E3 2014 Nintendo Predictions: Wii U Redesign, Zelda Wii U, New Mario, and Release Dates Galore
E3 2014 could be a new start for Nintendo and the Wii U, that is if they even show up. Could a new Zelda and Mario show up for Wii U? How about a redesigned Wii U console and Gamepad?
E3 2014 is set to be a real blockbuster of a E3 showing. I know people say that every year, myself included, but something about this year feels epic already. Maybe it is the fact that all major developers and publishers seem to be holding their cards close to their chest after the arrival of the Xbox One and PS4, or it could be that Microsoft and Sony are already hyping of their show over a month before it happens. Either way, something about E3 2014 feels as if its going to be a huge show, but what about the third player in the “console war?” Nintendo has spent a lot of time lately showing what we already know. Last year they barely had an E3 presence and was ultimately left in behind when it came to gaming talk due to their lackluster showing of pretty much anything. Will E3 2014 be any different?
I guess the first big question is if Nintendo will even have any kind of actual E3 presentation, or will they simply do another Nintendo Direct like last year? That is honestly the hardest question to answer right now. Nintendo is in such a weird spot right now it is impossible to see what their next move is. Personally, I have the feeling they will show up to E3 2014 with a presentation ready in a more traditional sense that gamers are used to. If Nintendo decides to not have a press conference I think it will just end up hurting them even more than last year.
The Wii U is not anything for Nintendo to brag about yet. Mario Kart 8 hits right before E3, and that will probably boost the Wii U sales, but the console has an identity crisis that needs to be solved. Which is where my first prediction comes in, and it is a bold one. Nintendo will introduce a new redesigned Wii U with a drastic difference in appearance to help and try and solve the Wii U identity problems. The Gamepad will be slimmer and have better battery life, come packed with a Wii U pro controller in preparation fro Super Smash Brothers, and the Wii U console itself will now be designed to look nothing like the Wii. I have always said that the Wii U hardware, and in some aspects software wise, gives me a beta impression as if Nintendo was held back by some sort of complication with the design process. The Wii U console itself is ugly and doesn’t have any visually striking appeal, and the Wii U Gamepad is comfortable but is far too bulky for a final product with such a poor battery life. These are things that needed to be addressed by Nintendo and E3 2014 is the perfect place to start a new chapter in the Wii U ‘s life.
People can debate all day whats wrong with the Wii U. Many think it is the power of the console, but I am personally in the camp of the Wii U needs more software and is falling victim to consumers not understanding the system completely. There is so much wrong the image of the Wii U, and a majority of it is the Wii name and design in general. Gamers understand that the Wii U is not just a new controller for the Wii, but the design of the Wii U doesn’t do even a decent job of communicating that Nintendo has a new console. Hell, even the Wii U console itself looks like a slightly rounder but longer version of the Wii. Nintendo has said themselves that the Wii U has an indenity problem among consumers, so they have to be thinking of someway to get the message out there.
Zelda for Wii U is almost a given at this point, but will Nintendo go with a darker Zelda? Hopefully E3 2014 will be a big debut.
What is the best way to show off a new redesigned Wii U? Well to show some new games of course! Nintendo’s big reveal this year will most likely be Zelda Wii U. Nintendo themselves said they were going to show off Zelda last year, but simply weren’t ready to show it off. A year will of passed since then, and if Nintendo isn’t ready by now they never will be. The real question is, what will the new Zelda U look and play like. Nintendo has had conflicting messages about their design of the next Zelda game. When the Windwaker HD was being debuted lead producer Eiji Aonuma talked about Zelda U and stated it would follow more traditional design akin to Ocarina of Time. Then after E3 last year, other producers and Nintendo employees started saying that it would be more dynamic similar to Skyward Sword.
