E3 2012: Nintendo Keynote Round Up
Nintendo have everything to do this year after their poor showing last E3. Announcing the WiiU, there was confusion with it being a handheld console or a home console with a tablet controller or at one point – an addon for the Wii. After a hasty release last year, Nintendo went back to the drawing board and thought about their console long and hard. Keeping their cards close to their chest. This year, they have to prove to gamers and shareholders that WiiU is the future.
So they took the unusual step to announce the controller’s final version and a few console specs such as the MiiVerse – Nintendo’s social network and answer to the PSN and Xbox Live, in a half hour pre-recorded video the Sunday before any presentations. This is so they can focus on the games, and that they did. The conference highlights from Nintendo’s Keynote Speech:
Starting with Miyamoto announcing Pikmin 3, a game that has been rumoured for what seems an eternity is finally shown to the world. New Pikmin, new features and new ways to play using the Wii U game pad. The WiiU has been confirmed to be compatible with two Gamepads. Not to begin with mind, but it will come.
We are also treated with an announcement Batman Arkham City will feature new costumes, moves and minigames exclusive to the console to make use of the unique controller. Ubisoft have also confirmed that Assassin’s Creed 3 will do the same. Lego City, Just Dance 4 and Rayman Legends also show face today, which add to an already packed hour.
In an attempt to lure the more mature gamer back to Nintendo we hear that Mass Effect 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will also make the console as well as already confirmed Ninja Gaiden 3 and Alien Colonial Marines. A good showing but new titles would have been nice instead of ports of games already expected for Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3. That being said, Ubisoft have stepped in once again with ZombiU, a game where you have to survive the Zombie apocalypse that has taken hold. It looks bloody gory and having your photo taken by the Gamepad’s camera and turned into an in game zombie is an awesome feature.
New Super Mario Bros U is formally announced as a game that was shown as a demo last year. This is a 5 player game – 4 using Wiimotes and one using the Gamepad. The gamepad will allow the player to hold enemies and create blocks to aid the other players. The controller is getting a full work out as it is shown with new titles such as Sing – a karaoke game where lyrics appear on the screen and Wii Fit U – the latest in the health series which can be played with or without a TV.
Nintendo Land is a collection of 12 minigames designed to make use of the controller – such like Wii Sports or Wii Play. It will be bundled with the console due for a “winter” release. Nintendo said the conference would be all about the games and they were not wrong. They have a range of titles appealing to a wide audience. It is early days but if momentum like this keeps up, we might have Nintendo being a serious contender for the “hardcore market.” It would have been nice to see prices and release dates but they were never going to appear, and a new Zelda or 3D Mario weren’t likely either. Proving Nintendo can pull the crowd without their biggest mascots.
The 3DS was all but pushed aside with only Luigi’s Mansion 2, New Super Mario Bros 2 and Paper Mario putting in a decent first party appearance. This will be addressed tomorrow with an hour long presentation just for the 3DS as it seems Nintendo have so much to say, they need three occasions to tell us nearly everything we want to know.