No Nintendo Press Conference at E3 2013

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?


Author: RPadTV

9 thoughts on “No Nintendo Press Conference at E3 2013”

  1. I cant see a reason why not to have a presser. Showing off a demo of Mario Kart or Zelda would definitely help sales of WiiU.

    1. Super expensive and Nintendo doesn’t care about having a presser for the media? These companies work hard not to release software and or hardware on the same days or weeks as the competition so I don’t see why not having a presser is any different.

      They are still going to be at E3 and having demos and such. Just not a press conference. It makes sense considering their heavy use of Nintendo Direct to relay information. They are looking for a more personable way of showing their 1st party stuff. E3 isn’t the only show that they don’t do a presser for.

      1. I can’t speak for all of their products, but I had always heard that Nintendo released products on Sundays as a result of too many kids skipping school for Tuesday releases.

    2. smartguy has it on the money, as usual. The idea is Nintendo Direct for the fans and smaller events for the press. It absolutely makes sense on paper, but it still leaves the company with a perception problem. I’m not saying it’s fair, but the perception of weakness is there.

      1. I would posit that the perception was already present and this is a reason why Nintendo has adopted their new strategy. The gaming press seems to do nothing but beat up on Nintendo as do analysts. I think if they show they are profitable this fiscal year then they are affirmed in this decision.

  2. I’m no industry expert, but methinks that those big-ass press conferences are more pomp and presence than substance. Every year they look more and more elaborate and expensive. It also sucks when your announcements are underwhelming to the point that it makes the laser-light show look like creating a Pay-Per-View event to see a guy eating ice cream.

    I don’t blame Nintendo for going the “cheap & logical” route. I just think that the only backlash that they would have would be the perception of their company’s image of grandeur. But aside from that, really don’t care. (which I think may be part of Nintendo’s problem)


  3. I don’t know what Nintendo is up to, but not going to E3 is a bold move. Maybe the game needs a shake up and they are leading the way. I can’t help but think they have nothing of significance to show off this year. The stock fluctuates on the losing side with every announcement, the Wii U isn’t moving as far as I know, and the people I talk to are tired of hearing wait a few years for the true potential of the controller. I don’t buy Nintendo anything so I don’t care if the go the way of Sega or not.

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