PAX Prime 2013: Nintendo First Impressions

Nintendo’s presence at PAX Prime in Seattle this year, running from August 30th to September 2nd, is nothing short of enormous. While other vendors are content to remain inside the Expo hall and entice people to play their games with loud noises and flashing lights, Nintendo has a different strategy.

Although their Expo Hall booth is located at the back of the main room, it’s spacious, with wide aisles, setups of three TV screens and consoles wide, and plenty of area for spectators to watch other players in comfort. In other words, it’s exactly unlike the other booths at the show in that it seems to encourage people to watch each other play and to walk around the booth without necessarily lining up.

But despite the comfort of the main booth, Nintendo has more than one area of focus. They sell home consoles, sure… but they also sell handheld systems.

Since…well, as far back as I can remember, PAX has included a “handheld lounge” at the show. This is an area outside of the Expo Hall that’s full of beanbags, where attendees can flop down at any time during the day and play their games in comfort. In recent years, Nintendo has stealthily taken over the handheld lounge space—not getting rid of the beanbags, but placing themselves in a prominent visual position nearby,


This year was no different, in that Nintendo has 3DS game stations on two floors—directly above and below each other—with beanbag chairs nearby. This means that attendees will constantly have Nintendo’s new 3DS offerings on the brain… and if they’re not enticed enough throughout the day to check out the games, after the Expo Hall and demo areas officially closed at 6pm, the Nintendo staff actually left most of the 3DS’s hooked up to those booths. With a security guard on watch, attendees could try out a few of these games after hours! Clever Nintendo…

The team had the opportunity today to also grab maps for the Legend of Zelda scavenger hunt (which we’ll elaborate on further in another post), and check out the Nintendo retail booth and King of Red Lions ship. On Sunday, Nintendo will hold their Wonderful 101 panel, which we’ll tell you about later this weekend.


Even just with one day under our belt, Nintendo was in our sights at just about every turn. Other booths—such as Capcom—brought games for the 3DS or Wii U, which means that attendees may have their hands on a Nintendo system at any given time during the show. That’s a bonus for Nintendo, and hopefully their efforts to be more visible this year will make the time and money spent here worthwhile!


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Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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