June 15, 2010

E3 Conference Impressions: Nintendo

For part two of my conference impressions, I'm going to talk about a company that is near and dear to me.  I grew up with this company, and because it's console is the first one I ever saw, I will always have this company's back.  Basically I'm admitting some bias right now before anyone claims I am in the comments.


My overall impression is that Nintendo finally figured out what it was doing wrong the last two years it presented at E3.  Sure, they still made gobs of money, but no one wanted to watch their presentations.  Now I am very glad I caught it live, even if Miyamoto can't shoot arrows on command.
Once again, I don't think CEOs make the best presenters, but Nintendo is better at it than Microsoft.  Reggie at least can deliver lines without sounding completely like a robot, and the way Miyamoto was able to gracefully talk through his flub (I found it hilarious that he pulled a Steve Jobs and blamed wireless use in the audience to talk away the flub) and I stayed engaged.
Part of the reason that I was engaged was because there was some serious nerdgasm inducing stuff in that conference.  For those of you who missed it, they OPENED with Legend of Zelda.  That shows balls.  Announcing a new Zelda game is a big thing for Nintendo.  Not saving it for the very end meant that they knew they had this one.  Or at least they felt that way.  I did wait until the end to actually say they did it.
This Nintendo presentation was for all the gamers who've been Nintendo fans forever.  This was their way of saying "thanks for holding out, we got the goods" after all this time.  We can now look forward to new exciting titles of our old favorites: Kirby, Golden Sun, GoldenEye (HOLY SHIT), Metroid, Donkey Kong and Kid Icarus (GOD DAMN SERIOUSLY?).  Also, not an old game but so many of us are excited for Epic Mickey that getting just of taste of it made us super happy.  Some of these we knew were coming, and some of these we practically had to stop ourselves from wetting our chairs as we went WHAT THE FUCK in excitement, preferably not in a cubicle at work.  This is our reward for our patience.  And a lot of these games are helping Nintendo continue to do what they do well.
Kudos for them sticking to the Wiimote and not obviously sweating over the Kinect or the Mov.  That's good business face right there.  I believe they're already trying to develop something better for the future, but at the same time you don't want to make you anxiety obvious (kind of like Microsoft's presentation) so that people don't think you're only second best.  Nintendo had obviously been at the forefront of the interactive gaming market, and they're not going to let you think their balls have shrunk in that department.  Probably why this year the focus is the old favorites that the fans are going to drool over.
The big thing that I predicted was coming?  Nintendo 3DS.  I think the best idea is 3D without the friggin' annoying glasses.  That is pretty awesome.  And to see a lot of the old Nintendo games coming back to the platform because of the 3DS, including Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil, makes me think that this is a worthy purchase.  The DS I have right now is the original brick.  I need an upgrade.  I will wait for the 3DS.
As a consumer, I'm pretty excited.  I'm going to go back to my Wii for Kirby and for Donkey Kong to relive my childhood.  To be honest I've kind of abandoned my Wii recently, with the PC being a sexier machine.  But the Wii is looking interesting again, so why not?  Waiting for the 3DS is going to be worth it too.  I like the idea of a 3D experience without a fashion accessory.  Good plan.
Reggie ending it with the ability to check out the 3DS and the Legend of Zelda game right in the theatre was an interesting strategy.  I was wondering if he was trying to get people to be late to the Sony presentation.  Sneaky, Reggie, very sneaky.  Also, I appreciate that it was a short presentation, or at least it didn't feel like it went on forever.  A little over an hour, and we've got everything we need to know.

In conclusion

Nintendo is learning from its previous E3 mistakes and is getting gamers excited for its products.  There is still stuff for the casual people, but the hardcore fans were rewarded today for their patience.  Nintendo is doing what they know they're good at and aren't breaking a sweat.  Considering their ridiculous profit margin, they have no reason to for a while.

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