Nintendo has confirmed reports that it won’t be participating in E3 2023, meaning the gaming trade show will be missing one of its key vendors when it returns in-person this June.
“We approach our involvement in any event on a case-by-case basis and are always considering various ways to engage with our fans,” a Nintendo spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. “Since this year’s E3 show didn’t fit into our plans, we have made the decision to not participate. However, we have been and continue to be a strong supporter of the ESA [Entertainment Software Association] and E3.”
After taking 2020 and 2022 off and being digital-only in 2021, this year was supposed to mark the grand return of E3, which was once a dominant game industry trade show that attracted every big video game company. Although Sony hasn’t participated since 2019, it still came as a shock in January when IGN reported that both Nintendo and Microsoft would not be attending E3 this year as well. It appears that the report is true, as Microsoft has not confirmed any E3-related events outside of its independently run Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase.
Nintendo skipping E3 2023 not only takes away a vendor that dominated the show floor in previous years, but also raises questions about whether or not the company will hold an exciting Nintendo Direct around then. While Nintendo typically holds a big showcase with lots of first-party game announcements around June every year, in 2022 it only held a third-party driven Partner Showcase in June. Now that we know it won’t be at E3 2023, we’re left to wonder when exactly then next big Nintendo Direct will be.
E3 2023 will take place between June 13 and June 16, but don’t expect Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft to have a big presence there.