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E3 2010: Editorial: Nintendo's Competition

Posted by James Newton

What does Nintendo have to beat to be crowned King of LA?

Before we launch into our live coverage of Nintendo's E3 Media Presentation, let's take a look at the competition, particularly Microsoft's opening presentation focusing on the accessory formerly known as Project Natal, the newly-rechristened Kinect.

Unveiling the fifteen titles that will launch alongside the peripheral this November, Wii owners could be forgiven for letting out a few snickers of derision at the line-up. Sports, fitness, dance and minigame titles dominate the list, with hardly a stand-out title among the bunch. Reading like the bottom half of Wii's Metacritic list, there's next-to nothing announced that hasn't been seen before on Wii or, in the case of Kinectimals, even the DS. The only real big-name title for launch, Sega's Sonic Free Riders, wasn't great on GameCube and didn't really improve much with the Wii's motion controls added, so it's hard to imagine it taking off with full body control.

As for the pre-rendered video of Kinect's Star Wars title, the Wii is by far the better-equipped console to offer an authentic lightsaber experience, with MotionPlus, the in-built speaker and many reams of plastic accessories testify. Until we see a live demonstration of the title, it doesn't seem as though this can offer the same level of control and physical engagement as Wii.

Even changes to the 360's software and hardware mirror that of the Wii. Built-in WiFi and a quiet-running console? Out since 2006 for Nintendo. A new-look, motion-controlled hub where an onscreen hand picks content from a line-up of images arranged in a grid? Looks like the Wii Home Menu to us.

Perhaps the saddest part of the Kinect unveil was the death knell for Rare as a developer of great core titles, now relegated to producing sports and minigame compilations. Considering the team's talent and imagination, it's heartbreaking for Nintendo fans to see it fall so far from grace: the company's halcyon days of Perfect Dark, GoldenEye 007 and Jet Force Gemini look well and truly over.

In a bizarre reversal of fortunes, Microsoft is chasing the casual market the Wii has so successfully carved out as just as Wii owners wait in anticipation of announcements of the machine's core titles: the new Legend of Zelda is just hours away, folks. Where Nintendo continues to innovate its competitors feel content to copy, and we fully expect Sony's Move controller to show off more titles aping Nintendo's more popular titles.

So far this year's showing has proven that when it comes to innovation, you can't beat Nintendo. Stay tuned for more E3 coverage throughout the day, including live text coverage direct from the show.

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User Comments (34)

V8_Ninja

#1

V8_Ninja said:

The only company that has a chance of beating Nintendo now is Sony, and Sony is gonna have to show something that's truly spectacular if they wanna beat out Zelda.

irken004

#2

irken004 said:

Whoa. NL pwning MSoft conference xD

Yeah, Microsoft's conference was pretty lame, imo.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#4

Philip_J_Reed said:

Sony is in a good position to surprise, I think. I don't think anyone was satisfied by Microsoft's presentation, and Nintendo looks like it's poised to lean heavily on sequels (not that I mind at all!)...so Sony really has a golden opportunity to blow people away.

Should be interesting.

WolfRamHeart

#5

WolfRamHeart said:

After yesterday's miserable performance Nintendo has nothing to worry about from Microsoft. Sony should have some interesting things up their sleeve but I think Nintendo has an excellent chance of owning this E3.

warioswoods

#6

warioswoods said:

The worst thing going for Microsoft during this attempt to capture the "casual" audience: their god-awful fugly avatars. Mii's are at least kind of cute and original in their design, and don't resemble the disturbingly frozen faces of those cheap action figures made to badly imitate real people.

Zach

#7

Zach said:

If Kinect is as bad as this makes it out to be, I actually feel embarrassed for the industry as a whole. I recently read an interview with John Lasseter of Pixar in which he stated that he'd rather be competing in a lively industry than be the only one doing anything worthwhile in one otherwise in tatters (though I'm sure he said it more eloquently) and I feel the same way about video games. I really want Kinect to be something interesting and inspirational, a catalyst for exciting new developments and a reason for the existing big dogs to try a little harder and strive for something else, something even better than the good thing that we have already. This is just depressing, even if it is one of Nintendo's competitors, especially with the commentary on Rare's state. Hopefully things will look better as the exposition continues for all three main contenders and we'll see some better use of this new technology than what's presented here. Sigh.

Kid_A

#8

Kid_A said:

Everything said was true, but the kid in me is still more than a bit excited to give Kinect a spin. Is it a technologically impressive cash-grab? Maybe, but it looks like a damn innovative and fun one.
I also have to agree with Chicken Brutus--Sony could really steal the show here. Nintendo's going to have an interesting show regardless, but Sony seems to be the only one that might bring out something completely new (aside from the 3DS of course).

Gogata

#9

Gogata said:

Down with Sony and Microsoft! Nintendo has 100% right to sue Sony for their clear rip off of the Wii controls-Crapstation Move!

That_Guy_from_Faxana

#10

That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

Kinnect has the same problem as Wii had in the beginning -no games - but even worse. MS developers seems to have thought: " The Wii is a toy with minigames. Kinect is like a Wii, so let´s make partygames."

At least Nintendo tries to make real games too. We´ll see if Sony has one decent title coming up for Move.

Deviant_Mugen

#11

Deviant_Mugen said:

@Prosody: What, no mention of Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie being a part of Rare's heyday? For shame, sir...

As for the article: shameful copying is afoot...

XD375

#13

XD375 said:

Microsoft's E3 conference this year was a repeat of Nintendo's 2008 conference.

