Of the Big 3, Nintendo had the most pressure coming in to 2012’s E3. After a mixed response from gamers after the reveal of the Wii U last year, Nintendo needed to do something to shock, wow and inspire people to make the leap from Wii to Wii U. Instead, Nintendo delivered a lot of what was expected. That doesn’t mean that what Nintendo showed off was bad by any means, but there just wasn’t that magic wow moment that gamers were hoping for.
Things started out with a Shigiru Myamoto skit to help introduce the new Pikmin 3 coming to the Wii U. Myamoto, with the help of a translator explained the benefits of playing Pikmin 3 with the Wii U controller and introduced the new Rock Pikmin as well. After a lengthy Pikmin demonstration, Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage and revealed that Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube would all find their way to the Wii U.
He also revealed the important fact that two gamepads can be used at the same time on the Wii U, unlike last year’s statement that only one could be used at a time while all other players were going to be stuck using Wiimotes. This is probably a very smart change for Nintendo to help establish the system on its own instead of merely looking like an add-on to the Wii.
After a guided tour of the controller, Reggie introduced the Mii-verse, the Wii U’s main hub for interaction. They used this to show how the features would work in New Super Mario Bros. U showing both Mii-verse features and the way the Wii U gamepad interacts with other players on screen. They then took a turn for the hardcore with Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition. Even with the cool controller innovations though, it is going to still be a year old game by the time it is released compared to other systems.
Trying to stick to innovative experiences, WB announced Scribblenauts Unlimited which allows players to not only bring to life any real world object, but also allows them to create their own using an object editor. Nintendo would later on announce this coming to the 3DS as well. A few other games were given brief glimpses like Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Trine 2: Director’s Cut, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Also not surprising was the introduction of a new Wii Fit game, aptly and repetitively titled Wii Fit U. Then, with what is hopefully only a working title, Reggie let the world know about Sing which has already made its way into the heads of many players because of the annoyingly addicting song used in the trailer, “Call Me Maybe”.
The Nintendo 3DS was given some brief stage time to give quick announcements of a few games. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is coming soon, which won’t be at all confusing with the New Super Mario Bros. U soon to be released as well. One marketing message that won’t be confused however was the introduction of a new Paper Mario with Paper Mario Sticker Star for the 3DS. After a down year, Nintendo came out firing on all cylinders with Mario titles to help boost sales where ever possible. They even tossed out a new Luigi’s Mansion game subtitled Dark Moon to put as many Mario properties on the table as possible.
One game that got a lot of unexpected time at the conference was LEGO City: Undercover coming from Telltale Games. As it doesn’t have any secondary licensing on it, it was somewhat shocking to get so much of the real estate on stage. In the seesaw of unexpected moves to obvious ones, Just Dance 4 was revealed with a new puppet master style mode where the player using the Wii U gamepad has the power to change moves on the fly for dancers. Also from Ubisoft was Zombie U which places the Wii U gamepad as the all in one survival kit for players. They also shared some other Ubisoft games coming soon to the Wii U.
Finally, Nintendo closed out with NintendoLand. Reggie introduced NintendoLand as the software that would get players familiar with the abilities of the Wii U like Wii Sports did for the Wii. With a collection of minigames themed around Nintendo experiences, it feels like a Nintendo themed Disneyland on a touch pad, and is of course populated with Miis.
Be sure to check out the full Nintendo E3 2012 Press Conference below or check the highlights list to skip to a specific game. As always, check back with the Flickcast all week for all your E3 2012 coverage.
0:10 – Myamoto Pikmin 3 Sketch
4:30 – Pikmin 3 Gameplay
15:00 – Wii U Gamepad Walkthrough
16:50 – Mii-verse
19:45 – New Super Mario Bros. U Mii-Verse Demonstration
24:00 – Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition Gameplay
28:00 – Scribblenauts Unlimited Trailer
33:30 – Wii Fit U Trailer
36:00 – Sing Debuts
39:00 – New Super Mario Bros. 2 Gameplay
40:30 – Paper Mario Sticker Star Gameplay
42:00 – Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon Gameplay
45:00 – LEGO City: Undercover Trailer
51:00 – Just Dance 4 Stage Demo
53:00 – Zombie U Game Demo
56:30 – NintendoLand Revealed