Zelda Wii U needs to be a show stopper in whatever form it shows up at E3 2014. Personally, I feel like Nintendo is going to go for a more darker feel similar to Twilight Princess. A lot of core Zelda fans were ultimately let down by Skyward Sword, myself included. Coming off of Twilight Princess, which happens to be my favorite Zelda title, Skyward Sword felt like it wasn’t designed to be a Zelda game for the Wii, but more like a Zelda game desgined for the Wii Mote. It made sense considering the Wii Mote was the whole idea behind the Wii, but it felt like too much of a change for my liking. It was a good game, but not the Zelda myself and many others were looking for. Now that Nintendo tried their experimental Zelda game, it is time to get back to their roots and make a more conventional Zelda like Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. Not only would that make Zelda fans rejoice, it could help move a ton of Wii U units.
Super Mario Galaxy 3 seems to be a logical choice to get a real 3D Mario out sooner rather than later on Wii U.
Then there is the other Nintendo mega franchise known as Mario. Wii U owners got Super Mario 3D world in 2013, and while that was a fantastic game, again a lot of Nintendo fans felt as if it wasn’t the true 3D Mario they expected. A lot of gamers expected Nintendo to make Super Mario Galaxy 3, but that just didn’t happen. That is until E3 2014. Yes, i honestly think Nintendo is going to bring Super Mario Galaxy 3 to the show, and that is simply because it will be a “true” 3D Mario that the Galaxy team can create in a timely fashion. I have the feeling that Super Mario 3D World was created alongside Super Mario Galaxy 3, after the development of Galaxy 3 was taking too long. So Nintendo had their dev teams create a game using the same engine and assets as Galaxy 3. It seems like a logical move to not only give gamers a Mario title and something to play on the Wii U, but give the Galaxy dev team more practice in HD development. Super Mario Galaxy 3 makes sense to me, and you better believe myself and other gamers would buy it day 1.
What about Nintendo’s other franchises? Will Metroid show up at E3 2014? Metroid could show up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t. Retro Studios is most likely working on a new Metroid for Wii U, even though they have stated a few times they are doing other things, they haven’t ever really come out and stated they aren’t working on a Metroid game. Considering that Metroid: The Other M was a big flop all around, Nintendo is probably not going to let just anyone handle the next Metroid title. Retro has a proven track record, and they know the Wii U hardware probably better than most studios, especially since they created Metroid Prime and have proven they can make a fantastic Metroid title. The problem is I firmly believe we are going to see Zelda and Mario already at E3 2014, and if that happens it is doubtful Nintendo would show off all three of their big franchises at one show. If Metroid Wii U does show up, i doubt it will be anything more than a teaser.
How about Star Fox U or FZero U? Don’t count on it. Thats E3 2015.
Then there are the other Wii U titles we already know about that will probably get release dates. X, Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors, and Super Smash Bros for Wii U will all making a showing, and will all get release dates for 2014, with Super Smash Bros obviously being their main 2014 title. All of the mentioned titles will probably get a nice fancy trailer, but we have seen these games for months now, so don’t expect anything new.
The 3DS is already doing fantastic, so don”t expect anything huge announced for the hand held at E3 2014
There is one little device I haven’t mentioned from Nintendo yet, the 3DS. Nintendo’s latest portable will obviously be at E3 2014, but I expect them to focus on the Wii U at this show. Simply because the 3Ds is doing just fine right now and isn’t i need of help like the Wii U. Plus we already know a ton of titles hitting the 3DS, sure some of them are releasing before E3, but the release list is stacked either way. Theres Kirby Triple Deluxe, Mario Golf: World Tour, Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney, Monster Hunter 4, and oh yea Super Smash Bros for 3DS. I’m sure there will be some nice sizzle reel trailers for those titles that won’t be released yet, and 3DS gamers will remember why Nintendo is king of the hand held gaming market.
E3 2014 could be a big hit for Nintendo. The Wii U needs a boost in software desperately, and Nintendo has been begging gamers to please wait. Well Nintendo gamers aren’t going to wait much longer. If Nintendo doesn’t show up to E3 2014 with big titles in hand it could start to spell real disaster for the future of the Wii U. Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros are going to be big hits on the Wii U either way, but Nintendo can’t just bet on those two titles to fix the Wii U identity issues. Every year I end my Nintendo predictions with the two rules you can’t ever forget about E3. Expect the unexpected, and never count out Nintendo. Hopefully this year will be one where both of those rules are realized.