HiroshiYamauchi

#14

HiroshiYamauchi said:

I can't say that Kinect isn't technologically interesting, but i doubt Microsoft will be able to sell that thing.

Moco_Loco

#15

Moco_Loco said:

Even though I think Microsoft failed to create any killer apps for Kinect, I still see the potential if developers would start thinking outside the Wii box. I also think the technology is not all the way there, and that there should be some kind of simple controller for games that would work better with a button or two.

Move looks like it might be better, even if it is less original. It may have the potential to be far more accurate than either Kinect or WM+, as it combines the best of both. I don't even particularly like Sony, having owned and later sold both a PSP and a PS2, but I like that they seem more open to incorporating motion control into hardcore games. I still won't buy it, but I believe that strong competition makes everyone better.

ejamer

#16

ejamer said:

Although I might snicker at how Wii-like the presentation was, that's hardly a terrible thing. I like my Wii, and if the 360 can offer a similar (but different) experience with some unique games while still keeping other great core titles in the process that seems like a win for them.

Also, why is everyone ignoring the ESPN agreement? That is a huge exclusive win for Microsoft, and clearly worth mention. I guess maybe the fact that we don't know how wide-reaching the agreement is (US-only or all regions) affects how interested people are?

ejamer

#17

ejamer said:

@Collinhall:

"Littlebigplanet 2... You'll see..."
No, he said decent titles! ;)

Kidding, although I do fall into the (sizable) camp of people who felt that LBP controlled very poorly and wasn't much fun to play. I'd rather buy an enjoyable and fully-developed game than a set of development tools.

Nintenzo

#18

Nintenzo said:

That picture of the X-Box made me hear the Super Metroid Mother Brain battle music in my head.

( Search for the music on Youtube, you'll see why I thought of it. )

EdEN

#19

EdEN said:

Nintendo has the 3DS and Zelda along with several other exclusive games. They've already won E3.

Archy

#20

Archy said:

This is really really really REALLY pointless, you just have shown that you care!

suburban_sensei

#21

suburban_sensei said:

Heh, my buddy who is a Microsoft fanboy, won't shut up about Kinect. I really don't care if Sony and Microsoft have more of a 1:1 experience, for me it's about the properties and software, and I will always be a die-hard Nintendo fan.

Chris720

#22

Chris720 said:

Wow... Sony and Microsoft are really playing catch-up with Nintendo!

If Nintendo don't sue Sony for a blatant copyright on their controller, they're idiots, no offence. And Sony's "Craptation Move" controller looks like a black Wiimote with a ball on it... It looks like a sex toy...

And Microsoft, for shame! You little Wii copy cats! Same Wii menu design to boot too!

Why can't Sony and Microsh*t realize they suck when competing against Nintendo?

MrWout

#23

MrWout said:

Microsoft made one huge mistake....no decent launch titles....
And actually another one too in my opinion, no buttons this might seem strange and rather conservative but all this "hands-off" controlling achieves is taking the link between the player and the game away, you get no physical response to your actions, no rumble nu button press, for me this already presents as a major problem on my iPod Touch so I didn't just make this up :p

Slapshot

#24

Slapshot said:

Sly cooper hd collection just leaked from Sonys end. This is the best news possible to come out of e3 for me.

Alias

#25

Alias said:

Nintendo has risen victorious! Bwahahahahaha! Kid Icarus, Zelda: Skyward Sword, Kirby, the 3DS.... This is THE best year to be a nintendo fan!!!!!!!

M00se

#26

M00se said:

hahaha microsofts e3 was REALLY pathetic. nintendo had some sequels i want (only zelda and dck for me), but sony has SO many games that they are going to show and ones we havent heard of yet. they might blow us away and make up for microsofts crappy showing!

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#29

Philip_J_Reed said:

You know what an editorial is, right mjc? Because it's meant to reflect the opinion of the writer on whatever topic is at hand.

So unless Prosody doesn't actually agree with a word he said, I don't know why you'd question its autheniticity as an editorial.

BobberyFan98

#30

BobberyFan98 said:

Nintendo and Microsoft had awesome presentations this year! I love the new 250 GB Slim Xbox 360 and Kinect. I was blown away by all the great things Nintendo announced! More info about the 3DS. Amazing new Wii titles like Zelda Skyward Sword and Donkey Kong Country Returns. Remakes of great games for the 3DS like Super Street Fighter IV and MGS Snake Eater, and the best of them all: Ocarina of Time! And even games for it like Kid Icarus Uprising, Mario Kart, and Animal Crossing! Booyah!

While Nintendo was better, Microsoft still had a great presentation at this E3 ;)

-BF98 ;)

BulbasaurusRex

#31

BulbasaurusRex said:

I guess "Back to the Future 2" had it wrong when it said kids in 2015 would be disappointed to play a video game where you "use your hands."

Supermarioman

#32

Supermarioman said:

Microsofts conference was boring except one part, the new Slim 360 :P
I promised myself I would buy only Nintendo and Sony games as long as Microsoft kept free Wi-Fi out of the 360 at standard price, and now this happens. F#$@ You Microsoft, right when I need to save for the 3DS, Kid Icarus, Mario Kart 3DS, Donkey Kong Country Returns, KIrby's Epic Yarn, Goldeneye, Zelda, InFamous 2, and more, plus my massive list of games I've yet to get :P Now i'm really up S#!t creek without a paddle or a boat, any suggestions? Please and Thank You :)

P.S. Sorry for profanity, at least I didn't type the real words :D

LEGEND_MARIOID

#33

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Sony and Microsoft are making fools of themselves so far. Their big bosses won't be happy. Although we'll see some business media spin doctoring of course

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