During a short Nintendo Direct presentation this morning, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime revealed that The Big N has partnered with Best Buy to provide playable demos of unreleased Wii U games during the week of E3 (June 11-13, 2013).
Reggie made the surprise (and unprecedented) announcement at the end of today’s presentation, saying:
“I know many of you are starting to get excited for E3, and we are right there with you.”
“While in previous years we have introduced new hardware, like Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, this year it’s all about the games.”
“In the past, we have focused the E3 hands-on experience on those attending the event, but this year we are making E3 for the people. And, we want to make sure that you get the chance to try our games as well.”
“We’ve partnered with Best Buy to make it possible for consumers in the United States and Canada to experience select, unreleased, Wii U games at more than 100 retail locations during the week of E3.”
“We will be able to share more details on what games will be featured, and where you will be able play them, in the coming weeks. But we can say now that we are excited to be able to give you this exclusive glimpse into the future of Wii U.”
Last month Nintendo surprised everyone with the announcement that they would not be holding a large scale event at E3 2013, but would instead focus “a few smaller events” and other ways to deliver information about their games “directly” to their customers. At the time, most people assumed that this would only amount to a series of Nintendo Direct-type presentations around the time of E3. It is clear now that Nintendo also had something much bigger in mind.
Once Nintendo announces which Best Buy locations will be hosting the unreleased Wii U demos, we should have a better idea as to how all of this will work. For now, it seems that Nintendo has come up with a very clever way to grab attention away from Sony and Microsoft at E3 — let consumers who are normally restricted to watching E3 coverage actually play the Wii U‘s lineup of E3 games.