Deciding not to hold its traditional E3 press conference was a surprise move from Nintendo, but perhaps now the reasons behind it are clear.
With the platform holder spreading its game announcements throughout the year via its Nintendo Direct broadcasts, rather than conforming to the trade show calendar that Microsoft and Sony follow, there was less for the Wii U firm to unveil at E3 than there has been in previous years.
With 3DS gaining momentum, big handheld hitters like Pokmon X and Y and the Zelda: Link to the Past sequel were already covered in previous Directs, leaving the floor free for some much-needed Wii U titles.
Nintendo is clearly hoping the acclaim its 3DS titles have received will translate to Wii U as both the new outings for Mario and Mario Kart draw more than a little from handheld releases Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, while Art Academy is now making the transition to consoles for the first time.
Today’s E3 edition of Nintendo Direct was focused on first-party titles, but president Satoru Iwata was keen to remind viewers that there are plenty of third-party games coming to Wii U by the end of the year. A montage showed 14 third-party titles that are due in 2013, including Batman: Arkham Origins, Sonic: Lost World and Just Dance 2014.
There were also undercurrents of Nintendo’s digital ambitions. All retail games will also be made available in the eShop, as will a range of indie and download-only titles, such as A World of Keflings and the Oddworld remake announced by Sony last night.
But all that can’t disguise the fact that Nintendo Direct was a considerably lighter meal than the feast of announcements from both the Sony and Microsoft press conferences.
Here’s all the headlines from today’s broadcast:
- Pokmon X and Y dated
- Super Mario 3D World revealed
- Mario Kart 8 announced for Wii U
- Wii Party U announced, delayed; Wii Fit U also delayed; Art Academy Wii U coming
- Zelda: Wind Waker HD arrives in October
- Monolith Soft continues Nintendo support with X
- Donkey Kong Country returns with Tropical Freeze
- Bayonetta 2 not out until 2014
- Super Smash Bros lands on Wii U and 3DS next year