On September 30, this year’s Tokyo Game Show will kick off. Once again, because of the pandemic, the online-only event will not be in person. And, once again, Nintendo will not be showing up.
This evening, Japan time, Nintendo tweeted out that it will not be exhibiting its own games at Tokyo Game Show 2021 Online.
It added that it will be cooperating for indie games from other companies, but what to be clear about its role in the expo. It seems like Nintendo just wanted to manage expectations, especially given its history with the Tokyo Game Show. It’s not unusual for Nintendo games or even Nintendo hardware to pop up at TGS indirectly, but Nintendo wanted to be clear about its role.
Typically, Nintendo sits the Tokyo Game Show out, but the Kyoto-based game company has participated in the past. But if it did, even in an online capacity, well, that would be big news!
As Famitsu points out, Nintendo’s involved at TGS has been limited. In 2001, however, it exhibited a title called Game Boy Music for the Game Boy Advance — the game, however, was cancelled. The game would eventually become Nintendo DS title Daigasso! Band Brothers, which was released in 2004.
In 2005, then Nintendo President Satoru Iwata did give the keynote speech for the Tokyo Game Show. That was the first big event I covered for Kotaku (I even got lost on the way to the keynote!). During his speech, Iwata revealed the Wii-mote for the first time, pulling it out of his coat pocket. Even to this day, it was one of the most electrifying press conferences I have ever attended. There wasn’t loud music or fancy light shows, but a guy with some slides and a good idea.
Later that day, when I was interviewing another exec, I saw Mr. Iwata in a hotel lobby. He came over and pulled the Wii-mote prototype out of his pocket and handed it over to me. It was a truly memorably experience.
Shame that Nintendo does create more of those at the Tokyo Game Show.