Large-scale press conferences broadcast live on the internet mark the bombastic beginning of each E3 show. Every year Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony executives appear on-stage at some gargantuan Los Angeles venue to announce new games and, sometimes, new consoles.
This year, at E3 2013 in June, one of those companies will break with tradition. That company is Nintendo.
Overnight the Mario maker announced it had ditched a large-scale presentation for this year's E3 in favour of two behind-closed-doors events aimed at press and distributors. Why? According to Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata, it's all about better communication.
"As video game fans are looking for information about games, it seems that they are less interested in sales figures that investors and analysts on the other hand attach much greater importance to," he said, "and distribution partners are looking for information on how we are going to market our products in the immediate future."
Nintendo has enjoyed better communication with gamers, Iwata said, through its Nintendo Direct videos, published online every now and then. Now that Nintendo Direct is established, "we feel that we will be able to deliver our messages more appropriately based on the various needs of different groups of people".
So, what does this all mean for E3? Nintendo said it will use the show to announce new games - as expected - mainly Wii U games due out this year. Attendees should be able to play these games immediately at the show, Iwata said.
Nintendo is investigating "ways to deliver information about our games directly to our home audience around the time of E3", it said, so hopefully you at home won't miss out. A Nintendo Direct will be used to deliver information to the Japanese audience, with a focus on the Japanese market.
At E3 this year Nintendo faces stiff competition from Microsoft and Sony, both of which will use the show to explain further their next generation consoles and announce new games.
As Iwata noted, Nintendo is expected to announce a slew of new games for the Wii U, which has struggled since launch because of a lack of titles. Nintendo hopes to sell nine million Wii U consoles this financial year, and it will need eye-catching games to do so.
As part of the announcement of its full year financial results published yesterday, Nintendo outlined its 2013 Wii U software line-up, which includes Pikmin 3, Wii U Fit, Zelda: Wind Waker and new Mario and Mario Kart games.