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Nintendo talks mobile gaming, VR and its future at E3

Nintendo has never been afraid to go against the grain of prevailing industry trends. In fact, the refusal to follow the pack has become a defining aspect of the gaming giant’s business strategy during the ascendance of chief console competitors Sony and Microsoft. So it comes as no surprise, really, that it did something markedly different at this year’s E3 show. But just how different came as a bit of a surprise to many who follow the industry closely.

Even as rumblings about a new console turned to actual news, the company made it clear in the days and weeks leading up to E3 that this show would not be about hardware for Nintendo. Instead, it would focus, as it so often has, on games — or rather, one game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. More than three years after the next installment in one of the company’s most beloved franchises was first announced, Nintendo was finally ready to show it off in a big way.

In a show dominated by VR, Nintendo constructed a wholly impressive shrine to the open world adventure, a high-walled to-scale model of Hyrule, complete with changing weather patterns triggered by Nintendo employees via switches on the ground. NX, the company’s forthcoming mystery console, hardly received mention as the company altogether eschewed a keynote presentation, instead devoting its daylong Treehouse Live stream to the new title.