Nintendo cancels its E3 press conference

Nintendo-Wii-E3-conference-feature-largeWith Nintendo being the secretive company it is, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo has always been an oasis of information for the company’s many fans. From its debut in 1995 to the company’s Wii U reveal in Los Angeles two years ago, E3 has always been a spectacle for Nintendo’s fans, a guaranteed source of new announcements. It hasn’t always been pretty – the nightmare of 2008’s Wii Music reveal still looms large – but it’s always been interesting. From E3 2013 on though, fans will have to be happy with a low key Nintendo, as the company won’t be holding its tent pole press conference any longer.

“At E3 this year, we are not planning to launch new hardware, and our main activity at E3 will be to announce and have people experience our software,” explained Nintendo president and now Nintendo of America CEO Satoru Iwata during a presentation to investors on Wednesday, “As a brand new challenge, we are working to establish a new presentation style for E3.”

“First, we decided not to host a large-scale presentation targeted at everyone in the international audience where we announce new information as we did in the past. Instead, at the E3 show this year, we are planning to host a few smaller events that are specifically focused on our software lineup for the U.S. market.”

For anyone that remembers thrilling moments like the shocking announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess at the end of E3 2004, the lack of a major Nintendo press conference may seem sad, even crazy. Aren’t events like this meant to raise awareness of what Nintendo is developing? Isn’t it the central pillar of the company’s marketing machine?

Not any longer. In fact, the marketing and promotion culture that was built up around E3 is quickly dying in the modern game industry, as the release schedule comes to rely more on the full calendar rather than only holiday releases. Consumers interested in gaming are engaged all year round, so why only bombard them with new announcements at a single event when you can better control your message through consistent, smaller announcements closer to a game’s actual release.

Nintendo’s been moving away from the old E3 standard for a long time now. Those who tracked the company in 2012 should not find this announcement surprising. Unlike in 2006 when it announced the release information of the Wii at E3, Nintendo did not confirm the price, release date, or launch line up for the Wii U until September 2012, opting instead to discuss a select few Wii U games. Announcing NintendoLand in the big press conference setting actually worked against Nintendo, as the audience was confounded by the presentation. Just look at how Digital Trends reacted at the time.

Still, it is surprising to see Nintendo bow out of E3 less than two months before the show begins, especially with the intense criticism that the Japanese company has been receiving over the Wii U. Unveiling an impressive library of coming titles could help dispel the fears of fans and investors and get things back on track. Switching to a smaller, more intimate venue for press and streaming events online might help to better show the details of the games, but it won’t have the bomb dropping impact that a massive, well received event could have. 

Now more than ever Nintendo needs to prove itself a lithe, adaptable company as capable of changing the way it does business as maintaining a level of creativity in its products. Nintendo has never been afraid to take risks. Maybe this one will pay off. 


I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.

Nintendo Direct 2019: Here are all the biggest announcements

Nintendo revealed new information on multiple upcoming Switch games during its February 13 Nintendo Direct. Here are the biggest announcements, including information on Fire Emblem and Zelda.

You can play these classic Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One

The Xbox One supports backward compatibility with a growing library of Xbox 360 games. These are the best Xbox 360 games that are backward compatible with Xbox One, including action games, shooters, and more.

These are the best weapons for taking down mutants and bandits in Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus is a very difficult game, and choosing the right weapons is key for surviving the post-apocalyptic Russia that 4A Games has created. These are the best weapons in Metro Exodus.

Exotic Masterwork Weapons are in Destiny 2. Here's how to upgrade

Destiny 2's new Masterwork gear offers a number of special bonuses. Here is what you need to know about it, including how to find the gear in the game and even create it yourself.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Razer Game Store to shut down at end of February, less than a year after opening

The Razer Game Store will shut down on February 28, less than a year after it opened. Games purchased from the digital store will continue to work, but purchased keys will need to be used before its closure.

Niantic promises to make Pokémon Go less troublesome for homeowners

Niantic is looking to settle the lawsuits filed by angry homeowners who were affected by hordes of Pokémon Go players trespassing on their properties. Niantic promised to resolve complaints within 15 days, among other things.

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC

Kingdom Hearts 3 on Nintendo Switch reportedly never going to happen

Kingdom Hearts 3 for the Nintendo Switch will likely not happen, according to Game Informer's senior editor, Imran Khan. Square Enix is reportedly considering an alternative in bringing the franchise to the console.