Yesterday’s E3 announcements brought much of what I expected. All I *really* cared about was the Microsoft press conference, even though I was just as glued to my computer screen for EA, Ubisoft, and Sony. It was an underwhelming kind of day. Microsoft showed off about 3 things I cared about: Halo 4, Smart Glass (and by extension, IE on Xbox), and a teaser for Twisted Pixel’s new game “LocoCycle”. A surprise came in the form of the new South Park game, which looks absolutely incredible! Everything else was very “meh”. Same for most of EA and Ubisoft. Ubisoft did show off a new Avengers game, though it isn’t immediately clear what it is or how it plays. They also showed Rayman Legends for the Wii U, which looks like an absolute blast and showed off just how unique and innovative the Wii U is. Sure Assassin’s Creed 3 and Watch Dogs also looked great, but I think Ubisoft’s strongest point was their Wii U bit.
Speaking of the Wii U, people want to keep making comparisons between the Wii U and Xbox Smart Glass (and to a lesser extent, PS3 w/ Vita as a controller) like they’re the same thing. I don’t understand this. While Microsoft is pushing for the tablet to interact with the TV/Xbox as a companion experience, with the Wii U, the interaction between a tablet and the TV is THE experience. Developers can’t necessarily assume that people will have access to Smart Glass, but they know that everyone with a Wii U will have a Game Pad in their hands. Unlike what some people assume, I think you’ll see very different experiences on each of these platforms. Much like they did with motion gaming, Nintendo will lead the industry down the path of tablet+TV gaming, and I imagine we’ll see it as a standard part of the next generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony.
Sony’s conference was interesting to a degree. On one hand I think Last of Us looks great, I know I’ll never play it. The bit about PlayStation All Stars was really exciting, but probably for the wrong reason. I’m now, more than ever, looking forward to a next-gen Super Smash Brothers.
Nintendo is up to bat today, and I expect they’ll hit a home run. As long as they show off some great games for the Wii U, they’ll likely “win” E3. I’d like to see a new Mario or new Zelda (Either will do) for the Wii U, and maybe the revival of another semi-dormant franchise (Kirby?). Nintendo also needs to demo some third-party blockbusters. Black Ops 2 for Wii U with some unique features would suffice.
With regard to just the hardware, I want to see more about the interaction between the GamePad and the console. Can there be more than one GamePad in play? What about colors? I’d love the return of the wacky colors of the N64, but that seems like a long shot. We need a price point for the Wii U that isn’t absurd. $300ish would be ideal, but may be too low. Nintendo needs to play the numbers right to sell a ton of these things this holiday.
On the 3DS front, I’m hoping for a new Pokemon game (NOT Black and White 2 for the DS) with a companion game (ala Pokemon Stadium) for the Wii U. Would it be too much to ask for another revival of Golden Sun? Oh, and also a new Zelda game for the 3DS. Even though it wouldn’t be “new” I’d be content with a Majora’s Mask remake. Maybe also some news about how the 3DS will interact with the Wii U. I think anything beyond that is getting greedy. And yes, just get the announcement of the 3DS XL over with. We all know its coming. I’ll be disappointed, sure, but I expected this. I won’t be angry unless there are significant changes like a second circle pad, or joysticks instead of circle pads. That’d upset me.
Oh. And Smash Brothers. Come on Nintendo, don’t let me down. Punch Sony in the balls by announcing a Super Smash Brothers for both the Wii U and 3DS w/ cross-platform play and all sorts of crazy characters. You can do it. I have faith in you.