Zelda Takes Place Of Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event

When Nintendo announced last week that the only playable game at its E3 booth would be The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, many people, including myself, thought they had gone a little crazy. They have plenty of games to show off, and yet they decide to feature only one at a tradeshow that has traditionally been used to give attendees a wide swath of games to try.

Still, I had thought that while the show floor would only consist of Zelda, that surely Nintendo would have a Digital Event in its normal timeslot to dive into some of their other titles that will be releasing throughout the year. There are plenty of games that deserve the attention, like Dragon Quest VII & VIII, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Paper Mario: Color Splash, Metroid Federation Force, and more. Unfortunately, this will not be the case as Nintendo has just sent out a press release detailing its E3 plans and no such Nintendo Direct has been announced.

In its place will be Treehouse: Live, which will begin at 9 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. CT / 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 14 – Nintendo’s usual spot for hosting its Digital Event or E3 press conference. Reggie will be there to introduce the show and talk a bit about Zelda. There will be commentaries by Nintendo developers and Zelda gameplay will be streamed from the E3 show floor.


Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m excited to see The Legend of Zelda for Wii U. It was my most anticipated game of the year until it saw yet another delay. I’m stoked to learn more about it and finally see how it plays. However, unless Nintendo has some major surprises in store, it appears that’s all we’re going to get this year. It’s like going to your favorite buffet and only being served one dish. Sure, it’s delicious, but it’s just not the same experience.

If you want to be one of the first people in the world to play the new Zelda game, Nintendo is hosting a sweepstakes to get flown to E3 and play it. Between now and May 10, anyone who goes to Twitter and tweets @NintendoAmerica a note about what The Legend of Zelda series means to them while using the hashtags #MyZeldaLegend and #NintendoSweepstakes will be entered for a chance to win. The winner will be chose at random and the prize package includes airfare for two, a hotel stay, tickets to E3, and a $500 prepaid Visa debit card.


One last thing to note, there has been no word of Nintendo teaming up with Best Buy stores this year like it has done for the past shows. If you recall, during the last batch of E3 shows Nintendo has selected about 100 Best Buy stores to demo some of the games at E3. Obviously if Zelda is the only game being shown it could have been expected that it would have been the one at the stores. Perhaps Nintendo thought it would take way too long for customers to adequately demo the game and passed on the partnership this year.


Nintendo will transform its booth at the E3 video game trade show next month in Los Angeles to immerse fans in the world of the newest game in The Legend of Zelda franchise – playable for the first time ever at the show. To ensure attendees are able to truly experience the freedom of exploration the game offers, The Legend of Zelda for Wii U will be Nintendo’s focus of the show this year, and will be the only playable game in Nintendo’s booth via extended demos.

At E3 this year, we’re treating people to an immersive Zelda experience,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “By giving attendees extended hands-on time with this remarkable game, they’ll be able to get a much deeper understanding of something new for the franchise.”

Nintendo’s kickoff to the E3 show happens at 9 a.m. PT Tuesday, June 14, when Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime introduces Nintendo Treehouse: Live, which will be dedicated to a day of live-streamed gameplay of The Legend of Zelda. This will be the world’s first in-depth look at the game, which will also include commentaries by Nintendo developers. The Legend of Zelda gameplay will be streamed from the E3 show floor via Nintendo’s channels on YouTube and Twitch, as well as on http://e3.nintendo.com. The stream will include game coverage, behind-the-scenes info and plenty of fun.

Series Producer Eiji Aonuma has said that this new installment in The Legend of Zelda franchise will be a clean break from the conventions of previous games, removing boundaries that forced players to follow a set path and introducing new gameplay that has not been experienced in previous games in the series.

While people everywhere will be able to watch The Legend of Zelda gameplay online, one lucky fan and a companion will be flown to Los Angeles to enjoy the action in person and be among the first to play the game on the show floor. Between now and May 10, Nintendo is offering a sweepstakes on Twitter for a chance to win a trip for two to E3 to play the game. Anyone who tweets @NintendoAmerica a note about what The Legend of Zelda series means to them while using the hashtags #MyZeldaLegend and #NintendoSweepstakes will be entered for a chance to win. Fans can share messages about their favorite games, characters or memories of the franchise. Nintendo will select a winner at random. The prize package includes airfare for two, a hotel stay, tickets to E3, a $500 prepaid VISA debit card. For all the details about the sweepstakes, visit http://e3.nintendo.com/#section-sweepstakes.
To stay informed about Nintendo’s presence at E3, visit http://e3.nintendo.com.


Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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