The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I tend to stray away from blogging about topics related to
E3 during the week of E3 since most of the expert journalists will be covering
all the same topics and they're obviously in a better position to get your
attention than little ole me. But when I do blog about an E3 topic it's
typically some obscure point I'm
contemplating or has little to do with the fact that's it's related to E3.
However, I noticed a peculiar story that has many folks in the industry buzzing
with excitement and since my version of the story focuses on how Nintendo
cheated the system, well then I'm going to cheat too...and blog about E3 anyway.
Now, maybe "cheat" is a harsh word. Maybe it's creative
brilliance, clever ingenuity, or shrewd business tactics. Regardless of what
you or I think it is, it happened nonetheless.
I don't know about you, but I've been following (whether I
like it or not) the ramp up to E3 for awhile now, but certainly over the
weekend many of my fellow geeks who will be attending E3 started sharing their
thoughts and preparations for the event. Following a number of them on Twitter,
it's a simple achievement to get hundreds of tweets a day that read something
along the lines of, "Suit case packed; very excited; headed to E3." That's the summarized
version of course. And why not, I'd be excited too! Everybody knows what
happens over the span of the three days that E3 is scheduled to occur.
Practically anybody who is anybody in the industry will be onsite showing off
their latest wares, or there to look at what is being shown. The big names like
Microsoft and Sony will take to stage (or at this point, have taken to stage) wowing the audience with their future
lineup which may include discussions on their next generation hardware but will
certainly demonstrate their latest video game roster. It's such an overwhelming
event, watching each publisher and or development team compete with one another
to see who is able to fascinate the audience the most; an audience that
includes representatives from every major video game journalism affiliate. One
stunning demonstration that is flawless in every measurable capacity may
quickly be forgotten as the next presentation mesmerizes an already captivated
What's a surefire way to make sure your product gets noticed at E3?
I dunno, but Nintendo's decision to host a "Direct Pre E3
2012" on a Sunday (two days before E3) seemed to do the trick.
the latest Nintendo Direct as Global President Satoru Iwata reveals new
information about Wii U.
Again, I'm not sure I would classify it as cheating the
system or not. I mean, E3 is the major industry event where big announcements
are typically supposed to occur, but when you think about it, it really was a brilliant
plan. It got me to watch (and blog about it) even though I skip over most of
the E3 coverage until the very end. Clearly Nintendo has a number of smart
people on the payroll, and I'm guessing some of them knew heading into E3, they
were going to be competing with some other major stakeholders from the realm of
gaming, so why not make your big announcement (or at least part of your big
announcement) while everyone is preparing for E3 and chomping at the bit to
start posting some newsworthy stories live from the show.
So with the (video game) world watching, Nintendo pretty
much had center stage to roll out a lot of information about their next
generation console to the public without competing for air time. And even more
than that, now when they start showing the gear off at E3 during the actual
dates, the people present who are able to put their hands on it will have been
exposed to many of the finer details so they can focus
more on what they're looking at instead of being inundated with information
overflow about the product.
How many industry
experts descended on Los Angeles over the weekend (or today) having watched the
video and read every story printed about Nintendo's pre-E3 Wii U event? I'd say
nearly all of them or at least a good portion of them.
I don't think pre-E3 events are all that rare (just look at
all the press conferences that happened today), but certainly a major player
like Nintendo calling an audible for this sort of surprise play on the weekend isn't
all that common. It will be interesting to see if future E3 events witness
similar tactics and how early developers/publishers might start scheduling
their own pre-E3 events; and even more so, how far in advance can you announce
something and it be considered a pre-E3 event?
In the end, I can't say I blame them. The video game
industry is crowded, and these organizations invest millions of dollars making
sure their products end up in our hands. Nintendo might loosely translate to
"Leave Luck to Heaven" but in this case I don't think they wanted to rely on
luck or Heaven and instead went with the old adage, "If you ain't cheating, you
Bravo to Nintendo for their bold move that achieved exactly
what they intended without anyone else in the industry really seeming to notice
or cry foul. Chances are you're going to hear a lot more about the Wii-U in the
coming days (at least two more events planned), but as you sit and wait in anticipation of the official E3
kickoff, at least you'll have an early opportunity to read up on the first of
the next generations consoles...first.
Great blog as usual Saint.
I think it was a smart move, unfortunately I feel they executed it very poorly. They also had an opportunity once before(was it last E3 or maybe GDC) to showcase this thing and I still don't know much about it really.
The controller, I know the function, I know very little else. The console is a mystery, what are the specs? What does it even look like? How much will it cost, release date, etc.
Of course, they could certainly announce all that stuff tomorrow. I do think though they have had the spotlight all to themselves twice, and I think the consensus is that we didn't get much out of either of those conferences.
