E3 Lite will not feature any playable demos of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a Nintendo rep told Game|Life today. The 2007 release is still assured, however. Is this disappointing? Yes. Does it make sense? Also yes.
Game|Life explains why (and I think you’ll start to see why this is not your daddy’s E3 anymore):
Nintendo’s stance is that they are going to have an E3 with a very narrow focus on a group of key software titles. Several never-before-seen Wii titles will be announced and playable at the show, but due to the constrictive, tightly scheduled nature of this year’s scaled-back E3, Nintendo wanted to have a smaller game portfolio.
Chris’ thoughts: As disappointed as I am that we don’t get to play Smash Bros. next week, it does make a lot of sense. It’s not like we can all just hang out in the “Wii area” of E3. Because there is no Wii area anymore. There’s not even an E3, really. Just a hotel suite, in which I have exactly 55 minutes to experience Nintendo’s entire lineup. It’s tough to say that any real Smash Bros. experience can be fit into that window.
I think we all run the risk of placing too much emphasis on the importance of next week’s E3 conference to existing IP. The stuff we know about, like Smash Bros., will have to sit by the wayside. Personally, I think it’s a legitimate strategy because the A-list titles like Smash Bros. are pretty well known throughout the industry already, and, let’s face it–Smash Bros. isn’t exactly a “new” title. The audience that buys Smash Bros. is already a lock for Nintendo, so I expect to see them trying to entice new customers with new genres. Hopefully this approach by Nintendo means we’ll be seeing legitimate “original IP” — and not Mario Party 9. Who knows, we might even get to the bottom of that Project H.A.M.M.E.R. rumor.