Part of the Nintendo Difference: E3 2001

As a follow-up to my previous E3 scan, here’s some subtle marketing Nintendo spread around E3 2001, again, on the back of the E3 Show Daily magazines. Checkout the “interesting” front covers, too, and maybe you’ll question how there could be any excitement for such an unappealing video game industry at the time (as presented by the magazine). “Doug Lowensteins’ State of the Industry 2000-2001 Report: IDSA findings indicate games are fully mainstream…” Yes!…? Wait, is that really a good thing or a bad thing?


It’s awkward reading the mainstreamish, gently enthusiastic journalism in these magazines, missing much of the “mean cheerleader” slant from real game journalistsE3 Show Daily, provided by the IDSA (now ESA; industry association and E3 organizer), seemed to cover a pretty wide range of companies/products, many of which aren’t interesting or even alive today. I guess what’s important was you wanted to write about all the esteemed industry members that gathered at your trade show, rather than be a marketer parading the latest high-budget shooter guy/fantasy people/cartoon mascots. I doubt the corporate gaming press bothered to take a good look at these mags since they were busy in the field (working for a typical press outlet), feeding the hype machines for their platform/publication/sponsor. These mags might’ve been ignored as cheap swag artifacts of a long gone generation, so maybe none remembered if there was anything interesting to share for the future. That’s disappointing, because these magazines were EVERYWHERE at the show and stuffed into countless press swag bags to migrate away from Los Angeles.

What I found significant are the covers’ contents with respect to the time: 14 years have passed, but the front pages do a surprising job of reflecting (rather than shaping) the industry’s future – those current gaming events we consume today:

“Now, really think about what you’ll remember – stuff like the Final Fantasy movie clip, Sony’s Jak and Daxter, air-apparent Tony Hawk 3, and more.” This is sickening and uncanny, and it’s still going on. Some things have changed; some stayed the same.

Where’s the “Nintendo difference” in all this?  I suppose they were always part of that industry, on the back cover, not really fitting in with the pages of filler around it, waiting to surprise those who look from a different angle.

e3daily2001_day3_front_shrek1Shrek. At E3.

 e3daily2001_day3_front_shrek2I was there. He was there.
I have no recollection of him.

4 thoughts on “Part of the Nintendo Difference: E3 2001

  1. It just goes to show you how no matter how much the games industry continues to strive to become “mainstream” and “acceptable” the only thing that can really bring those things is by not trying to attain them.

    The Wii and DS were the most mainstream gaming platforms ever to exist and yet they were looked down on with disdain and ridicule by the gaming industry and media. They weren’t designed to be mainstream but to simply reach out to gamers that the current industry was completely ignoring.

    Nintendo will always be the game industry’s dirty little secret. The weird uncle that they keep in the attic or the basement but without they would have died from their own incompetence long ago.


Comments are open

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.