Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, a longtime fixture of the gaming giant's E3 presence, will not be at this year's show, Cindy Gordon, Nintendo of America's vice president of corporate affairs has told Kotaku. She downplayed any cause for alarm.
"You won't be seeing Mr. Iwata in person at E3 next week," she wrote in an e-mail. "He's been instructed by his physician not to travel overseas in the immediate future, and so he will not be making the trip to Los Angeles. Please understand that it is business as usual for Mr. Iwata, and he continues his normal duties as president of Nintendo Co., Ltd. while he remains in Japan. As always, he will be actively involved in all of Nintendo's activities at the show."
Nintendo's presence at E3 hasn't required as visible a role for Iwata of late. The company shifted from the longtime E3 tradition of doing live stage shows in favor of presenting their biggest news in pre-recorded videos, hosted at least in part by Iwata.
Reporters at the show, myself included, would typically see Iwata walking around in Nintendo's massive two-floor booth, generally meeting with press and members of the gaming industry.
Nintendo did not share any further details about the nature of Iwata's health issue, though the phrasing that he "not travel overseas in the immediate future" suggests it is a temporary one and not cause for alarm even if the Nintendo boss will be missing the biggest gaming event of the year.
Look for full coverage of Nintendo's E3 showings starting this Tuesday at noon ET when their "Digital Event" video presentation starts streaming news and footage of Wii U and 3DS games and announcements.