I thought the same thing when I saw the video appear on GIO. I'm still trying to decide whether it was a cheap move or an act of sheer marketing brilliance. Sometimes they're late to the party, and sometimes they're the first ones there it seems.
I loved the move, and I hope Sony and Microsoft adopt this strategy. It really allows them to remove alot of the fluff from their E3 presentations, and focus solely on the games. At the end of the day, that's what we want to see, and that's what we remember.
Just as Mojo said, it was a smart move by Nintendo. They really should have thought about the delivery a bit more. No offense to Iwata-San, but he was just not getting me pumped about the system. And the "tech demo" in the middle didn't help out matters. Other than some apps, I'm not sure what's under the hood of this mystery. Perhaps, they did this to free up time to announce other things during their conference. That would be awesome, actually.
In regards to it becoming a regular thing, I certainly hope not. What would be the point of the conference, if each company released something like this the day before it starts. Of course, we would miss out on whatever terrible performance Microsoft has planned. But Sony really brought some class this year. They were straight to the point, and delivered their message clearly and enjoyably. That's how you do an E3 press conference. Nice post, man.
It was good that we got to see how some of the tech worked, but we still have some questions. Hard drive/Memory capacity, Cost, Games are all part of the questions, but it could be answered during their presentation.
Nintendo pulled off a smart move, showing us some more about Wii U, that way they could cover other stuff.
3 actually I believe. Though one may be more 3DS Centered. You have the Press Conference, and then two more after that. I'm really excited, and I like what the Wii U is showing off so far.
Some valid points, but I don't see why Nintendo has to save their information for E3. They can say what they want about their own products at any time they want to. I don't really see what the harm was. A little less then chivalrous maybe, but I don't think it's a big deal.
Still, well written and developed points.
Seeing as how Nintendo is the only one of the three with new hardware to show off, it makes sense. It would have been rough to cram in the normal game reveals/trailers along with the Wii U junk.
I don't think the Pre-E3 conference is necessarily "right" or "wrong" it's a business tactic that Nintendo used. What I'm more interested in is now that they have pulled the stunt, does the product back up the hype? Because stunt or no stunt if what the journalists end up with in hand isn't worth the time then unfortunately Nintendo just blew a bunch of money on nothing more than a shot in the dark.
Alas though that is something we will hear and read about in the next couple of days. Also good point on how long before E3 is it considered
"Pre-E3" it does raise a valid point on timing, but I think Nintendo did it right. Konami on the other hand looked kind of foolish with their event, so exactly what is the sweet spot, and how do the publishers contend for the time is something that will likely be looked at in the future.
It seemed a little unfair, but as others have stated, they *are* the only company showing/releasing new hardware this year. Besides, their presentation was an absolute mess last year. So busy touting that damned controller that they forgot to give us a shot of the actual console.
Well, at least you got this E3 blog out early and within the first wave of E3 blogs, so it was unlikely to be lost in the coming storm of E3 related blogs, where the only blogs that stand out are those which are near completely unrelated to the event.
One thing I've noticed about Nintendo, is they always seem to do their thing, their way. Which usually works out for them lol. I'm hoping this means they have a lot of games to show off.
i imagine it went something like this,
the lights dim and Iwata walks on stage and bows to the crowd.
he says "First" bows again, and walks offstage
then the pre E3 conference ends.
i like to think of it as nintendo dominating e3. literally. before. during.after their show
I think that N Direct was a crude - but innovative - way of getting a head start on E3. Not necessarily cheating, but you did acknowledge it. I like this quote, it matches my opinion perfectly: "Now, maybe 'cheat' is a harsh word. Maybe it's creative brilliance, clever ingenuity, or shrewd business tactics. Regardless of what you or I think it is, it happened nonetheless." Nice article.
I remember hearing how they were going to show a pre-E3 stream and it left me wondering, why doesn't everyone do this?
With the near limitless access the internet provides to video gaming news, E3 has sort of lost its voice and perhaps even purpose. E3 does offer hands on experiences to those who go, but not only is it expensive to go, but it often takes hours just to play a game that you know you will eventually get to play anyway. While it attracts a massive amount of gamer level attention, it truthfully does seem better suited to being purely a media event for members of the media to try games hands on and inform us later about them.
Every major publisher and developer could easily have their own live stream press conference separate from E3, and Nintendo's preemptive strike proves that everyone will listen in droves despite of "when" such announcements will take place.
Todd Howard, has been quoted before saying that he feels that E3 is a terrible place to make announcements. He is probably right considering how one announcement can drown out the other. Why be a part of a big show when you can host your own?