Video Gamer Play // Nintendo speaks a little too directly to fans at E3
Nintendo speaks a little too directly to fans at E3
I’m not going to quibble with Nintendo’s policy, now long established, of addressing fans directly through a pre-recorded showcase at E3 rather than going through the rigmarole of a live event. Nor am I going to dispute that the Nintendo Direct videos that have proliferated through the gaming year to offer roundups, announcements and deep-dives work well for both Nintendo and its community; nor argue that it is a bad idea to spread these moments around rather than concentrate them in a single info-burst in June. They make Switch feel like the bustling, exciting platform it absolutely is.
I do think Nintendo missed an opportunity yesterday, however, with an E3 Direct that will have left everyone but the hardcore followers of a single one of its game series cold.
Nintendo has chosen to put a square focus on a single game at the last few E3s, which worked superbly with Zelda: Breath of the Wild two years ago and with Super Mario Odyssey last year – but these were games with a broad appeal offering much new to discover and explain, and still neither of them got the relentless and granular focus that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate enjoyed over 25 minutes, more than half of yesterday’s broadcast. Now, Smash is a very popular game with a rabid following, but it is also an iterative and technical fighting game and, thematically, it is almost the definition of an inside joke – an indulgent bit of fan service that revels digging up, dusting off and remixing obscure characters from ancient games. All of which means that, outside that fanbase, passing interest in it is almost non-existent.
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