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Actually, it isn't the first for any console, the GCN experienced several E3s where they laughed it off and announced nothing. But we cannot pretend we're gaming business experts here, cause we don't know how long these been in development first off, let alone how many actually suspected Switch's success to this point to scramble for a Switch build, from scratch, to show on the show floor. Nothing is that easy, sorry. Not to mention some reputations of a couple companies only wanting Nintendo to be responsible for the games they put on their console.
To suspect E3 this year to show much of anything Switch outside Nintendo is lofty from the get-go, that's like expecting failure cause Nintendo didn't show off what the NX was when they first announced the system was in development. Honestly, with Switch's momentum currently and the attachment ratio with it, I would place more bets on how Nintendo would do on the second E3 of Switch's life. The first could have been better judged if Nintendo launched the system in November of 2016.
I still firmly believe Nintendo could have easily matched Sony's PS4 and we'd see the same response. From E3, from dev support, from everyone.