Instead of doing a big press event like the other console manufacturers, Nintendo decided to do things differently this year. They did a Nintendo Direct broadcast along with not just a booth at the E3 show floor, but also at Best Buys around the US. Those Best Buy demo stations will be available June 12 and 15 for four hour blocks each. Unfortunately, that is about all that Nintendo had going for it.
Since Nintendo has no new hardware to reveal this year, the Direct was all about games. Mostly Nintendo brand games. Yes, we will be getting a new 3D Mario, Super Mario 3D World. This will be a four player game and features Toad and Peach as playable characters. Mario also gets a new cat power up that allows him to climb walls. Next we will be getting a new Mario Kart game. This one features more 3D racing action such as racing along walls and ceilings. If you have vertigo problems this might not be good for you. Among the other games shown is a new Donkey Kong game that features Vikings as the antagonists. This one is called Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. The Windwaker HD Remake was featured as well.
The one stand out Nintendo property to be featured is a new Smash Bros game. This one comes with two new characters in the roster, a Villager from Animal Crossing, yes the character’s name is “Villager”, and a very special character. Mega Man. Yes, Mega Man is making his Smash Bros debut and is packing plenty of boss powers. Lots of great attacks from this guy.
But what did they have outside of Nintendo properties? Not a lot. They showed more of Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2, both games we already knew about. One new property that is from Monolith Soft, the developers of Xenoblade. It is simply called “X”. This seems based in the Xenoblade world but includes Mechs. They also had a sizzle reel of other 3rd Party games which included Assassins Creed 4, Watch Dogs, Batman Arkham Origins, and a new Deus Ex game. That whole sizzle reel lasted all of 2 minutes. There were other games in there as well, but few received any prominent placement. This poor 3rd party showing is a blow to the Wii U.
The Wii U has been out for about eight months now and has been suffering blow after blow when it comes to titles available for it. EA even went on the warpath against the Wii U complaining about its hardware and its install base. Nintendo will have a hard time trying to change that low install base if they continue with this poor showing from 3rd parties. When the cream of the Nintendo E3 presser is Nintendo games that have late and far between release dates, only dedicated fans of Nintendo will find much here to love. That is really sad. The Wii U has a lot of great potential but is suffering to find its image.
So in the end, if you love Nintendo properties, the Wii U is the console for you. If you want a strong 3rd party line up to fill in the gaps, you may be looking elsewhere.
You can view the full Nintendo Direct below: