This E3, Nintendo is all about The Legend of Zelda. Despite announcements for several other titles like Pokémon GO, Pokémon Sun/Moon, Paper Mario and more, the company’s booth is dedicated entirely to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For the first time in the franchise, Breath of the Wild allows players to explore Hyrule in an open-world environment, so Nintendo wanted to bring that experience to the E3 floor.
Second in size only to Sony, Nintendo’s 30,000 square foot booth takes fans “outside” to explore the world of Hyrule. The floor is covered in real grass, there’s a stunning mural, life-sized props, statues and more. Ambient nature noises fill the air, and each location was treated with a sort of “smell-o-vision,” such as burning logs next to a fire pit and pine next to trees. Every 24 minutes, the booth transitions from day to night and vice versa; immersing explorers into matching colors, sounds and shadows.
This is the first time that Nintendo has dedicated an entire booth to one franchise.
“We just wanted to create an immersive experience in the booth and dedicate everything to the one game by replicating the experience happening in the game,” Charlie Scibetta, senior director of corporate communications at Nintendo, in an interview with GamesBeat. “It’s an open-air adventure. You can feel one with nature. You can hear the sound of wind in the booth. We have fans. We have real grass. Everything is to scale. We wanted to go big with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”
Guests attending E3 were met with high walls depicting images and characters from The Legend of Zelda, but could not see inside the booth, itself. Those lucky enough to make it through the long lines were treated to either a 15-minute gameplay demo or entry into the massive booth for photo ops. In this way, Nintendo catered to both the dedicated and the curious to explore their interactive play area.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is scheduled for launch in 2017 exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U and NX.