I went into Nintendo’s press conference fully ready to be re-introduced to the Wii U and fall in love with the system. Since the console’s initial reveal at last year’s E3, I’ve been a cynical bastard, to say the least; I just wasn’t impressed by the multiple sizzle reels of “confirmed” games and promises thrown at the gaming press by Nintendo’s executives.
I needed some solid reasons for why I should be excited for Nintendo’s high definition, stop-gap console. I was hoping those reasons would present themselves at Nintendo’s press conference this year. Unfortunately, what Nintendo showed me, outside a few exceptions, managed to push me further away from their next console effort.
And to think things started off so well. Shigeru Miyamoto took the stage to introduce Pikmin 3 to the world. The game looked incredible, and for fans of the now-10-year-old franchise, the announcement of Pikmin 3 was definitely a good sign that things were moving in the right direction for Nintendo’s next system.
As Nintendo stressed at the beginning of their presser, it’s all about the games – a sentiment I whole-heartedly agree with. You can have the most powerful machine on the planet, but if there are no games to play on it, why bother?
Nintendo also premiered footage for New Super Mario Bros. U. Those familiar with The DS and Wii versions of New Super Mario Bros. will instantly recognize this new model, discounting the new power-ups like the squirrel suit, which looked hilarious.
But outside Pikmin 3 and New Super Mario Bros. U, the rest of the Wii U line-up – both first party and third party – didn’t do much to excite me. Representatives from both Ubisoft and Warner Brothers debuted a number of third-party titles to support the Wii U launch, games like Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition for instance. It also looks like EA will be bringing Mass Effect 3 to the Wii U, as was revealed via a sizzle reel trailer. But here’s the problem: many of the games announced have been available on other consoles for upwards of a year by the time the Wii U launches later this year. Nintendo and the Wii U seem to be really concerned with catching up to Microsoft and Sony to show they now cater to the “core” gamer crowd, too, instead of carving their own path with a boat-load of new, original IPs from first and third-party developers and publishers….