PRE3 – What can we expect from Nintendo at E3 2012?
E3, the event of the gaming calendar, is so close you can smell the sweaty armpits from here. But what does Made2Game want from E3 2012?
An exhibition notorious for its high profile reveals and quotable conferences, E3 means one thing to us here at Made2Game – games. The good, the bad, the unlikely, our PRE3 articles are designed to give you a quick round-up of what's been muttered before the real thing next week, alongside a little speculative dart throwing of our own.
In the first of three articles examining the three major platform manufacturers Made2Game examines Nintendo, in what could be their most important E3 since conferences began. E3 2012 will see Nintendo talk about the Wii U in earnest, and with it comes Nintendo's big attempt to reclaim the core gamer's trust after the Wii left so many feeling cold towards Mario and friends. Similarly the 3DS will begin its second year proper, with Nintendo showing how it will continue to fight back against the encroaching mobile market.
So what does E3 2012 promise for Nintendo? Read on to find out what we know, what we've heard, and what we're hoping for.
What we know will be at Nintendo's E3 Conference
Wii U and games
The reason half the Internet and your friend's dog is excited for Nintendo's conference – The Wii U. Revealed last year to worldwide confusion, 2012's show will see Nintendo re-reveal their next console to a gaming market hungry for something new and fresh. Will the tablet controller offering something truly inventive? Does Nintendo have enough big name titles to help establish the console? All will be revealed.
Sure we know there will be some Wii U games on show, but one we know is making its debut is Pikmin 3. Why so excited? Well even if you excuse the fact that Pikmin 1 and 2 were fantastic strategy puzzle games with a twisted side to their cutesy visuals, you've still got a game that apparently 'feels at home in HD and on Wii U', to paraphrase Mr. Miyamoto himself. Pikmin was always a challenging game so it will be important and telling of Nintendo's ongoing mindset to see if Pikmin 3 carries the heart of the series.
3DS Games: Wave 2
The 3DS has been available for a little over a year and, for a console still in its infancy, has built up a strong library already. That said, E3 2012 will be the start of the console's future, and we're hoping to see real information on its next onslaught of titles featuring the likes of New Super Mario Bros. 2, Luigi's Mansion 2, Animal Crossing, Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate, Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion and Paper Mario 3DS. Hopefully more surprises will accompany these probably great but ultimately safe titles.
What's rumoured to be at Nintendo's E3 Conference
Starfox X Metroid: Fusion Saga.
Yeah I know, this one just got debunked (though I'm still secretly crossing my fingers), but I still like to consider what it stands for – unconventional Nintendo. That's enough of a rumour in itself. Look at how Nintendo have been behaving recently; releasing a patch for Mario Kart, regular product broadcasts, teasing announcements via Facebook. Nintendo is changing, and E3 could very well show some forward thinking, fresh ideas from the often conservative company.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is a Wii U timed Exclusive
Gearbox have been suspiciously love-y dove-y regarding the Wii U. Not just CEO Randy Pitchford either, Aliens' creative director Brian Martel got in on the group hug in a recent interview with Nintendo-Gamer suggesting that the Wii U's version is the best looking of the console releases. It seems that whenever one developer decrys the system, Gearbox are there as Nintendo's unofficial PR to buff it up again. Like Chris Croker was for Britney Spears, though thankfully less whiny. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Retro Studios, Nintendo's Texan based studio of Midas-touch talent, are just up the road from the Borderlands developer – if anyone could sweet talk them into a spot of timed exclusivity it's them. You've got to admit, the controller would make the perfect motion tracker...
Grand Theft Auto V for Wii U
I'm not even going to try and sound clever with this one. Tell a friend to go buy you a chocolate bar, any chocolate bar. Was it Cadbury's? Think how likely that was, it'll probably give you a good indication on the probability of this one.
What we're hoping for at Nintendo's E3 Conference
Smash Bros. 4 footage.
Playstation All Stars Battle Royale may have questionable origins but it looks like a solid party brawler, Nintendo need to re-assert themselves in this arena before Sony's rival product manages to get any more of a foothold. Players love Super Smash Bros. And the prospect of both a 3DS and Wii U title in the works is drool generating. Show off some concept stuff, one or two new characters, a new mechanic (a super meter wouldn't surprise me) and you've got the fans in a happy little daze, forgetting all about PSASBR.
Nintendo Network ditches friends codes, features persistent profiles
Nintendo's online game needs to evolve. The 3DS took baby steps in the right direction with a console specific friend codes, join from friends list, letterbox, Mario Kart 7 communities and DLC support for titles such as Fire Emblem but it all shows a company slowly playing catch up. I mean, at least they are playing catch up but their systems are still noticably lagging behind. For Wii U to reclaim the gaming market it wants to it needs a strong online component. Nintendo need to unveil their full plans for Nintendo Network, and it's got to be huge.
Retro Studio's Project
So it might not be Metroid X Starfox after all, but that doesn't matter, I still need to see what's been baking in Texas for the last year and a half. Let's be honest, Retro weren't the most active of studios over the Wii's life cycle, producing Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, the Prime Trilogy (old games with waggle) and Donkey Kong Country Returns. Granted, they were all corkers, but Retro must have something a boiling in the pots and while I'd like to see Donkey Kong Country Returns 2, I'm more excited to see them try something original...
New Zelda made by From Software (the Dark Soulds chaps)
Hey, a man can dream can't he?
There you have it. The biggest facts, rumours, and desires for Nintendo's E3 showing. It's not long to wait now, but what are you hoping we will see from Reggie and co? Is this the beginning of a bright new dawn for Nintendo, or yet another stumble in a long line of stumbles? Sound off in the comments!
Nintendo's E3 conference is broadcast on Tuesday 5th June 9 am PDT (that's 5pm BST British chums)
Words by James Bowden (Twitter: @Dalagonash)
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