E3 2012 Nintendo Press Conference Coverage

The final hardware manufacturer, Nintendo, had their press conference on Tuesday. Here is a recap:

* Shigeru Miyamoto and perennial translator Bill Trinen came on stage first in a cute demonstration for the oft-requested Pikmin 3. Miyamoto demonstrated two different control schemes using both the Wii U Tablet controller and traditional Wii Remote controls.

* Reggie Fils-Aim, President of Nintedo of America, took the stage after the Pikmin demonstration, stating they began their conference with a game announcement to show their focus for this presentation: games.

* He stated that a one-hour conference could not hold all the information they wanted to say and directed the audience to check Nintendo’s E3 web site as well as Facebook and Twitter for additional information during E3.

* A video then played demonstrating the final form of the Wii U controller, complete with pushable analog sticks instead of nubs.

* Reggie then demonstrated the opening screen of the Wii U and Miiverse. Hundreds of Miis gathered around tiles that demonstrated a sort of “trending board,” and individual messages from one’s friends about the game are displayed as speech bubbles from their Miis. He also stated that Miiverse will eventually be coming to 3DS, Smartphones, and PCs.

* To demonstrate the in-game aspect of Miiverse, a trailer for New Super Mario Bros. U was shown with messages from players left on the in-game map.

* Martin Tremblay, President of Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, took the stage with Reid Schneider, VP of Production for WB Games Montreal, to demonstrate Batman: Arkham City: Armoured Edition. A special edition of Arkham City for the Wii U, which includes new challenges as well as features like the titular armoured suit for Batman, remote controlled batarangs, and plastic explosives.

* Jeremiah Slaczka, CEO of 5th Cell, came on to announce and present Scribblenauts Unlimited, an open-world Scribblenuats game where you can create new words and share them online with your friends. The title will also be coming to 3DS.

* A fast-paced trailer showcasing several third party titles was shown. It included Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Trine 2: Director’s Cut, Ninja Gaiden 3, Aliens Colonial Marines.

* Reggie then began to speak about Wii Fit U and the sales of the Wii Fit series, even referencing the infamous “My body is ready” meme that he unwittingly started. A trailer was then shown that demonstrated how the Wii U Tablet can be used to play the game.

* A singing game, titled simply Sing (a working title), was shown before the conference quickly moved onto the next segment.

* Reggie introduced Scott Moffit, Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, to talk about the 3DS. However, Scott said he didn’t have enough time to introduce everything about the 3DS in the press conference and would have a 3DS showcase the following day at 6PM PDT. However, he did show off New Super Mario Bros.2, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.

* Reggie took the stage again to show off a trailer for Lego City: Undercover, the open-world Lego crime fighting game.

* Yves Guillemont, President of Ubisoft, was then introduced and had a little chat with Reggie about how awesome Nintendo is. Xavier Poix, Managing Director of Ubisoft French Studios, was brought on to showcase Just Dance 4 on stage with Reggie using the Wii U tablet controller to select dance moves that the other four players had to perform with standard Wiimotes.

* An in-game trailer for ZombieU, the game that Ubisoft showed a CGI trailer for in their conference yesterday, was shown. The trailer demonstrated how the Wii U tablet controller is used as a real-time inventory, map, hacking device, rifle scope, and scanner.

* The Ubisoft demonstration ended with a quick trailer showing off all their other multiplatform games that are coming to Wii U: Assassin’s Creed 3, Rabbid’s Land, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013, Rayman Legends, Sports Connection, and Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth.

* Nintendo ended the conference with Katsuya Eguchi, creator of Animal Crossing, Wii Sports, and Wii Play, who introduced NintendoLand, a virtual theme park with Nintendo-themed minigames built off of many of the tech demos shown in last year’s E3. One game he demonstrated in detail was Luigi’s Ghost Mansion: Haunted Hijinks, where three players take the roles ghost hunters who must work together to defeat the player with the Wii U tablet controller, who controls a powerful and invisible ghost. Reggie ended the conference by stating that NintendoLand will launch with the Wii U.

Analysis: Like the previous year, Nintendo’s conference was professional, to the point, and honestly quite boring.
The only two real exciting pieces of news from this conference is that Pikmin 3 is finally coming and ZombieU, despite its silly name, looks like quite an intriguing game.

Pikmin 3 looks like a great sequel, and the omission of Capitan Olimar due to a plot-related reason hints at an intriguing story mode alongside what Miyamoto mentioned was playable on the E3 floor: a challenge mode.

ZombieU‘s name makes me groan, but the CGI trailer that Ubisoft showed off yesterday in their own conference had me intrigued. The in-game trailer they showed was impressive and could make it one of the best new survival horror games.

Games like Scribblenauts Unlimited, New Super Mario Bros. 2 and U, Lego City Undercover, and NintendoLand are good and all. However, you can’t headline an E3 conference with them, not when games like Halo 4, Star Wars 1313, The Last of Us, and Watch Dogs are being showcased elsewhere in E3, and the fact that Nintendo focused so much on non-gamer things like Wii Fit U, Sing, and Just Dance 4 and relegated the 3DS to its own mini-conference is stupid, especially when Reggie said they couldn’t fit everything in one hour. Bullshit. Cut the crap and show off more 3DS games and Wii U games that you never even mentioned, like Game & Wario, a new Warioware game; and P-100, an amusing superhero title from Platinum Games.

Having third-party support with games like Assassin’s Creed 3, Mass Effect 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Darksiders II is good news for Nintendo, who have suffered with a lack of multiplatform third-party games in the past, but this doesn’t make for exciting news for gamers. Either we’ve already played these games before (e.g. Mass Effect 3) or they’ll be on other consoles with minimal changes (e.g. Darksiders II). If Nintendo showed off some real differences from other platforms, similar to the somewhat gimmicky new Batman: Arkham City modes or an alien scanner on the Wii U Tablet controller, I would’ve been more excited.

If the Wii U launches with Rayman Legends, Pikmin 3, ZombieU, New Super Mario Bros U, and NintendoLand, it will have a pretty good launch lineup. However, I’m afraid it’ll be stuck with a release window gap that has no exclusive titles for months like the 3DS was.

And speaking of NintendoLand, Nintendo never mentioned what exactly this game is. Is it a pack-in title like Wii Sports was? Does it comes pre-installed on the Wii U? Does the Wii U even have a hard disk, or are we still stuck with memory cards? Why no specific release date other than “This holiday season”? Why no launch price? So many questions were left unanswered.

Here’s hoping they have a secret Metroid, Zelda or Smash Bros title hidden somewhere.

Mohamed Al Saadoon

About Mohamed Al Saadoon