Thursday, June 7, 2012

Nintendo @ E3 2012: The 3DS Software Showcase, Or How To Disappoint an Audience Without Really Trying

Nintendo did their 3DS presentation yesterday, demonstrating upcoming games for the handheld. If you watched the comments alongside the stream last night, the comments were overwhelmingly negative.
"Show us something new!" "Where's Zelda?" "This is boring!" "We already know about these games!"
I too, left the presentation a little cold. I was really hoping for something new. When they cut to Reggie Fils-Amie at the end, I was hoping for some big reveal, and instead he just told the presenter that he did a great job. I was incredibly disappointed as I walked away.

However, as I chewed it over, though, I realized something: We're incredibly spoiled.

Listen: We're getting two new Mario games, one of which is an RPG that looks very promising and another a side-scrolling Mario game. We're getting Kingdom Hearts, Castlevania, Scribblenauts, Luigi's Mansion, and Lego Batman 2.

Yet we're still whining! Why is that?

It's actually pretty simple: When you announce a separate presentation to showcase your software, there are certain expectations. I tuned in expecting to hear an announcement of a new game, not a rehash of what was already announced, and I suspect a lot of other people felt the same way. It's only natural to have that sort of reaction. After all, that's what companies do at E3, and Nintendo made a point of setting aside extra time to show off their software. It felt a little misleading.

That doesn't mean that it was a bad presentation. After all, I know a lot more about Paper Mario than I did before, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 makes a little more sense to me now (but just a little). But we all expected a little something extra, frankly.

I think that's why Nintendo made a brief announcement after the show that Fire Emblem: Awakening was making it to Western shores. They must have picked up on the hostility and decided to drop that little nugget to defuse it.

But to be perfectly honest, what more could we really ask from the 3DS in the coming months? There are going to be more than enough games to play for a while of all different types. We really shouldn't be whining as much as we are.

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