Pre-E3 2013: Nintendo

The 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo is only a few short days away, and I must say, I’m excited. Before the show gets underway, let me share some of my early thoughts. Next: Nintendo.

I am an unabashed Nintendo fanboy. I was supporter of the GameCube when so many passed in favor of Playstation 2 and XBox. When the Wii began its sudden tank after riding high for nearly four years, I kept buying awesome games. I finally came into the money to allow me to pick up a 3DS and I landed a Wii U at launch.

I have never regretted a Nintendo purchase, but right now, Nintendo is making me a little worried. As I’ve stated before, the Wii U is dying a slow, mostly self-imposed death. The only way for this ship to be righted is for games to being released. Therefore, this will be an important E3 for Nintendo. Some major, system-selling titles will need to dropped – hopefully with meaningful release dates.

One thing Nintendo does have going for it is its command over its audience. The decision to not have a traditional E3 press conference is both a gamble and an incredibly bold move. The E3 press conference is a time when all of the media and press is focused on the presenter; thing is, that includes the mainstream press. By foregoing the standard press event, Nintendo can focus attention on exactly what it wants it target audience to focus on. With special Nintendo Directs, hands-on stations on the show floor, and a special hands-on showcase event in partnership with Best Buy for the general public, Nintendo has a prime opportunity to get hardcore Nintendo fans excite by directly engaging with them. Casual observers at the Best Buy events are just extra icing on this cake.

At the end of the day, though, the content needs to be worth our attention. Mario, Pokemon, Zelda, and Smash Bros. will only go so far without firm or, at least, meaningful release dates. And these must be new titles, not just re-releases and remakes. We know that there are new entries in these franchises, and we know that these new games are coming. Nintendo has mentioned them before; it’s time to talk about them. Are they working on Galaxy 3 or an all-new Mario experience? Will we finally get the realistic, detailed Legend of Zelda art styling that Nintendo has used in tech demos before in a real game? Nintendo needs to stop teasing and start appeasing.

And it could also stand to reveal a new IP or two, show some love to the Virtual Console and eShop, and, by the love of God, work harder to secure and keep third-party support. If nothing else, this E3 could be a huge success for Nintendo if it could announce some major third-party titles and give a compelling reason why we should care about those. I’m not so naive to believe any third-party games at this point would be exclusive to Wii U, but that would be a nice touch if developers stuck to their guns and showed support for the system.

Of course, we won’t know anything until the Nintendo Direct, so let’s all stay tuned.

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I'm an otaku, avid gamer, and electronic "musician." I'm forever indulging in the amazingness that is Japanese tokusatsu.

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