With E3 week officially over, let’s take a look back and see how well our crystal ball served us in predicting the show. Closing things out is Nintendo. Did their big Wii U show live up to our expectations?[checklist]
- No Wii U release date or price – Nintendo said we wouldn’t get this at E3, and we didn’t get this at E3. Pretty obvious.
- New Wii U game reveals – Pikmin 3, NintendoLand, Mass Effect 3, and other less-exciting games were shown off for Nintendo’s next console.
- Third-party Wii U support – We got a big reel of third-party games (mostly ports of games already out or coming out soon on other systems) plus demos of a few titles like Scribblenauts Unlimited.
- Wii U online details – We actually got this at the pre-E3 Nintendo Direct broadcast, but that counts. Nintendo detailed the social features of the Wii U, including Miiverse.
- Super Mario for Wii U and Pikmin 3 – Nintendo kicked off the conference with a Pikmin 3 reveal and announced New Super Mario Bros. U.
- New “expanded audience” titles – There was a big focus on casual titles, from Wii Fit U to Sing to even the (disappointing) big reveal at the end, NintendoLand. Though they have made a big deal about returning to core gamers with the Wii U, there was precious little proof to back that up in the conference.
- Lack of Smash – Sakurai’s new Smash Bros. was totally absent, as we expected. It’s still in the planning stages, apparently, so maybe it will be ready for next year’s show.
- No 3DS redesign – There was actually very little for the 3DS during the conference itself, and the Wednesday night Software Showcase showed only titles we knew about already rather than announcing anything…
- Fire Emblem: Awakening – …except this. The latest Fire Emblem for 3DS will be coming to American shores. And even this didn’t come until after the Showcase – it came as a slip of the tongue from Reggie to IGN and Kotaku afterwards.
- 3DS release dates galore – Or not. All we got was vague “holiday 2012” release windows for Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.
- New 3DS Zelda – Zelda was totally absent from both the conference and the showcase, meaning Nintendo is ready to give the series a break for the next year or two.
- 3DS game announcements – Absolutely nothing new was announced for 3DS, and even stuff we’d seen before like Animal Crossing was conspicuously absent.
- Retro’s new project – Rumor has it that this was supposed to be the big reveal at the end, but it wasn’t ready for the public yet. So instead we got NintendoLand.
- Kirby’s 20th anniversary – Nintendo made a big deal about Zelda‘s 25th last year, but despite the fact that there’s already an anniversary collection announced for the pink puffball, it didn’t make an appearance at the show.
- New F-Zero – Again Nintendo proves that their tough-as-nails racing franchise might not be top priority – maybe it’s too hard for their new demographic.
- Pandora’s Tower – It’s looking increasingly likely that Americans will have to settle for two out of three of the Operation Rainfall trio. At least Pandora’s Tower is the weakest of the three, if critics are to be believed.
So there you have it. We correctly predicted a little over half – 9 out of 16. It’s a shame that we didn’t get more 3DS love, and the lack of any real new games hurt Nintendo as a whole.
Check back Monday as we wrap up our E3 coverage and give each company their E3 report card. How’d they perform at E3 this year? Did they pass with flying colors, or were their conferences abysmal failures? We’ll grade each of the five press conferences and decide who won E3 this year. Stay tuned!