There has of late been a lull in Nintendo-related news, no doubt in part because E3 draws ever closer. This is not altogether unusual: the weeks leading up to the event are often particularly quiet despite any rumors and excitement that may have arisen in the preceding months, and the fact that significant news is hard to come by only means we have entered the calm before the proverbial storm. This will undoubtedly change in two weeks’ time when we are hit with a veritable deluge of new information and surprise announcements, but until then we must sit patiently and wait out this dry spell as best we can. That said, all has not been entirely quiet this past week, with a couple of noteworthy stories breaking through the relative calm.
Foremost is the announcement of Nintendo’s partnership with Best Buy to offer downloadable content to customers who visit any of the thousand participating stores in the United States. Specific details as to what constitutes this content are currently scant, but those who wish to obtain it need only to visit a store beginning June 7 and receive the content automatically via Wi-Fi. Nintendo has specifically mentioned that movie trailers will be among the downloadables available through this promotion, leading one to believe stereoscopic films will still play an important role in company’s plans for its newest handheld, but it is yet too early to tell if this is indeed the case. Nintendo has also mentioned that “gaming extras” will be distributed in this same fashion, but these are likely to be minor bonuses in the vein of the preorder incentives commonly offered by GameStop.
Speaking of GameStop, many have questioned the viability of this deal, citing the video game retailer as perhaps a better alternative for this type of promotion. In my own personal opinion, a partnership with Best Buy makes more sense than one with GameStop for a number of reasons, most important among them being that the latter is very specialized in terms of its clientele– GameStop, by and large, only attracts gaming enthusiasts, while Best Buy attracts a larger variety of different consumers. Casual fans, I feel, are more inclined to shop at Best Buy for their gaming needs because it satisfies a number of others as well, and it is precisely this demographic that Nintendo seems to be targeting with this new promotion. This does not affect gamers as they are just as likely to shop at Best Buy as they are at GameStop, but the expanded audience that Nintendo has been courting this past generation will probably not set foot in the gaming store, making Best Buy the more logical choice to reach as many consumers as possible.
In a bit of disheartening news, Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version has been delayed indefinitely. Famitsu was the first to break the story, with Capcom citing a desire to improve the quality of the title before releasing it to the public. Prior to this announcement, Prototype was the only game officially confirmed to launch with the eShop on June 6, but with its delay comes that dread uncertainty of what will actually be available now that the one sure bet has been pushed back. On a more positive note, Capcom is still looking for fan input on what makes it into the title, particularly the final design of MegaMan’s suit, and those interested in participating can click on this link to cast a vote.
Also noteworthy this week was the release of the first trailer for Wii Play: Motion. The title is infamous for being one of only three Nintendo-published Wii games scheduled for release before the summer, and it has perhaps gotten an unfair (though understandable) reception because of this. As with its predecessor, the game is bundled with a Wii Remote (Plus) to spur sales, making it a solid investment for those who still may lack some form of motion-enhancement for their consoles.
The title seems very much in keeping with the previous effort, featuring a handful of games that do not appear to offer much in the way of depth but are immediately fun regardless. A final tally has yet to be revealed, but there are likely to be a number of games included that were not featured in trailer (among them a sequel to what is, at least anecdotally, the most popular game from the original Wii Play, Tanks). NOA is also holding a special fill-in-the-blanks contest for the title over Twitter, and while it is admittedly a little unfair to those who do not or cannot monitor the website at all hours of the day for a chance to win, it is still a neat way to catch up on all of the game’s new features for those who are interested. Wii Play: Motion is slated for release in North America on June 13.