If there's one thing Nintendo defenders have been stating for the past couple of months more than anything from what I've seen (myself included at times), it's for those clamoring for more Wii U software to hold their tongues until after E3. And in one way or another, we have been right about that. Nintendo has opted to wait until E3 to give us true reveals on several games that were merely announced in a previous Nintendo Direct conference early in the year. Just for consistency's sake, here is the list of reveals without actual game footage.
-Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem
-Zelda Wii U
Now these are just what have been announced. Smash Bros. was revealed much earlier but we are expected to at least see screenshots of the game and Nintendo has stated that there are unannounced projects for both 3DS and Wii U, some even falling into the third party category.
The announcements of these games spread like wildfire and reinvigorated fans of Nintendo and kept a few others somewhat interested. Nintendo Directs that have revealed new games tend to fill me up with an element of excitement. It's really cool for me to see new games that I know I would want to play. And I would argue Nintendo recognizes how much more positively received these Direct shows are than many of their recent E3 shows.
I'll be the first to say it, last year Nintendo royally dropped the bomb at E3, making several bad decisions and few good ones. At first I was sitting there wondering what the hell had gone through their heads. But then I had a moment of clarity; E3 is as much about investors as it is about WOWing people. In this respect, the company showing their stuff on stage have to blend elements together to impress not only us gamers but backers and owners of their company's stock. In this regard, I think Nintendo has lost sight of who to please and how to please them.
So I don't particularly think E3 was very good for Nintendo to begin with at that point. Tell me honestly, did YOU enjoy their previous conference? Because I can almost guarantee that most of the people reading this blog right now jumped up and cried foul the moment that conference was over. The ones before that have been very hit or miss depending on whether or not Nintendo decided to focus more heavily on casual or traditional software.
And just to further my point about last year's E3, Nintendo actually held a smell Direct conference prior to their E3 conference which had MORE new/exciting information about the console. They not only revealed the redesign of the gamepad, now sporting dual analogue sticks that were clickable, but the Pro controller as well which brought some relief to those who did not want to use the gamepad. At the time it was extremely disappointing that this conference wound up so much more exhilarating than the E3 (though to be honest it doesn't take much to do that). Part of the problem is most of the conference was spent by the public waiting for some huge announcement for Wii U that simply never came.
Now we have E3 2013. Nintendo has only new software to show and they will be going up against not one, but two brand new systems that are shrouded in mystery (particularly in the case of the Nextbox). Whether or not those conferences will dazzle the public (which they most certainly will) those are what the public are looking for and will pay most of their attention to and Nintendo has, for once, taken the time to become more aware of the industry and recognize that going head to head with such hardware reveals with nothing but software for a console that's been out for over half a year is probably not going to turn that many heads.
Do I personally believe that? Not particularly. But it would be pretty strange to get more details on the PS4, go to the Nintendo conference and just get game reveals, then go to another conference and see the new Nextbox. This newer approach is not something I totally agree with, but it still makes some sense. There is a slew of factors that seem to have driven Nintendo to this decision. Whether or not it works out for them, we'll see.
But I think there needs to be some clarification as well. I see many people now saying "They're not going to be at E3," or "They're doomed for not having an E3 conference!"
This reaction is understandable. This move is extremely unorthodox on Nintendo's part, but I don't see it as a bad thing necessarily. First of all, they WILL be at E3, but their presentation model is going to be on a smaller scale.Rather than having one big show, they're going to have several smaller ones. That makes sense to me; have multiple shows to expand your audience. Have a show for the fans with Mario and Zelda. Then another for your casual audience, then another for the investors. That way they don't have to cram everything into a single hour block that winds up being awkward and disappointing.
Furthermore, I'd hardly say Nintendo is doomed (just like every other time I've heard it). Nintendo Direct has been a great way for them to spread information about their products and doubt there is anyone on this website who hasn't heard news (good or bad in their eyes) from said shows.
So to sum up, not having a large E3 could prove to beneficial or detrimental, and I'm not going to pretend I know for certain how it will go. I don't feel saying it's the end all be all for Nintendo is all that accurate, but I don't know how it can go without their major presence in the usual show roster. E3 is a couple of months away... I say let's wait and see what happens.