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How much does E3 really matter to Nintendo? [roundtable]
 
Since I took a long break from video game journalism and discussion before E3, I've been listening to a lot of podcasts and reading impressions about the convention. Everyone seems to agree that Nintendo really blew it at E3 and has tons of ideas about what they would have done to improve both Nintendo's big presentation(s) and their presence at the show in general. It kind of amazes how angry the rants are. Maybe it's because people flew out to LA for the show but I can't imagine my blood boiling the way some people seem to have reacted.

That said, I agree with some of the ideas I've heard and I thought some of them on my own, like thinking Nintendo should have started with Nintendo Land and finished with Pikmin 3 to please the "hardcore" gamers a little more or spending less time on Arkham City when it's old hat at this point.

But, does it really matter? Suppose, for example, that Pikmin 3 had never been discussed before E3. Would it being unveiled and giving the viewers a more exciting surprise actually matter for Nintendo's sales in anyway?

Or a common point I've heard is that Project P-100 should have been shown off during the presentation. Maybe so, but isn't it irrelevant at this point? In this day and age, we're not limited to big conferences for our news. Everyone who cared to know found out about Project P-100 literally minutes after the presentation ended. Does anyone think sales of the game or the Wii U in general are tied to whether the game was unveiled at the presentation or moments later?

Another complaint is that Nintendo didn't just make mention of a big game that will coming well after launch, like they did last year with Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. This announcement to me was completely meaningless. Everyone knew that Smash Bros. was eventually coming for at least Wii U, just as we know that 3D Mario, Zelda and probably Metroid are going to be coming down the line. I honestly don't think people are holding off on buying the Wii U because Nintendo didn't officially confirm those are in the pipeline.

Another complaint I've heard is that New Super Mario Bros. 2 should have been playable the whole convention instead of only being available the last day. NSMB2 is going to sell millions, guaranteed. I honestly think it won't make a lick of difference whether it was playable 3 days, 1 day, or 0 days. The game doesn't get its sales from E3 exposure.

I do think that E3 plays a role in gaining exposure for the video game industry in general (although not nearly what it used to), I'm sure there's back door dealings that I'm not aware of that might have a big impact, and smaller developers certainly can get some time in the sun that they might otherwise not see. But for something as big as Nintendo I think the importance of the event has been significantly reduced, particularly in how it will affect launch interest and sales.

Do you agree?

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Posted: 06/19/12, 04:44:50  - Edited by 
 on: 06/19/12, 04:45:02
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EDIT - bah, no more derailing! Sorry!
Posted: 06/20/12, 21:28:52  - Edited by 
 on: 06/20/12, 21:29:21
@Jargon

There's inflation sure, but there is also the time factor. But like I said, that's not really applicable when we are talking a span of months (maybe a year) and I would find alternate opportunities to spend the funds. Regardless, I will probably spend X amount of money on gaming this year so if I don't get the Wii U I will probably check out a few more titles on 360/3DS or buy some more Blu rays or something.
Posted: 06/20/12, 23:56:28
I honestly don't think E3 means jack shit anymore. Sure, all the hardcore people get into it, but overall, the majority of people who own consoles, really don't pay any attention to E3, and many of them don't even know what the hell E3 is.

My 2nd job, I work with many males and females who are gamers, most of them own either a PS3 or 360 and while some of them also own a Wii, they consider their HD system their primary system. A week or so before e3 started, I started bringing it up, asking you was going to watch it, over half of them had no idea what I was talking about and the other half said they doubted if they would watch.

During the week of e3, I was the only one there who actually watched any of the e3 stuff. And yes, I watched all 3 conferences. I know alot of people talked about how boring the conferences were, and I will say I didn't thing any of them were that horrible, but at the same time, I have noticed as each year passes, E3 just doesn't really do much for me.

All I really care about is the Nintendo conference, and basically, since Nintendo is always so fucking...lets keep everything a secret, we'll announce all the juicy stuff later...its like, what the fuck is the point anyways.

Don't get me wrong, Im excited for the Wii U...AND DON'T forget, in that one thread over a year ago, I was the one who said Nintendo would have a handheld device that would also output the image to the screen. And don't no one try to say I didn't. Its somewhere here on NW, unless the thread was one of Simbabbad's, which he deleted like 99% of his threads. I still remember people saying, it couldn't happen cause the resolution would be different on the handheld than the resolution on the TV.

But anyways, yea I'm excited, but E3 didn't make me anymore or any less excited. I just want launch day to be here already. But yea, I don't think E3 really is that important to Nintendo or MS or Sony for that matter. The way e3s have been the last couple years, they might as well just end them like they was going to several years back.
Posted: 06/21/12, 12:28:41
I agree with the OP, especially when it comes to care gamers. I would have found out about P-100 from the 4/5 internet gaming sites I use, not matter how in was annouced. I think big E3 shows will become a thing of the past. Why should Ninetndo present at E3 against everyone else when they could do a conference themselves and just stream it (like the one tomorrow)?
Posted: 06/21/12, 14:24:50
Nintendo Direct toniiiiiight.

