Author Topic: Five Things to Change in Nintendo's E3 Press Conference  (Read 515 times)

Offline SuperZambezi

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I suggest reading the article at their site for the pics and vids :

Quote from: The Five Things: Nintendo's E3 2010 Press Event
With E3 upon us yet again, it's time for us gaming journalists from around the internet to begin their typical endless speculation as to just what will be shown and revealed at the annual extravaganza in Los Angeles. While most are excited to see the arrival of new games and the reveal of more details behind upcoming titles, what has proven to truly get the internet into a tizzy are the pre-event media briefings, none of which moreso than those held by the three console makers: Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

Whether it be surprise special guests, fanboy-riling game reveals, or disappointments of an epic caliber, E3 press conferences can be filled with incredible moments that live in the annals of gaming history for all time, and 2010 expects to be no different. But instead of preview and endlessly speculate what could be shown at E3, what this series of articles will do is take five things that have been a trend of each company's press events of the past, and explain how they can fix them.

So, let's get started with the one likely to cause the highest level of conflict when E3 comes to a close - Nintendo. After what most would call a disastrous E3 in 2008, the company appeared refocused last year, showcasing surprising sequels such as Metroid: Other M, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Golden Sun DS, and seemed to finally have a newfound hardcore focus. Still, the company didn't do any favors to fans with the reveal of Wii Fit Plus, the showcase of Style Saavy, and of course, the pure "WTF"-ness of the Wii Vitality Sensor. While last year's E3 was generally considered "better", it still found itself obtaining harsh criticism from the gaming media.

How can Nintendo finally get itself out of the rut it has found itself in after previous E3 pressers? Here's five ways.

1. Go Longer

Last year, Sony's E3 press conference clocked in at a whopping 146 minutes. Microsoft also had a lengthy event, with a massive 114 minutes. Nintendo?

A mere 73 minutes.

Needless to say, this proves to be quite negative for Nintendo. First, it makes them look, for lack of a better word, cheap: They have two platforms, an endless sum of money, and they can only do one of these events for a bit more than an hour? Not to mention, Nintendo's conferences are known for their lull points, a major one of which we'll get to in a bit. How can you stick tons of upcoming titles, sales numbers, and huge surprises into an event lasting barely longer than an episode of "Law and Order" combined with an episode of "Robot Chicken"?

If Nintendo really wants to come across as the biggest player in the industry - which, last I checked, they are - then they really need to go 90 minutes with their conference, at least. Going any shorter really brings across the long-held stereotype of Nintendo's miserly ways, saving money at every opportunity.

Then again, it wouldn't be so bad if the company made up for this lack of time by not including any lull points in their conferences. Unfortunately, Nintendo is infamous for this, especially for one specific lull point that needs to be put to an end.

2. No More Iwata

No more Iwata.

Before you begin sending me the inevitable hateful comments, hear me out. I love what Satoru Iwata has done since becoming president of Nintendo, bringing the company out of the ashes and truly bringing gaming to a mass market audience.

Since becoming president, Iwata has typically taken the stage for a short segment during the company's E3 press conference, often to give a sort of "State of Nintendo" address, giving the man's thoughts on the games industry and Nintendo's place within it. And that would be all well and good, if he didn't proceed to say pretty much the same thing every single year.

Don't believe me? Here he is in 2007.

And now, again, in 2008.

Sound familiar? Here he is again last year. (Iwata comes in at the 5 minute mark)

Iwata has turned into the equivalent of an E3 drinking game. His speeches are often more of a proclaimation than newsworthy, outside of last year's wholeheartedly baffling reveal of the Wii Vitality Sensor. Take a shot every time he says something akin to "bringing games to everyone," "breaking down boundaries between players," or "innovative software." You'll be smashed within minutes.

Since Nintendo can't help but trot him out every conference, I recommend that he be kept to a minimum at E3 this year, especially with the massive amount of ground the company needs to cover. And a good way of doing this is...

