Nintendo at E3 2013: The Grounds of Proof

With E3 under a week away and all “next-gen” consoles on slippery decks, I think it’s time I give our fans my two cents the upcoming events. There’s a sweeping amount of revelations to look forward to, perhaps more than ever, because the “Big Three” are walking in with something to prove. Depending on whom you’d ask, one company may have more work cut out for them than the others.

Now, just like everyone else, I’m fully aware the Wii U hasn’t taken off nearly as well as Nintendo had hoped. It’s selling steadily, but the Big N and its partners were banking on seeing greener pastures. While sub par efforts from the likes of EA and Activision deserve scrutiny, Nintendo also at fault for not delivering on first-party promises. Major hitters like Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101 and Game & Wario, which were supposed to released months ago, got pushed back, leaving loyalists lost in an ocean of salt.

Yoshi got lost in development looking for Mario

Considering what’s coming up on the horizon from both first and third party developers, there’s plenty of room for optimism. Between new entries in the Super Smash Bros., Super Mario, Mario Kart and Xenoblade franchises, and third party exclusives, I expect to be floored. Even if Retro remains silent once again, Nintendo potentially has enough in store to finally get the message across loud and clear to naysayers and further validate early adopters’ purchases. In a way, this sentiment kind of clashes with something else the House of Mario has to prove.

Always eager to be a trendsetter, Nintendo has decided to forego their yearly press conference in favor of Nintendo Directs. Additionally, the company has partnered with Best Buy to offer gamers a chance to play unreleased Wii U games nationwide for a limited time. The problem with this radical and questionably brilliant approach is that some have already misconstrued this shift as a sign of cowardice. Now Nintendo has the added task of showing that by taking the road less traveled, they are taking one of monumental progression.

Still, with all that positive said, a gamer’s appetite is insatiable, especially for those of the older generation. If Nintendo wants to mercilessly steal the thunder from its competitors, they’ll need to dish out more protest-inducing partnerships. You’ll only find Sonic: Lost World on Wii U and 3DS, and thanks to PlatinumGames, Nintendo finally has a notable new IP to add to its illustrious roster. We need more of that. Essentially, Nintendo should adhere to this philosophy: What they may not have in quantity, they can more than make up for in quality.

Sonic races against the Deadly Six to save defenseless Flickies and Nintendo alike

On that note, the strength of the Virtual Console needs to be played upon. Having Earthbound is going to be great but why stop with just one entry in the classic franchise? Access to the most beloved and rare retro titles is fundamental and an advantage over the PS4 and Xbox One that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Also, since GameCube disc don’t work with the Wii U (even while in Wii Mode), we need to hear the platform’s library will be coming in digital form sooner than later.

Lastly, 3DS has to be put back on the back burner, because as it stands, it appears Nintendo is focused far more on their handheld then they need to be. That is a dangerous, but realistic, perception that must be changed on a mass scale. From Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon to Shin Megami Tensei IV and beyond, to Pokémon X/Y, there is already hardly any room to breathe between releases. Congrats, the platform has been rescued from the murky depths, and now the same must be done for its kin. E3 is the place to start the process, and let’s hope Nintendo can prove it.

See, 3DS is covered for the next millennium. Now can we get a Pokemon Z for U?