Nintendo is awesome.
Posted: 06/21/12, 22:02:26
The Nintendo Direct is pretty much a perfect test of my theory. I'm listening to Nintendo Voice Chat (not sure why) and they're saying "Why wasn't all this at E3!? What a tactical error!!" I just want to say "E3 is over, dudes, stop living in the past."

The NVC people are talking about how Best Buy and Gamestop would be more confident about Nintendo if this stuff was at E3. It would be assuming an incredible amount of stupidity on the account of those companies to assume that they close their eyes to everything outside of one event. I think this is just another example of the media putting way too much stock into something they care a lot about (because they have to fly out to LA and write tons of crap).

Does anyone here actually think that it makes ANY difference in this day and age that this news was released a couple weeks after E3 and not during E3?
Posted: 06/24/12, 16:01:17  - Edited by 
 on: 06/24/12, 16:16:54
Yeah, I agree completely. E3 isn't quite dead yet, but it's terminal. And Nintendo will abandon it before everyone else. I mean, they don't even go to TGS.

It should also be said that, although their E3 presentations were horribly paced, the games they showed off looked fun.

Nintendo has chosen to release the information at their own pace, multiple times a year, rather than at one big show. That sounds like a better solution to me. I'm not sure if I prefer their 'announce games just before release strategy', but there's nothing wrong with it, conceptually. It's just non-traditional. To be honest, I should be against it, since I talk about games far more than I play them!

Anyway, listening to multiplatform gaming sites/podcasts talk about Nintendo gets really old, really fast. 90% of them don't even know what the fuck they're talking about. And that's their JOB.

Also, winning E3 never meant anything in the first place.

anon_mastermind said:
Yeah, I'm beginning to think they should have just called it Wii 2. Speaks for itself.
So, like, a co-op-focused console? And then the next one will center on Rampage/Super Sprint-type experiences?
Posted: 06/24/12, 16:15:42  - Edited by 
 on: 06/24/12, 16:23:23
@Anand

Yea I've long been against the idea that anyone could "win E3".

Here's my tiers of annoying journalism:

Sports - Terrible but at least they play the games, so the analysts don't actually matter (and are often proven wrong).
Politics - Terrible and what people say actually matters to some extent because it affects voting, but at least there IS voting (which allows for analysts to get proven wrong).
Video games - Like politics, except there's no actual voting so it all comes down to bullshit story lines.

I guess you could say consumers vote with their dollars, but it was made pretty clear the last generation that video game journalists don't actually care about sales unless it backs up what they already want to believe.

@Anand

Don't forget Secret of Mana.
Posted: 06/24/12, 16:22:57  - Edited by 
 on: 06/24/12, 16:29:08
I DID forget Secret of Mana!

I've never played Secret of Mana...

@Jargon
Another early riser! Good worms today, eh?

Don't forget financial journalism. Those guys are always pulling tea leaves out of their ass and echoing each other. Most of everything is pretty bad, but the wide availability of information today means that you can always find a few decent sources for a more informed, less biased take. Or even a take that matches your particular bias, which is just as good!

I don't know enough about Politics or Sports to analyze their journalists (Matt Taibbi is always fun, though). But whenever I read a mainstream newspaper article about a topic that I am familiar with, I realize that the writer generally knows absolutely nothing, but still writes with
'authority'.

Sometimes I wonder about the disconnect between game reviewers/journalists and the gaming public. Does it mirror the disconnect between mainstream movie critics and the mainstream movie audience? But that disconnect is only really apparent when Nintendo does well. It IS sickening to listen to podcasts like Rebel FM or Cagcast when they talk about Nintendo, though.

But the REAL puzzle is, why do they all like Apple stuff so much?! What is wrong with the world?
Posted: 06/24/12, 16:34:04  - Edited by 
 on: 06/24/12, 16:35:00
It's all over for E3 if 3D Mario U is revealed in a Nintendo Direct. It *could* happen before Wii U launches too..
Posted: 06/24/12, 17:37:35
Jumping into this late but whatevs...

I believe Nintendo views E3 as merely a main stream press conference. Who's primarily invited? Press. They'll go back to their hotel rooms and create articles that will get hits within their own domain. I'm thinking mainly of the big news outlets. They really tried to push Nintendoland this year as being the Wii U's Wii Sports. Wii Sports was a casual system seller. IGN = Nintendooooomed! Yahoo = Wii Sports 2?? CNN = New Wii Peripheral?

If E3 opens its doors to regular gaming folks then I think their presentations would be altered.
Posted: 06/24/12, 18:14:22
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