Nintendo Will Not Hold a Press Conference At E3 This Year

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

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Nintendo Booth at E3 2012

After a financial results briefing held by Nintendo today, the juggernaut gaming company will not be holding a press conference for the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year.

Satoru Iwata, who now hold’s NOA’s CEO position,  explained that this decision was made so they could host smaller events  that emphasize software line-ups and hands-on experiences — mainly demos, previews, and trailers — for U.S. markets. There will be a closed event for meeting with American distributors, and an open event for allowing people to try out Nintendo’s products, mainly for the Western gaming media.

For many years, E3 was a communication bridge between Nintendo and the press, industry partners, analysts, software publishers, investors, and gaming fans around the globe, altogether. Nintendo has paid “special attention” with the recent uploads of Nintendo Direct information to address the demands for each party —  gamers who care more about gaming information than sales figures and financial analyses; and business partners and distributors who are focused on marketing strategies to improve sales. Iwata believes that using Nintendo Directs will be a more effective method to deliver information of similar importance as those from E3 press conferences.

2012 Top Moments

Finally, Iwata stated that Nintendo will not release new hardware at this year’s E3, but will use E3 as an ideal opportunity to talk more thoroughly about the Wii U games that are to launch this year, and make it possible for attendees to have immediate access for the games via demo kiosks.

This is certainly a shocking and controversial decision made by Nintendo that will surely disappoint many fans, as E3 has always been a tradition of anticipating big news and surprising hardware and software disclosures.

Given that Nintendo’s E3’s have been quite imbalanced as of recently (at least in my opinion), this move can be beneficial for both gaming and corporate activities. If there’s going to be more frequent Nintendo Directs as a result, then I’m okay with this, as long as Iwata continues dropping bombs.


About Andy Na

Andy was a member at Operation Rainfall since the beginning of its campaigning days. Though something of a troublemaker at the time, he now contributes to Operation Rainfall and shares his love for all things gaming and the visual arts. His favorite games include Xenoblade Chronicles, Kid Icarus Uprising, and No More Heroes. Andy currently holds a Bachelors degree in Cinema, which he uses to pursue filmmaking.

  • Charlotte Buckingham

    Since the demos will still be around, I really don’t see what the big deal is. Sure, they won’t have a stage show, but their news will still get out via the journalists on the show floor. What does it matter?

  • Sadsa


  • Dropping bombs, or holding bananas.

    But it is true that with Nintendo Directs, Nintendo is able to share the sort of information that they’d normally reveal at E3 on a much more frequent basis. In the past, the unveiling of a game like “X” would be prime E3 fodder. Instead, they announced it in a video in January. It still made waves and got people talking.

    The only thing that that an E3 press conference would add is the usual dog-and-pony show that all three console makers have traditionally engaged in. Announcements, awkward stage presentations, random, out-of-place guests, and poorly narrated game demos. I’d honestly be much more satisfied with a series of Nintendo Directs over a press conference built around unnecessary hype.

  • DigDugDude

    Conference or not, we still check the internet daily for news, and as long as they deliver, that’s what counts.

  • Are we still going to get news and screenshots of SmashBros Wii U and 3ds? They said earlier this year that it would be up at E3. Now that this news has hit are they still going to have floor showings/ Coverage? Interesting move Nintendo very interesting.

    • They will still have events for the press to attend at the show. They’re simply not holding a press conference.

  • The only thing that Nintendo Directs can’t do that watching an E3 presentation could is hearing the reactions of the people there. I always like the moments when the audience cheers/oh and ahs.

    • And those have been rather subdued in recent years, what with E3 being more for the investors than the fans.

    • TwinTails

      What about the explosion after Bayonetta 2 was announced? You will see reactions when IGN or GameSpot upload the videos.

    • I don’t get what you’re saying? What videos will they be uploading?

    • TwinTails

      Usually major media outlets upload videos of Nintendo Direct after it’s done broadcasting.

    • There aren’t any live audiences to hear reacting in those Nintendo Directs. That’s what I’m referring to.

