E3 2012: Impressions – Nintendo’s Wii U Showcase

Home » Retro Gaming » E3 2012: Impressions – Nintendo’s Wii U Showcase

“Is that it?”

This was my immediate reaction following Nintendo’s grand unveiling of their new
Wii U console at their pre-E3 press conference.

Even as the most die-hard Nintendo ‘fan-boy’ in the room, I was extremely
underwhelmed by the presentation. This was a completely stunning event for me
because I couldn’t understand how Nintendo, of all the companies, could fail to
impress one of their most loyal fans.

Needless to say, I spent the rest of that day pondering this question.

What Nintendo did manage to do at its E3 press conference is unveil those games
that are slated for both launch and the ‘launch window’ of the Nintendo Wii U?

These games included first party games like Pikmin 3 and New Super Mario Bros.
U; as well as third party games like ZombiU, Lego City Undercover, Rayman Legends
and Scribblenauts Unlimited. The conference then wrapped up with what Nintendo
expects to be the Wii U’s Wii Sports, the one and only Nintendoland.

On paper, these titles sound great, but the reality is that I wanted (nay – expected)
more, much more. I wanted the sensationalism of a ‘next-generation’. I desired the
thrill of brand new and unimaginable experiences. I pined to be so completely won
over by the new console that you would literally have to pull me out of my ‘Wii U-
induced’ coma. The truth is, this conference did not have that effect on me. Eventually I
came to accept this.

Now I come to you with an answer to my plight. The reason Nintendo, of all
companies, failed to impress one of their most loyal fans is because they didn’t allow
me to have unrealistic expectations about the launch of their console. Past reveals of Nintendo products always had that effect on me, but not this time.

Let’s take a second and remember the 3DS launch. It was, by all objective standards,
lackluster. Why? Because the company gave us a peak at their ‘true’ games: Super
Mario 3D Land, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Resident Evil: Revelations, to name a few.
However, these games didn’t release at launch – in fact, nowhere near the handheld’s launch, and that was the big problem. I was ready for these games at launch, and instead had to settle for Pilotwings.

Similarly with Wii, E3 2006 brought such heavy hitters as Super Mario Galaxy and
Super Smash Brothers: Brawl – games that wouldn’t make an appearance until a year
or more after the system launched. Again, these were games that I based my Wii purchasing decisions on, and instead had to settle for lackluster games like Rayman Raving Rabbids and Red Steel (note: this doesn’t include Twilight Princess, because it was in all accounts originally designed for the GameCube).

In the end, the Wii U underwhelmed me because the conference failed at conveying
those experiences that only 2+ years of development time tends to produce. Instead
Nintendo opted to show off only the games that will be released with and around
the system. They chose not to give me any unrealistic expectation of this holiday
season.

You know what? Maybe that’s okay.

I know the insanely creative experiences that only a Nintendo system can provide
will come. In the meantime, I’ll have these following games to play:

– ZombiU

– New Super Mario Bros. U

– Assassin’s Creed III

– Rayman Legends

– Pikmin 3

– Aliens: Colonial Marines

I’ll settle (even though these are pretty high-profile games, and arguably one of
the better launches of a Nintendo system in the last 11 years), because I know that
whatever Retro Studios, Square-Enix and Monolith Soft are working on will blow me
away…it’s just going to take a little bit of time.