E3 2012: Nintendo repeating past mistakes?Posted 12:16 am on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 by Michael Revis
So Nintendo’s conference has finally come and gone. The Nerd Reactor guys were in attendance and we all pretty much had the exact same reaction when the show finished. As we were all being ushered out of the Nokia Theater, all we could think was:
“What the f*ck did we just watch?”
Now let’s get one thing out of the way, Nintendo did have some good offerings. They were especially touting their third party support, which is already a huge boon for the upcoming WiiU console and one of the original Wii’s weakest areas. Warner Bros. Interactive showed off a bit of Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, with a trailer that portrayed some of the new tricks that the Caped Crusader can perform exclusive to this platform. We were also privy to some footage of Ubisoft’s various offerings. From Assassin’s Creed III and various Rayman related titles, to the new IP in ZombiU, the company has shown that they’re giving their full backing to the Big N and their ambitious new console.
Then things started to go downhill. It wasn’t so much the lack of game footage that was putting things off, but what they were showing was bringing back shades of the first Wii console’s early days, where they were focused catering to the casual gamer. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but what we witnessed brought in some bad vibes about the launch of its successor.
Wii Fit is making a return with Wii FitU (very creative title by the way). Upon the reveal, an awkward silence filled the theater not unlike when they showed off the original title. People didn’t know what to think. My associates didn’t know what to think; hell, I didn’t know what to think. This was just the start of the bad mojo wafting from the stage. Then they were were showing off the traditional social networking shenanigans; youtube, netflix, hulu, all the expected stuff, as well as some other random stuff involving Miis that you may or may not give two sh*ts about.
Then the final reveal came up. We were hoping for something that would blow us away, like how Sony treated us to footage of The Last of Us, which left the entire room cheering at the end. A new Metroid, a new Zelda, anything. We were not expecting what we received instead. Enter Nintendoland, the company’s attempt at a virtual theme park where your Miis can congregate and play various carnival game related to the franchises in Nintendo history.
Yes, that is correct. Apparently they had an actual meeting, with actual people, where they sat at an actual table, and actually decided “Hey, we should make a theme park based on our brands. Not an actual theme park, mind you, but a virtual one that looks incredibly awkward and is sure to alienate the fans we’ve been busting our asses to gain back in the past year.” This….. thing… is an actual concept that is set to launch with the WiiU. The room was dead silent, except for the applause at the end that felt like it was only there out of common courtesy.
Why is Nintendo going back to this form of catering to the heavy casual audiences? That is the only thing we could think about on the way out. The mere fact that they even made it their last reveal was even more mind boggling. With all of the brand spanking new titles that they have on the way, both first and third party, they decide to end on an awkward note like that.
Was it because they didn’t have anything else they wanted to reveal? Were they intentionally holding something back for us? Are they merely f*cking with everyone, a sick means of getting their jollies from the disappointment of the hardcore gamer crowd, and gamers in general?
One thing is for sure: Nintendo better be working their asses off securing those third party games, because if they are dead serious on this Nintendoland idea, then they’re probably going to need it.
Michael is a man of many things. Journalist, writer, gamer, professional procrastinator, cosplayer, super hero, whale wrestler, evil mastermind, and robot master. And that’s just on the weekends.