As you no doubt know by now, Nintendo has decided that their upcoming console codenamed NX will forgo E3 2016, and instead will be given a different spotlight later this year. While there are pros and cons to both bringing the console to E3 and not bringing it, Nintendo is taking a risk by not bringing the NX to this year’s show, but it is one that will pay off.
This year’s E3 is setting up to be one of the oddest shows ever, with many companies backing out of hosting a booth inside of the LA Convention Center, and the possibility of upgraded systems coming from Sony and Microsoft. Activision and EA have both said they won’t be hosting booths this year, and instead will be running their own events, while Wargaming and Disney are flat out not attending.
With companies already staying away from E3 this year, Nintendo is simply paralleling a trend that isn’t going away. That, coupled with the possibility of PS4 Neo coming, they are riding the same tide that many talk about within the industry and more are starting to employ.
When I talk to folks within the gaming industry, E3 is that thing that you can’t tell executives, “hey it’s not the end of the world if we don’t attend E3 and it’s too much money, particularly for what we don’t get out of it,” because they’ll just fire back and say, “yeah, well it’s E3 and we need to be at E3.”
What is smart about attending a shouting contest between dozens and dozens of major companies as they try to garner gamer mindshare over the course of four or five days? Millions of dollars are spent in a matter of days. From an industry perspective, that is talked about a lot and companies are starting to do something about it. The axiom of E3, many voices with little time, is starting to drive people away from the show, and it’s smart of Nintendo to keep the NX away from it too.
Publishers are starting to realize that hosting a company-exclusive event often times guarantees a large amount of press coverage and alone time in the spotlight. This is a cheaper way to facilitate the same thing that E3 provides, and it is a more personal way for firms to connect with their fans one-on-one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a series of company-specific events, similar to PlayStation Experience, over the next few years while E3 sort of just exists, but not as it ever once did.
The reaction to the news of the PS4 Neo has been remarkably negative, especially when you consider the high-level of mindshare and trust Sony has had with gamers. Fans clearly don’t want another, better PS4 out on the market, particularly for those that may have just picked up a PS4 months and even years ago.
Nintendo will wait to see what the Neo is and if Microsoft also introduces an upgraded console. Should upgraded consoles be a thing for both Microsoft and Sony (barring genius ideas to keep fans from being angered), Nintendo can then see what the reaction to those consoles was and learn how they can capitalize off of it with messaging of their own.
Besides, Nintendo is bringing new hardware out next March, so it’s not exactly imperative for them to start talking about the new system in a month and a half from now at the industry’s biggest events. If it was coming out this fall, then yes the system would be there, and odds are we would’ve heard more about it by now.
When the Xbox One and PS4 were revealed, each firm held a respective press conference that told people about their new platform and the same will most likely be done with the Nintendo NX. Is this another gimmick console from Nintendo or is it one that will compete with Xbox and PlayStation in power? Nintendo will have the chance to tell us themselves later this year.
Not bringing the Nintendo NX to E3 2016 is a smart move because we will get to hear every word from them, without other voices shouting over them. This could be the beginning of a series of smart moves on the part of Nintendo, and the NX looks to be the console that regains sure-footing for the firm in the home console market.
Patience can be a difficult thing to ask for in this industry, but gamers need to be patient with Nintendo. Force-revealing the NX this June at the biggest shouting contest in gaming would be a high-risk way to try and convince gamers that the NX is something they want. This move shows patience on the part of Nintendo, so patience is something people should give them in return.