Nintendo CEO Says No E3 Press Conference This Year

Should Nintendo feel intimidated right about now? Back in February, Sony made its initial hardware reveal of the PlayStation 4, showcasing the new controller and a number of games. Microsoft plans to do something similar next month with the next Xbox. Once E3 2013 launches in June, both players will finish what they started during their press conferences and likely focus on first and third-party software and services.

Nintendo, on the other hand, has already revealed its next-generation hardware – all it has now is new software to promote. That said, Nintendo doesn't plan to have a press conference this year, but instead will launch a number of smaller events that are specifically focused on the company's software lineup for the U.S. market.

"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," said Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata. "[Instead] 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."

Iwata said that during E3 Nintendo will focus mainly on Wii U titles that will be launched this year and early next year. For the Japanese market, the company will use Nintendo Direct to deliver E3 2013 information regarding to software that will launch in Japan. The company will do something similar for territories outside Japan as well.

Earlier this week, Iwata admitted that Nintendo needed to spend more time in recreating the momentum the console saw during the holiday season. He partially blamed customer confusion for the current lack of sales, saying that many believe the Wii U is merely just a Wii with an additional tablet-like device. However he claimed responsibility, saying that Nintendo did not try hard enough to show customers that it's an entirely new, next-generation product.

Of course, the Wii U name probably only adds to the customer confusion… just saying.

"Wii U might still have no such captivating game title as Wii Sports for Wii, with which people immediately comprehended its product value, but it surely has a lot of factors appreciated by users," he said. "We would like to take time to work thoroughly for its penetration, by making various efforts to have many people understand its product value as well as enriching the software lineup."

The Wii U's lineup is also to blame. He admitted that the release intervals of first-party key titles have been longer than anticipated. But that is scheduled to change starting with Pikmin 3 which is slated for a July release.

"We will intensively launch our key titles to give sales momentum to the platform," he said. "As a decisive factor in buying a console is that you cannot play a much-anticipated title without the hardware, we will do our best to have you feel from this summer to the end of this year that there are plenty of great games for Wii U."

So that is Nintendo's E3 story for 2013: head into the convention armed at the teeth with top-notch, previously unannounced software. Will it be enough to pull eager gamers away from Microsoft and Sony's new hardware and software lineup? We'll find out in less than two months.

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  • After getting the Wii my wife and I really enjoyed the mini games that came with it, as well as Zelda, but that was about it as far as Wii titles went. I ended up buying and playing more game cube games on the wii than actual wii titles simply because they were more fun. But even with that I probably logged some 200 hours of game time in that first 2 years, and now I haven't touched it since then. I still use my old PS2 a few times a year as our DVD player, and to replay old RPGs from time to time, but if I have no interest in powering up the wii, then why would I even consider getting a wiiU?
    Nintendo, a little word of advice: If your in house developers are having a hard time pushing out content for your platform, then imagine the pain of 3rd party companies! In the mean time they are going to be competing more directly with Sony who has a platform that will be easy to work with, and MS' console which is supposedly going to run win8 and have access to any app in the win8 store that has controller support. These other platforms are going to have tons of games available very quickly at launch while nintendo is just going to fall further and further behind.
    All that said, Nintendo isn't exactly in trouble. They are a conservative company, and when it comes to down years they are very good about keeping expenses to a minimum in order to float them to their next big release. I am sure that their next gen console will be a huge success... it just may take a little time for them to get their act together.
  • Yeah, as a big Nintendo supporter... I have no idea what they were thinking giving reusing the name "Wii". So many people I talked to, ranging from non techy friends to just people buying stuff in Gamestop or Best Buy, thought it was just an add on (didn't help that it looked like a Wii with rounded edges). Other people were looking at the 8gb and 32gb sizes and saying "Why so small!!?", and Nintendo did not do anything to promote that inside was a solid state drive or that a simple $60 500gb internal or external HDD from newegg could be added for more space. They really need to get their act together. I am bummed they are not doing their grand E3 press conference (I look forward to theirs the most followed by Sony and usually don't bother watching the MS one, just read the recap). But if it lets them convey their message better and not waste money/time/resources on some big event then I am all for it.
  • Nintendo will be fine.
    Pokemon X&Y will give 3DS Sales a boos like they've never seen before.
    They won't be able to compete in the full size console market ever again, but the handheld market is all theirs.
    I'm purchasing a 3DS XL for the sole purpose of playing X & Y, making those games an Upwards of £200 purchase, considering I probably won't use the 3DS for anything else.