Sega CEO Hajime Satomi says he wants to improve the quality of their games moving forward. That could mean a lot of things. It's nice to hear, but what they do next with their games is the real answer.
Predicting E3 2013: Nintendo’s Wild Card
This year’s E3 was lackluster to say the least. Sony “trimmed the fat” with the Vita. Microsoft had Usher. Nintendo basically reran the tape from their 2011 conference. Ubisoft stole the show thanks to actually showing off the Wii U better than Nintendo and Watch_Dogs. Needless to say, it wasn’t a good E3.
With the next gen around the corner the hype for this year’s E3 is monumental. The focus is definitely on Sony and Microsoft but Nintendo has a lot to gain, as well. All three companies have a lot riding on E3 2013.
- Sony needs to come through the door running with their PS4 announcement. Get everything shown, give a timetable for release, and for Pete’s sake just announce the price already so the speculation and bullcrap never starts. Sony, the company itself, is in trouble. It is likely that the PS4 will be a major turning point for them and we can expect a high-end device with the lovely design the consumer giant is known for all at a competitive price. No more $599 USD memes. Also, and I can’t stress this enough, VITA VITA VITA VITA VITA VITA.
- Microsoft hasn’t had a good conference in… well, a damn long time. They like to start strong, begin to fizzle out, and then ruin everything. Drop the circus act and reveal your hand, Microsoft. The next Xbox is going to be huge on multimedia. In fact, after the reveal you might even wonder if it actually is a gaming system or not. Still, the footage they will show will be enough to spark the console war early. Microsoft isn’t in dire shape like Sony is so I’m expecting a more lax presentation to their new console.
- Nintendo‘s Wii U might be selling but the content is not there. There just isn’t enough to “sell” the console to actual owners. Why do I own this thing? That’s a question I have right now when I look at my Wii U. That is a question Nintendo will have to answer all while ensuring the 3DS continues its sales dominance with more hit games. This is going to be a challenging conference for Nintendo. While the other two are unveiling the Wii U’s new rivals, Nintendo has to reinforce their current line-up to make people want to spend more on the Wii U and not save up for a PS4 or Xbox Whatever.
So that all being said, this year’s E3 is going to be huge. It will be the longest show ever with the most titles to preview and we may even see longer conferences. In the worlds of Sony and Nintendo, they need longer conferences or at least hold private press shows that aren’t a part of E3. Sony has the new console, PS3, and Vita to support. Nintendo has the 3DS and the Wii U. Microsoft has enough time to do what they need to.
With this year’s E3 set to be the most hyped show in the history of gaming, there has to be some predictions, right? Everyone has them. We start talking about it the day after the show ends. “What are we going to see next year?!”
I have predictions for all three companies that I feel will engrave this year’s E3 as not only the best one ever but also support my tagline as it being the most important gaming conference to date.
We finished with the companies heading into the next gen, now lets focus on the one whose hand is already shown and needs to remain strong: Nintendo.
Last month the Wii U launched and since then has been selling at a good rate. Game releases have slowed to a crawl already but there are tons of titles already announced for its 3-month long “launch window”. Nintendo’s latest is out and about already. That was a risky move.
While Reggie and everyone else at the Nintendo HQ will continue pumping out the same story that they don’t participate in rivalries or console wars, sales are the backbone of every company and this next gen is going to be tough for all three of the gaming giants.
Microsoft knows software. They may not ever finish a computer operating system but they know what to do to build and grow one. They used the original Xbox as an experiment. They did the same thing with the 360. Since 2005 Microsoft has been building a gaming and commerce supergiant in the Xbox “Metro OS” and Live. They’ll have left to do when it comes to design and more time to worry about content. They also have deep pockets and while I said Sony is going to go all out for their next gen launch I still think Microsoft will have a grand lineup for its new console.
Sony will counter their slow start this gen and any competition heading into the next gen with an all-out extravaganza and a high powered, well price device. Sony will be blasting out of the gate and most likely won’t be letting up for awhile after the launch. They’re going to want first place back.
Nintendo has already shown its guns with the Wii U and the 3DS has been out for a bit now. It isn’t so much about how well the devices are selling now, it’s all about keeping the consumer interested in these products long enough to outlast the next gen launches. Gamers are going to be hyped about Sony and Microsoft this E3 due to the big announcements but Nintendo needs to win the audience over by solidifying the Wii U with content and features.
Nintendo is at a huge disadvantage. Due to their no rivalry stance against Microsoft and Sony they have revealed themselves too early and are allowing the other companies to take notes and watch things unfold. Nintendo might not care about the console wars but the consumers do and their money goes to the biggest and best. Nintendo needs to stay in those talks and E3 2013 is where they do just that.
The Wii U: Graphing Out 2013 and 2014
Not Nintendo. I always said that Nintendo doesn’t care about “gens” and releasing timing. What they care about is making games and keeping them fun for everyone. The theme of Nintendo’s conference at E3 2013 will be something along the lines of keeping gamers entertained at all times. This where they announce their “assault” on gamer’s wallets and retail shelves.
To keep the Wii U active and relevant while the next gen stirs up and eventually releases, Nintendo is going to lay out their plan for the rest of 2013 and even heading into E3 2014. They’ll plot a timeline where major title releases occupy every 3 or 4 months. In between those major releases will be a big number along with some faces of characters. Those will symbolize how many games are currently scheduled for release between those major games. The faces will contain clues as to what we may see come out.
