E3 2019 featured conferences from some of the biggest players in the industry, but it seemed as if Nintendo was the only company that actually focused on games that are coming out this year, instead of making promises for 2020.
Nintendo has downplayed its E3 presence in recent years, which is partly due to the fact that the company holds several Directs each year that promote the upcoming Nintendo games at a time when there is less competition for headlines. E3 2019 was different than other years, as Sony had no presence at the event, which meant that other companies had a chance to steal the limelight. Nintendo's E3 2019 Direct was the last of the major press conferences to take place during the event and it managed to avoid any major leaks, which may have something to do with the fact that the company tracked down and sent a cease & desist letter to a prominent leaker.
The bulk of games that were showcased at E3 2019 aren't out until 2020. The big names at E3 2019 were Cyberpunk 2077, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Watch Dogs Legion, and others like them, yet none of them will arrive in 2019. There were also prominent games that have no release date, such as Baldur's Gate III. Nintendo's conference, on the other hand, focused on games that will be available in 2019, with exclusive titles for the Nintendo Switch like Astral Chain, Cadence of Hyrule, Daemon X Machina, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Luigi's Mansion 3, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Super Mario Maker 2, and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening all being discussed during the E3 Direct.
There was also a lot of discussion about third-party games coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2019, such as Alien Isolation, Collection of Mana (which was released shortly after the Direct), Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition, Panzer Dragoon, Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 6, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Complete Edition. The trailers also showed a lot of gameplay footage, rather than relying on cinematics. The only 2020 games that were focused on were Animal Crossing: New Horizons and No More Heroes III. The sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will likely also be a 2020 title.
Nintendo also put a lot of effort into its E3 booths, with the demo booth for Pokémon Sword & Shield looking like a Pokémon Gym, the booth for The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening featuring beautiful dioramas that showed scenes from the game, while the Luigi's Mansion 3 booth was made to look like a spooky mansion. It bears mentioning that most of the games mentioned in the Direct were playable on the show floor.
The video game industry is currently going through a transition, with Microsoft and Sony teasing their upcoming consoles and outside players like Google threatening to steal the show with their streaming platforms. Nintendo is doing well by focusing on what it has, which is a successful console that still has several years worth of content. Nintendo was the company that left us the most impressed after E3 2019, as it feels as if their games are almost within our reach, rather than being titles that we won't get to play until next year.