My E3 Daydream for Nintendo: BYOSwitch
I’ve got two logistical E3 nightmares to tell you about today, one that’s really happening and one that I just dreamed up in response to the former. Further below you can read Polygon’s summation of Nintendo’s elaborate plan to get more people playing Smash Bros. at E3 next month in June. But basically, it involves an email process that starts weeks in advance of E3, to reserve a ticket, for a chance to play one of two versions of the game.
Now for my elaborate nightmare scenario which is much, much cooler. Unfortunately, the linchpin is that we live in a perfect world where wifi isn’t total crap at overpopulated venues. That caveat aside, how amazing would it be if you could bring your Switch to Nintendo’s booth and simply download their E3 demos? I imagine they could hard-code the downloads to destroy themselves after 10 minutes (whether you launch the game or not), disable in-game screenshots and videos, and lock it to your Switch’s MAC address so you can’t repeatedly hammer their wifi to download again. They could even barricade their booth like a Faraday cage so you have to be inside to get connected. Want to play something again? Now you get in line for a demo station.
They’d never loosen the leash like that on super early products, and the technical hurdles would be immense, but it’d be an amazing way to try out Nintendo’s E3 lineup. People would flip out when suddenly they’re playing the latest Smash Bros. or Metroid (or Star Fox Kart?!) with their own hands on their own Switch. They’re already part of the way towards my dream; Nintendo staff will be on the lookout for people playing on their personal Switches and will be handing out exclusive tchotchkes. Just make the tchotchkes a little slip of paper with the wifi password and we’re practically living my dream! Bah. Instead, here’s that boring thing that Nintendo is actually doing:
“To shorten the time fans will need to wait in line to try it, Nintendo invites E3 attendees to reserve play slots ahead of time for just this game,” the company announced. “This should provide fans with a faster, smoother experience so they can play the Super Smash Bros.game and spend more time enjoying the rest of the June 12-14 show.”
Registered E3 2018 attendees will receive information from the event’s organizers starting June 5, in an email that outlines all possible opportunities to reserve play time with Smash Bros. Only those who sign up in advance will be able to play the game at the show; they’ll receive their tickets as a QR code upon successful registration.
The tickets will entitle players to checking out one of two modes: “for fun,” Smash Bros.’ more casual type of match, and “for glory,” which is a heated, elimination-based fight. You won’t be able to choose both, mind you; at the time of registration, you must choose which of the two you’re prepared to try out at E3.