E3 2012 has, for the most part, been marred with an overwhelming sense of disappointment. Aside from the odd starlet, both Microsoft and Sony had fairly average showings; Microsoft with its lack of real surprises and originality and Sony with the Wonderbook middle section that is probably better off forgotten. E3 was Nintendo’s for the taking. I have no real comprehension of baseball, but to use a tried and tested analogy, the bases were set and they just needed to smack it out of the park. Instead the bat was simply placed on the floor, as the whole team tuned around and went to go sit in the stands.
Last year, Nintendo fell into the deadly trap of trying to appeal to both the hardcore and casual market within their conference and surprisngly (please note: sarcasm) succeeded with neither. In 2012, Ninty needed to avoid that strategy like a kid with BO on a playground and most importantly, solidify a company-wide direction for the next twelve months. Would the Wii U be the ‘Wii 2,’ or would it seduce longtime hardcore fans?
I don’t know how they did it, but poor old Shiggy and co. followed the same procedure all over again. Actually, that last bit is a lie. I know exactly how they did it: by showcasing the poorest selection of titles and neglecting the gaming population that would actually be watching a Nintendo press conference in the first place.
Things started off almost too well, kicking off with Pikmin 3 and the announcement that ‘this conference would be all about the games.’ To be fair to my prior lover, it wasn’t a lie. It’s just that they were all games I couldn’t give two hoots about. Wii fit? sing? Nintendoland? I’m sorry, but at what point was I meant to start caring?
But what about Batman I hear you ask? Strictly speaking, Arkham City on Wii U is a great start for the library (as is Mass Effect 3). But lets face it, they were even more awesome 6-8 months ago, when they first came out. Mario it seems, only goes so far.
The worst of it comes in the mass ambiguity that continues to surround the Wii U unit. How powerful actually is it? What should we be expecting come launch? And even more importantly, how is remote play on the gamepad supposed to function when for some games, it acts as its own independent screen. For a device that has been rumored to drop so soon, we know scarily little.
Upon reflection I might sound like an ungrateful ranter and you know what, maybe I am. It’s just that I have grown up a Nintendo fanboy. They were the people to take my gaming virginity all those years ago. Now they seem set on stepping on my heart and never calling me back without so much as explanation. I want to buy a Wii U, really I do. It’s just that up until this point they haven’t convinced me as to why I should. I don’t need a bulky controller on my lounge, nor have I been aching for a portable karaoke machine.
It was the shortest conference of the big three, yet it should have been the one with the most to say. I don’t care that I can turn my face into a zombie, I want to know where the games are for me; the guy that bought a GameCube purely out of trust – haters be damned.
Most of all though, I demand to know what has happened to my beloved Nintendo?