It shows how eagerly anticipated Pikmin 3 has been that Nintendo wasted no time opening its show with the title at E3: the regular teases over a number of years meant that it was always going to be a high profile reveal. More details on the Wii U title are starting to emerge, and one negative is that the multiplayer component has been confirmed as local play only, with no online option.
In an interview with IGN, Shigeru Miyamoto explained why online play won't feature.
So in the case of Mario Kart, we did have online multiplayer, and that's something that... You have to be very careful that you don't drop frames as you're trying to sync up with other players over what could be a very great physical distance, over the internet. But in the situation of Pikmin, for example, since you would have lots of individual, small creatures, the Pikmin, whose every movement and location is going to be really important in the game, it would be very difficult to sync up over an internet connection.
So I think what we've decided to do is focus on the single-player and local multiplayer aspects, which are really fun. But unfortunately, no online multiplayer for Pikmin 3. But the co-op local multiplayer is really fun.
Another interesting comment in the interview shows just how long this title has been in the works, with both DS and 3DS considered as platforms at one point. Miyamoto had this to say about how the concept evolved as years went by.
Fundamentally I would say that the game didn't change all that much. Rather, we saw the CPU power and HD resolution offered by the Wii U and simply thought that was the best platform possible for that game, allowing you to see the whole map at one time and things like that. Going back a little bit, I would have to say that we really debated what kind of game we should make Pikmin 3.
Having played them, you must know that Pikmin and Pikmin 2 themselves are very different games from each other. We had a bit of a discussion internally about which direction we should go for Pikmin 3. And at the same time we were also trying out different experiments on the DS and the 3DS and the Wii to see which platform the game would work best on. We had decided on Wii when the possibility of putting it on the Wii U became available, as we began to see what that framework was going to look like. At that time we definitely decided, okay, this is going to be much better on Wii U. Nothing huge changed in terms of the fundamental concept.
Are you disappointed that Pikmin 3 won't feature any form of online co-op or multiplayer, or are you happy playing with a friend in the same room? Let us know in the comments below.