Nintendo promised to keep the world smiling at last year’s E3. The company made a few other predictions too, with less than stellar results…
What good is E3 hype if none of it comes true?
To get you ready for this E3, we’ve subjected ourselves to re-living the major press conferences of last year’s big show. We’ve pulled all of the predictions, promises and other verbal constructions Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony used to get you excited about their console. And we’ve seen what became of all those thrilling statements.
Nintendo, your E3 2008 promises are being checked today — exhaustively.
Background: The Nintendo press briefing occurred on July 15 at the Kodak theatre in Los Angeles. This event lasted exactly an hour, and you might remember that it didn’t go over very well.
Shaun White “Exclusive”
After demoing Shaun White Snowboarding with the help of Shaun White, Nintendo’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, Cammie Dunaway, says: “All of you can have as much fun as I just had when this game arrives exclusively for Wii by year end.”
Verdict: Hmmm. Yes, the version of Shaun White Snowboarding that you can play with the Wii Balance Board proved to be exclusive to the Nintendo Wii, but there were Xbox 360 and PS3 versions later in ’08 too, you know.
Mario and Zelda Folks At Work
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata: “Our internal team which creates Mario games and the one that makes Zelda games are both hard at work. They will bring new titles to Wii.”
Verdict: Expected to come true someday. Not yet.
Animal Crossing Is Coming
Animal Crossing creator Katsuya Eguchi details the features for the fall’s Animal Crossing City Folk, including a new city, Wii message board interaction, the ability to send messages to cell phones and PCs too, support for the Wii Speak mic.
Verdict: All these features were included when the game launch.
Wii Speak Is On Its Way
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils Aime says: “Animal Crossing is on its way to Wii by the end of the year with the Wii Speak option.”
Verdict: Yup. He was right!
Lots of DSes
FIls-Aime: “By the end of our current fiscal year next march we expect that total DS worldwide sales will grow to almost 100 million systems.”
Verdict: Indeed. Nintendo announced that the company achieved this milestone in March, just weeks before the end of its fiscal year.
Three Key Games
Nintendo declined to show a reel of upcoming Wii games, instead showing three that would be out later in the year: Star Wars The Clone Wars, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, Call of Duty: World at War.
Verdict: And, yes, those games came out.
Big Franchises on DS
Dunaway: “An even more imaginative interpretation of the [Guitar Hero]franchise called On Tour Decades is on the way… the DS is also the only gaming-dedicated platform where you’ll find Will Wright’s Spore this year.”
Verdict: The new Guitar Hero came out, as did Spore Creatures. And, no, Spore on PC does not count as Spore coming out on a gaming-dedicated platform. Nor does Spore on the Wii, which is coming out this year, not last year.
Dunaway announces “the next invasion of Pokemon,” the release of a new Pokemon Ranger for November 10, 2008.
Verdict: Accurate. It happened.
GTA in the winter
Dunaway: “We can announce today that a custom version of Grand Thedt Auto called Chinatown Wars arrives on DS this winter.” She added that the game will feature new characters and the “same free-ranging gameplay GTA fans have come to expect.”
Verdict: Depends on when you think winter is. If you thought this meant the Christmas holiday, you were wrong. If you thought this could include March 17, a day that’s just barely on the winter side of the vernal equinox, then you and Cammie were spot-on.
DS Non-Gaming Experiments
Dunaway describes experimental DS functionality that will inform you where your luggage is when you get off a plane and where a good restaurant might be. She says “this is all being tested,” which isn’t a promise that it will come out, but…
Verdict: Again, not a prediction, but also not something that has been released to the public yet. The only thing like it is the DS compatibility with SafeCo Field, which Dunaway also detailed.
MotionPlus Is Coming
Fils-Aime: There will be one Wii MotionPlus accessory and extended jacket packaged with every Wii Sports Resort. And of course others will be sold separately.
Verdict: This hasn’t come true yet, but is on the verge of doing so in July.
Fils-Aime: “We began our presentation today with a single image in mind: smiling facings. And we believe there will be a lot more of them when Wii Sports Resort launches globally next spring.”
Wii Sports Resort This Spring
Verdict: Ouch. Biggest mistake of the press conference. The game i slated for a June release in Japan but will definitely miss the spring in the U.S. and Europe, where it is scheduled for July.
Wii Music Will Be Fantastic
Fils-Aime: on Wii Music: “It’s safe to say it will generate a lot of smiles – new smiles – in a whole new way.”
Verdict: Subjective, but sure, why not? We’ll give you this one, Reggie.
Wii Music Fulll of Instruments
Nintendo’s chief game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto says that In Wii Music you’re going to be able to play more than 50 different instruments just by moving your body, that you can save videos of your performance and , play each part of a song before combining your performances into an ensemble piece.
Verdict: Yes, Wii Music let gamers do all of that.
Note: No mention was made during the press conference of what would become the best-reviewed Wii game of 2008, World of Goo. Nor did Nintendo mention the fall (in Japan) launch of the DSi. So, arguably two of the proudest parts of Nintendo’s future were not hyped at E3.
To Sum Up…. Nintendo’s press conference was lambasted by hardcore fans, though not entirely for the reasons that the company can’t score that well in this one-year-later review. Nintendo got the Wii Sports Resort date wrong, but stuck to accurate predictions otherwise. The problems were that the company just didn’t promise that much stuff — not compared to Microsoft the day before. And what it did promise didn’t prove to be as bold as exciting as, say, the company’s Wii Fit announcement of the year before. As an ho
Next Victim: Sony.
[PIC]- MTV Multiplayer