Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event was met with a lot of criticism, and Nintendo has acknowledged that many fans were underwhelmed and disappointed. However, that’s not to say that they’re unhappy with their presence at E3. Speaking with shareholders at the 75th Annual Shareholders Meeting, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said that fans on the show floor were actually quite pleased with the games. In fact, according to Iwata, there were more people smiling and picking up controllers to play games at Nintendo’s booth than at other companies’ booths.
“(While playing a video for shareholders) This is the footage from the E3 show floor. E3 takes place at a venue called the Los Angeles Convention Center, which you may want to compare with Makuhari Messe in Japan, and this is Nintendo’s booth. One thing I should say about Nintendo’s E3 booth is that, unlike the other booths in general, most of the visitors to our booth were smiling and actually picking up the controllers and playing with our games. So, this was one big difference because a number of the visitors to other booths appeared to have spent a lot of time just watching game videos. Other than these show floor activities, Nintendo did not hold a press conference this year, but we did air our “Nintendo Digital Event” Internet program, and even before the Digital Event, we aired another video presentation to announce the new content of “Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U.” We also broadcast our event titled “Nintendo World Championships 2015” live via the Internet. This event used several Nintendo game software titles to decide the world’s most skillful player. There was a lot of excitement from the visitors and the contenders. So, we listen sincerely to the voices of fans who were not happy about the announcements we made in the online Digital Event, and we will have to make further efforts to improve. But when it comes to the reactions to our E3 activities overall, the reactions from trade customers and the media were not that unfavorable. I hope you will understand it.”
— Satoru Iwata
Speaking as someone who spent a lot of time on the E3 show floor at Nintendo’s booth as well as Microsoft and Sony’s booths, I think Iwata’s statements here are partially true. It’s true that other companies had a lot of video presentations and live demonstrations, but it’s not true that Nintendo had more total playable games. Nintendo had more first-party game available to play than the other companies, but Microsoft and Sony each had a much more robust lineup of third-party and indie games than Nintendo, as Nintendo only had two playable games that weren’t first-party.
All three companies had plenty of people playing games at their booths. Lines were longer at Nintendo’s booth, but that was partially due to the fact there were less demo stations, as a large portion of Nintendo’s E3 show floor was devoted to the Nintendo Treehouse stage and seating area.