With Sony’s and Microsoft’s excellent conferences having already worked E3 attendees into a frenzy, Nintendo took to the virtual stage Tuesday to deliver their annual E3 non-conference. As is becoming tradition, Nintendo opted out of the standard live press conference and instead offered a canned video presentation, essentially an hour-long Nintendo Direct. Did Nintendo keep the hype train rolling, adding to the momentum created by Bethesda, Microsoft, Sony, and other E3 presenters? Did they deliver an impressive, jaw-dropping presentation that would earn them a stream of coveted “Nintendo Wins E3” tweets and headlines?
Nintendo’s presentation this year was, in a word, underwhelming. Even disappointing, at least for Wii U owners. Big 3DS fans, and especially fans of Japanese games, might have found more to like, but the presentation did not bode well for Nintendo’s home console. So before we get into the Wii U announcements and start dissecting Nintendo’s performance, let’s take a look at the 3DS games Nintendo unveiled.
(Also, let’s take a moment to wonder why the presentation was hosted by Muppet versions of Satoru Iwata, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Reggie Fils-Aime. Muppet Miyamoto’s dressing room looked like some weird, Nintendo-themed plush love nest. I briefly entertained the thought that Nintendo was building to the surprise announcement of a Muppets or other puppet-themed game, but no, they weren’t. They just decided to transform their executives into puppets for some reason. Idea: a Kinect game that you control by holding your hand in the air as if it were inside an imaginary sock puppet.)