Straight off the bat, Nintendo were adamant to announce that their conference this year was all about the games, obviously in retaliation to the Microsoft and Sony conferences that placed a big emphasis on making their console THE home entertainment system for your living room. However not five minutes after this statement came more talk of Miiverse, and how the gamepad will change your life in both a social and entertainment aspect, thought it was all about the Games Nintendo?
The biggest announcement for the family friendly company was the long awaited Pikmin 3 that brings a new rock Pikmin to the table, not to mention true strategic play with the control of four leaders expanding the Pikmin universe to higher levels with the ability to focus on points of the map with the gamepad, just think of the strategic possibilities with the new controller, perhaps we may see light for the genre on the new console.
A closer look at the Wii U gamepads confirms that there will be support for 2 gamepads on various games alongside the use of four wii remotes, with indepth focus on the different buttons persent on the pad, it also seems like Nintendo may be catching up with the current generation of consoles with two triggers, two analogue sticks and the use of analogue sticks as pressure sensitive buttons.
A large emphasis was placed on the newly announced Miiverse to create innovative new ways to enjoy Nintendo's titles allowing you to connect to players in game and write about what your playing… no wait, how does that make the gaming experience different, oh well, at least it looks like we can expect to see a few changes in New Super Mario Bros. U, made different for its practically five player support, not that that is as good as being able to leave messages on the notice board for players…
Now whilst Nintendo is always known for its first party, a host of third party partners have been announced with a very nice selection of more adult games with Arkham City Armored Edition, whose gamepad support acts like a gimmick, or a host of games that have not been truly delved into such as Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3, Trine 2: Directors Cut, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Cut and Aliens: Colonial Marines that all came as quite a surprise from the usually family orientated consoles.
Now of course Nintendo would be nowhere without its casual market, and so games like Wii Fit U, Just Dance 4 and Sing from Freestyle Games all appear to bring inventive uses of the gamepad to the table of casual gamers.
Also on stage were a select few inventive games like Scribblenauts Universe that has appeared to adopted a catchphrase similar to Sony with explore, create, share, and Lego City: Undercover that features a detective mode on gamepad and the cute and humorous gameplay we have come to know and love from Tt Games.
A large spotlight was placed on the Wii U this year, and rightfully so with its release literally around the corner just in time for the holidays, however this did mean that the ailing 3DS had about five minutes of fame. Fret not Nintendo 3DS fans, a special handheld web conference is taking place especially for the 3D device tomorrow June 6th at 6pm Pacific Time for news and announcements on upcoming games like New Super Mario Bros. 2 out August 19th, a new Paper Mario and finally a scheduled release for the latest Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon, that will both be coming out during the Holidays.
The last announcement from the Japanese giant was Nintendoland, the launch title of the Wii U that hopes to introduce gamers to the concept of Wii U in the same way that WiiSports did with the Wii six years ago. Sort of a gimmick of a game, Nintendoland takes players to the only theme park full of your favourite Nintendo characters across 12 attractions made up of sort of miniature games. The attraction shown on stage was Luigi's Haunting Hijinks, a five player game that allows one player on a gamepad to take on the role of the ghost in a Luigi's Mansion styled maze, and the other four players to control Miis with the sole goal to get the ghost, whose objective is to take out all four players, the game is an inventive idea, and hopefully the other 11 attractions in Nintendoland will follow suite, and a very casual, but enjoyable game will be the product.
Nintendo have proved that the family based console is not simply about Mario anymore, and with a fantastic lineup of hardcore games, it remains to be seen this Holiday season if the corporation are creating a gimmick, or a fantastic new way to enjoy games. Unfortunately the information you were waiting for; a definitive release date and price packages was not announced!
Nintendo's keynote just doesn't seem as exciting as the others... the Wii U has been a bit "meh" - feels like they're trying to do too little too late which is a shame really
it's good to see some of their historic brands returning for this console, but there hasn't really been anything where I've sat back and thought "wow"