It would seem over the past few months Nintendo has stepped back into the dark workrooms of Nintendo EAD, allowing a wealth of other companies to hold the spotlight in the release of the Nintendo Wii U. This has, of course, raised concern in the gaming news world over what exactly Nintendo was working on and when these long awaited titles would see the light of day. Today, during the latest installment of Nintendo Direct, Nintendo's web-based press conference show, viewers were reminded why Nintendo is known for "dropping the bomb" when it comes to releasing new game info.
Before today's conference is discussed, however, it is important to note how effective this peculiar strategy of "quiet confidence" has been for Nintendo and the Wii U over the last few months.
|While a great introduction to the Gamepad, Nintendoland is not the groundbreaking title players wanted.|
Nintendo's consoles have received flack since as far back as the Nintendo 64 for the lack of third party support. They historically rely heavily on the first party titles from Nintendo to carry their weight through the entire console cycle. Breaking this tradition is not as easy a feat as one might imagine. Because any third party title would be in a sense competing with the offerings from Nintendo, the choice to publish on a system from the Big N might not always be a financially sound one. Third party titles have rarely sold the best on a Nintendo system, for various reasons other than the aforementioned one. It's hard to blame Nintendo, their first party titles more often than not deserve the praise they receive, and there has never been a real drive to try to get other publishers to show the system a healthy amount of support.
|If you showed this to someone in 2008 and said this game is |
a lead launch title for the new Nintendo system, they would slap you for lying.
It would seem that this backseat position of Nintendo's would last a while, with no revelations of any new titles on the horizon. While gamers are enjoying playing Mass Effect 3 with the gamepad or jumping through the "Castle Rock" level of the Rayman Origins Demo for the 20th time, there has been a thirst for more. And right when this thirst was beginning to turn into frustration, Nintendo delivered.
|The phrase "pinch me, I must be dreaming" was in high demand during this conference.|
Today's conference was a very unexpected breath of fresh air for loyal Nintendo fans. The Nintendo Direct series has had a tendency of being...somewhat humdrum and unsurprising. Whether or not this is due to the infamous Nintendo hype train is certainly up for debate, but regardless of this, most viewers come away feeling a little disappointed. That was not the case today, as Nintendo, by all accounts, delivered. One could argue that from a purely informative standpoint, there was as much discussed in the 30 minute Direct Presentation as was during the 2012 E3 conference. And they were all important, Nintendo related announcements.
|The bar for this year's E3 has been set VERY high. As if the hype was not already crazy as it is.|
This is the key here. Nintendo has made the push to make third party titles a viable option for the system, but they have not forgotten the reason people will shell out $350 without thinking twice for something with that famous "N" logo. We now know for certain that we can expect a new 3D Mario game, a new Mario Kart title, a new Smash Bros., and a new Zelda for the Nintendo Wii U. The highly anticipated Bayonetta 2 has a very strong team behind it, and should be a major release for the system. Wind Waker Reborn marks the first Nintendo entry into the "HD Remake" market (3DS remakes aside). The new Xenoblade game gives RPG lovers something to look forward to, and The Fire Emblem/Shin Megame Tensei crossover shows an exciting new Nintendo game development strategy. This coupled with the announcement of two huge system updates and the beginning of a new Virtual Console service made this the biggest and best Nintendo Direct to date.
Its hard to say whether or not the timeline of game info, releases, and lack thereof was a part of Nintendo's plan all along, but it appears to have been a successful strategy. The amount of support being shown for this console by both third party developers and Nintendo themselves is staggering. Only two months from release, the stage has been set for a HUGE year of game releases and development info. It is an exciting time to be a Nintendo fan, and more importantly: an exciting time to be a gamer.