E3 2012: Our View of Nintendo's E3

Did Nintendo win?

The E3 displays and demo booths have all been packed up and tired exhibitors have gone home, so now we can reflect on what happened in Los Angeles and contemplate how Nintendo performed. A few members of the team provided a short review of Nintendo's E3 press conference hours after it finished, with a general consensus that while parts of it had disappointed, on the whole Nintendo had enjoyed a stronger showing than its biggest rivals. Much of the gaming community didn't seem to share that view, with some lambasting what they saw as a below par effort from the big N.

Now that the dust has settled, some of the Nintendo Life staff share their thoughts on the E3 expo as a whole, in terms of Nintendo's performance and that of its biggest rivals.

Damien McFerran, editorial director

Now the dust has settled and we've had time to properly digest this year's conference, I think it's clear that the negative reaction given by many fans is probably a little extreme.

Not an E3 goes by when someone, somewhere isn't disappointed by the lack of a new F-Zero/Star Fox/Metroid (delete as applicable) and if you remove fan boy expectations for a moment, it's clear that this year's E3 wasn't quite as crushingly bad as some would have you believe.

For me, the stand out games for Nintendo platforms were Pikmin 3, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate and the two new Super Mario titles. To be perfectly honest, I have a feeling those four games alone would make me blissfully happy for the remainder of 2012. I'm also pumped for Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, as I never really played the GameCube original all that much.

It was slightly annoying that we didn't have any massive reveals — aside from Nintendo Land, which I think could end up being a sleeper hit with casual players, despite the game's lukewarm reception — but on the whole, the conference didn't give me any reason to doubt that Nintendo's future is as rosy as ever. This is especially obvious when you compare it to Sony and Microsoft's offerings, which were lacklustre in the extreme.

Corbie Dillard, downloads editor

For me, E3 2012 was a very mixed bag. While the Nintendo press conference didn't blow me away as I was hoping it would, there were a lot of great Nintendo first party titles on the show floor that were impressive, both for Wii U and 3DS. Of course the third party Wii U and 3DS titles didn't disappoint either. Ubisoft managed to blow the roof off with their dynamic Wii U showing of Rayman Legends and ZombiU.

Having seen and played so many games on the show floor, it's difficult to narrow the experience down to just a few of my favourite moments. Rayman Legends on Wii U was the jaw-dropper with its stunning visuals and smooth gameplay, but it was the 3DS games that ended up pulling me into booths time and time again with titles such as Castlevania: Mirror of Faith, Disney's Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion and Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy being a few of my favourites.

Overall my third E3 in person was yet another amazing show and one I was sad to see end. It was easily one of the best show floors I've seen to date and there just wasn't nearly enough time to do and see it all. But I certainly tried.

Mike Mason, assistant editor

As a whole I found this year's E3 to be pretty disappointing: an uninspiring mish-mash of violence and the same old game concepts. It seemed to be a given that Nintendo would run away with the show, since it generally refuses to follow the trends of the wider industry and had a new home console to display. In reality, Nintendo may have scraped a victory on the gaming industry's biggest stage, but not by the wide margin that many expected.

The Wii U line-up shown off was pretty impressive, especially when you consider that only the first four months or so of the system were taken into consideration. Pikmin 3, Darksiders II, Project P-100, Scribblenauts Unlimited and the delightful LEGO City Undercover all look fantastic. The surprise star of the show, however, was undoubtedly Ubisoft: Assassin's Creed III, ZombiU and especially Rayman Legends seem on course to be superb games that will be appreciated at the start of Wii U's lifespan.

But by choosing to focus only on the immediate launch window of Wii U and the next few months of 3DS releases, Nintendo stopped itself from blowing the competition away completely, which felt like a missed opportunity given that neither of the other hardware manufacturers had new systems on display. The Nintendo 3DS software showcase offered nothing new, only closer looks at titles we already knew about. Its main Wii U-centred presentation was badly ordered, starting off with a Pikmin-shaped bang and ending with an over-stretched demo of Nintendo Land, which doesn't yet seem to be the gigantic title that Nintendo is trying to sell it as. Nintendo had a decent E3, but it was not the ground-breaking show that it really needed going into its next generation.