Nintendo’s E3 2012 Press Conference – What We Thought
Nintendo’s just sauntered off the stage in LA, and now we’re parsing what they showed off. Besides the Wii U, there were games for the new console, games for the 3DS and talk of Wii U features. So what did we think? Here goes:
Ron Whitaker: Nintendo hit the stage today with a huge chance. Microsoft had a really lackluster showing, and Sony’s offering was good, but not great. A strong effort from Nintendo could have put them in the enviable position of having the best conference at E3. Unfortunately, the Nintendo of recent years showed up again, and we were left with a convoluted mess.
The expected Super Mario Bros. Wii U title was shown, alongside a new Scribblenauts title. People seemed excited about the reveal of Pikmin 3, but I never could get into those games. LEGO City Undercover was the big surprise for me, showing off open world gameplay, and non-gimmick uses of the second screen on the controller. Unfortunately, it was lonely. Conspicuously absent? Zelda, Metroid, and any other franchise that might make a launch day purchase of the Wii U palatable.
There’s no launch date for the Wii U, aside from a vague ‘holiday’ statement from Reggie. Instead of extolling the great games they’re making for Wii U, we were treated to lots of time spent showing off gimmicky features in Batman: Arkham City, a game that’s been out for over a year, and a minigame collection called NintendoLand. While I realize this us Nintendo’s market, if they really wanted to expand into core games as they’ve claimed, they needed more firepower. Sadly, they just didn’t have it.
Matt Hughes: There haven’t been a lot of big surprises this year at E3 so far, and Nintendo certainly did nothing to buck that trend. Opening with something as underwhelming as Pikmin 3 was a terrible sign. We saw a lot of the same Marios and Luigis (where were the Zeldas?) that not only appeared to lack an ounce of innovation in terms of non-gimmicky gameplay (a 2D Mario for your new HD system?), but failed to truly justify the configuration of the WiiU tablet and it’s console counterpart.
What could have made Nintendo stand out was some brand new IPs or the announcement of a brand new HD Zelda game. Instead, we learned that Nintendo will finally try to use the internet by implementing Netflix, Hulu, etc, and tons of info about the MiiVerse and NintendoLand that certainly don’t appeal to this gamer.
Nintendo has a loyal fanbase and caters more towards them than anyone else. I’m sure there were some things at the conference to get those players excited, but I have to believe that even they were disappointed. From a personal standpoint, I’m quite worried about the direction Nintendo is heading (which appears to be in a circular direction) and how it will compete when Xbox and PlayStation bring out the big guns next year.
Maybe Lego City Undercover looks cool…
Now it’s your turn – tell us what you think!