As Polygon reported yesterday, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that the company will not have a traditional press conference at the E3 2013 trade show. Instead, the company will focus on smaller events. Whether this is a sound strategy or not remains to be seen. What’s certain is that is creates a perception problem for Nintendo. Its major competitors, Microsoft and Sony, are going large with events to promote upcoming console hardware. By not having a competing presser, many pundits believe that the company looks weak, whether that’s a fair judgement or not.
For my part, I couldn’t help but think of the last major console company not to have an E3 presser: Sega. Before it was Microsoft vs. Nintendo vs. Sony, it was Nintendo vs. Sega vs. Sony. I distinctly remember videogame journalists predicting the demise of Sega when the company announced that it wasn’t having an E3 press conference. Many of them had the knee-jerk reaction that it was a sign of the company’s impending doom as a console-hardware manufacturer. And that knee-jerk reaction was right.
Nintendo’s supporters are defending the move by saying that E3 doesn’t matter anymore, the trade show isn’t for the enthusiast press (and by extension, readers of enthusiast outlets) anymore, and that Nintendo plays a different game than the other console companies. I’m not going to argue any of those points because that’s not a debate that can be won. What’s undeniable is that by not having an E3 2013 press conference, Nintendo has created a perception problem that the company’s marketing and PR teams will have to fight.
Of course I want to hear your take on the issue too, because you guys and dolls are smart and awesome. RPadholic smartguy and I touched on it briefly in the RPad.TV live chat, but lets keep the conversation going. What do you think of Nintendo not having an E3 2013 presser?