E3 2013: Nintendo’s Wii U Showcase too much of a press conference

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Nintendo E3 2013 Wii U ShowcaseIt was an idealized notion. No Nintendo E3 2013 press conference. No, instead, a Wii U Showcase, during which members of the press could come in and play the newest games. It seemed like a good idea, but as Jeremy Hill and I were ushered into the back room. After a painful session, in which a virtual Mario attempted to rally the crowd, Reggie Fils-Aime took the stand. He said Nintendo wanted us to “Play the games.” No sitting on our behinds for an hour while people lectured us, no, actually try them out.

That isn’t how it went.

The Nintendo E3 Wii U showcase wasn’t an opportunity to play new games. No, it was just an altered press conference. For half an hour, Jeremy and I stood in front of a small stage, while snippets from the Nintendo Direct aired earlier today ran and said virtual Mario picked out the “pretty princesses” in the crowd. Then, we stood for another half hour as the developers behind Super Mario 3D World, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Pikmin 3, Bayonetta 2 and Mario Kart 8 spoke about a few key features of their game. You know, just like they do at a press conference.

Then, the group of at least 200 people were set loose on the booth. Since Jeremy has the mad camera skills, I told him to stay near the stage while I sidled up to a Super Mario 3D World demo station. Instead of journalists getting perhaps an hour and a half, from 10:30-12pm, to just “play the games”, we had only about an hour. Especially since Nintendo had to put a halt to everything around 11:40pm to introduce the Wii Fit Trainer to the new Smash Bros., as well as show a Mega Man vs. Mario match.

Thanks to careful time management, Jeremy and I each were able to play two games, but still. When Nintendo says people are coming in early to “play the games”, that’s exactly what we should get to do. We shouldn’t have had to sneak into lines and have long waits to only play two games in a 40 minute period.

I’ll admit, I was in full agreement when Nintendo decided to ditch its E3 2013 press conference. Do a Nintendo Direct. Have a showcase. Except the showcase wasn’t. It was instead a normal, everyday press conference, only this time instead of being in a comfortable arena with a clear view, I had the pleasure of standing for an hour straight, view obscured by people ahead of me, watching a demo station screen to actually see footage, and (not)enjoying the body aroma of a long haired, blond man who was three inches shorter than me and had obviously forgotten to shower, use deodorant, or both.

Next year Nintendo, bring back the press conference. The E3 Wii U Showcase wasn’t all that. I think the lines were actually shorter last year on day 3 of E3 2012 at Nintendo’s booth, than they were at this showcase. Let us listen to developers talk in comfort, okay?

Site [Nintendo at E3 2013]

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