To say that E3 2017 would be Nintendo’s most important showing at the expo in over 10 years would be an understatement. The company is in the midst of a resurgence with the Nintendo Switch selling out almost as soon as they hit store shelves and the company’s intellectual properties being as popular as they have ever been, so it was clear that Nintendo needed a big showing at E3 2017 in order to keep themselves in the game with the Switch into 2018 and beyond. Well now that the doors to the show have closed and all the games have been announced its starting to become very clear, Nintendo won E3 2017.
Lets get to the most important part of any E3 press showing – the games, and in this regard Nintendo more than delivered. We got to confirmations of new Kirby, Yoshi, Pokémon games as well as two new Metroid games (Metroid Prime 4!!) a remake of the first Mario & Luigi game as well as detailed views of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors and Super Mario Odyssey, so definitely not a slouch of a conference. But it’s what these games represent that means the most for Nintendo, since it’s basically confirmation the Switch will not suffer from the same software droughts that plagued the Wii and Wii U as well as help show third parties that their games can work on the Switch without having to worry that the system won’t be supported.
But if you want proof that the Switch has arrived as a legitimate contender in the console market and has gotten the attention of other gaming companies you need look no further than all the press conferences the Switch was mentioned in. Microsoft, Bethesda and Ubisoft all talked about the Nintendo Switch during their press conferences with the Xbox makers promising cross-platform support for Minecraft and both Bethesda and Ubisoft bringing major titles over to the platform. This is a stark difference from the past few years of E3’s where the only time you would hear about Nintendo support would be from their own conference and maybe a Just Dance game here or there. This was basically an affirmation from the game industry that the Switch is a contender and needs to be taken seriously.
Like I said earlier, Nintendo’s goal this E3 was to show that the Switch was a force to be taken seriously and in that regard it was mission accomplished. The system is getting plenty of support from Nintendo, with many games that the Wii U could only dream of having, as well third parties bringing very important games to the platform like Skyrim and Rocket League. Nintendo did what they needed to do to help force the Switch into the same conversation that’s being had about the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and helped themselves keep the momentum they have built going well into 2018 and beyond.
The concept of ‘winning’ E3 is a bit of an odd one that means different things to different people. And while Xbox fans are surely excited for Crackdown 3, PlayStation fans for God of War and Nintendo fans for Metroid Prime 4 none of those games will generate everlasting excitement and relevance for their respective platforms. But Nintendo bringing the Switch to E3 along with their biggest games is huge but beyond that, getting the Switch into 4/7 press conferences was a major coup de force for Nintendo, a company that just a year ago showed up to E3 with only one game to showcase. And that’s why they won E3.