The final chance for major conferences, but in reality it was just Nintendo’s day, setting itself aside from the big boys who’ve already unleashed their shiny new products on day one.
The Wii U was obviously their big push, the gaming idol that is Shigeru Miyamoto brought with him his usual air of enthusiasm, playing Pikmin 3, before Reggie Yates hinted at a crowded line-up only to then hit everyone with the now requisite multimedia spiel (Hulu and Netflix), washing over the audience in a tide of apathy.
Bear in mind Nintendo have posted their first loss for a while, this needed to be a kick-start and create a buzz for the new hardware that’ll hopefully replace the Wii. There was some touting of the GamePad obviously, but the revelation that the FPS would drop when played on the tablet-like handheld’s screen, that the Wii U could only support two GamePads and that their battery life would be a fairly paltry 3-5 hrs lessened a bit of the excitement.
Third party support was the order of the day, with Nintendo understanding they can’t remain everyone’s +1 console for the foreseeable future. Big names like Mass Effect 3, Darksiders 2 and Batman Arkham City Armored Edition may convince a few who haven’t already gone down the multi-platform route. In terms of new IPs, Zombi U proved, much like with Rayman Legends the previous day, that Ubisoft are not only backing the U but also appear more adept at showcasing its unique features.
Zombi U, a survival horror, utilises the GamePad to scan areas, shake off attackers and snipe, all in dynamic fashion.
A New Super Mario Bros spearheaded the first party titles for the Wii U, but perhaps spearheaded is the wrong term as little was following beyond Pikmin for the latest console from the manufacturers themselves.
Nintendo’s nod to the casual crowd (is there a more casual crowd for them?) came in the form of NintendoLand, a virtual theme park for your Mii to visit, which features games based on existing franchises such as Zelda and Animal Crossing.
The 3DS, having rallied sales after disappointing early figures, appears to be getting more traditional Nintendo goodness in the shape of New Super Mario Bros 2, Paper Mario 3DS and Luigi’s Mansion 2. Sequels all, but fan favourites.
Not a bad showing from Nintendo, the third party support hints that they know where they’ve gone wrong in the past, but it’s hard to envisage who they’ve swayed, and with no huge first party revolutions on the cards it lacked the “wow” factor for the faithful fanboys.