  • Conferences these days are not at all exciting and in all honesty nintendo’s conferences sucked badly … sorry nintey. If they are putting more focus on the software line up then by all means … that is the right way to go. Come on nintendo i have faith in you.

  • Xx_Kares_xX

    I feel that because of the internet E3 has been made essentially pointless except for ‘hands on’ things, which, as they said could be saved for smaller more specific events. Honestly I just think Nintendo is ahead of the curb, and that E3 is going to cease to exist within the next decade anyway.

  • Alex

    I think this has been the trend for many years. The original purpose of E3 in the 90s was to convey new products and announcements to distributors. But I think that purpose is gone now and nowadays it’s just about who can make the biggest noise online, and as a result a lot of smaller announcements just get drowned out. Good move for Nintendo, I think.

  • MagmarFire

    I’m okay with this. We already have Nintendo Direct, which is held quite a bit more frequently than E3, and every time it comes on, I feel a surge of hyped anticipation that rivals Nintendo’s presentations at E3.

    I’m kinda stoked about this, actually. This helps cement Nintendo Direct as being a promising channel of communication between the fans and the Big N this generation and beyond.

    • theguyacrossthetable


      there is no point in rehashing info everyone knows already

  • funkzillabot

    Oh, man…..What the hell?

  • Ibi Salmon

    This is not good news at all. Now the spotlight will go to either Sony or Microsoft. Being that this is E3, you should want the spotlight on you, not your competitors.

    How is it that Nintendo thinks that they have the luxury to do this? Aren’t they aware of their situation? If there’s anyone that should be trying to get that spotlight, it’s them.

    • theguyacrossthetable

      but you see… all that spotlight for what? Only a couple of months of glory before everyone (well most but you get my point) just forgets the hype? At least Nintendo ensures that their mini presentations get their point across and keep hype up while before that news was silent and most people just went on with their lives getting hyped for other companies… Now its a faceoff between Microsoft and Sony. but Nintendo already got their shots in.

    • Ibi Salmon

      You don’t get it, do you? This was Nintendo’s chance to prove to the gaming industry and gamers that, despite releasing a console that isn’t as powerful as its future competition and not having the best of sales, they still have what it takes to be a major competitor and a strong force in the industry….and they’re completely blowing it off.

      Nintendo Direct should have been the build up to E3, not a substitute. Announcing a few projects and getting them out of the way so they they can announce the really great stuff at E3. True, the hype will wear off after a while, but at least the industry would have a better impression of Nintendo than the impression it has right now.

      This is the kind of decision I would expect from a company that are at the top of the charts, not a company that’s struggling to market their own console.

      I can’t see this benefiting Nintendo in any way. The last thing they need is to fade in to obscurity. These kinds of choices, at least from what I can tell, are helping to do just that.

    • A press conference that lasts two hours is not some make-it-or-break-it event. It is simply a means to divulge information that could otherwise be dispensed through other channels. Nintendo is taking the approach of other channels this year.

      The only people that see this as some sort of cause for alarm are those that put far too much stock in E3 press conferences. The idea of a company “winning” or “losing” E3 based on their press conference performance is outlandish in and of itself and feeds into the console elitism among fanboys.

    • the_sidewinder

      as Meatload sang : “you took the words right out of my mouth.”

    • Ryan_oprainfall

      Look, “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.”

    • Ibi Salmon

      You’re missing the point. Nintendo doesn’t need to “win.” They just need the general public to take notice of them.

      I’m going to honest. I’m not as against this decision now as I was when I originally typed that post. I just think that doing this now, when the competition are set to release new hardware and when the Wii U is still struggling somewhat, doesn’t seem like a good idea. If they used this year’s E3 to build up hype and then next year decided to do this, I don’t think it wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

    • The general public doesn’t pay attention to E3 press conferences. The press conferences are by and large only watched by the core gaming audience.

    • Ibi Salmon

      Sorry, the core gaming audience. My mistake.

