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Nintendo no longer one of the big 3 at E3

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E3 is renowned for 2 things, the first being the huge amount of new that is broken at the event. We get to see the latest and greatest plans for everyone from the big console manufacturers to the latest geeky hardware to the top AAA titles we are going to be playing in the next few years.

The second thing E3 is famous for is the big shows that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo put on every year to wow the world and show them everything that is coming to your favourite platform and why it is the best platform of the lot.

We normally see new hardware being announced, new exclusive agreements with games and service providers and a whole lot of flash and razzmatazz. However one of the big 3 has announced it won’t be doing much at E3 this year for the first time in nearly 20 years.

During a conference call to investors yesterday the Japanese CEO, Satoru Iwata, announced the following

First, we decided not to host a large-scale presentation targeted at everyone in the international audience where we announce new information as we did in the past.

Instead, at the E3 show this year, we are planning to host a few smaller events that are specifically focused on our software lineup for the U.S. market. There will be one closed event for American distributors, and we will hold another closed hands-on experience event, for mainly the Western gaming media. Also, I did not speak at last year’s presentation, and I am not planning to speak at these events at the E3 show this year either. Apart from these exclusive events for visitors, we are continuing to investigate ways to deliver information about our games directly to our home audience around the time of E3. We will share more information about them once they have officially been decided.

During the E3 period, we will utilize our direct communication tools, such as Nintendo Direct, to deliver information to our Japanese audience, including those who are at this financial briefing, mainly focusing on the software that we are going to launch in Japan, and we will take the same approach outside Japan for the overseas fans as well.

This is not a good sign for Nintendo and makes me think they aren’t sure of what exactly it is that they are trying to accomplish with the Wii-U. More worrying will be the reaction of their third party partners who are now going to miss out on some serious marketing opportunities at the big event that is covered by ever media outlet of note on the planet.

But if you thought Nintendo may start worrying about the direction that Iwata is taking them you are horribly mistaken. During that same conference call it was announced that Iwata is now also being promoted to be CEO of Nintendo America while keeping his position of CEO of Nintendo Japan.

I worry for Nintendo as I’d hate to see them exit the hardware industry but they really do need to do a better job of communicating what they have on offer and by skipping the largest gaming event of the year they aren’t helping themselves.

Last Updated: April 25, 2013

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