Nintendo E3 2012 Report Card: Nintendo Fails Miserably
Nintendo Fails to Showoff Wii U Potential at E3 2012.
Nintendo was the first of the big three to unveil a new console, and gamers have been waiting for months to catch any glimpse of the Wii U. After a year of waiting Nintendo has finally debuted the Wii U to the world.
Pikmin 3 was the only Wii U title to utilize the Wii U Gamepad effectively.
Sadly, Nintendo blew it pretty hard at E3 2012. Pikmin 3 was the only title even worth mentioning at Nintendo’s press conference Tuesday morning, and it was the only title that was properly shown. Being able to locate and control your Pikmin, in real time, with the tablet effectively enhances the game play, and it was the only title shown by Nintendo that actually seemed to be improved upon, as a result of the Wii U Gamepad.
Nintendo created confusion with the Wii U, leaving gamers wanting much more.
Nintendo is launching the Wii U this holiday and it is apparent that Nintendo is not ready. Reggie Fils-Aime, President and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, got on stage and said that E3 2012 was all about the games that are coming to the Wii U. The problem is that good titles, such asPikmin 3, were overshadowed by games like Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition, and NintendoLand. Nintendo failed demonstrate titles like Zombi U or Project P100, both which are new and utilize the Wii U Gamepad in great ways
The launch of a system is always a little rocky; convincing developers to make games for a system with no install base isn’t any easier. I did not anticipate Nintendo to have titles like Medal of Honor: War Fighter, or Crysis 3 at their conference, but companies like EA that said they were on board with the Wii U. Despite their backing of the Wii U, EA were almost entirely absent from Nintendo’s conference. Ubisoft is completely on board with the Wii U and is creating interesting titles like Zombi U, a brand new IP, coming exclusively to the Wii U (for now), yet Nintendo decided against an on stage demo. In reality, Nintendo isn’t making any sense.
Third Party games coming to Wii U, but they are titles you probably already own.
Last year at E3 2011, Nintendo really pushed that third party developers were on board with the Wii U. Besides Ubisoft, third party support has been proven irrelevant in every way. Nintendo showed off Darksiders 2, Ninja Gaiden 3, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition and Mass Effect 3 in a montage, but I am puzzled as to why Nintendo thinks bringing any of those titles to the Wii U is a huge accomplishment . Almost every title Nintendo showed off in their montage has already been released, or will be releasing before the holiday season. Nintendo spent an awful amount of time showing off Batman Arkham City: Armored edition on stage, and I do not know a soul who is going to repurchase Arkham City, at full price I might add, just so they can control the batarang with the Wii U Gamepad.
Nintendo made no attempt to persuade gamers to purchase third party titles that will be releasing in the near future. The Wii U Gamepad is the heart and soul of the Wii U, but Nintendo failed to show why. Why would I want Darksiders 2 on the Wii U as an alternative to the Xbox 360 or PS3 versions. Nintendo showed off the Wii U Pro controller a few days before their conference, but again failed to mention what games it’s intended for. Can I play Darksiders 2 with the Wii U Gamepad? How about with the Wii U Pro Controller? Nintendo needed to climb on stage and demonstrate to the world why third party games on their console will be superior, but instead we got NintendoLand, Sing, and Just Dance 4; all with underwhelming Wii U Gamepad features. Even more impressive titles, like Zombi U, featured Wii U Gamepad features that don’t seem to enhance gameplay by any means. In Zombi U the player can go into the inventory with the Wii U Gamepad, but the player couldn’t control their avatar and go into the inventory simultaneously. Isn’t that identical to going into an inventory screen on a console with a traditional controller? I guess it is different because you are forced to look down at the screen in the Gamepad, but is that a “new feature?”
The Wii U Pro Controller also really confuses myself and others as to what exactly Nintendo is trying to do with the Wii U. Since the Wii U Gamepad features a traditional set of analog sticks and buttons, what is the point of the Wii U Pro Controller? Nintendo stated the controller was created for multi-platform games, but isn’t the whole purpose of the Wii U to use the Wii U Gamepad to enhance the game play experience? Why would I want to purchase a new system with a fancy new controller just to turn around and buy a “traditional” controller to play Call of Duty with? Since the Wii U only support 2 Wii U Gamepads, at the cost of system performance, the Wii U Pro Controller really only serves as a way to get more than 2 players on at console at a time. There are just too many hoops to jump through, and Nintendo created more questions instead of answering the ones we already had.
Where is Nintendo’s All Star First Party lineup for the Wii U?
Nintendo didn’t reveal much of anything at E3 2012 when it comes to first party titles. Where is Zelda, Metroid, Star Fox, or Donkey Kong? Sure we are getting New Super Mario Bros U, but a 2D Mario game doesn’t exactly push the envelope of creativity. The 2D Mario games are a ton of fun, but it won’t exactly sell the system. Nintendo neglected to even tease that they were making HD experiences of their biggest titles; a trailer for Zelda or Metroid would have helped them tremendously. Pikmin 3 looks great, but it is not a system seller. There are no major first party games coming to the Wii U, and that is a problem that Nintendo should be ashamed of.
I am still in disbelief, stunned by Nintendo’s E3 2012 conference. Nintendo needed to answer a ton of questions about the Wii U, but instead answered those questions with even more questions. We still know nothing of their online approach, or even how Nintendo plans to make the Wii U Gamepad the next big enhancement in gaming.
The biggest fear I have is that Nintendo will become irrelevant once Microsoft and Sony announce their next gen systems. Microsoft has already shown a similar technology with its’ Smart Glass, and that is being readied for this Fall. Epic will be unveiling Unreal Engine 4 to the public soon, and games like Star War 1313 are evidence that the next generation is coming. E3 2013 will very likely be where Microsoft and Sony unveil their plans for the future of gaming, and since Nintendo has failed to persuade audiences that the Wii U Gamepad enhances games, Nintendo may find themselves in a horrible place. The Wii took off because of the Wii Mote and Nintendo shoved games in our faces that were enhanced by the Wii Mote functionality. Nintendo needed to do the same thing with the Wii U, but that, in no way, happened. Being able to see lyrics on the Wii U Gamepad in Sing is completely irrelevant, and offers nothing to the player. For a company saying they want to recapture the hardcore, and keep the casual crowd happy, they are doing a horrible job.
Nintendo’s first party titles will always give people reasons to purchase the Wii U, but I am already worried that the Wii U will take the same path as the Wii. Unless Nintendo can really push developers and introduce mind blowing titles next year, the Wii U will find itself in the exact same position the Wii was in this generation. If Nintendo takes an additional loss, Iwata, in all probability, won’t be around much longer.
Overall, Nintendo had a truly poor performance at E3 2012. With the exception of Pikmin 3, Nintendo failed to demonstrate the Wii U Gamepad capabilities. The majority of third party titles coming to the system will be hitting other consoles sooner than the Wii U launch, or in some cases have already been released, and Nintendo’s first party lineup is extremely weak. Hopefully the legendary rule of “never count out Nintendo,” will apply in the future, and E3 2013 will bring the true capabilities of the Wii U to light.