For example: you might see Mario’s face below March and Star Fox’s below June. In between those two characters and months would be the number 26 representing how many games are scheduled for release between March and June.
This timeline is going to update as Nintendo announces big titles. It’s going to be the focus of their Wii U presentation. Reggie’s going to point up to it many times and probably explain it a few times, as well.
The Big Releases For The Wii U
So what’s going to be announced for the Wii U and my fabled timeline? Plenty.
First off, Super Smash Bros. Rumble is going to be shown off with some early gameplay across the Wii U and 3DS. We’ll see some expected characters like Mario, Luigi, Samus, Star Fox, Pikachu, Ness, and Captain Falcon. We’ll also get to see two new fighters to the franchise: Geno from Super Mario RPG and Mega Man. They’ll fleetingly announce Geno but they’ll spend time with Mega Man and show his super which has him jump on Rush Jet and summon Auto, Beat, and Eddie as they allow you to fly around the board blasting out nasties (ala Tengu Man’s stage from Mega Man 8).
Next we’ll get a cinematic trailer which shows someone running through an alien forest being chased by something big. A voice over begins requesting immediate evacuation. The character nears a cliff and just as the trail ends he jumps and its revealed to be Star Fox. He lands on the Great Fox and gets out of danger. Inside of the ship he meets up with his friends and expected characters as they leave the planet for a new mission. Then we’ll see some gameplay which features a mix of the adventure style and spaceship on-rails style. The name of the game will be Star Fox Revolution or something that has to do with someone from the Cornerian Army rebelling and causing a civil war.
After that we’ll see gameplay from the next Metroid Prime game. Nintendo will be heading back to the Prime series after Other M didn’t fare so well. We” see some gameplay and some cinematic peeks.
Also we’ll see reveals for a new 3D Mario adventure and the Wii U Animal Crossing game. Those will be the big reveals for the Wii U. We’ll also get some other titles from 2nd and 3rd party companies all equaling up to a huge selection of games that will begin shipping Fall 2013 and leading up to next year’s E3.
Either way, Nintendo is going to announce a ton of games for the Wii U that after all of it releases will make the system look like a big seller. Bank on it.
The Continuing Dominance of the 3DS
The 3DS is selling like hotcakes. For a system that started off with a lot of controversy with an early price cut, it’s faring very well for itself. The content, however, is slowing down. I expect Nintendo will do the same thing it did this year at E3 and split up the conferences for the Wii U and 3DS. There is going to be a lot to announce and talk about with the Wii U. It would be unfair to only give the 3DS a fraction of the time because of this.
Next year’s E3 is going to be big for the Wii U but also for the 3DS. We’ll see plenty of announcements and surprises. I’m heavily expecting the fan favorite Advanced Wars series to make a return. Advanced Wars 3D would go a long way with gamers and DS owners. I also think we’ll see another Mario & Luigi RPG game, a new classic Metroid game, and a new Kirby adventure. We’ll get more news about Shin Megami Tensei IV, Braverly Default’s import progress, some more showing off of Super Smash Bros. Rumble for the 3DS including an exclusive 3DS-only fighter, and Reggie will fleetingly drop a hint about a Majora’s Mask 3D remake.
We’ll get dates for Fire Emblem: Awakening if it hasn’t released by then, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, and a time frame for when digital purchases of DS games will begin on the e-shop starting with Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Super Mario 64 DS, Metroid Prime Hunters, Nintendogs, Final Fantasy III, Rhythm Heaven, Picross 3D, Kirby Canvas Curse, and Elite Beat Agents.
There won’t be a timeline or anything huge like that for the 3DS. It doesn’t need it as bad as the Wii U does. Releases might be a bit slow right now for the 3DS but the surge from the above announcements will be enough to peak interest enough to keep sales skyrocketing.
A Rare Comeback
Chock this one up to pure hope. I really can’t see this happening but it makes so much sense that I truly hope Nintendo is trying to do this.
Imagine this: at the end of the E3 conference Reggie comes on the stage and says he has one last announcement. He says they’ve been working at this for a long time because they know fans want it.
Nintendo has purchase Rare from Microsoft.
I know, right? A gamer’s dream come true? Too much to ask for at E3? I hope not. Imagine Nintendo announcing Banjo-Threeie, Killer Instinct Returns, and Donkey Kong Country 4 all for the Wii U. Then pulling out Kazooie’s Adventure, Perfect Dark 3D, and Conker’s Night Out for the 3DS.
I’m excited just thinking about it. Come on, Nintendo! You know we all want this! Make it happen with Microsoft!
Aftermath of E3
After Nintendo’s 3DS online conference and their E3 conference for the Wii U, hype will be very high for the company. They will have announced so many games and shown off so much content that no one will think twice about doubting Nintendo’s stability during the beginning of the next gen.
Right now, that’s really the biggest question about Nintendo. Will they be able to stay relevant when Microsoft and Sony start showing off, marketing, and then releasing their new toys?
I believe the answer will be shown at E3 2013 and Nintendo will knock it out of the park. They won’t “win” the conference. I do think that Sony’s all-out reveal and conference will stay lodged in people’s minds for a long time after E3 but Nintendo will walk away knowing they’ll be safe for sales when the battlefield gets cluttered with two new retail enemies.