Thursday, April 25, 2013
Bonus Post: No Nintendo E3 Conference This Year
The title of this one basically says the big part of it - Nintendo's not holding a big E3 spectacle like usual this year. Instead, they're going to focus on doing more and more little Nintendo Directs up to E3, while also holding the things around E3 that they -usually- do. Make no mistake, Nintendo isn't eschewing E3 completely, but simply the only thing that we generally associate with E3 in the big presser event. You know, the thing we look forward to every year, that people make up Bingo cards for, drinking games for, and generally cluster up with to hold little E3 parties over, whether it be in person or (far more commonly) over mass-party areas like IRC and the like. The thing that is kind of a big fucking deal regardless of whether or not it actually 'is' a big deal.
On the one hand, I get it - Nintendo Directs instead of E3 Presser Event means that most of the E3 stuff that we don't care about "here's how awesomely/poorly this thing sold" and the like, gets filtered out because they're holding a private press event to do just that sort of thing. Therefore, all you get in the Directs then, is the condensed 'awesome' from what would have been the E3 event. That's the theory of it, at least. In theory, because of that, we as gamers sort of win out because we don't have to sit through the boring to get to the great for Nintendo, and I'm sure we're all hoping for something great from Nintendo. The Wii U could really use it, and use it in a bad way if they want a boom of sales rather than the Nintendo inevitable slow-burn. Not like, "Here's footage of the new, not Wind Waker HD Zelda" but more like "Here's the Wii U running Grand Theft Auto 5 with an exclusive character that joins the other three with his/her own missions and integration into the story". (Which won't happen, I'm arguing magnitudes, obviously)
On the other hand, fuck all that. Call me traditional if you must, but I just prefer the whole big E3 Presser thing because it's been built around in such a way that the stuff surrounding it is almost more important than it is. I mentioned E3 parties, Bingo cards and the like - there's not a whole lot you can do for those based around Nintendo Directs. For one thing, Directs are generally announced like...very shortly before the actual event. If I had to put any amount of time on it, I'd have to say a week at most, and what are you going to do in a week? Well....a lot, probably, since you can make a Bingo Card in one night, but the point is that there's no real time to sit and anticipate and stew beyond the initial bout of it. Look at the difference here - Sony and Microsoft have E3 pressers, obviously, where they will be showing off a bunch of stuff for the PS4 and NeXtBox. We know this. We've known this for months. The rumors are flying left and right, speculation is broiling constantly at a fever pitch about what's going to be there and what isn't and what big megaton announcements could happen. And we know when they're going to happen.
Some non-specific Nintendo Directs that'll happen sometime around E3? How in the world will we know what to be ready for? On one hand, I suppose that carries its own excitement since it'll spring up and likely be big anyway, but on the other hand it's a lot more frantic, a lot less known and a lot less enjoyable. "Oh, they're probably going to show Smash Bros. sometime" is not the same thing as "I wonder if Gabe Newell is going to walk out on stage at the Sony Presser again". Which isn't to say, I guess, that Gabe Newell couldn't just....show up during a Nintendo Direct either for surprise factor. I suppose hat is really killing it for me is the complete lack of structure for it all that we know about. Obviously it's structured on Nintendo's side and I just like that whole thing being transparent, rather than a surprise. It was just hard to get excited for it since they've already announced a lot of what they were going to show at E3 (meaning less room for big surprises) and now it's even harder because I don't know when they hell they're going to talk about the things they were going to show off at E3.
Regardless, the low-key approach is going to work for Nintendo based on the fanbase, the fat-cutting and the potential for surprises. Also the threshold for working Nintendo fans into a lather is "show a new Mario or Zelda", apparently. (Look at reactions for Link to the Past 2 if you think I'm oversimplifying it too much) Being that there's the chance for Wind Waker HD footage, LTTP2 footage and/or footage of the new, ground-breaking Wii U Zelda on top of guaranteed Smash Bros. roster reveals and footage, there's going to be a lot of clamor about how much Nintendo won E3 without actually doing E3. (Ignoring that they're still at E3, on the show floor and everything) Hopefully these Directs mean that they're not going to wait til after June 9th (Animal Crossing's release date) to announce something megaton for the 3DS, however. (Like a new model or a price drop. Both of which would rattle my fucking ire like crazy if it happened days after I plop down $220 for the XL that I'm only getting because it's not washed-out Red or Blue)
seriously, why would you release that so goddamn close to E3, what are you doing, Nintendo