E3 2012: Our View of Nintendo's E3

Did Nintendo win?

Christopher Ingram, contributor

Going into E3, I had no doubt that this was a year where Nintendo would shine the brightest at E3, seeing how they were the only company showing off new hardware. Sadly, its monotonous presentation style and promises of future showings (Monday’s 3DS Roundtable) just wasn’t very exciting for me and initially disappointed – even though it showed off some great games.

Reflecting back, it’s all started to make perfect sense. As a multiplatform owning core gamer, I expected a much different attitude from Nintendo this year. While it never stated it, its Wii U presentation sent out a clear message: Wii U’s core offerings aren’t Nintendo’s central focus. If it was, the presentation would’ve been much different: Friend Code omission announcement; achievement system showcasing; multiple core first party Wii U titles presented (e.g. Metroid, 1080, Super Smash Bros., etc.) and a deeper focus on Wii U’s online multiplayer capabilities – aside from Miiverse. Most importantly, it would have had much deeper third party showings to reassure core gamers that all upcoming multiplatform titles will be coming to Wii U, by having a few of the big-hitters like Crytek’s upcoming Crysis 3, 2K Games’ BioShock Infinite and Borderlands 2, Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Square Enix’s Tomb Raider presented on stage, instead of titles that the majority of core gamers have likely already played and can cheaply purchase on their other systems (Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition, Mass Effect 3).

While I might have initially been disappointed by Nintendo’s placid presentation, I’m actually very pleased with the new direction it’s decided to take with Wii U. It shows that Nintendo is staying true to its loyal fans with the new system with upcoming titles like Pikmin 3 and Nintendo Land, while offering a deeper core gaming experience to them at the same time. There’s still a huge market for family friendly gaming in today’s market, and nobody can do it better than Nintendo.

Marcel van Duyn, contributor

Aside from Ubisoft's, I found all conferences this year a bit disappointing, but Nintendo's was definitely the least bad. I enjoyed finally seeing Pikmin 3 (which looks great) after Miyamoto said it was in development years ago, and Nintendo Land seems like a fun, if not particularly beefy experience that will hopefully continue to receive extra games beyond the initial set of 12. The F-Zero game looks way too slow though!

Apart from those, though, there wasn't really much this year. I was quite disappointed that Nintendo literally did not have any new (non-third party) games to announce besides those two, as I was expecting at the very least a little teaser for a new Zelda, Metroid or Star Fox game, or even one for the new Smash Bros. Of course the games that are still coming all look great; I just would've liked to see more new stuff. Nintendo's the only big company releasing a new console soon, they really should've tried to blow people away a bit more!

Jamie O’Neill, contributor

I was so hyped for E3 this year, I anticipated a Wii U software avalanche and I had great expectations of a massive Nintendo announcement. I set aside time to ensure I watched as many events as possible, starting on 1st June with a 6.30am rise for Konami’s pre-E3 show. Each presentation made me more and more excited for Nintendo’s conference. I enjoyed watching the Nintendo Direct pre-E3 presentation, because I presumed that any discussion regarding hardware would make more room for the conference to focus upon games. I had images of HD Wii U games imprinted into my mind: F-Zero and Star Fox were top of my list, but I was just as hopeful for a new 3D Mario, Zelda, 1080° or Wave Race. Perhaps even a brand new blockbuster IP. Monday 4th June was busy for me, from 4.30pm until 4.30am Tuesday I enjoyed an E3 marathon of four successive press conferences. I hoped EA would have demoed a Wii U game, but I was happily blown away by Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends and the care spent on the CGI ZombiU trailer suggested that they are taking Nintendo’s console seriously.

Nintendo’s conference was my most hotly anticipated of them all. I was content with the steady pace of its progression, presuming we would receive one huge reveal. Pikmin 3 was a decent opener, hearing that Wii U could support two GamePads was welcome and I was pleasantly impressed by the visuals and gameplay on display in New Super Mario Bros. U. I found it a bit hard to build enthusiasm for Batman: Arkham City, regardless of an ‘Armoured Edition’, as I have not finished the PS3 version yet. It seemed more logical to me for Aliens: Colonial Marines to receive a demonstration, given the support Gearbox showcased at the end of May. Yves Guillemot and Ubisoft were excellent again; I was expecting a number of familiar Japanese faces to be the highlight of the show, but it was the French who were the knights in shining armour of my E3. At 6.06pm, during the tail end of the conference, I sent out a tweet expressing that "I'm happy with Nintendo Land as a bonus, presuming it's not the final big announcement. C'mon Wii U F-Zero/ Star Fox, there's still E3 time left." I was hoping for a bang, but five minutes later the conference ended on a fizzle.

I could not help but feel disappointed. In the aftermath I wondered if Nintendo had their heads screwed on correctly for not revealing Project P-100 as a conference treat for core gamers. I enjoyed the 3DS Software Showcase, because my expectations were not as lofty and I am always eager to watch more of Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. There is a lesson to learn here regarding how building your hopes up can lead to a fall, but I am sure I will never remember it.

So, what are your thoughts on everything that we saw at E3 2012? Are you excited about what's on the way from Nintendo, or did you want more? Let us know in the comments below.