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. 

Gaming

Here are our writers’ picks for the best video games of 2018

Developers showed up with a number of amazing games this year. Each capitalized on something unique but there's always one that outdoes them all. Here are our picks for the best video games of 2018 and game of the year.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Gaming

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Gaming

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
Gaming

Still trying to unlock your main in 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Try these tips

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Nintendo’s biggest entry in the series to date with over 70 characters to unlock, but the process can feel tiresome. Here are our tips to unlock your roster as quickly as possible.
Gaming

How to make a clan in ‘Destiny 2’ and where to go from there

Want to know how to make a clan in 'Destiny 2'? Here's everything you need to know, including how to design your clan's banner, earn extra loot, and help other players with guided games.
Gaming

Ditch the meditation app. 'Katamari Damacy Reroll' is pure gaming zen

Katamari Damacy Reroll brings the magic of the PS2 classic to Nintendo Switch and PC. With updated visuals and the same great, singular loop, Reroll stands the test of time. Katamari Damacy is the ultimate relaxation game.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Gaming

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in 'Destiny 2'? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.
Gaming

Xbox One S vs. PlayStation 4 Slim: Which console is worth your money?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Deals

Check out the best Xbox One deals and bundles for December 2018

Microsoft's consoles are just as capable of streaming movies as they are of playing the latest games. Check out our top Xbox One deals and bundles, which include new and upcoming triple-A games like Battlefield V and Fallout 76.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Deals

The NES Classic is back in stock just in time for the holidays

The NES Classic is back in stock at multiple outlets at its original launch price of $60 in time for Christmas. Retailers offering it online are Walmart, GameStop, Target, and Best Buy -- if you're looking for the perfect holiday gift for…
Gaming

Some ‘Fortnite’ players aren’t too happy with the new Infinity Blade weapon

The most recent update for Fortnite added the Infinity Blade melee weapon to battle royale, and some players aren't happy with how much it has changed the game during competitions.