When we here at the PCU gaming team set up our plans for our E3 coverage, we thought it would be a great idea to do a series of articles the week before giving you our thoughts on what the various companies we were covering would be able to do in order to impress us at E3. We all thought this was a great idea.
Then Nintendo happened.
As many of you are aware, several years ago Nintendo stopped doing in-person press conferences at E3, opting instead to move to the digital format of Nintendo Direct. Which is not a bad thing – at least there is still something to watch and analyse. This year, however, they decided against doing a Nintendo Direct and opted for what they called an “All Day Treehouse”. For those of you not in the know, the treehouse division of Nintendo are the people responsible for translating the games as they come out of Japan, and have been doing demos on the floor of E3 called “Treehouses”
“That is awesome”, you may think, and for those in attendance you would be correct. However as late as 3 days ago we had no idea if there was going to be any streamed content from E3 by Nintendo this year. We have, however now gotten confirmation that there WILL be streaming. This is excellent news, right? See you’d be forgiven for thinking that. However…
Yes, there is a ‘But’ and there always seems to be when Nintendo is concerned.
Not only has Nintendo announced that E3 2016 is (if you will pardon the paraphrasing) “all Zelda U, All the time”, they have flat out told us what will be covered in the treehouses that will be streamed. June 14th with Pokemon Sun & Moon followed by Zelda U content and then the 15th will be a Q&A with the devs of Pokemon Go and then coverage of Monster Hunter Generations, Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past, and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE.
Now, that is a solid lineup, but it doesn’t make for a very good speculation article, when we know exactly what is coming. So what am I going to do? I guess I’m going to write about 3 things I WISH we could see at Nintendo’s booth at E3 2016:
1: The Nintendo NX : This is a no-brainer. With all the hype and rumor around Nintendo’s new console, of course we wanted to see it at E3. Originally pegged for a March 2017 release date, it would seem utterly logical for Nintendo to debut the console here, but there is no talk of it. I’m sure there will be talk, I’m sure there will be questions asked, but that does not beat having the console on show.
That being said however, with the new Zelda being pushed back to next year, it’s possible they might just turn around and say “SURPRISE!” during the Zelda coverage, but with how forthright Nintendo have been so far about their content this year, this seems sadly unlikely.
Plus, it would have been nice for a change for Nintendo to go “Check it out, we have a console, and it’s not weird and it has a graphics chip that wasn’t state of the art 20 years ago”. On top of that, it’s rumored that both XBox and PlayStation will be showing off new versions of their current gen consoles updated for VR and 4k, so if the NX isn’t there it could be another slip for Nintendo in the household console department.
2: New IP: Another thing that speaks for itself. This year, Nintendo have made it clear that their announcements will be mired in existing franchises (Pokemon, Zelda, Monster Hunter, Fire Emblem etc..) Admittedly, these are all franchise that Nintendo does VERY well. However, it would be nice to see something fresh. Remember how excited everyone was when the original Pikmin was shown (then that got ran into the ground), or how about the Wonderful 101? Splatoon? These new IPs were amazing additions the the libraries of the consoles they were on, so please Nintendo, get more 3rd party support!!! First step? Stop making such zany consoles and give the console you make more power. People don’t want to develop for a console where they pretty much have to rebuild games from the ground up.
2.5: Super Mario RPG 2 : NO, NOT PAPER MARIO (which was the spiritual successor to SMRPG), and yes I am aware this goes against the new IP thing, but DAMMIT I WANT MORE SMRPGs!
3: Indie Game Support: This is a pretty big one that lots of folks are talking about. A few years ago, Microsoft and Sony made a huge deal out of the support they were going to be giving Indie devs and studios on their consoles, and anything that Nintendo does in this regard just kinda gets kept hush-hush so that they can sell you the latest “Mario Cooking Chef party XIIVI feat. Guy Fieri” Stand up and be counted Nintendo, trumpet that stuff from the rooftops, and make your e-shop way more friendly to Indie devs. It really would help you out.
Anyway, as I’ve now taken you on a tour of the pre E3 Nintendo experience, and dropped some of my thoughts on what they needed to bring this year that they didn’t, what do YOU think? Let us know in the comments below what you think Nintendo needed to do this year in order to step up their game.
Check back on June 15th for my thoughts on what Nintendo DID bring to the table at their treehouse streams.