Why Nintendo Did Not Have a Live E3 Conference

Nintendo of America president explains why a prerecorded E3 reveal is a better option for the company and fans.

Nintendo went without a live conference for the second time in a row at this year's E3, choosing instead to show a pre-recorded video to reveal their big news.

In an interview with IGN, Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime, explained why the company has taken this approach at E3. 

“The environment has completely changed," Fils-Aime said. "More and more people are looking to tune into an event. More and more people are looking for the full entertainment value of an event.

Couple that with the fact that so much of our developers are Japanese, so having them explain the game directly is a little bit more challenging.”

Nintendo took a different approach instead by filming a video beforehand, with interviews, skits, and game footage, something that Fils-Aime said has "all of the little Nintendo magic and pixie dust."

Fils-Aime also said that, due to online networking, no live audience is required for Nintendo to receive feedback from its fans.

"Through social media, we know exactly what people are saying," he said. "We know exactly what they’re feeling and how they’re responding to the message.”

While the pre-recorded route may work for Nintendo, it also needs to work for the fans. If I'm honest, I have a difficult time getting excited while watching Nintendo's video.

While it's true that Nintendo's pre-recorded video seems to provide a more thorough look at the company's games and announcements, as well as some special Nintendo "magic," there's also some magic that is lost when reveals are not done live.

Part of my excitement when watching E3 comes from crowd reactions and the ways company heads and developers interact with the audience live. Watching a developer's eyes light up when they talk about their game, or perhaps seeing a company head's eyes while trying to sell the audience, face to face, on something that doesn't look that exciting, helps create the full experience for me.

A live event is visceral and emotional, and it gives me a more dynamic idea of what games to get particularly excited about.

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Published Jun. 12th 2014

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