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E3 2012: Obligatory self-congratulating press release from Nintendo

Posted by: Sean Colleli at 6/5/2012 10:29 PM
Even though Nintendo’s E3 2012 press conference was probably their most underwhelming event since the one from way back in 2008, they’re still patting themselves on the back. Saying that Wii U “Ushers in New Age of Video Games” is a bold claim and while the tech is certainly there, I have one question:

How? How do they plan on ushering in this New Age when they’ve forgotten the most important aspect of the business: the games guys, the games! Reggie certainly talked a big game about how they had to cover a lot of ground in the press conference with all the titles they were announcing, but Nintendo sure as hell didn’t deliver. It’s always about the games, and while there was some great 3rd party content shoehorned in there, there were no big surprises.

Personally, ZombiU is probably the only thing that got me excited, the only thing that was really new. That and maybe Scribblenauts Unlimited. I’m all about Darksiders 2, Aliens Colonial Marines and Arkham City, and it was cool to see Mass Effect 3 making the list, but we’ve seen all of this before. What did Nintendo have to offer? How are they leading by example? Pikmin 3 finally makes an appearance, followed by…Wii Fit, a karaoke game and yet another samey-looking minigame collection called NintendoLand.

Simply put this was Nintendo’s big chance. They have a year head start on Microsoft and Sony, and they’ve had a year since they announced Wii U at E3 2011 to build up software to prove their machine is a must-have. They blew that chance big time. Seriously, it’s hard for me to imagine Nintendo’s press event going any worse than it did.

You really have to wonder if anyone at Nintendo knows what they’re doing anymore. Profits are down, stocks are taking a hit for the first time in years, investors are angry, their former president loses half a billion dollars in stock losses, and this is all Nintendo has to show for themselves? This is their big plan to turn things around? Sony and Microsoft are doing current-gen cleanup on the PS3 and 360, releasing the last big games before the next hardware cycle; this was Nintendo’s shot to steal their thunder, to shock complacent gamers with the next big thing while the competition is wrapping up this generation’s business as usual. Instead Nintendo looked even more pitiful and out of touch than they did four years ago.

With skepticism running high after 6 years of Wii casual focus, Nintendo really needed to show they were getting back into the hardcore race in a big way, and E3 was their big shot at that. Unless they do another “apology” presser in October like they did back in 08, and show off a lot of high profile core-focused games, I can’t see how they can make anyone care about Wii U. With very little core-focused software slated for launch and more of the same casual pabulum I was tired of three years ago, I think I’ll be holding onto a lot of money this holiday season.



Nintendo’s Wii U Ushers in New Age of Video Games with Integrated Second-Screen Experience
The Biggest Names in Video Games Bringing Their Best Franchises to Wii U; Company Provides Details about Social and Broader Entertainment Strategies with Miiverse and Partnerships

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nintendo revealed a massive lineup of first- and third-party video games for its upcoming Wii U home console today, including new games in the Super Mario Bros., Pikmin, Wii Fit, Batman: Arkham City, Scribblenauts, Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance franchises. The Wii U console launches this holiday season and introduces the Wii U GamePad, a controller with a 6.2-inch touch screen that redefines how people interact with their games, their entertainment and one another. Video game publishers from around the world, including Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Electronic Arts, SEGA, THQ and NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. are demonstrating how their biggest franchises are being reimagined for Wii U.

In addition to the wide array of established brands shown during the Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012, Nintendo also revealed new games like Nintendo Land, a Wii U game set in a virtual theme park with a dozen attractions inspired by fan-favorite Nintendo franchises such as The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong. Just as the motion-controlled games in Wii Sports helped players discover the fun of the Wii console, Nintendo Land brings the promise of the GamePad to life with a range of single-player and multiplayer experiences.
Nintendo Land introduces the entirely new dynamic of asymmetric game play, where the images being displayed on the GamePad are entirely different than what is seen on the TV. Giving the player with the GamePad different information, viewpoints, advantages and objectives creates completely new cooperative and competitive opportunities and enables novice and advanced players to enjoy games together and not be forced to play above or below their skill level.

“The GamePad doesn’t just introduce a new type of game play, it redefines an entire dynamic. With asymmetric game play, multiple experiences are possible in the same game at the same time. That’s transformative,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “While games are the focus of this year’s E3, the Wii U story also includes the enhanced social connections and integrated entertainment experiences created by the GamePad. We’re providing a glimpse of that with the introduction of Miiverse and by revealing partnerships with some of the biggest content providers on the planet.”

