The Thing That Excites Me Most About E3 Is... Nintendo

I suppose there’s something macabre about it, almost sadistic, but when I look to E3 and I think about what excites me most, when I think about the potential announcements that I’m looking forward to, I can’t stop thinking about the company under the most pressure. I can’t stop thinking about Nintendo.

E3 has always had a whiff of drama about it, and one of the key components of drama is high stakes. Make no mistake: the stakes are high for Nintendo. Compared to Microsoft and Sony, off the back of two successful console launches and near universal third party support, Nintendo are in the mire, Nintendo has its back pinned to the wall and, in a perverse sense, I’m interested to see precisely how it will respond to this level of pressure.

Of course Nintendo has been here before. Nintendo has always been criticised for its decision making, for being stubborn, for refusing to adjust to new technology, new ways of thinking. But this time? It feels different. The manner in which Nintendo, and CEO Satoru Iwata in particular, has responded to criticism seems to reflect a company in the process of humbling itself. Nintendo knows it has to change, but how?

I’m hoping we’ll see some sort of answer to that question at E3. It could be dramatic, it could be insane. It could be absurdly banal. That’s why it’s so exciting -- we simply just don’t know what’s coming.

Sony and Microsoft’s press conferences are a little more predictable. Sure, there’ll be a handful of new games, a few familiar IPs will make a glorious return, we’ll get updates on games we already know about. Sony might show off some new Project Morpheus stuff, shoehorn some Vita stuff in an attempt to convince us all it’s worth buying. Microsoft will focus on games, possibly bore us to death with some sort of mainstream multimedia pitch.

The biggest surprise that could possibly come of either conference is a game we did not know existed. The Last Guardian? Sure that would be big. A new Gears of War for Xbox One? Cool. Very cool.

But Nintendo? What is Nintendo going to do? It could do anything.

Nintendo isn’t having a conference this year. It seems to have abandoned that whole shebang for its own reasons, but its Nintendo Direct will be every bit as important as a conference and, in a sense, probably tailored a little better for the gamers glued to their monitors waiting to see what’s next.

I don’t expect Nintendo to unveil a new console. That’s simply not going to happen. I do expect Nintendo to reveal some new games. That will almost certainly happen. What we might get, if we’re lucky, is an insight into Nintendo’s future strategy. We might get a glimpse of the masterplan. Nintendo is hinting at a change -- what will that change be? Will it be a revolutionary change? Will it sell consumers its back catalogue via subscription, will it unveil something so strange that the internet will drown in an endless sea of five second GIFs? Will it just show the new Zelda and be done with it? It’s the mystery that creates the suspense. It’s the high stakes. It’s the drama. Nintendo could disappoint us with the most bland, pointless presentation in history but at this point we simply don’t know what to expect.

And that’s why it’s so exciting.


    They're on record as saying that they need to make their existing user base happy before even thinking about rolling out new hardware, so hopefully that should lead to some good things.

      But they did just mention new hardware for new markets as well. So i guess they might announce what the new hardware will be?

        True. They've been cryptically banging on about life tech or something that leapfrogs wearable tech, so maybe something in that direction...

        It will most likely be like what they did in China before with the IQue, I doubt they would announce it at E3

    I know what you mean Mark. Just thinking about Nintendo changing direction makes me excited. I won't hope too hard but maybe they can find the "magic" again..

    Show Miyamoto's supposedly new ip! Pleeeeaaaase

    Last edited 15/05/14 1:31 pm

    I would just love Nintendo if they completely overhauled their online Account system.
    ... then uploaded absolutely everything they can to Virtual Console :)

    Nintendo won't have squat. They need to end Wii U life while keeping face, yet also keep us excited for the next gen.

    Tbh MS will probably be more interesting, since it seems like they have bipolar disorder anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if they announced their lightroom thingie is making a return and bundled with the console.

      Tbh MS will probably be more interesting, since it seems like they have bipolar disorder anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if they announced their lightroom thingie is making a return and bundled with the console

      And then start babbling about the voices in their heads and hurling their faeces into the assembled crowd.

    I missed out on Nintendo's glory days back when they had the N64 and that amazing line up of games and I've always kind of hoped they manage to get back to that some day, here's hoping they do especially following the financials for the WiiU.

      Those days were a little over rated. Going back to it now it's just an endless pile of timeless classics, but in Australia a big part of the N64 generation was reading the upcoming games list and seeing the games you were desperate to get hold of pushed back another three months. =P

        I remember 1st reading that Robotech was coming to N64
        2 months later got myself an N64
        A year later I died a little inside after reading was cancelled

        Those days where more exciting. 3D was still new. Adventure games where still fun.
        I remember waiting for 2 years to play Majoras Mask. Looked at every article in NMS, Hyper and on IGN. Examined every picture. Speculated endlessly. Then i finally got it, and finished it in a week..

        Last edited 15/05/14 9:50 pm

      Glory days? well considering how highly rated nearly all their first party games are on Gamecube, Wii, DS, 3DS and Wii U are I really doubt the glory days are over.

