E3 2011: Grading Nintendo’s Press Conference
Did Nintendo Win E3?
Nintendo had a massive amount of hype at the boiling point as E3 approached. After Sony and Microsoft’s press conferences, everyone flocked to Nintendo’s show to see how they would upset the playing field.
Then… they started talking about the 3DS… and kept talking about it. To be fair, the new Mario Kart and Luigi’s Mansion look good, but a 3D Pokedex would be plain insulting if it were full price. The 3DS compilation trailer shows off a few nice games, but their release dates were nothing more than “they’re coming!”
So, after the surprising amount of time devoted to the 3DS came to its end, we got the big reveal… the Wii U. In the following moments after the reveal, everyone who voiced opposition to the name “Playstation Vita” suddenly fell silent. The reveal of the controller was interesting and filled with a fair amount potential… but that’s all the press conference really had. After a certain period of time, Nintendo really just felt like that kid who came to class with their homework half done. Sure, Nintendo had a neat controller… but they had no games to back it up outside of a few Wii level tech demos. The flying bird demonstration meant to show off the graphical power of the system didn’t impress in the least, especially after seeing the Uncharted 3 trailer.
Even the demo reel for the coming third party games took footage from the games running on the 360 and PS3. It’s understandable that Nintendo may not have had time to get some games running on the hardware, but if their point was to launch the next generation of game consoles and take themselves out of the Wii era, they utterly failed. In fact, the conference itself was a little confusing in parts. By keeping the focus on the controller, even more questions were raised about the hardware and if it really could dish out the visuals the rumors suggested.
While the barely interactive Zelda demo showed off the (apparent) graphical hardware of the system, it would have been nice to have seen how the controller worked with a demo that didn’t look like it was ripped from the Wii.
The sad part is Nintendo seemed like it didn’t have a lot to say. People come to E3 for the games, and Nintendo didn’t really deliver. Sure, a new Super Smash Bros was announced… but that’s not saying much. Many of the games coming out for the Wii U from third party sources will have already been released in other mediums by the time they get to Nintendo’s console.
So where does that leave Nintendo? In an uncertain position. They have Skyward Sword and maybe a few 3DS titles at the end of the year, but not much else… especially compared to the massive holiday season Microsoft and Sony have coming. Investors also aren’t very impressed, as following the press conference Nintendo’s stock dropped 5.7%. Ouch.
Verdict: Nintendo has a very interesting concept… but that’s all it is. Gamers have become a little more cynical since the Wii came out. Really, it just seems like Nintendo wants to have their cake and eat it too. Can the Wii U really appeal to both the casual and hardcore gamer? It remains to be seen. Furthermore, why is it such a huge selling point to be able to move my game from my 52 inch plasma to a 6 inch screen? Who would seriously want to do that? It just gives parents more reasons to kick their kids off the TV… which is not what kids want. Obviously, judgment on the Wii U will have to wait until the actual games start coming in. But for the time being… there’s nothing to suggest it’s the next big way to play games no matter now interesting the controller is.
Well, there you have it. Agree? Disagree? Who do you think won E3? Let us know!
Aaron also writes reviews and editorials on his site Media Rushes.
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