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Nintendo handled E3 better than Sony, Microsoft


When Nintendo announced that they wouldn’t have a traditional E3 press conference last year, a lot of the press reported it as “Nintendo isn’t attending E3”. That was the fault of careless writing but also bad messaging and a lack of damage control by Nintendo. The 2013 E3 Nintendo Direct came and went and it wasn’t clear if Nintendo’s new, non-traditional approach was working.

Fast forward to this year and people had pretty much written off Nintendo’s E3 show. Hundreds of forum topics, social media posts, and even full blown editorials on gaming sites debated whether Microsoft or Sony won E3 on Monday night, completely ignoring Nintendo’s Digital Event on Tuesday morning.

With 4 days of E3 behind us it looks like Nintendo handled E3 the best out of the three console makers this year. They didn’t waste time apologizing for past mistakes like Microsoft did, most of their big surprises weren’t leaked before hand, and they certainly didn’t have any awkward moments talking about comic book TV shows. We never had a single moment of Reggie failing to get a laugh out of the live crowd like Shawn Layden from Sony.

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What we got was a well produced, pre-recorded video that didn’t waste time on anything, gave time for developers to talk about their new games and best of all it flowed well. We didn’t have to sit through boring talk about TV related features or how much success they were having, we got a freaking fight scene between Nintendo President Satoru Iwata and Reggie Fils-Aime.

The inclusion of the Robot Chicken folks doing some animation for Nintendo was well done too. Nintendo poked fun at themselves with the overly-critical gaming journalist asking about Mother 3 and when clay Reggie said they didn’t have a Mario game to show off. (They did show Mario Maker but we’ll let that slide) Reggie attacked and killed an annoying media member twice in this presentation and it was hilarious both times. They successful showed humility while still attacking their naysayers.

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Sony and Microsoft’s conferences weren’t bad but they had clear flaws, head scratching blemishes that are symptoms of a live show in front of the press. Nintendo had none of those issues. For 47 minutes they focused on showing off new and upcoming games for their fan-base and did so in succinct and clear fashion.

The Treehouse segments from Nintendo were amazing as well. Nintendo has kept my attention for 3 whole days this week, demoing games online for the masses while Sony and Microsoft had my attention for a few hours on Monday. I’ve walked away from E3 talking more about what Nintendo showed then anything else and that’s largely due their constant stream of game demos from Treehouse.

Nintendo didn’t go to E3 to tell consumers “Hey we’re on top again!” or “Hey we’re sorry about before”. They simply showed how awesome they can be when they’re being creative. With announcements of new IPs like Splatoon and Codename: STEAM, as well as the Amiibo platform, Nintendo showed they are a changing company that will still take risks from time to time. Simply put, Nintendo handled their E3 presence much better than Sony and Microsoft did. It definitely looks like their new E3 strategy is a successful one and something Sony/Microsoft should take notes from in the future.