Unlike previous years, Nintendo will not make a major splash at the E3 gaming expo in June.
Speaking to shareholders on Thursday, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata confirmed that his company will not hold a major showcase at E3. Instead, his company will focus on smaller presentations centered around its many software titles.
"First, we decided not to host a large-scale presentation targeted at everyone in the international audience where we announce new information as we did in the past," Iwata told investors. "Instead, at the E3 show this year, we are planning to host a few smaller events that are specifically focused on our software lineup for the U.S. market. There will be one closed event for American distributors, and we will hold another closed hands-on experience event, for mainly the Western gaming media."
Nintendo's decision is a dramatic departure from the company's previous E3 events. Like its competitors, Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo has historically held major press events at E3 showing off its latest and greatest products. Both Microsoft and Sony are expected to do the same this year. Nintendo's decision to not do so will leave a major hole in the gaming confab's lineup.
Although it makes sense that Nintendo's E3 presentation focuses mainly on the U.S. market -- it's heavily attended by American media, after all -- Nintendo believes that it can more effectively convey its marketing messages to the important Japanese gaming market through its Nintendo Direct video series. Nintendo Direct has been used in the past to announce news and upcoming plans.
Iwata's comments on his company's E3 plans come just a day after it posted weaker-than-expected profits, due to sluggish demand for its Wii U. Nintendo said that it expects the Wii U's sales to ramp up later this year as its library of first-party games start to hit store shelves. It appears that E3 will be Nintendo's place to heavily promote those games.