Nintendo, facing an E3 where attention would be focused on new consoles from Sony and Microsoft, turned to a new marketing tact of taking games to the public. More than 100 Best Buy locations across North America had a Nintendo presence, where people could come and see some of the new Wii U titles that Nintendo was displaying that same week at E3. Nintendo claimed the event was a great success.
"We've wanted to do that for a long time," said J.C. Rodrigo, senior product marketing specialist in Nintendo of America's product development department, speaking to Polygon. "We really wanted to make sure we [brought] our experiences [to] the hands of people who want to try our stuff, as much as we could."
Fans could play Nintendo Wii U game demos in four-hour periods at select Best Buy stores on two days during the week of E3.
"You had the sales and marketing briefing for the people that needed to hear that information; you had the Nintendo Direct for people that really needed to know, generally, what was happening and what we're coming out with; and then you [had] the sampling at the Best Buy [stores] that got that information out as well," said Rodrigo. "So if you look at it from the content perspective and who needed to know, everyone got what they needed to know — just in different ways."
Nintendo feels that strong first-party titles will drive third-party publishers to support the Wii U, and so the company is reaching out directly to its core Nintendo fan base to try and make that happen. Still, getting third-party support will require some very strong sales from the Wii U. It's also going to be difficult because the Wii U architecture is so different from that of the Xbox One and the PS4, thus driving up development cost and time for publishers.