I’ve been meaning to talk about this one for a little while. The announcement that Nintendo wouldn’t be having a dedicated E3 conference was a big deal. While I was distracted by other affairs, I’d say I wasn’t entirely sidetracked from my more urgent emotions.
Between being stranded in the desert of the real and hungry for the latest and greatest, I had been thinking about the Nintendo related piece of news all the while. My first response was more demonic in tone, but after I was finished vomiting blood out of sheer surprise, I took another moment to gather my thoughts in full.
I suppose I’ll air the side of humor in this analysis, I am responding to cries of doomsday, after all. If you can’t summon a chuckle at someone worried reality is going to end, then existence has likely ceased to being with.
I’m observing the recent outcry, one in a long line of many, in regards to Nintendo’s future. Them not having an E3 event is odd, surely, but what many would lead you to believe is in fact, the end of the world.
I’ll focus on this little declaration, so we can then follow up with some equally absurd analysis.
Now that we have the obligatory meme out of the way, we can investigate why this likely isn’t so.
1. They survived the Virtual Boy.
2.The 360 is still the console of choice, despite critical failure rates.
3. Sony still exists as a game company, despite the PS3’s mess of a launch, and this E3 classic.
First point is key. For anyone unaware of why surviving The Virtual Boy is impressive, you should take a moment to watch this game play footage of one of the launch games here:
To simulate this footage more accurately, tape a pair of 3D glasses to the end of a pair of binoculars. Force your head into the pair, so that it’s safely wedged between you and the screen.
Now do that for 2 hours.
The second stands as another obvious truth, with launches across the board servicing the lowest common denominator in hardware and software quality. The 360 launch lineup was an infamous mess, costing MS billions in warranty damages. This was coupled with a launch line up so hungry for titles, a top down arcade shooter was the cream of the crop.
As for Sony? The damage done by both 599 US Dollars, and the unfounded boast worthy claims of the execs at the time, took years to reverse. Several holiday seasons had to pass, with price drop after incentive package, and some of the best titles out this gen to finally undo the negative hype the launch created. Even crazier? Many had speculated the PS3 was also doomed, based on a spotty launch.
How quickly we forget yesterday.
Why bother mentioning MS and Sony in the regards to Nintendo’s regularly predicted demise? With some context, and a quick compare and contrast, it’s quite clear massive mistakes can be made in the wake of an ultimately successful console. Given the statistics from several outlets, in reporting such a favorable picture for both the DS and Wii, I always stand amazed at how quickly people forget about how good yesterday was, before they start worrying about how terrible tomorrow is going to be.
So yes, while Nintendo not having an E3 is a bit odd, it’s not apocalyptic. While I do believe they could stand to benefit from the tremendous hype a good E3 brings, from the power of Nintendo Directs, to the regularity of in house non-E3 press conferences, E3 is no longer make or break. To once again borrow examples from the other two, this year, both Sony and MS will showcase their new machines before and outside of E3, leaving the show to do who knows what.
While I’ve even nervously speculated about Nintendo in more recent times, that’s while I was enjoying the very same system I wanted to see succeed. Considering the commonality of Nintendo’s offenses, how often everyone makes them, and the already massive software lineup recently announced from the last Nintendo Direct, it’s very evident this is just one more rough spot, in a long line of hills and valleys.
So, what do we have, after all is said and done, doom saying redundant, and the apocalypse averted?