Continue reading "How Nintendo won E3 and why it probably doesnt matter"
There were no zombies, faux military combat sequences, or pot shots at the competition, yet somehow Nintendo managed to delight and surprise everyone at E3 today. Nintendo demonstrated over and over again that they are weird, wonderful, and paying close attention to what their audience wants. Unfortunately, the company’s situation is looking like a textbook case of too-little-too-late.Having spent the last 24 hours completely saturated in all things E3, I can say without a doubt in my mind that Nintendo’s presentation was the best. It was funny, quirky, and completely devoid of any stuffy business talk or jabs at Sony and Microsoft. Every single game that was announced is something I want to add to my Wii U and Nintendo 3DS collection, and perhaps more importantly it was all stuff I could share with my kids.The presentation reminded me of why I love Nintendo, and how excited we can all get when a new Nintendo game comes out. The Wii U and 3DS lineup coming into the next year is looking truly special, and as long as Nintendo can deliver on the things they announced today there’s a good chance there will be tons of happy fans out there once these games come to market.We learned more about Super Smash Bros. $59.99 at Dell, including the new Mii Fighter setup and the Skylanders-esque Amiibo platform for the Wii U. Mii Fighters are going to be customizeable, so you can put yourself in the fight or make your own Bruce Lee or Harry Potter and stick them in the game to fight on your behalf. The Amiibo platform uses NFC figurines to add characters into the battle, but Nintendo has made it clear that eventually this will be more than just Super Smash figurines.Mario Kart 8 $59.99 at Dell was tipped as part of the Amiibo plans, which now makes it clear what Nintendo’s plans for DLC are for the platform. If you can purchase additional physical racers and add them to the game, Nintendo could keep things interesting for quite a while.Zelda made a big splash for this presentation in two different ways. We got a little explainer for the upcoming Zelda Wii U game $59.99 at Best Buy, which looks big and beautiful despite only having seen a few seconds of it. Zelda for the Wii U appears to be going the route of open exploration, which has some incredible potential behind it as long as it doesn’t get too confusing. Hyrule Warriors, the Dynasty Warriors hybrid with Zelda art all over, got some screen time as well. The game looks exactly as advertised so far, with major Zelda characters acting as generals you can choose to play as during the game. This means that your main character can be Link, Zelda, or even Midna from Twilight Princess if that’s your thing.The rest of the presentation was a ton of cool little things. We’re getting a new Yoshi game based in an even crazier yarn world, Toad’s mini-game in Super Mario 3D World is being promoted to its own title, and a new multiplayer online game called Splatoon looks like and incredible amount of fun regardless of your skill level.Mario Maker is going to let us all live out our dreams as level creators for Super Mario, and share them with friends to see who can be the best level creator out there. There’s even some more adult themed games in the mix with the mech heavy Xenoblade Chronicles and the creepy but cool Bayonetta fighter. On all accounts, this combination of titles is exactly the kind of excitement and age mix that Nintendo needed to deliver on. So, why does it feel like Nintendo is still in trouble?If you set aside the lack of AAA titles — by which I mean the latest Call of Duty and Battlefield offerings that really weren’t all that impressive to begin with — Nintendo’s E3 lineup is almost entirely aimed at 2015 releases. While Microsoft and Sony had the same basic problem during their announcements, the Xbox One and PS4 aren’t in trouble right now. As much as Nintendo fans like to cheer on the 6 million consoles sold figure for the Wii U, the console is still seriously behind.Mario Kart 8 is one of several great games for the console recently that are going to keep sales going for a bit, but there was nothing from this presentation that counts as a major title for the console that will be available in time for the holidays. That means the titles that are really cool for the Wii U right now will start to collect dust right around the time Nintendo needs to be crushing it. Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS was delayed until October, and there’s not even a launch date for the Wii U version yet. It looks like Nintendo has a seriously impressive 2015 planned, but the second half of 2014 looks a little on the barren side right now.If you ask me, Nintendo won E3 with their presentation this year, and the ability to put Super Smash Bros in the hands of the users at Best Buy locations later this week is a big deal, but it’s a long time between now and 2015.