By Michael Pepin
Anyone who is remotely interesting in gaming or anything technology related has probably been looking forward to E3, or the Electronic Entertainment Expo, this June. This event is considered by many to be the greatest event of the year for companies looking to target gamers and investors. However, Nintendo, which is arguably the most popular gaming company in the world, will not be attending E3.
This shocked a lot of people, and various rumors of all sorts have been flying across social media in response to this. While random sites whisper of Nintendo being ashamed of their new product, the Wii U, in comparison to competitors like the Playstation 4 and others, the real reason behind this decision is more simple. Nintendo felt that it was no longer necessary to attend the E3 event and showcase the Wii U, feeling that with the expanse of social media and Nintendo’s great reputation, it was no longer necessary to attend E3. Instead they will be hosting smaller events outside of E3 to reach out to their audience and plan to use the new Nintendo Direct conference to contact their customers. They felt that people are going to continue with the Wii U whether it makes an appearance at the Expo or not. Instead of E3, Nintendo spent a much smaller sum of money to attend several smaller conferences, which they feel will make a much bigger impact than E3.
Some feel that this was a smart move for Nintendo, being the first to cut out of E3 and break tradition in this new era where such conventions are no longer needed. In the past, E3 was for gamers, and investors. Gamers want to learn about the games and not spend ten minutes hearing about this new game and an hour about stock and regulations and business related stuff. With several other smaller events, it allows Nintendo to get a much more focused audience for each end of the spectrum rather than simply appealing to everyone at E3. In addition, at E3 they would have to compete against Sony and Microsoft’s new systems while all they would have is the Wii U, which is already in production and was shown last year as well. Without new content, it would be a disadvantage for them to spend so much time and effort at E3.
However the outcome of this endeavor could easily be disastrous. E3 has become a tradition for all of the major companies, and Nintendo is one of the big three of the E3. Simply not showing up is almost unthinkable, it is the biggest event of the year. Many fans feel betrayed that Nintendo is simply relying on their reputation to carry on with the sale of their products, and this arrogant act could easily be their downfall. People come to E3 to see the progress of the companies and see upcoming consoles and games. By not showing up other companies, like Sony and Microsoft, take the stage in their absence.
This could be the downfall of E3 rather than the downfall of Nintendo. In this new age of technology, contacting customers directly through their console could be the new path that advertising and display is taking. Other companies like 2K Games and Rockstar have backed out of E3 as well in Nintendo’s wake. Attending and hosting these conventions is expensive. This could be the beginning of a new era for gamers, or it could be the end of Nintendo’s time as a major console developer, only time will tell.