        Their high points are still high, but the N64 (in my opinion) had the biggest library of absolute classics. There is an argument for the SNES though.

        Aside from some stunning single player titles like the two Zelda games and Mario 64, the machine also hit a sweet spot for multiplayer gaming where it was pre-online and the first machine to do 4 controller ports.

        Outside of the (rapidly growing) 56k modem based PC online community the N64 was the first and only way that a lot of gamers could get their fix of high quality multiplayer gaming. I know that as a high school kid at the time playing 4 player N64 was an institution.

        All Nintendo consoles (possibly except the WiiU to this point) have had classic games though.

          The Wii U has classic games though, whether you like to believe it or not, Super Mario World 3D and DK:TF are amazing.

      Their glory days were the nes n snes bro. N64 started the descent into questioning their actions and ridicule

    I'd be happy if just one of these things existed: Pokemon MMO (this would sell more than a few consoles), Animal Crossing U, Pokemon Snap 2, Fire Emblem U, Metroid Prime 4, Eternal Darkness 2, Earthbound 4, Super Mario Galaxy 3, Mario Party U, Battalion Wars U, Wario Land 5, Metroid Prime HD, Star Fox U, Kid Icarus 3, Luigi's Mansion 3. That is all.

      With the exception of Pokemon Snap (I know, I'm weird) and maybe Steel Batallion, I would buy all of these.

        Yeah, I'm pretty so so on Pokemon Snap, it just seems like a nice fit with the Wii U gamepad

        I'm not sure if you meant the Steel Battalion series with the giant mech sims or simply had the names confused, but Battalion Wars isn't Steel Battalion.
        Battalion Wars is the console version of the Advance Wars handheld strategy games. The original Battalion Wars on the GameCube was insanely good. It mixed RTS elements with third person shooter elements to create something special, but unfortunately the Wii sequel was a letdown thanks to it's clumsy Wii Remote control scheme.
        Battalion Wars on the Wii U would likely use the new controller to blend the best parts of the GameCube Battalion Wars with the best parts of the original Advance Wars handheld series.

        The reason you'd probably want to play it is that it would showcase how the Wii U can handle RTS games.

          Whoops, I meant Batallion Wars but my mind was elsewhere. Batallion Wars was a great game, yes, but it wasn't really my cup of tea. It certainly would be a great fit on the Wii U, though.

            Fair enough. I just thought you may have been confusing it with the disastrous Kinect game. =P

              Don't feel too bad, I almost did! My brother was one of the people foolish enough to buy the game, let alone at full price. I have... memories of it, let's just leave it at that.

      Holy shit - very good point. Where the hell is Mario Party? It's been out within 6-12 months on the last 3 consoles.

        They have had Wii Party and Wii party U. Looks like a shift away from the Mario branding for them. I guess they realised things are just going to be silly with "Mario Party 12" being a thing.

        Last edited 15/05/14 3:22 pm

      Needs more F-Zero.

        Yes! Sorry I knew I was forgetting something!

    I've already got a Wii U and a 3DS, so pretty much any news from Nintendo is good news for me. There's no pressure on whatever Wii U content they show to be anything more than a standard great Nintendo game. I'm completely past the 'this game sounds good, but it has to be good enough to justify buying a Wii U' phase of the consoles life so it's all just icing on the cake.

    I'm predicting banal. I wish they'd go back to having conferences

    Last edited 15/05/14 3:49 pm

    Nintendo's new direction.
    Nintendo's newdirection.
    Nintendo's nuderection.
    Nintendo's nude erection.

    shoehorn some Vita stuff in an attempt to convince us all it’s worth buying

    Why does kotaku hate the Vita so much? It's a very worthwhile console.

    Last edited 15/05/14 4:25 pm

    It feels like it is just me but I have all the latest consoles and the one I play the most is the wiiU. The games I am most excited about are also on the wiiU. The only real games that I wish they would hurry up and at least announce is Mario party and a new Zelda game. If they did that at e3 I would be a very happy man

    They need to overhaul their account system desperately, then they have to convince me to buy a WiiU.

    I love Nintendo to death, if they can’t convince me then that machine is doomed.

    Sony might show off some new Project Morpheus stuff, shoehorn some Vita stuff in an attempt to convince us all it’s worth buying.Sony is also doing very well with the indie developers right now and might show off a whole bunch of exciting games that break the norm of traditional console games. Nintendo is also starting to build rep with the indie developer scene so if they capitalise on that and start securing a few exclusive indie IPs under their belt it would be a wonderful thing I think. Especially if Nintendo gave a select few partners carte blanche with their less worn out IPs.

    So while I agree Nintendo is going to be the must watch for both the Schadenfreudes and fans alike, Sony also has the potential to be a very exciting E3 presence as well.

    I've been burned by Nintendo at E3 too many times, so I'm setting the expectations low in the hope I will be pleasantly surprised.

    I consider Nintendo to be like the world's ugliest dog. I know it's ugly, but I just can't look away.

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