Will Tears of the Kingdom finally get its first proper gameplay showcase
Nintendo is back at PAX East for the first time since 2020, and it begs the question: will Tears of the Kingdom finally get its first proper gameplay showcase and demo here – almost 4 years after the first Reveal at E3 2019? Well that is what this video is all about.
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Why would Tears of the Kingdom be at PAX East in Boston from Thursday, March 23rd, to Sunday, March 26? The main answer is that we are missing gameplay of the game and a demo found in a Nintendo booth.
Both forms of marketing have been traditional for all 3D Zelda games.
In the past, these took place at E3 in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, and finally, 2016.
While the last public Zelda demos were held worldwide exactly 6 years ago to promote the launch of the Nintendo Switch and, well, Breath of the Wild.
This year, Nintendo with Microsoft and Sony will not be present in LA for E3 and with it, Nintendo’s convention plans have become one giant unknown, unless the E3 showing this year has been moved to late March and Boston.
PAX, has since 2020, been the place for big Nintendo physical premieres and dedicated booths and even prior to this crucial year, Nintendo had annual booths for years at these conventions in Seattle and Boston.
PAX West 2022 marked the return of Nintendo with physical conventions and booth after 2 and a half years of absence and with the complete package.
Booth, demo and tournament dedicated to Splatoon 3 in the beginning of September.
This move right here along with the lack of Nintendo at E3 2023 is our biggest indication that something could happen with Zelda at this year’s PAX East.
It just makes sense, and with the experience from past events, it is clear that Nintendo could wish to show their biggest game of the year at least once before we get our 70-dollar or more expensive copies of the game in our hands.
The timing is definitely there as March 23rd, the opening day in Boston, is exactly 50 days away from the launch of Tears of the Kingdom.
In other words, perfection, and we should all remember how big Nintendo went with its dedicated Animal Crossing: New Horizons booth in 2020 – less than a month prior to the release that game.
I even experienced it myself – the demo stations, but also the section dedicated to recreate the welcoming area of the island experience.
And yes, compared to Nintendo’s dedicated Zelda and Mario E3 booths from 2016 and 2017, this wasn’t a gigantic space, but it replicated the game perfectly.
With that said, booth space naturally costs money, but if there is one thing Nintendo needs to convince people about this game, then it is how different Tears of the Kingdom is from Breath of the Wild.
And the first public demo is exactly what can turn around the skeptical and critical bubble that hangs above some players.
The secrecy and lack of any presence hasn’t helped in calming down the opinion that the 20th Zelda game, which started development as DLC 3 for Breath of the Wild, looks, well, like an expansion to Breath of the Wild.
This critical fire needs to be extinguished before it spreads, but how? The answer is super simple and exactly what Nintendo did at E3 in the past – a bigger Nintendo booth than ever at PAX East – even bigger than the one they had for Splatoon 3 at PAX West in September.
Zelda is massive in the US and is the new Switch game with the biggest player base still to be released.
Hence, if the game is to be playable prior to release, then you need space to fit enough TVs and systems.
The signals point to that Nintendo will not be present at E3 and at the same time, Tears of the Kingdom is the big Nintendo game of the year.
So there’s no point in holding back on the booth that will no doubt be the talk of the show, and then for the remaining days to release and even beyond.
The impact could be massive and Nintendo could completely dominate the show and convince everyone that this is it.
Speaking of, don’t make the demo about vehicle building since that is just nuts and bolts.
Instead, make the demo about the big selling point of the game – the new Sky.
Specifically, what looks more and more like the first major area of the new Great Plateau of the game.
This specific collection of sky islands connected by wooden bridges that we now have seen in several of the teasers and trailers in 2021 and 2022, and this revealing screenshot from February is where you can demonstrate what is new and deliver gameplay that will convince even the greatest skeptic in an even better starting area than the Great Plateau.
All while simultaneously not showing more of the surface that is similar to 2017 in its landscapes, and focusing on the brand-new floating territory that everyone wants to play through.
And since it also likely represents the beginning of the game, you can easily hide any details regarding Zelda’s whereabouts and just have a timed 20 or 25-minute demo.
