Nintendo’s Best Buy E3 Experience (thing?)

July 20th, 2013 -


Nintendo broke new ground this year with a new way to wait in line at E3. If you’ve been to an amusement park during the summer, then you know exactly what E3 is like… lines! liNES! LINES! In 2011 when Chris and I attended E3, the Wii U was just announced and the line for the Wii U demo was 8 hours long. We actually waited in line for the Vita which ended up being 4 hours  (1 hour to get into E3 and then 3 hours at the booth) for a 15 minute demo. It was kinda worth it… okay, maybe not.

So, how can we best capture the E3 experience in your home town? But of course! Waiting in line at Best Buy! Thankfully though, the lines were much more manageable, with an average wait of about 30mins to an hour. Wait lines obviously vary between locations, I would say that the populous of the Best Buy that I attended would be considered average to low. The Best Buy that I attended was in Northern California (a more suburban Best Buy). However, if you were in Los Angeles? I assume that the wait would probably be more like E3. Then again, if you were in Los Angeles, why not just go to the convention center, but I digress.

The games displayed at this event were: Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and Mario Kart 8. The line system was a little confusing at my location. Apparently they were taking names and time slots to demo games of your choice, but that system soon fell apart and it ended up being half traditional line and half  “did you play yet? Come on down.” Hopefully Nintendo will have a more efficient process if they do this again next year.


I ended up playing one level of Mario 3D World with 4 other random Nintendo fans (not pictured) and I must say, it’s chaotic. New Super Mario Bros U is pretty crazy with 4 people, but you only have 2 directions to run off screen, as opposed to 3D land which you have 360 directions to run off the screen. Lots and lots of people getting warped back into frame because one person kept running. There is also a scoring system after each level that uses a bar graph chart to show the player that scored the most points for that level (which I won by a considerable margin, with Luigi of course). I unfortunately did not get a chance to use the new cat suit, but it looks pretty neat (stay weird, Mario).

Mario Kart seemed to be the 2nd most popular demo for people to play next to 3D world. Only one person played Donkey Kong while we were there (no love for DK?). To be fair, the gameplay mechanics looked very similar to “Returns,” which was almost exactly the same as the SNES game. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Wind Waker was played a couple of times and wow, you think the HD videos of this look great? Wait until you see it in person. Wind Waker was an already great looking game on the GameCube (because of its art style), and it looks even better in HD.

All in all I would say that this event was a success for Nintendo. E3 is fun to watch, but from someone who has attended twice, it is even more fun to participate in person. While this event is no where near the excitement of walking around the massive Nintendo booth, it’s still better than sitting at home watching a Nintendo Direct.

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