3. Demo some games

Yes, Nintendo does traditionally demo a handful of titles at E3 each year. However, they're usually high-level first party releases, and even then, ones that are rarely driven to the hardcore crowd. Meanwhile, Sony and Microsoft's conferences are full of demos from developers showing off of their games, both first- and third-party, giving both those in attendance and watching at home an opportunity to check out the game for themselves, sometimes revealing choice details about the game in the process.

It's time to put this practice to rest. Metroid: Other M, releasing in two months after E3, is still a bit on the mysterious side, and a hands-on demo would go a long way towards alleviating fears about the game. Same goes for Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, especially considering that game comes from a niche franchise. Or what about the upcoming major RPGs Nintendo will be publishing, such as Xenoblade, Dragon Quest IX, Golden Sun DS, and The Last Story? What about an offbeat, yet fun-looking game like FlingSmash?

Furthermore, why not give third parties a bit of this love? In the past, Nintendo has given third party games barely the time of day during their E3 conferences, as they would show a trailer of upcoming releases, if they were that lucky. This year, several major Wii releases are planned exclusively from third-parties, including Disney's Epic Mickey, EA's NBA Jam, and Sega's The Conduit 2, so why can't Nintendo bring up their creators to show exactly why we should be excited. Such a move would help Nintendo's already well-documented poor standing with third-party developers. In short, Nintendo needs to learn one of the biggest adages of entertainment: Show, don't tell.

4. Find some (effective) way to showcase the 3DS.

This may be the toughest task of all, since there's really no possible way it can be done. One of the two biggest reveals fans are expecting from Nintendo's 2010 show is the reveal of the new Nintendo 3DS, a 3D-capable version of the company's venerable handheld. Promising real 3D capabilities and visuals without the use of glasses, the surprisingly gameplay-obsessed Nintendo is actually looking at improved visuals for what they are calling the true successor to DS lineage.

The question is, however, how do you show this to a captive E3 audience? If the 3D effect is legitimate, it would, therefore, be impossible to replicate on a large screen so that the viewing audience can see the effect. Sure, it can be shown to the event's audience without much trouble, but what about the audience at home?

Again, the "show, don't tell" issue rears its ugly head. If the 3DS is 3D, sans glasses, how do you showcase that to the audience at home? Is the 3D effect that pronounced? Or is it more hardware than effect? A similar issue faced the Virtual Boy at the very first E3, as it was impossible to truly experience the console without actually playing it. In ads and other media, the system just appeared to be a red-colored Game Boy. While a similar fate likely won't befall the 3D-equipped successor to Nintendo's handheld legacy, it will be interesting to see just how they present it.

Fortunately, Nintendo can make up for this somewhat by getting us excited about the one game that everyone wants to see...

5.Don't skimp on Zelda.

We know that E3 2010 will be the first time we see the first exclusive Legend of Zelda adventure for the Wii. We know it's far enough along in development that there will be plenty to see from Link's next adventure. And we know that there's a chance it could be released as early as this year.

So why should we be stuck with a minute-long trailer? At E3 2004, Nintendo debuted Zelda: Twilight Princess for the first time, only showing off a small about of footage and barely giving fans an inkling of what the game would eventually fulfill. With only a small piece of concept art to go on, Nintendo fans have been more than patient awaiting the first hard details of the game.

So at E3 Nintendo, do the right thing. Don't just show off a trailer, demo the game. And better yet, have it playable on the show floor. Get people excited about your biggest holiday game, because you better believe Sony and Microsoft will be getting people excited about theirs.

I agree with everything from this article, especially demoing games, and I don't mean Shaun White. >.> Of course, they need to show more than just a trailer for Zelda like the article mentioned. And one of the commetns on their site mentioned getting rid of Cammy Dunaway. I fully agree with that one. I'm pretty sure everyone hates her and especially after her speech about her skiing trip...