Let’s see, where do I start… First and foremost, Nintendo should hire actors/actresses to MC their shows. Listening to Japanese and an English translator at the same time can be a little distracting. Also Reggie, while likeable in some respects, doesn’t seem as natural when glued to a teleprompter. Although at its core E3 has always been a trade show, today it’s all about marketing and presentation.
Anyways, onto the games/console. I must admit that I was a little underwhelmed. After all, this was a hardware launch event. Though, it didn’t seem like it. The WiiU console appears to have simply caught up to the competition in terms of capability and the GamePad doesn’t present anything newer than what we’ve seen on the DS for years. I realize that Nintendo may still be holding an ace or two up its sleeve, but they have a lot riding on the success of this console. The momentum needs to start now if they intend for sales to be healthy in the Fall. With every major console launch, Nintendo has always been transformative/disruptive. I’m really not getting that vibe with this generation. Having said that, I’m excited to see the return of core games to a Nintendo console. The question is, will it persist? I was also happy to see the strong support of Ubisoft. They seem to be taking the same approach that Acclaim took with the N64 – which benefited them greatly in terms of profit and market penetration. Ultimately, I guess I will be taking a wait and see stance. With all of the strong development houses under the Nintendo umbrella, surely there will be more product announced. Console exclusives will determine the outcome of this cycle.
Nintendo began strong with the impressive Pikmin 3 and soon after, New Super Mario Bros. U. We all know Wii U’s first 3D Mario platformer is in the works and Nintendo will probably focus on that, the first The Legend of Zelda on Wii U, and the future of Super Smash Bros., next year and beyond. In regards to the conference itself, it was pretty decent. Unlike other companies’ attempts at humor, it worked here. From the Pikmin to Reggie acknowledging the meme you all know and love. Unfortunately, my body was left wanting more than what it got. Although I am really looking forward to Ubisoft’s ZombiU, I could not help but think, as the trailer was playing, why not partner with Valve to make a Left U4 Dead? I barely played Batman: Arkham City on 360 but I may give Armored Edition a fighting chance.
Overall, the games shown were not bad at all but I was expecting, at the very least, a sizzle reel at the very end, showcasing Retro Studios’ project and sneak peeks at one of the following Nintendo franchises: Metroid, Star Fox, and Zelda. I know last year’s E3 was very Zelda-heavy but after we saw that demo, the game could at least have been alluded to. I will have to see more of Nintendo Landbefore I gather a real opinion on it but so far, I like the idea of Nintendo shipping a launch game (pack-in?) with references to our most beloved series’.
To wrap up my thoughts, I honestly am not convinced to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on Wii U at launch. I could just as easily, use my money for a 3DS and Paper Mario: Sticker Star. As I see more Wii U footage online, I am sure I will come around and put Wii U on my wish list. Nintendo has entered the HD realm and that entices me alone to buy into Wii U. I just wish they showed a Metroid Prime 4 or a peek at The Legend of Zelda U. Coming out of E3, my top five games from everyone are: 1. Halo 4, 2. Tomb Raider, 3. Star Wars 1313, 4. ZombiU, 5. New Super Mario Bros. U. What can you derive from that list? Nintendo did not impress me nearly enough and if it were not for Ubisoft’s awesome footage and HD 2D Mario, I would have had a mountain of disappointment to leap over. In closing, I give Nintendo at E3 a ‘B-‘. The conference was decent but underwhelming. And one final shout-out to Pikmin 3!