    • theguyacrossthetable

      You do realize Nintendo saves a good amount of money by using their own platform for news distribution? And last I checked winning in the E3 never fucking meant anything… Hell if anything Nintendo’s Stocks always dropped a bit after their presentations (not sure about other companies) and they still manage to pick up the pace… and as much as I have come to enjoy the novelty of these presentations… I also recognize that its stupid to re-hash information… The point is to get the news out there not to get a better impression (maybe for stockholders it is but who cares? They just rise back up after a couple of months -_-

    • Ibi Salmon

      This isn’t about “winning” E3(When did I ever say that?). This is about building hype for their struggling console(hype that it desperately needs).

      You know, I’ve had some time to think and I realize that it’s not the decision that’s bad. Nintendo Direct is a great way of showcasing what they have to say. It’s the timing that’s the problem. Nintendo has only just made the Wii U profitable. You would think Nintendo would take advantage of E3 and hype up the console. If they did this next year after they proved that the Wii U could be a success, I don’t think there would be an issue. I personally think it’s a good move timed poorly.

      Maybe I should edit my original posts now that I’ve had time to think about this a bit more.

    • the_sidewinder

      obviously you aren’t going to be swayed from your line of thinking but with PS4 already unveiled, 720 being unveiled in 3 weeks or so and it already being pretty obvious what Nintendo’s Holiday lineup will be, what exactly is the point of E3 anymore anyway? To me this more so signals the death of E3 than some sign Nintendo is no longer a major player.

    • Ibi Salmon

      Well, you’re right about one thing: E3 is getting less relevant. That being said, Nintendo should take advantage of every opportunity to build up hype for their struggling console.

      I’m not against the idea so much as the timing. If they decided to do this next year, after they made the Wii U a success, then I would’ve been like, “Meh. They have Nintendo Direct. They’ll be fine.”

  • Mich

    So we won’t see Reggie do his thing? My body is not reggie.

  • As a player, I’m fine with this. I get to see more focused, smaller presentations, news, and demos. But looking at their current situation, I do not think this is a sound idea. Nintendo doesn’t really have the “luxury” of doing whatever they want now. Not when their console is dead slow. Not when software sales are poor considering the WiiU was just released. There’s no excitement in the industry for the WiiU right now. And E3 could have been an opportunity to really get it right with the player. The GENERAL player. Cause you know whose gonna be watching Nintendo Directs, right? Nintendo Fans. Not to mention how they’ll look if both Sony and Microsoft have Press Conferences, and Nintendo doesn’t. And you got to admit, hype can be a HUGE boost for your console.

    • Ibi Salmon


      Nintendo’s wasting a huge opportunity by doing this. In my opinion, they should be doing the exact opposite. They should be coming strong for E3, not hanging around in the back.

  • John Ellis

    I think Nintendo are failing to see the bigger picture, at E3 your games get shown to everyone. With your smaller presentations the only people who will watch them are those of know of them. Now that Nintendo have lost the casual audience they had with the Wii they need to pull in more consumers. Making your millionth Mario game, is only going to get sales from so many people. They really need to broaden their scope and not alienate people who may not be interested in their first party IPs.

    • Who exactly is going to watch an E3 press conference who doesn’t already go to videogame news sites? All their Direct news gets posted immediately to those sites.

    • John Ellis

      That doesn’t make any sense, even if they see it on a news site they are still getting information on E3

    • The point is that the press conference isn’t a necessity to dispense information.

    • That’s exactly my point. You said that the only people who will watch the smaller presentations are those who know about it, as if that number of people is less than the ones who would know about E3. What audience is Nintendo missing out on by doing this?

    • Ibi Salmon

      There are two types of people that watch Nintendo direct:

      1. Nintendo fans. These people have already decided that Nintendo is worth their time and money and happily await their content.

      2. Nintendo haters. These types of people have already decided that anything Nintendo does isn’t worth their money and only watch them just to comment on how much they suck.

      Everyone else(namely the core gaming audience) is still deciding whether Nintendo is worth their time and money. That’s the crowd that will be watching E3.

