With Nintendo opting out of a large scale press conference at E3 2013, the focus of their marketing efforts this week has been Tuesday’s Nintendo Direct presentation, combined with over 100 E3 demo events taking place at select Best Buy locations across North America. WGTC attended one of these Best Buy E3 events yesterday, coming away with a nice selection of “Luigi Loot,” and off-screen pictures/video footage of some of Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U titles.
Local Nintendo reps at the E3 2013 Best Buy event utilized the existing Wii U demo stations inside the store’s video game section (in our case this meant that fans had to line up at a single Wii U kiosk) to showcase all four upcoming Wii U titles: Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. As attendees waited in line, the Nintendo reps were on hand to load up their desired game, and answer any questions.
Since all four demos were only played on demand at a single station, this resulted in a rather significant bottleneck at the Wii U kiosk (we were towards the front half of the line and waited for approximately 45 minutes, wait times at the end of the line were about two hours). Fortunately, Nintendo provided 3DS demo stations (loaded with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon) at the halfway point in the line to make the wait a little more bearable.
The other unfortunate result of only having a single demo station was that we could not get our eyeballs on all four Wii U titles. In the two hours that we were at Nintendo’s E3 2013 event every single attendee chose to play either 4-player Super Mario 3D World (we were guilty of this ourselves) or 2-player Mario Kart 8 (which looked far more visually impressive in person than what was shown during the Nintendo Direct presentation). We never saw so much as the loading screen for Zleda: Wind Waker or DK: Tropical Freeze, which was extremely disappointing.
Other than the Wii U demos, Nintendo was also handing out “Luigi Loot” items at the event. These consisted of Mario Kart 8 themed flags, Luigi hats, and a very limited number of 30th anniversary gold Luigi coins. At the Best Buy event we attended the flags were handed out to everyone as they left the kiosk, Luigi hats were given to people who demoed Luigi’s Mansion, and the gold Luigi coins were awarded to the top scoring Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8 players. Pictures of all the “Luigi Loot” items at the E3 2013 event are included in the gallery below.
This was a pretty interesting experiment for Nintendo to conduct at this year’s E3, as they attempted to bypass the traditional way information is spread from the LA-based event and bring it directly to the gaming community. Despite the issues resulting from the single Wii U kiosk, I have to say that it was a huge success. There were a far greater number of people who showed up than I was anticipating, and it gave the public a chance to go hands-on with Nintendo’s E3 2013 games.
Hopefully, these type of public E3 events become common place for Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft going forward.
Embedded below is a gallery of pictures from Nintendo’s public E3 2013 showcase, along with off-screen footage of Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World. If you missed yesterday’s event, you will have one more chance to check out Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U lineup on June 15th between 1PM and 5PM (local time) at select Best Buy stores.