Yesterday, Nintendo caused ripples in the gaming world by announcing it would be dispensing with the annual Nintendo E3 press conference this year. Hearts broke. I admit that I was a bit sad when I heard the news, since every Nintendo E3 press conference I’ve been to has been filled with spectacular announcements of games I will most definitely love. Now, however, after the initial smoke has cleared, I believe this is the smartest decision Nintendo could have made.
First of all, the company doesn’t actually need to gather everyone in the Nokia Theater for a big Nintendo E3 press conference. It’s nice and a good way to kick off E3 each year, but it’s plentiful Nintendo Direct presentations have made it obsolete. Practically every other month, Nintendo is holding some big event online, for the entire world to see, showing off what it has planned for the 3DS and Wii U. In fact, Nintendo just held a huge 3DS-themed Nintendo Direct on April 17, 2013. If it schedules a Wii U-centric Nintendo Direct in May 2013, perhaps on May 20 or May 22, 2013, to steal Microsoft’s thunder, we’ll be all set in terms of announcements.
The Nintendo Direct presentations are just more efficient. Everyone has immediate access to the announcements. You don’t have to wait for journalists to write things up and the live streams Nintendo offers are quite reliable. They’re shorter than a Nintendo E3 press conference, taking up less time. Plus, they focus on exactly what you want to see and here – a brief trailer, basics and release information.
More importantly, doing away with the Nintendo E3 press conference makes room for special, smaller media events for distributors and press. This may not seem like a big deal to you, the gaming public, right now, but it will come E3. See, Nintendo’s booth is what I like to call a hot-zone at E3. While Microsoft and Sony’s booths get busy, Nintendo’s is always ridiculously busy. Every year I’ve attended E3, I’ve had no trouble getting to play a game at a PS3, Vita, PSP or Xbox 360 demo station. I may have to wait five minutes, but that’s it. There is always a wait time at a Nintendo demo station at E3, even on the last day of the event. The only way to avoid it is to make an appointment, and even then you may have to wait for someone who’s in the midst of a demo to finish their experience.
Nintendo’s plan for a smaller media events is better for everyone. It means journalists will be guaranteed hands-on, quality time with the latest Wii U and 3DS games, without having to worry about being rushed. We’ll be able to play uninterrupted to provide the best previews possible, taking notes and perhaps even having access to developers and Nintendo representatives to answer any potential questions.
While the loss of the annual Nintendo E3 press conference is a sad event, I think it will give rise to something bigger and better. The company has already proven its Nintendo Direct presentations are an effective way of getting messages about new media to the people. Plus, the creation of a smaller, media event means there will be better, hands-on coverage of new games for people who aren’t at E3 to read. This move will turn out to be a good one, and I’m sure everyone will see that once E3 2013 begins.