How Nintendo Managed To Win & Lose E3 At The Same Time.
Nintendo needs to sort out its priorities.
By all rights, this SHOULD have been Nintendo's year. They're prepping a new console, there are rumors of a new Smash Bros, a new Starfox or Metroid or Donkey Kong or all three game from Retro Studios, a new Miyamoto IP... they should've had this thing locked up!
And yet, what we get from their presentation is "Hey look guys, the WiiU! It has a screen on the controller! Pikmin 3 is coming out! We already told you about this, but now you get some footage. Also, a bunch of 3rd Party games that are already out on other consoles that we already told you we were getting last year! And a New Super Mario Bros game that we told you about but renamed! And... uh... Nintendo Land! That's new, except it's not really because it's just a framing device for the different tech-demos we showed last year! And that's it! Good night everybody!"
I thought they already learned their lesson from the 3DS? Reggie even said "We know we need to have games at launch", but unless they're hiding like five more high-profile games from us, the WiiU's launch is going to be WORSE than the 3DSes.
Pikmin is great, but it's not a console seller. Neither is a minigame collection (Wii Sports is the exception that proves the rule). Nor a rehash of a rehash of a revival. The most exciting game coming from the WiiU that I saw at E3 was ZombiU, and that's not even a Nintendo game! I mean, come on! It's a bad sign when Ubisoft needs to help Nintendo sell a console to a NINTENDO FANBOY like myself.
So yeah, Nintendo pretty much blew it on the WiiU front. The console itself seems cool - the pre-show they did showed a number of really interesting things that I'm curious about - but the games just don't seem to be there, and I'm really worried that the WiiU is going to tank pretty hard at launch. I mean, I know I'm not planning to get one at launch right now.
And yet... despite all that, I gotta say Nintendo still won E3. Mind you, all Sony and Microsoft did was show stuff we already knew about plus a few terrible looking Kinect and Move games... i.e., they did the same stuff they did last year. But the WiiU was still almost a washout, so how did Nintendo still manage to win, you might be thinking aloud at your computer screen as you wipe cheeto dust onto your keyboard?
Two letters and a number: 3DS.
The 3DS was undoubtedly the most interesting and prolific system at this year's E3. Paper Mario Sticker Star made me pretty much wet myself in giddy excitement, while Luigi's Mansion 2 looks better than the original, and something about NSMB2 seems more fun and interesting than it's WiiU cousin .
There were also a number of great looking third party games shown as well. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate, ridiculously titled as it is, looks amazing and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Meanwhile, the very MENTION of a new Kingdom Hearts game is awesome, and while it was also mentioned for WiiU, Scribblenauts Unlimited for some reason just looks BETTER on the 3DS. I have no idea why; it just feels right.
The only disappointing, ho-hum game they showed (and spent entirely too much time on if you watched the 3DS conference) was Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, but I suppose if you really liked the game its referencing (I don't believe I've played it) it'll be a nostalgia trip or... something.
The 3DS had SUCH a good showing, in fact, that I would argue it actually hurts Nintendo in the long run, because it just makes the paltry WiiU showing seem all the more mediocre and even kind of smug. Like it gives off the message "Oh, we COULD try and give you some games you care about for the WiiU, as we clearly demonstrate with the 3DS, but we won't. Shut up and give us your money; you know you'll buy it anyway!"
Sigh... yeah... I will. Eventually, I will. Just not at launch.
But yeah. 3DS is looking very strong this year, and OH MY GOD PAPER MARIO PAPER MARIO PAPER MARIO PAPER MARIO!