Nintendo's E3 conference

I was really hoping Nintendo would come out swinging this year.  Last year I thought the Big N had the weakest showing at E3 of the three consoles.  They only showed one title from their current gen console, and while Skyward Sword was amazing, it still left a lot of Wii owners feel like they were left out in the cold because so much attention was given to the Wii-U, which was still a long ways off.

For me personally at the time, the 3DS portion of the conference last year did not resonate all that well as I did not have a 3DS.  This year I have one, and the with the Wii U coming out soon, I had much higher expectations from this conference - it felt like it would be much more relevant to fans.

New Super Mario Bros. U hit the expected notes: it was colorful, showed off multiple players like the Wii game did, has plenty of creative platforming and more than a few mushrooms were probably hurt in the making of that video.  This was a needed reveal and it sat well with viewers.

I have never played Pikmin, so I'm not particularly psyched up for this third entry, but I have to say it looked decent and made for a fun introduction for Nintendo.

Nintendo Land looked interesting and appears as though it will make good use of the Wii controller.  Will it be anything more than a gimmick?  Hard to say, but titles like this will probably be essential in selling the hardware, much the way Wii Sports did.

It was interesting to see a third party game like the critically acclaimed Batman shown off with Wii U specific features.  Just porting an existing game that's a year or two old is not going to move units, so I think it is important that these kinds of features are shown, but for me it is hard to get real excited about a game that I've had on my PlayStation 3 for over half a year.  Same for Mass Effect 3.  Games that are not out yet, like Darksiders 2 I think have a better chance at delivering a greater amount of buzz, but I suppose time will tell.

I was glad that they steered away from showing off non-gaming apps.  Things like Miiverse do not generally excite me much, and I would have enjoyed seeing more about the system's particulars: Online support, trophies/achievements, pricing - there are some questions I would have liked seeing answered.

For the 3DS?  New Super Mario Bros 2 for the 3DS with the gold-splosion was intriguing.  Paper Mario seems like a great fit for the 3DS and looks like a lot of fun.  The sticker mechanic was fun.  Luigi's Mansion 2 is one of the games I have been most looking forward to so it was great to see a bit more of the game content.  The third party lineup video at the end of the 3DS part of the presentation was fun - but had no true reveals as all of those games had already been announced.

The Lego City game was cute, though the most entertaining part of the preview was the Mario pipe at the end.  It looks varied and seems to make sue of the popular action found in Lego games, but I admit that my favorite part of the Lego titles is seeing established franchises looked at in a new light.  So for me personally, this non-themed Lego title is a bit less appealing to me than say, Star Wars or Harry Potter in brick form.

The Ubisoft part of the conference was nice show of support for the Wii U, but really only the Zombi U game really stood out - maybe because I hadn't hard anything about it and it is a new IP?  But considering how weak 3rd party support was for the Wii, I think it's great to see Ubisoft up on stage showing their support.

Last year Nintendo's presentation felt very Zelda-heavy, which was great.  This year was very Mario-heavy, which again is a great source of inspiration.  But it felt like there were so many great Nintendo properties that just felt conspicuously absent.  Pokemon, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Zelda development for the Wii U - these and more would have made some nice teases for Nintendo faithful.

Last year, I felt like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo had conferences that were in that order - Sony's was the best, Nintendo's was the worst.  I really did not come away from any of these presentations feeling like any one of the big three did much to differentiate itself from the others.  There were some good announcements, plenty of eye candy, but I think the lack of major surprise announcements dulled some of the excitement for me.  There were a handful of titles I had not read about or seen trailers for prior to E3, but not many.  I saw a lot of games I am looking forward to playing, but with so few genuine surprises, this year's E3 has left me feeling largely disappointed in the 'big three'.

Now, there have been some cool games and studio announcements overall and I will try to post some of my favorites tomorrow.


  1. I agree with pretty much every point made here. I'm excited for the 3DS titles and New Super Mario Bros U., but everything else is boring. Actually, I can't say that everything was boring, Ubisoft did have a nice showing with ZombiU,  Assassin's Creed III and Rayman Legends.

    All three companies failed to deliver this year and 2012 will go down as a below average E3. Next year is almost set to be better with possible consoles coming from both Microsoft and Sony, plus Nintendo must feel like they have do deliver next year.

  2. Despite the fact that I liked a lot of what Nintendo showed during its two press conferences, I'm feeling fairly disappointed by their showing overall. Just one new game reveal/announcement -- NintendoLand -- during the whole show? Ugh. Also, like you said, it would have been nice to hear more about the Wii U's online aspects, achievements, etc. I guess we can look forward to hearing more about that soon. I'm also hoping we'll hear more about their plans for the 3DS. I mean, I'm stoked about NSMB2, Paper Mario and Luigi's Mansion 2, but I'd like to have a few more games to look forward to, too, you know?

  3.  Right there with you - it felt like last year they did an excellent job of touting upcoming 3DS games, but this year that felt very lightly touched upon.  And walking away from the Wii U - I guess I just don't feel like I know that much more about the key points I was interested in than before.  One of the only revelations that stands out to me was that they plan to support two of the tablet controllers now, but there are still quite a few unanswered questions imo.

    Thanks for commenting!

  4.  I agree.  So many sequels, so few surprises - and I think a lot of people are already looking toward the inevitable console announcements next summer.  There were some good individual showings by game developers, but I felt like the 'big 3' were pretty lackluster overall.  Thanks for dropping in!

  5. "New Super Mario Bros. U hit the expected notes: it was colorful, showed off multiple players like the Wii game did..."
    No news of online multiplayer, just the Miiverse stuff...which if there is no online. I'm sorry, but that is a failure. There is no excuse for it.

    Speaking of online and failing, how about a simple, "Let's get the big question out of the way. Will there be Friend Codes? Let me say this, Friend Codes are not Wii U won't use them."
    Or, "Not only will the Wii U use Wii controllers, but rest assured, your Virtual Console/WiiWare games will also transer, and there are a lot of great WiiWare games you can select from right now. Go check out the free demos, and rest assured, your purchases today, will transfer to the new console."

    No, they can't even seem to give straight answers. You had one Nintendo employee saying friend codes MIGHT happen on Wii U after the conference, then another saying, "No they won't."
    I think the confirming of multiple user accounts, again after the conference, perhaps shows they are doing away with Friend Codes. I hope so.

  6.  Hey bud - thanks for dropping in - and I couldn't agree more.  I was really, REALLY hoping they would give us some answers on their online plan going forward, yet it seems to me Nintendo isn't willing to share just yet.  I realize they like to sit on information more than say, Sony, but there is something to be said about building good will early on.  Hopefully they have learned some lessons from before, but to this point?  We really don't know


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