxApril 29, 2013

I hope this works like it should. 


When everything is bunched together, it becomes a ranked list of games/announcements.  I think doing the shorter bursts will help separate everything so they're not competing as much for the spotlight.  It's like the prize at the bottom of the cracker jack box.  Too many prizes at once can be bad.


I just want me some games.  Nintendo's the Willy Wonka of gaming, so naturally, they're going to get criticized regardless. 

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