E3 2016

E3 2016: Predictions for Nintendo

Tatsumi Kimishima

Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima

It’s been a rough generation for Nintendo. Plenty of amazing titles have graced the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, but the latter has definitely left gamers wanting more. Great experiences like Pikmin 3, Splatoon, and Super Mario 3D World were superb experiences, but the lack of third party titles meant Wii U’s were left to collect dust for long periods of time.

Nintendo fans, however, are quite resilient. There’s always a high level of optimism that has them positive that their beloved game developer will soon give them what they want. From new Metroid and F-Zero games to a new console as powerful as the competition in the shape of the NX, hopes are always high.

Unfortunately, Nintendo released a wave of news recently that all but crushed most of those hopes. Not only will the NX not be released until March of 2017 but the next The Legend of Zelda title will also be pushed back to make a simultaneous NX and Wii U release possible. As if that weren’t enough, Nintendo announced that they’ll only be showing off Zelda at E3 2016—the same game we were promised to see release at the end of the year.

But as dire as all this news sounds, here’s why these decisions will help Nintendo succeed during the next console generation:

1. Good Launch Lineup for NX

If there’s one thing that Nintendo didn’t get right with the Wii U, it was preparing a launch lineup that would’ve made it irresistible from the start. To be fair, even Sony and Microsoft released their latest consoles with a less-than-stellar collection of games to play. The difference is that previous Nintendo consoles have released fantastic (and innovative) titles like Wii Sports, Super Mario 64, and Super Mario World.

Wii Sports screenshot

Pushing the NX’s launch from Holiday 2016 to early 2017 means Nintendo will have more time to prepare good games to release alongside it. We may be despondent now, but it’ll be worth the wait when the NX goes on sale with not just the next Zelda but other intriguing titles as well.

2. More Time To Get the NX Right

Nintendo took a massive risk with the original Wii. Instead of a standard gamepad and high-definition graphics, they pitched a low-spec machine with motion controls. The risk paid off as the Wii went on to sell like hotcakes and become one of the most successful consoles in gaming history.

The Wii U was a whole other story. Although the gamepad seemed interesting on paper, it’s clear that developers didn’t really find ways to make great use of it. Worse still, even Nintendo seemed like they struggled selling their two-screen concept. The extra months will no doubt help Nintendo (and other developers) figure out if whatever the NX’s big feature is will actually work.

3. Little E3 Presence, No Problem

E3 is easily the most anticipated video game trade fair. It’s the biggest opportunity for developers and publishers from all over the world to show off what they’re developing. The problem, as you can imagine, is trying to stand out when so many devs have something to show.

Star Fox puppets from E3 2015

While Nintendo always used to find a way to get people talking at E3, it seems they got tired of trying to fight for the spotlight. This is evident by their Nintendo Direct approach instead of a live conference. This year they’re apparently only having The Legend of Zelda on the show floor, which means they can use their online presentations for their big reveals.

4. More Time for Third Party Support And Mobile Growth

As we already mentioned earlier, the Wii U’s third party support was pretty sad. The fact that the Wii U’s technical specs didn’t match those of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 meant that developers didn’t feel like spending time and money to make ports. Hopefully the extended development time will give other studios the opportunity to understand the NX and make something great early in its life.

But while the Wii U loses what little steam it had and only a few worthwhile 3Ds title releases, all eyes will be on Nintendo’s mobile efforts. The success of Miitomo, which barely passes off as a game, is proof that people are excited to play Nintendo titles on their smartphone. Hopefully the reveal of a mobile Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem is only the beginning of a great 2016 for Nintendo’s mobile efforts.

E3 2016: The Titles That Can Help Third Party Devs Steal The Show (Again)

ReCore screenshot

Whenever E3 comes around, most gamers have their attention on the corner of the game world they identify with. Die-hard PlayStation fans will have their eyes glued on Sony’s press conference while Nintendo gamers count down the minutes until the video presentation begins. But even if you swear your allegiance to Microsoft, PC, or the other two big platforms, everyone can agree that 1st party content alone isn’t enough

In fact, some of the most exciting games revealed every year are made by third-party developers. This includes groundbreaking reveals such as Fallout 4 and Final Fantasy VII Remake as well as unexpected surprises like Rare’s new pirate game and the revival of The Last Guardian. Simply put, third-party games stole the show last year.

The following are some third-party titles that could blow the roof off E3 2016.

1. Red Dead Redemption 2

Who would have thought that a cross between Grand Theft Auto and the wild wild west would be such a hit. Red Dead Redemption was an undeniable success for Rockstar as gamers and critics alike praised it as one of the best console games of the last generation. A captivating story combined with fun gameplay has left us wondering why a sequel hasn’t been made.

Red Dead Redemption is the most requested title for the list of backwards-compatible Xbox One games. The unveiling of a second game would possibly be the biggest news of the entire show, especially if we get to see gameplay footage.

2. BioWare’s Two Upcoming Titles

Mass Affect: Andromeda screenshot

It’s no surprise that BioWare is currently preparing another installment in the acclaimed Mass Effect series. The games in the trilogy are some of the best experiences our industry has to offer, and we want more. Mass Effect: Andromeda was announced at last year’s E3 and we’re hoping more gameplay footage is shown this year.

Some gamers are even more anxious to find out what Bioware’s secret new IP (intellectual property) is. Apparently one of their developers wore a shirt at Game Developer’s Conference 2016 with the name of this new title, and no one noticed. You can bet everyone will be paying attention at conferences this year in hopes of learning the identity of this new IP.

3. Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil is one of the most iconic franchises in video game history. The original titles showed us the capacity at which video games can keep our hearts racing via elements of horror. Then along came Resident Evil 4, which revolutionized the third-person genre with incredible gameplay that reinvigorated the original formula. Unfortunately Resident Evil 6 was panned by critics, but it’ll take more than one bad game to make this franchise irrelevant.

The last time we heard of the possibility of an RE7 was in October of 2015 during an interview with series producer Masachika Kawata. Since then, we’ve received spin-off titles and will soon see launch of a CGI film called Resident Evil: Vendetta. Given the huge lack of details on another numbered title, it would be a jaw-dropping surprise for Capcom to reveal RE7.

4. World of Warcraft II

Even people who don’t even know what MMORPG stands for have at least heard of World of Warcraft. Blizzard’s legendary 2004 title has stood the test of time, earned more cash than any other game in history, and continues sustaining millions of players. But even though an expansion has been introduced every few years, World of Warcraft has been losing steam for a long time.

World of Warcraft movie still

Even though the market is more competitive than ever, the announcement of World of Warcraft II would certainly turn heads. If you think this is unlikely, consider what director Tom Chilton said in a recent Game Informer interview when asked about a sequel. His response was this: “Definitely. It’s something we have talked about. It’s something we have talked about for ten years.” Knowing how good Blizzard is at keeping secrets, WoW2 may already be in development.

5. The Titles We Already Know About

Like at most video game shows, developers reveal exciting new titles but show very little gameplay. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a trailer that was made just for the reveal. Last year we learned that many titles are in the works but this coming E3 we want to see a lot more than a logo or 30-second cut scene.

Seeing more of Rare’s pirate game and Comcept/Armature Studio’s ReCore would be awesome. Both developers have the potential to create great gameplay experiences., but we won’t really believe it until we see it. Other titles we want to see more of are Dishonored 2, Scalebound, Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy XV, Titanfall 2, and Gears of War. Here’s counting the days until we get to see what E3 actually holds for us this year to !