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Nintendo talks about their approach to E3 over the last three years, possibility of returning to live presentations in the future

The following comes from a GamesBeat interview with Charlie Scibetta, senior director of corporate communications at Nintendo of America...

GamesBeat: Does it feel very similar to the last two years, where you had Zelda dominating one year, and then Mario the next, and now it’s Smash? Is that a reliable strategy for you?

Scibetta: Every year we look at the content we have to show and we figure out what’s the best way to bring it to life at the booth. Two years ago it was Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We took the booth and turned it into an immersive world of Hyrule. It was literally the only game in the booth. Last year Super Mario Odyssey—the booth was themed like New Donk City, and we had other games there, but if you walked in you definitely got the impression that it was the Super Mario Odyssey year.

This year it’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but we also have a lot of other games too. We’re leaning on it heavily, and you saw that with the amount of time we covered it in Nintendo Direct. But I can tell you that’s been our philosophy the last three years. It was based on what we had to show that year. What we’ll do in the future will all depend on what we have to show next year and the years beyond. It’s worked out well for us so far because the games were deserving of that kind of focus.

GamesBeat: Is there a reason you’re continuing the Directs online as opposed to in person?

Scibetta: We decide each year what to show in the booth based on the content we have. We also do the same when it comes to what we want to do in Nintendo Direct or a presentation. In the past we’ve done presentations where we brought thousands of people together and demo’d live on stage. With the last four or five years, we’ve done more of the video approach. It’s really whatever we think is the best way to bring those games to life.

We think that Nintendo Direct recently has been a nice way to do it, because we’re able to package interviews and gameplay and fine-tune it so it’s a nice tight presentation. It’s an efficient use of time. It’s a good way to bring these games to life in a video format. In the future we might go back to a presentation. We might stick with video. We might do something completely different. But it’ll all be based on what we have to show that year.

Categories: Interviews, Consoles

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My two cents....I hope to never see Nintendo do live presentations again. Live presentations are usually very cringe with people making lame jokes, lame musical numbers to stretch out time, or have technical malfunctions and every Nintendo live presentation E3 in the past has had these problems. The Direct format is the future of E3 IMO. Drop the nonsense and just get to the games the things people care about.

HOWEVER if EVERY company did it like Microsoft this year where it was just game after game with no extra bullshit fluff then that would be fine. The problem is Nintendo just doesn't have the content to do that especially in recent years. I could only imagine how terrible this year would've been if Nintendo had an hour plus long conference. When the only thing they REALLY showed off was Smash?

There’s nothing wrong with a video presentation, but I think there’s something to be said for the live spectacle of it all. Sure, that’s partially what they use the Treehouse for, but that’s not the same as demoing your games in front of a live crowd. It’s a totally different energy.

I like the prerecorded videos myself. It gets rid of the potential awkwardness when something isn’t right with a live presentation. The Treehouse segments allows us to see something in action just fine.

They could do both, easily

I hope they never go back to live presentations. I hate hearing people talk up a game onstage. People don't come out ahead of movie trailers just to tell you about how great the movie will be or what kind of "experience" it will provide. The trailer shows you. That's all you need.

Some movie theaters do. Actors or directors film a short video that plays before a trailer or the feature itself. It’s basically just a hype piece to hopefully change your mindset or make you feel special before watching it.

But even those are exactly as you said-- videos, not live presentations. And even then, I'd rather do without that type of video. because it's usually obvious that they hastily filmed it during a press tour, and they add nothing to the experience of the movie itself. More often than not they just thank you and tell you how excited they are that you are going to see it.

Touché. I do like getting a look inside the development process, but don’t think a live stage is the place for it. Also hate the use of streamers, shoutcasters, etc.

The real problems with the live presentations back then was the lack of justification. Not a lot games to get excited for.....

That, and Nintendo was looking to save money rather than spend it (much like they killed physical rewards on Club Nintendo). It’s a good chunk of change to rent an entire theater out for an afternoon.

My two cents....I hope to never see Nintendo do live presentations again. Live presentations are usually very cringe with people making lame jokes, lame musical numbers to stretch out time, or have technical malfunctions and every Nintendo live presentation E3 in the past has had these problems. The Direct format is the future of E3 IMO. Drop the nonsense and just get to the games the things people care about.

HOWEVER if EVERY company did it like Microsoft this year where it was just game after game with no extra bullshit fluff then that would be fine. The problem is Nintendo just doesn't have the content to do that especially in recent years. I could only imagine how terrible this year would've been if Nintendo had an hour plus long conference. When the only thing they REALLY showed off was Smash?

100% agree. For the most part the prerecorded direct is better, however the athmosphere and excitement is infinitely better for those in attendance at the live event.

Like how watching a movie in a theater can actually make it better rather than in your living room. Doesn’t work all the time but can work.

Microsoft did a great showing and could even improve it but cutting out things like their subscription service talk. Other than that it was pretty much game, game, game, game, repeat.

The first year or two of E3 directs were rough but they got it running smoothly after that. Personally, I don’t want live shows again. It’s a lot of useless fluff and filler.

I do think there is a sense of efficiency in their online presentation. Unlike Sony's bloated and convoluted setup, they got straight to business and showed what people were looking for: Games.

And yet, this one felt flat. It's clear E3 doesn't really mean much to Nintendo anymore as they can now show Directs whenever they feel like it, but in comparison to last year's there was not a lot shown, and other things felt missing.

Not showing off whatever it is they plan to do with online felt like a big miss, especially since Smash will likely take advantage of... whatever it is that they plan to do.

Personally I am fine with them doing things directly to us because this way, they will have stuff to announce instead of just the e3.

I'd much rather them stick with Directs at E3. Although, I'd love for them to go back to doing bits like they did with Robot Chicken and the Muppets. They were a lot of fun and entertained in ways a lot of other companies fail at when trying to inject some life into their presentations (Andrew WK, Unisoft dancers etc.).

I love their Directs in general, E3 or non-E3. They are more calm. I can just lean back have a beer and relax while watching. But this year's E3 Direct had little content, I mean seriously: Where is Retro's new game? A little teaser trailer would have been enough. Remember how people exploded just for the logo of MP4? What about Bayonetta 3? Granted we have no idea how long it is in development, but new trailer would have been so sweet.
Oh well. We are bound to get at least 2 more Directs this year, I reckon, so I can just play the games I have as usual.

Yeah. MS really delivered this year. Sony....What were you thinking?

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