Nintendo has put itself out there in some very elaborate ways over the past year. The company set up Wii U mall kiosks shaped like the system’s logo, stuffed living rooms inside giant cubes, and attended countless conventions all in the name of hands-on time with the Wii U and 3DS. The latest in this series of events was a new mall tour that just wrapped up in sunny Southern California. Sharing the same name as June’s E3 events at Best Buy, the Nintendo Experience tour brought Wii U and 3DS demos to twelve different malls across the country, but without the glitz and glamor of the other events. We recently took a trip to the final stop in Torrance, CA to see what Nintendo had on hand and to bring you photos of the event.
By far the smallest of Nintendo’s recent event onslaught, the Nintendo Experience tour was confined to a simple rectangular booth with four Wii U kiosks and six 3DS demo units. Since the tour only lasted from September through this past week, Nintendo chose to use it as an opportunity to highlight its Fall releases instead of upcoming holiday titles. This meant that while there were no Super Mario 3D World or The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between World sightings, there were plenty of just-released games on hand. Specifically, Nintendo used its four Wii U kiosks to show off The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, and The Wonderful 101 (the latter of which had the privilege of being playable on two kiosks). On its six 3DS units, Nintendo only demoed Pokemon X & Y and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. Of note, however, was the inclusion of two 2DS units. The new 3DS family member received by far the most attention at the booth, as it provided the first opportunity for many people (ourselves included) to go hands-on with the slate-like device. Some stops of the tour also included a special Animal Crossing: New Leaf lounge, but the one we attended unfortunately did not.
Even with its limited size and selection, the booth still accomplished what Nintendo wanted: it got people playing Wii U and 3DS. Nintendo knows that it takes events of any sort, be it flashy or not, to help grow mindshare of the Wii U and to end any lingering misunderstandings about it being a new console. This is likely why we have seen the number of events greatly increase throughout year. We expect Nintendo to continue into the holiday season with even more events, which we will cover as well. Until then, get a taste of the Nintendo Experience tour via our photo gallery.