Can we expect another Nintendo World Event?


The world is eagerly awaiting the release of Nintendo’s new hardware this coming March – it’s release has been confirmed and the general public finally gets an opportunity to get hands on experience a few months early. Welcome to 2010.

Nintendo have been making headlines recently with the announcement that their new hardware – codenamed NX – will not be shown off at E3. In fact, 2016 seems to be Nintendo’s weakest presence at the trade show since it’s conception. Forgoing a traditional press conference for the third time running, the Kyoto based company have made it extremely clear that E3 just is not a big deal to them – even though their new console is releasing in 10 months.

What we have begun to see is Nintendo slowly moving away from E3 over the last couple of years, focusing specifically on customer orientated efforts such as the Nintendo Digital Events, the Treehouse Live streams, Smash Bros. Invitational and the return of the Nintendo World Championships – public, accessible and entertaining.

This brings us back to 2010 – the 3DS had already been revealed at E3 earlier in the year, with the general features of the console presented for the first time. However for Nintendo this was not the highlight of their calendar, as in early January 2011 – three months before a March launch, Nintendo hosted it’s own three day event, free to the general public, to showcase the console. Nintendo World.

Engaging specifically with fans and potential customers, this event was so far removed from the industry exclusive affair that E3 has always been. This was not the first time either. Many of us are either too young to know, or too old to remember, but Nintendo Spaceworld – as it was once known – has been a tradition of Nintendo’s since the 90’s. Space World 1995 was when the world got the first look at the N64 in all it’s glory – then called the ULTRA64. Interestingly enough 1995 was the first year that E3 first rolled on to the scene, alongside new kid on the block – the Sony PlayStation.

Nintendo had severe competition. Sega was gaining mindshare across the US and Sony had developed a brand new console to compete with the established rivals. Whilst Sega and Sony battled it out at the LA Convention Centre for E3 – Nintendo’s offering was a flat note. But that didn’t matter, because Nintendo presented the N64 at two Space World events before E3 1996. Two opportunities on home turf for consumers to get hands on the new face of gaming before the Western focused trade show. This allowed Nintendo to go to E3 with a fully realised console, an established identity and a line up of full and complete games to show off.

And this brings us back to today. The decision to reveal and release the NX outside of E3 has been a point of frustration for many fans. Yet, I believe that not only is it a well thought out plan, but that it may even be a good idea. Nintendo learnt their lesson from the Wii U, with the E3 reveal being a confusing mess, and are going back to their roots. Being able to show the NX off on their terms, when it is ready and allowing the general public to get hands on experiences will be infinitely better for Nintendo as a company and for us as consumers – and that is why I expect another Nintendo World Event come the Holiday season.

Iwata introduced the Nintendo Directs as a way of bypassing the middle man and communication hassle free with the consumers – and that mindset is the reason that E3 has reduced in importance. The Space World events – and Nintendo’s recent efforts – have been consumer friendly, benefiting us as fans. This is not just about Nintendo showcasing their console off at an event outside of E3, it is about them having control about how the new hardware is perceived, and about the experience being delivered ‘Directly’ to us.

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