Around the end of April, I logged into my various social network feeds ready to catch up on gaming news around the world. E3 was creeping closer and closer, and the rumors had started trickling in, some believable, some straight up lies, all hyping up my expectations for the showcase. Previous years had been a bit of a letdown, but I had forgiven and forgotten. We would soon hear new announcements. New gear, new tech, new games, new everything. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo. “The Big 3” were in my brain constantly. Would Microsoft’s next console finally get worldwide attention? Would the PS4 show why social integration into games mattered? And what of Nintendo, that glorious stallion? With the Wii U just released, what kind of conference would they have to hold to secure the attention of the masses?
And then I was struck with some horrific news. Nintendo wouldn’t be having a press conference at E3 2013.
I read the articles over and over. A YEAR I had been waiting. A year of prediction. A year of anticipation. A year. 365 days of building excitement. And they just shut me down. “Well heck,” I thought, “There goes Nintendo. They’ve admitted that they can’t hold up.”
I felt sad. I felt angry. I felt frustrated. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to fend off naysayers getting mad at Nintendo for not living up to the “dream version” of the company, and now they’ve just given them more ammo. I tried to find their reasoning.
“They’ve just released a console. They have plenty to show. Why won’t they just do the press conference?”
And then, as soon as disappointment set in, a glimmer of hope burst through my despair-filled mind clouds, dispelling them. A Nintendo Direct would be held in the press conference’s stead.
Nintendo Directs have been a major change to Nintendo’s fans during this past year. On a (mostly) monthly basis, Satoru Iwata or Reggie Fils-Aime or Bill Trinen or whoever else would take center stage of the internet for a few minutes and announce new games, new hardware, new deals, you name it. If it’s a piece of Nintendo news, you’ve gotten it from a Nintendo Direct in the past year, whether by watching it or reading an overview article.
So I heard that a Nintendo Direct was being held in lieu of a flashy conference, and I was torn. Nintendo Directs, so far, haven’t been extremely full of, shall we say, “bombs”. Games have been announced, sure, but not much is said about them. Monolith’s “X“, for example, showed off a cryptic, beautiful trailer. And that’s it. Wind Waker HD was announced, but nothing aside from a few screenshots were shown. They haven’t been underwhelming, per se, but they haven’t been necessarily informative. News about Zelda, news about Mario, but all of it kind of fluff. Like a snack instead of a meal. It keeps you going for a little while, but sometimes you’re going to have to sit down and eat something filling.