One surefire way to make sure your company gets out in front of the E3 buzz? Launch a pre-pre-E3 press conference, of course. Nintendo was already set up to kick off the show on Tuesday, getting the party started according to tradition with an early morning press conference ahead of show floor opening. As it has in the past, the gaming giant was scheduled to be the third of the big three, unveiling its wares a day after Sony and Microsoft had their moments to shine. For 2012, the company made an unorthodox play, opting for a small broadcast event the Sunday afternoon ahead of the show, with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata standing alone in an unassuming wood-paneled room, giving yet another sneak peak into the world of the Wii U.
Popular opinion has positioned E3 2012 as a make-or-break proposition for the company. Nintendo's had an unprecedentedly rough year, with a continually eroding sense of excitement around its aging Wii console and a lukewarm reception greeting the 3DS. And with mobile competition nabbing pretty sizable chunks from the company's casual offerings, Nintendo needs to remind people what the console can bring that handsets can't. In earnest, Iwata offered up a smattering of additional details on the Wii U, with a finalized layout for the system's tablet-esque controller, the introduction of Miiverse social functionality and the promise of a bit of mobile device compatibility.