You know, just like what was the case with Nintendo’s demos of Breath of the Wild in 2017, Link’s Awakening in 2019, and at PAX East 2020, with Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Even better, you can even hide the surface below the clouds from here and players will not be able to go down as this scene right here with Link skydiving from the title reveal trailer, points to a key detail.
Link already has 4 out of 8 vials.
The same amount of runes we needed to receive the paraglider and depart the Great Plateau in Breath of the Wild.
And we all know what preceded that – waking up and beating 4 opening shrines.
Shrines that a first time player couldn’t beat within the demo time due to the layout of the Plateau.
Besides, most got distracted and went in different directions – the exact intention of the Great Plateau.
I expect the same but also different with a Zonai rather than Sheikah flair with a demo that preserves the mystery of the game.
And hence, this screenshot differing from all the other ones provided after the Nintendo Direct was shown for one reason – tease what is the next presence of the game.
A demo of the opening area at PAX East 2023 where we wake up as Link and are just as bewildered as we were after playing the demo for the first time in 2016 or 2017.
A gateway demo – one that will impress in its gameplay variety and overarching themes and tease us with the new dragon that we have now seen twice in a row! One barely in the background and the other clearly visible, especially when upscaled in 4K from this screenshot.
20 minutes that will change everything, especially since the demo area will be explored extensively by the Treehouse Team with maybe some brief additional clips of the underground or the surface, just like we saw at E3 2016 with Breath of the Wild.
I’m seating with a feeling that the Zelda team wants to limit a demo and Treehouse session to just that – the opening area, and then save the final big premieres for April post-Easter.
Perhaps, 30 days prior to release on Wednesday, April 12th, or less than 25 days prior to release the week after.
Either way, this could be a Zelda Direct, but it depends on how much we could see at PAX East.
But yes, the closer we get, the more likely we are to see more of the game as well.
But back to the 50-day mark.
Since outside of the systems with potentially the opening area on them, and far more crew watching everyone’s hands and camera positions to.
well, avoid anyone committing the serious crime of data mining, or even worse, stealing the demo (aka the reason why this demo will not be in the eshop).
But other than that, what else could a massive Nintendo booth at PAX East contain after we are done playing? The area we just played through.
With golden sky islands hanging above our heads, wooden bridges to cross between the islands, plenty of Zonai designs, and naturally, a life-size statue of Link, perhaps together with an automaton, and along the walls of the booth, the dragon that is being teased.
There are just so many possibilities just based on this possible opening island.
As it has a Buddhist Pagoda-like structure, a hidden arena or at least giant building behind it where we might or might not face our first Automaton.
Not only that, we exit the booth by jumping off the sky island just like Link does.
There is your perfect booth that makes everyone excited for the rest of the game 50 days later.
Missing out on the above-mentioned opportunity would be a big miss by Nintendo.
But based on how protective Nintendo has been with this game, we cannot take anything for granted.
And while we are hyping this up, we have to realize that there is literally a heaven and hell scenario here and then we will get the answer soon.
Then again, based on the heavy marketing of Age of Calamity and Breath of the Wild, and the similarities to Breath of the Wild, this demo is the best move Nintendo can make to differentiate from it.
Getting their E3 booth budget out of the way early, and then focus on making this release the biggest in the history of the Nintendo Switch and possibly even Nintendo.
We are in the final years of the Switch, and this is one of the last big new titles exclusive to the system at launch.
Add to that the bigger and bigger signals that Nintendo is moving away from E3 and we stand in a situation where a potential Tears of the Kingdom booth at PAX East, might very well be the last major Nintendo booth and hands-on experience for their fans apart from new generation system launches.
But what do you think? Will PAX East be the moment when Nintendo finally shows proper gameplay of Tears of the Kingdom and gives us a demo in a dedicated booth, and is this the last we see of Nintendo booths for a while or will they be back at PAX West? Share your thoughts in the comment section down below! If you would like to attend PAX East as we will also have a meet up there on Saturday the 25th at noon, then be sure to leave a like, subscribe and press that notification bell and comment under this video to enter our 5 weekend badge giveaway.