Nintendo E3 2013 Direct: Status Quo


How do you approach a “special” Nintendo Direct aimed at appeasing the game-hungry E3 audience? Nintendo’s flagrant flaunting of their top tier franchises, some still fresh in our minds (Donkey Kong Country) are so blase as to be numbing.

Nintendo remains confident. That’s more than one can say for Microsoft’s under the covers tactics. As a first-party, the Japanese studio leans on known names and flourishes despite the familiarity. We expect Mario, we expect Zelda. So, we get it.

Clearly, the indie market is a myth to the console maker, offering a montage of eShop titles billed as indies, then bowing to publisher Capcom for a few titles. The rest looked fantastic, even if those same nostalgic sensibilities are exhibited here too. No one will confuse Mutant Mudds or Shovel Knight as anything less than love affairs for the Nintendo dynamic.

Much of the Direct was, “What we’re going to do for you,” as opposed to, ” What we’re doing for you now.” The lagging Wii U isn’t in a drought so much as a carved out desert in terms of software. Loading the back-end of 2013 and early 2014 leaves the console baking in the summer months before the other hardware giants take their shots. Now, the best materials, like the long-awaited Wonderful 101 and Super Mario World 3D, hit when people are debating new consoles, not systems released to market a year ago. This is their open field for software dumping, and they’re passing it over.

Like it or not, we are very much a, “What have you done for me lately,” industry, ravenously so, and all this Direct did was apologize for the delays. That does not excite investors or current consumers.

The 3DS continues to stomp all over Sony’s Vita, but again, it is with the familiar. A montage of third-party video games was limited in 3DS integration, hedging bets on Sonic and Batman. The presentation was there, sort of.

I like Nintendo. They don’t feel they have anything to prove. You can trade and resell your games; no need to be snippy about it. The studio will continue to do what they’ve always done because it works, or rather, worked. They’re in a dangerous position, but hey, Smash Bros., right?

Here is their entire Nintendo Direct: