I am surprised that so few have grasped what Nintendo tried to do with this press conference. Granted, they failed miserably, but still.
This was an education effort. They know that the key to success, and to sales in general, is to educate the customer. In this case everyone needs to grasp the idea of asymetric gameplay. I feel they have not really found their “elevator pitch”, the one sentence that brings light into darkness and ease into worried minds. This is not easy to achieve even for simple products, but for a thing like the Wii U it is almost impossible. A Wii U is larger than just the hardware, it is a an idea, an abstract thought that is hard to convey. Communicating the Wii was much easier. All you have to do is to aim a camera on a guy that stands in front of a TV, frantically flailing about with that white stick in hand. It simply looked fun!
In the Nintendo E3 press conference, Katsuya Eguchi, a guy I am sure is a wonderful man, was ungratefully tasked with explaining the idea of asymetric gameplay via a mini game called Luigis Ghost Mansion. A game which in short is a reversed tag game and is quite easy to understand, but which he spent over 3 unsuccessful minutes explaining in a way that should be bottled and sold as a sleeping aid. The discrepancy between poor Katsuya and the E3 king of energy and short pitch efforts, Randy Pitchford (The man even has the word pitch in his name!) was enormous! His 30 seconds on what the Wii U GamePad does for gaming during his Gamespot appearance for Aliens: Colonial Marines did more for the Wii U than Nintendos Whole hour.
What they should have done is what they said they would do, namely show games. Less talk, more colours, explosions, cute thingys and strange gameplay that captures the mind. With great great games comes great realisations and I think that using the E3 press conference for an educational effort was an erroneous act. They should have invigorated their fan base with mind blowing videos, surprises and promises of a wonderful future. If they had been able to arouse the minds of gamers they would have sought out the knowledge by ourselves, would have read, spread and evangelized.
The know what the have to do but cant find the way to do it! This is, however, far from over and I adhere to the old wise men that says “Never bet against Nintendo”.