For the longest time, E3 has been for many people about one thing. Well, three. The three major press conferences from each platform holder.
This year, there won't be three. Nintendo is sitting this round out. Sort of.
Citing the success of its Nintendo Direct events, and a desire to focus its presentations for different sections of the market, boss Satoru Iwata has said at today's investor Q&A that instead of staging a single major press conference intended for everyone, the company will instead hold a number of smaller events at E3, such as one for distributors and one for Western press, which will be behind closed doors.
"We [have] 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", Iwata said during the meeting. "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."
Iwata himself won't be making the presentations.
As for how information is going to be distributed to the consumer/fan at home, Iwata says the company is still looking at the best way to do this, and will announce more concrete plans at a future date. Japanese fans following at home will get their own Nintendo Direct during E3.
Given the fact the company released its new console last year, and that this year's E3 will be dominated by Sony and Microsoft's newer machines, it's perhaps understandable, if also a little sad. Some of my - and yours, Im sure - best E3 memories are of the big Nintendo conferences, whether for good or bad.
Hopefully these smaller events can include some form of executive cosplay. Or manic drums.
You can find Nintendo's comments on the matter in their entirety below:
In the past we invited reporters, investors and analysts, industry partners, such as software publishers, and distributors who attended E3 to our large-scale presentations. We also used them as a communication tool in which we broadcast our presentations on the Internet to reach out to video game fans around the globe.
I believe that many are expecting us to host a similar event this year. On the other hand, since we set out on new endeavors such as Nintendo Direct two years ago in October, we have been paying special attention to the fact that different people demand different types of information from us. For example, as video game fans are looking for information about games, it seems that they are less interested in sales figures that investors and analysts on the other hand attach much greater importance to, and distribution partners are looking for information on how we are going to market our products in the immediate future.
At previous financial briefing sessions we announced information about our products, showed videos and even uploaded the recording of these events onto our website, but given that we now have an established method such as Nintendo Direct, we feel that we will be able to deliver our messages more appropriately and effectively by doing so individually based on the various needs of different groups of people.
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. Many people are certainly very interested in learning more about the Wii U titles that we are going to announce. We will use E3 as an ideal opportunity to talk in detail mainly about the Wii U titles that we are going to launch this year, and we also plan to make it possible for visitors to try the games immediately. 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.
There will be one closed event for American distributors, and we will hold another closed hands-on experience event, for mainly the Western gaming media. Also, I did not speak at last year’s presentation, and I am not planning to speak at these events at the E3 show this year either. Apart from these exclusive events for visitors, we are continuing to investigate ways to deliver information about our games directly to our home audience around the time of E3. We will share more information about them once they have officially been decided.
During the E3 period, we will utilize our direct communication tools, such as Nintendo Direct, to deliver information to our Japanese audience, including those who are at this financial briefing, mainly focusing on the software that we are going to launch in Japan, and we will take the same approach outside Japan for the overseas fans as well.