    • TwinTails

      Wouldn’t Nintendo Direct still get coverage from sites like IGN and GameSpot?

    • Ibi Salmon

      I guess, but it’s their job to do so. I’m talking about the gaming audience.

      And let’s be honest. If IGN or Gamespot had an article about Nintendo direct, the only people that would bother with them are people who have an interest in Nintendo(be it positive or negative). Everyone else would just skip articles and move on to articles they do care about.

    • TwinTails

      When you put it that way, then would they have even bothered to watch Nintendo’s E3 conference in the first place?

      On top of that, there are plenty of unbiased gamers that will look into stuff like that out of curiosity and Nintendo’s not just showing their own games, there is plenty more 3rd party projects they’re keeping secret that could be even more inflammatory.

    • Ibi Salmon

      Yes. Like I said it’s their job. And it’s not just them. Networks like CNN and other news stations also watch E3.

      You’re right. There are people who look in to stuff out of curiosity. Consider those types of people as the 3rd types of people.

      Really? They really do have third-party projects in the works? Well, then E3 is the perfect time to show them.

    • TwinTails

      I guess you didn’t hear Iwata when he said there was more third party collaborations like SMTxFE and Bayo 2 on the way. That is what I look forward to.

    • Ibi Salmon

      Let’s hope they’re worth it and that they might get some mention in E3.

    • You don’t have to watch a Nintendo Direct to hear about all the info in them. The split second those Directs go live, gaming websites post every piece of news. Anyone who goes to a gaming site will know all of the relevant info.

    • Ibi Salmon

      Good point. But keep in mind that E3 is a much bigger deal, so much that even non-gaming news stations watch E3. The people that watch E3 is a much bigger crowd than the people who watch or even hear about Nintendo Direct.

      That’s not to say that Nintendo Direct is bad way of sharing information. I’ve watched and enjoyed every Nintendo Direct that they’ve put out. But it seems far from ideal to rely on it as a main way of distribution information while skipping the opportunity to attract more potential customers.

      But hey, what do I know? I’m just a guy typing his opinion with a keyboard on an article post. Maybe Nintendo is doing the right thing. Maybe there’s a method to their madness that I’m not seeing.

    • I agree, it wouldn’t be enough if that’s all they were doing. They are still having a press conference, just not a public one that is a huge spectacle. I assume the non-gaming press will be there along with the gaming press.

    • Ibi Salmon

      Maybe but I doubt it would be as much as if they did do a huge press conference.

  • as long as they still release info on smash bros, im good

  • This is actually a good move, especially considering the mindsets of people (Especially the Gaming Media) going into E3.

  • On the one hand, I’m kinda disappointed. For all the crappy E3 presentations we’ve had from Nintendo, I’m gonna miss the spectacle of it all. On the other hand, Nintendo has just been kicking ass with their Nintendo Directs lately. If they can keep up the momentum with those, I think I’ll be fine. 🙂

  • TrueWiiMaster

    That’s not exactly what they said. It sounds more like they’re going to have a press conference, but it will target just America, and they’ll discuss only games, leaving the financial stuff for a different discussion.

  • Vallen

    Im totally fine with this. I haven’t watched E3 in like 3 years and never will. I always just read the summary on sites like this, so I don’t care whether I read a nintendo direct summary post or a E3 conference summary post

  • Eh, E3 has been dying out lately anyway. Nintendo Directs are more interesting anyway.

  • Botch

    What is going on with this company?

    “Iwata believes that using Nintendo Directs will be a more effective
    method to deliver information of similar importance as those from E3
    press conferences.”

    He is dead wrong.

  • SecretX

    Leave a message… E3 is almost dead it’s kinda sad if you think about it.

  • Bob

    Sakurai said that they’re showing a “little more than just screenshots” of Smash Bros. 4 at E3.

    In my book, if literally the only thing Nintendo does for E3 is a Wii U/3DS demo kiosk of Smash Bros. 4, or even just some footage of it they’ve already won.