Iwata continued to explain at a financial results briefing that they "are planning to host a few smaller events that are specifically focused on our software lineup for the U.S. market." Not only that, but Iwata himself would not be speaking at E3 at all. This took a minute to truly sink in. Nintendo, one of the "Big Three", would not be at E3 in the capacity we have come to expect. Then that minute passed and it began to make perfect sense.
While it will undoubtedly be sad not seeing Shigeru Miyamoto run on stage to announce a new Zelda or having Pikmin coming out of his pocket, it may just be the right choice. Nintendo is focusing on making their star franchises truly remarkable, this takes time and means at E3 2012 they just simply weren't ready to show their hand. What we were left with was an hour or so of rehashes and disappointment. Letting Nintendo dictate its own schedule will eliminate these issues.
Just think if we had a Mario-centric Nintendo Direct revealing the next entry in the storied franchise one month, and the following have a Metroid-style or even another Mario-centric, showing of more of the title? The excitement for those games would stay at an astronomical level (if done right) and will always keep people on their toes as to what Nintendo will do next.
People keep saying that the Wii U is finished and won't be able to compete with the PS4 or the Xbox "whatever they end up calling it". I don't think it needs to. With the catalog of characters and franchises under Nintendo's belt, they have the potential to lure in their faithful followers and create their own segment of the market. All they need to do is keep them engaged and give them reasons to play. Sooner or later, we will begin seeing the Metroids, Marios, and Zeldas, and if Nintendo continues giving us what we didn't even know we wanted on a consistent basis, the past will be easily forgotten as they are raking in the millions.
Of course, this is a very risky move. With all the focus on Microsoft and Sony at E3, Nintendo may get pushed to the side and be left grasping at straws. If their software is more of the same and not compelling enough to cause us to reinvest our money or time, this great iconic company could be in for serious rough times ahead.
While the E3 press conferences stand for specatle and amazement, there's just no reason that needs to be confined to one time out of the year. Let Nintendo continue doing what it does best, and that is doing what others are afraid of. That is setting the course for the industry and driving this great medium forward. I give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt because they have a tendency of proving people wrong, time and time again.
So bring it on Nintendo. Stick to what you believe in and never settle for what is considered the "norm", because you have never thought that way. While E3 won't be the same without you, the rest of the year is ripe for the taking.
How do you feel about this move? Is Nintendo making a mistake or choosing the right path? Do you believe Nintendo even stands a chance against the coming storm of PS4 and the "Next Xbox"? Let me know below!
Adam Bankhurst is one of the co-hosts of The Gamer's Advocate. Send him all your thoughts or questions to email@example.com. You can also follow him @adambankhurst