Mario will leap onto Wii U in New Super Mario Bros. U, a new side-scrolling adventure that introduces new transformations for Mario and the ability for players to play as their Mii characters. The game also introduces the new Boost Mode, which can be used to add blocks, to help players avoid enemies, enable Mario to discover secrets or allow multiple players working together to perform a speed run in record time.
Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of a number of original and popular Nintendo franchises, joined the Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012 to introduce Pikmin 3, the first original entry in the Pikmin franchise in nearly eight years. The game includes new challenges, new characters and mysterious new Pikmin types. The Wii U GamePad creates new player experiences for the real-time strategy franchise by reinventing the control scheme and challenging players in exciting new ways. Pikmin 3 also takes advantage of the HD capabilities of Wii U to more elaborately depict the rich nature landscapes, various creatures and the lovable Pikmin.

SiNG (working title) is a new interactive musical performance game for Wii U that gets everyone at the party involved in the music. With dozens of popular songs to choose from, everyone from novice singers and dancers to budding stars can join in on the fun. The main performer holds the GamePad while others in the room sing, dance and clap along with the music.
Wii Fit U is a new installment in the Wii Fit series, a brand that has sold more than 40 million units worldwide. The game combines fun and fitness with new exercises and activities, and incorporates the GamePad in unique ways. It’s compatible with the existing Wii Balance Board, and Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus owners can transfer their existing workout data. Nintendo also revealed the Fit Meter, an advanced activity monitor that will be packaged with the game and enables users to track fitness activities throughout the day and upload that data back into Wii Fit U.

In LEGO City: Undercover developed by TT Games and published by Nintendo, players assume the identity of Chase McCain, an undercover detective armed with clever disguises. As players run, drive and even fly through the city, they’ll use the Wii U GamePad as a map, communicator and indispensable crime scanner. This is the first time that the LEGO City play sets have come to life on a gaming platform and it’s exclusively on the Wii U console.
Also exclusive to the Wii U is a new franchise from Ubisoft called ZombiU, which puts players in the middle of London circa 2012 where an outbreak has infected the population, destroying their humanity and turning them into mindless monsters. Ubisoft will also bring the highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed III to Wii U, as well as Just Dance 4, a new installment in the Just Dance series.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is supporting Wii U with Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition, an enhanced version of Batman: Arkham City, which includes new game play that makes distinct use of the unique features of the GamePad. The publisher will also introduce Scribblenauts Unlimited for Wii U, marking the first appearance of the imaginative Scribblenauts series on a home console.

Other Wii U games revealed during the Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012 include Mass Effect 3 from Electronic Arts, Darksiders II from THQ, Aliens: Colonial Marines from SEGA, TANK! TANK! TANK! and TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 (working title) from NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc., Trine 2: Director’s Cut from Frozenbyte and Rayman Legends, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013, Sports Connection, Rabbids Land and Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth from Ubisoft.

Nintendo also revealed details about Miiverse, a new network communication system that lets gamers from around the world share experiences, discuss games and discover new content. Using their personalized Mii characters, players enter Miiverse and see games, applications or entertainment content that either they have interacted with recently, expressed interest in learning more about or that their friends are using or discussing. From here they can challenge their friends to play together, ask a question about a difficult level or discover new elements of their favorite games they never knew existed. After a notable achievement or other share-worthy moment, players can pause their game or application and seamlessly post messages to the Miiverse community. Eventually Wii U owners will be able to join Miiverse from a Nintendo 3DS, PC or any smartphone or Web-capable mobile device.

Nintendo also revealed details about its broader entertainment strategy and the impact that the GamePad will have on how we find, interact with and watch video content. The company is working with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube to bring video experiences to Wii U that will take advantage of the integrated second-screen experience.

In addition to the 6.2-inch touch screen and dual analog sticks, the Wii U GamePad also includes traditional buttons for gaming and the ability to function as a TV remote. Users can change channels or adjust the sound, whether they are playing games or just watching TV. The GamePad is tied to the console and TV, providing a perfectly integrated experience, no matter how it’s being used. Players can move games from the TV to the GamePad. Different players can enjoy different experiences in the same game, depending on which controller they opt to use.

The Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012 also featured games for the portable Nintendo 3DS system, including Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Paper Mario: Sticker Star. More information about these and other games will be announced during a separate hourlong presentation at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on June 6. Members of the public can watch the event online at http://e3.nintendo.com, or on Nintendo’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/nintendo.
A replay of the complete Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012, a “virtual hands-on” video that gives consumers who can’t attend E3 a taste of the Wii U experience and additional Wii U and game details can be found online at http://e3.nintendo.com or http://www.youtube.com/nintendo.