Home > E3 2012 > E3 2012: In a nutshell [Opinion Piece]

E3 2012: In a nutshell [Opinion Piece]

Ok this took longer than it should thanks to other distractions and a break from E3 stuff for a minute. That was one heck of a ride. All the main conferences have concluded and to be completely honest, overall it a little disappointing with gems hidden here and there. 

Microsoft’s conference started very strong at first with an impressive showing of Halo 4, a new Splinter Cell, a new Gears of War and a few other titles, but went downhill in their usual Kinect and entertainment banter. Too much focus on their Xbox apps and SmartGlass. While this is all fine and good, it deters from what the viewers really want out of an E3 conference: Games! It isn’t too difficult to do that. Plus, Usher concert. Wow. 

Sony was a mixed bag. They mainly showed some games that were already showcased (Assassin’s Creed 3, Far Cry 3) but with their own special consoles bundles and content to try and sell their brand. Many expected a conference full of PS Vita games. What did we get? A mere Assassin’s Creed 3 side game of sorts. That’s it. It’s as if they’ve cemented the Vita to die with little software coming out for it in the coming months. I mean, they did announce PSOne classics available for purchase on the Vita, but nostalgia and outdated polygonal graphics can only go but so far. They also tried to push the PS Move which hasn’t been popular mainly due to it being a direct Wii remote clone. The most redeeming game from this conference was the first look at Quantric Dream’s newest IP “Beyond” featuring an in-game Ellen Page as the main character. 

Nintendo’s conference. The company everyone loves to hate. The “doom and gloom” company that has done so well this gen despite the odds of its competition sporting better specs and online capabilities. They of course kicked off their conference with the long awaited reveal of Pikmin 3 for the Wii U, which while is does look pretty shows some after thoughts of its development on the Wii. A new 2D Mario was shown which looks to be another game of classic platforming fun although we’ve been there and done that. Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America, exclaimed not too long after the conference started “We’ll be showing 23 Wii U games!” Many were clamoring to what games would be shown. 

They didn’t show too much catering to the hardcore honestly, although their third-party offerings should be more than enough for those who’s interested (Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, Assasin’s Creed 3, Rayman Legends, Zombi U, Tekken Tag Tournament, Mass Effect 3, etc). They continued to show casual games like Wii Fit U, Just Dance 4, Sports Connection, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 and the like. To top it all of they showcased a newer game that is a culmination of mini-games from several Nintendo series like Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion, and Takamaru. The conference overall covered many bases, but it didn’t cover hardcore games as much as it should have. If you went into this conference expecting more, then I’m sorry. Personally I looked forward to the third-party titles than the actually Nintendo games. Which brings me to my main point in this post:

The Wii U is an excellent concept as a gaming console. A tablet controller with front facing buttons, triggers, analog sticks, a competent D-pad, accelerometer, gyroscope, camera, a built-in microphone and support for near field communications. Seems pretty jam packed no? The hurdles Nintendo will have to jump over to convince MANY that this console is a must have this launch are these things: 

1. This console will be able to cater towards the hardcore with 1st party games they love

2. There will be proper 3rd party support that was lacking in the Wii mainly due to how powerful the console was.

3. Online capabilities. Probably the most gleaming aspect in how Nintendo has stayed traditional in their philosophies as far as gaming goes. 

When I finish watching the conference, it wasn’t very disappointing to me mainly because I went into it with a general idea of how it’ll go down. I think the conference failed in really grabbing the hardcore gamers with their 1st party games with lack of Nintendo IPs like Starfox, Legend of Zelda, heck even Metroid. To be completely honest the Nintendo of old is long gone with half of their focus on casual games. I will give it to them that they have taken the step of making a new console that can arguably boast tech specs on par with the Xbox 360 and PS3 while still offering unique gameplay experiences.

My reasoning as to why they haven’t shown many of their games is because they are still in the earlier stages of development. Nintendo is still pushing the Nintendo 3DS as far as new games coming out as the year goes on and towards the holiday season. As we all should know Ubisoft is probably the largest 3rd party partner for the Wii U and has a whopping 8 games in development that will probably coincide with the Wii U’s launch date. I think Nintendo still needs more 3rd party support with the system for the holiday season, although they haven’t gotten enough to jump on board. Is it because the GamePad is hard to develop games for? I highly doubt it. Perhaps some developers aren’t really in good terms with Nintendo these days and might see the system as a waste of time because Microsoft and Sony will be launching their newer, much more powerful game systems as early as Holiday 2013 and they’re too busy making games for those consoles. Some may not want to risk making a full-fledged game for the console and without the right userbase will utterly sell little to no units. It’s what Nintendo needs to work on for the livelihood of the console. 

Since it is the first console in the next-generation it has a lot to live up to. The launch list is not bad at all and with a 2D Mario along for the ride will sell decently well. The concept is brilliant and can possibly be a hit, but it won’t be an easy task with the point I’ve laid out earlier. We will all be paying a lot of attention to this one. The next generation is about to begin folks.


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