One Year Later, Did Nintendo Keep Their E3 2015 Promises?

One Year Later, Did Nintendo Keep Their E3 2015 Promises?

Nintendo’s digital events have become a highlight of E3 — pre-recorded presentations, as opposed to live stage shows, that are full of fun and filled purely with games. There’s no planned Direct this year, but let’s see if they kept their 2015 promises.

The theme of Nintendo’s 16 June 2015 E3 digital event was transformation. At the end of it, Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime said that “as anyone transforms, be it a person or a company, it’s good to reflect on where you’ve been to help where you go next”.

Nintendo was generally good about sticking to their promises on release dates and windows for announced games. A couple are still outstanding but have since received locked down dates. There was a noticeable delay for Star Fox Zero.

The promise: After puppets of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, chief game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime transformed into Star Fox‘s Peppy Hare, Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi, respectively, Nintendo showed a Star Fox Zero gameplay trailer. A segment with Miyamoto discussed the origin of the Star Fox series and the new game’s control scheme.

Did they deliver? Yes, but with with a delay. The game was eventually given a release window of Holiday 2015, but it was then moved to 23 April 2016.

The promise: Fils-Aime reiterated a few points that Iwata had announced prior to E3 regarding Nintendo’s plans to expand their brand to Universal Theme parks and mobile devices. He said more information on their newest platform, codenamed NX, would be revealed in 2016. He noted the purpose of their 2015 Digital Event was “more immediate, to focus on the transformations you’ll be enjoying right inside your Nintendo gameplay in the coming months”.

Did they deliver? Yes and not yet. Nintendo met almost all of their promised game releases by 2016. As for the company’s plans, which Fils-Aime spoke about: In 2016, Nintendo launched Miitomo, the company’s first foray into the world of social apps. They also announced apps for Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing, which will be out this spring. There has been no further information on their theme park plans, and the company currently has no plans to unveil information about the NX at E3 2016. Nintendo recently expressed a desire to go into the movie business.

The promise: In celebration of the Super Mario Bros. franchise’s 30th anniversary, Super Mario Maker would be released to further the series’ transformation “…by turning the essence of game creation over to you, our fans”. Players would be able to create and build their own levels, which could be shared globally with friends. The game would be headed exclusively to the Nintendo Wii U on 12 September 2015.

Did they deliver? Yes. The game released on the date announced, and fans continue to create and share levels for fun and for friendly competition. Sometimes, though, Nintendo deletes levels.

The promise: Nintendo partnered with Activision to feature two Nintendo characters in Activision’s Skylanders Superchargers. Donkey Kong and his Barrel-Blaster vehicle, as well as Bowser and his Clown Cruiser vehicle, would both join the lineup in Superchargers. The Nintendo characters would have unique move sets and upgrade and work both as Skylanders figures and as Amiibo for use in certain other Nintendo games. The Donkey Kong and Bowser figures and vehicles would only be playable on Nintendo platforms.

Did they deliver? Yes. The game released on 24 September 2015 for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U. The Donkey Kong and Bowser figures were later released as standalone packages with their vehicles, and remain exclusive to Nintendo.

The promise: A first look at The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes showed off three person multiplayer co-op gameplay that would be accessible both locally and online. The game would focus heavily on co-op, as displayed by its three-player totem mechanic, though the game does feature a single-player mode. The release date was revealed for spring 2015, and the game would be available only on Nintendo 3DS.

Did they deliver? Yep. The game released on 24 October 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS. It features local and online multiplayer but can also be played solo. False Heroes need not apply.

The promise: Hyrule Warriors Legends was being developed with Koei Tecmo for the Nintendo 3DS. Legends would have all the DLC characters from the Wii U version and would feature new characters, including Tetra and The King of Red Lions from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The release date was slated for the first quarter of 2016.

Did they deliver? Yes, they did. The game released on 24 March 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS with all DLC characters from the Wii U’s Hyrule Warriors, as well as new characters Tetra and King Daphnes. Oh, and let’s not forget Linkle.

The promise: Metroid Prime Federation Force was in development for the Nintendo 3DS. The game promised four-player co-op missions and Blastball for three vs three sports battles. The release date provided was 2016.

Did they deliver? Not yet. A trailer was released earlier this year, with a window of autumn 2016. That release date has since been moved to 3 September 2016, for the 3DS.

The promise: A trailer showed a first look at Fire Emblem: Fates, scheduled for a 2016 release.

Did they deliver? Yes. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Conquest released on 21 May 2016. The third campaign, Revelation, has been released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop as standalone DLC today, 10 June 2016.

The promise: Atlus’ Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE would be coming to the Wii U in 2016.

Did they deliver? Not yet, but likely yes. The release date is currently scheduled for 25 June 2016.

The promise: Monolith Soft’s JRPG, Xenoblade Chronicles X, would be headed exclusively to the Wii U, with a 4 December 2015 release date.

Did they deliver? Yes. The game, which is a thing of beauty, released on the date promised for the Wii U (December 5 for Australia).

The promise: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer would be exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS. The game would included Animal Crossing Amiibo card support. Release date: 25 September 2015.

