Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nintendo Drops Big E3 Conference In Favor Of Talking Directly To Fans

It has been revealed that Nintendo will not be doing their traditional E3 conference this year and as expected, the internet blew up with Gamer's/Press who are deeply divided over the announcement. To be clear, Nintendo will still have a major presence at E3, they are simply opting out of the rather expensive and increasingly needless big press conference. While these big shows were fun in the past and did a lot to get people hyped, their usefulness has become questionable in recent years as E3 is becoming more of a flashy joke causing many to question if the show is even needed anymore. In the past, Nintendo would withhold their big announcements for E3 which had an impact on their ability to stay in the gaming press and more importantly in the public eye. With the impact of social media, a game company is better served by staying up to date and revealing major titles throughout the year instead of "blowing their load" at one event.

This brings us to Nintendo Direct which has brought about a huge shift in the way Nintendo feeds info into the wild. While the Nintendo Direct presentations are only a couple years old, they have provided a more effective and personal delivery of Nintendo news directly to Gamer's. The Nintendo Direct videos have really flourished this year with many describing the roughly 30 minute (almost monthly) videos as mini E3's due to their game focused nature and ability to surprise and delight fans with exclusive game reveals such as the Wind Waker HD reveal in January. Nintendo has stated their intention to use this program to deliver their big game news this year instead of E3. It's a brilliant move that will keep their games fresh in the minds of Gamer's which is very important since things such as Twitter has degraded many peoples minds to that of a goldfish in terms of remembering anything. The funny thing is that some are saying that Nintendo won't be covered as much on the big sites but ironically, the Nintendo Direct presentations get more coverage than anything ever seen at past E3 due to their frequency and ability to surprise.

The mainstream gaming outlets are attempting to paint a picture of Nintendo loosing face and having an inability to compete with Sony and Microsoft. The truth is that they don't like Nintendo feeding their big news directly to fans and independent news sites because it makes them less relevant since the news no longer has to be filtered through the eyes and opinions of these "professional journalists". We are in the middle of a major shift for the Big N that will completely change how Nintendo interacts with its fans as well as developers. We will likely see a more progressive company that embraces its online interaction with Gamer's through things such as Miiverse and their Nintendo Direct videos. With the major shifts in the company such as Mr. Iwata becoming President of both NoA and NoJ, their welcoming attitude towards indie developers and news delivery through Nintendo Direct, we are witnessing what I would refer to as "Nintendo 2.0". It's going to be an exciting ride so stay tuned.

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