E3 Nintendo Thoughts

Nintendo’s E3 press conference has come and gone. We have seen and heard some of what is available on the show floor from Nintendo and its third parties. And we’ve even heard from Miyamoto on what he’s been up to. Here are my thoughts on what the big N showed us this year at E3.

First off, I gotta say it: The vitality sensor looks awesome! Ok not really. It looks really dumb. I’m not sure what they were thinking of here. I have a feeling this will find a bundle with the WiiFit 3 utility and thus sell really well, but then no other developer will know how to use it so it dies quickly. I can see some of its use, but honestly the only way this will be even remotely worth having is if it is given away for free with a game (and a game that is honestly worth the price and not just a $50 for say Wii Resort Plus just because it has the Motion Plus). This was a waste of time for Nintendo.

I gotta say I was completely wrong about Mario in my predictions. I really thought this was a ways off and that Zelda would be closer. Then they showed off the New Super Mario Bros. Wii and I was like wow they really will have one. And then I was like, yeah I remember them saying they were working on a sequal to that game but I was expecting it on the DS. And then they layed down the Super Mario Galaxy 2. Now had I heard all the confirmations that occured about Mario I would have predicted that it would have been there (those were leaking after my article), but I would never have guessed 2 new Marios would be shown in the same E3 like that. I am really excited for both!

Wii Motion Plus is looking good, and it looks like there is going to be a ton of support for it from developers. This may very well become to the Wii what the RAM Pak was to the N64. Absolutely necessary. I am liking what Wii Sports Resort is looking like and may pick it up, but it still doesn’t look great. I think it will get sales much the same as WiiPlay did. Not because of the solid game but because it is a value with the pack-in.

I think the two really big surprises that at least got me excited besides Mario was Golden Sun DS, which was one of my favorite RPGs of the GBA and Metroid Other M from Team Ninja. I didn’t really see another Metroid coming, the previous three have all been fairly disappointing sales-wise and I figured that Nintendo would take a break from the series. But heck why not? Team Ninja is very well respected and could really change the face of the game and get people excited. I also like that it seems to be moving into a third-person type game which means I might go out and buy it. I never care for first-person games.

From Miyamoto’s side, it does sound like Wii Zelda 2 is in full development but is likely a couple of years off still which is a bit disappointing. I hope it doesn’t fall into what happened with Twilight Princess and turn into a tweener game. If it does, I think Nintendo should invest heavily in getting the next one out mid-way into the next console because you do not want to get stuck where they are getting stuck. Twilight Princess was great but took a lot of flak for the Gamecube graphics. I’d hate to see a repeat. I am more than a bit disappointed in not even a glimpse of Pikmin 3. Miyamoto has already gone on record that they are in development, and with 1 & 2 getting re-released this year I really was expecting 3 to also get released this year. Why no show?

Overall, I do think this E3 proved much better thus far for Nintendo than last year, though it wasn’t hard to beat. Even with the fairly big announcements, I do feel that it was a little weak somehow, maybe it was that they did the Vitality Sensor. Maybe it was showing off the Motion Plus even though it was supposed to be released by now. I’m not sure. But it didn’t feel as huge as it should have. I still give Nintendo a B- for the surprises and the Marios.

Hopefully they have a few more up their sleeves. After all, Punch Out Wii wasn’t actually shown at last year’s E3, yet it is great and a very welcome game to the library.