Did they deliver? Yes. Those frustratingly collectible Animal Crossing Series 1 Amiibo cards were released alongside the 3DS game on 25 September 2015 in the US, 3 October 2015 in Australia. Other Amiibo card series have been released in subsequent months. Series 4 cards are slated for a June 18 release.

The promise: Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival was announced, with one Amiibo required for play. The game would support up to four players, with the purchase of Amiibo sold separately. The release date was later revealed for Holiday 2015, with the game headed to the Wii U.

Did they deliver? Yes. The game released 21 November 2015 as a bundle that included Digby and Isabelle Amiibo and three Amiibo cards.

The promise: Yoshi’s Woolly World, a platformer with co-op mode, would be a Wii U exclusive. An Amiibo feature would allow players to scan in various characters, unlocking adorable hand-knit Yoshi skins based on Nintendo’s greatest heroes and villains. US release date: 16 October 2015.

Did they deliver? Yep, they did. Yoshi’s Woolly World released on October 16 in the US on the Wii U, but Australians got it earlier on June 25. It features local co-op play. Tapping Amiibo into the game transforms yarn Yoshi into Yoshi look-alikes of his Amiibo friends.

The promise: Level-5’s popular Japanese franchise Yo-kai Watch would arrive on the Nintendo 3DS, with a Holiday 2015 release window.

Did they deliver? Yes. Yo-Kai Watch was released on 5 December 2015 on the Nintendo 3DS. Yo-Kai Watch 2 was recently announced for a 30 September 2016 US release, too. Because #yokaiiswhy

The promise: Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros., the latest in the Mario & Luigi series, would be headed exclusively to the Nintendo 3DS, along with a special guest: Paper Mario. Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario would make their debut in the autumn of 2016.

Did they deliver? Yes, indeed. And a little ahead of schedule too! Paper Jam released on 10 December 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS.

The promise: Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, the latest in the Mario Tennis series, would be an exclusive on Nintendo Wii U, with a Holiday 2015 release window.

Did they deliver? Yep, the game released on the Wii U on 21 November 2015 (which was initially when Star Fox Zero was supposed to release).

The promise: The show closed with a developer story from Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka for a Super Mario Bros. series retrospective and a discussion about Super Mario Maker. They showed an 8-bit Mario Amiibo and the game’s booklet, which would feature Mario course examples. Release date for the game: 11 September 2015.

Did they deliver? Yes, they did. There are now two 8-bit Mario Amiibo available: One classic and one modern. The classic Amiibo was released alongside the game on 12 September 2015 in Australia, while the modern one was released October 24. The booklet looks pretty nice too. Take a look at the PAL box art while you’re at it.

That’s it for this reflective series on the E3 Promises of 2015. Now we wait for all of next week’s E3 2016 promises.


  • Didn’t Hyrule Warriors run so badly on3DS that it should have Bern made N3DS exclusive?

    I’m just mad because Ninty don’t make as many games that I like anymore.

    • Runs perfectly on N3DS, but heard 3DS performance was.. questionable. Hard thing is, if they made it an exclusive for N3DS, people would’ve gotten pretty shitty I reckon. Xenoblade 3D was an N3DS exclusive, I think. Remember hearing some grumping about that, and the game met with little fanfare that I noticed. Was well received, but just never hear about it.

      • They should make some more N3DS exclusives. At the moment 1 game & some SNES emulation isn’t really selling me.

        Not that I’d take the plunge until I know the full NX story.

        Not that I could afford it atm.


        • You’ll be glad to know there are at least 5 N3DS exclusives. Though nothing is anywhere near as big as Xenoblade.

  • Nintendo Directs should be scrapped.

    The E3 Direct failing to excite people when other ones either earlier or later in the year make people say ‘why wasn’t this announced at E3???’ is an easy dig at Nintendo, but there’s some truth to that.

    Instead, the Directs could take the shape of an app that’s constantly pushing news and deals and such to people with a Nintendo account.

    I’m not sure Nintendo would jump into the pool like Sony did and charge for online play, but if there was enough incentives, it might be feasible. Free Virtual Console games on rotation would not cut the mustard, backwards compatibility isn’t as important as it once was to gamers even though they protest otherwise.

    On a positive note, during each of these E3 presentations they pre-record and show, they do an excellent job of profiling the people on the games alongside the games themselves.

    • Free VC games without rotation. You get the whole catalogue as long as you are a subscriber. Have a way to earn a discount on digital downloads of new games by beating a challenge in a VC game from the same series.
      Demo’s have unlimited plays.
      You get a small perk in some games like an cosmetic bit of gear or some extra gold when you start or something.

      • I can honestly say that with how little I play online, even with “incentives” like that there would be zero reason for me to shell out for a subscription.

        • The discounts could sway me. But I don’t play a whole heap online. Bit of Mario Kart. That changed quite a bit when I Splatoon came along and I finally jumped in after everyone raving about it for so long. I’d subscribe if I had to just to play Spla2oon or whatever it gets called next.

          • Well if they went that route it would obviously have to be Spla2n 😛

            And yeah, Splatoon had me playing basically every day for three months straight, so would’ve earnt that out of me. It’s very much an outlier though, the only other online game I play with any kind of regularity is Elite, and even that gets huge breaks. Subscriptions don’t seem at all worth it to me.

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