Yesterday’s big Nintendo news wasn’t a massive shock. The delivery possibly was but deep down we all knew that the next Legend of Zelda was on it’s way, Mario Kart similarly was a meer formality as was a new 3D Mario title.
Am I glad that Yoshi, Smash Bros and a new Monolith title are joining the Wii U party? Your damn right I am but that’s not all that got me excited yesterday about the Wii U.
A lot of these titles are of course far off in the distance, but as silly as it sounds there’s a tantalising feeling in the air of what else? I mean that in a good way. From the way it was presented yesterday in Nintendo Direct it feels like a lot of these titles have been in development for quite a while. Mario 3D, Mario Kart and Smash Bros will be in playable form at e3 so a 2014 release is highly likely if not late 2013.
This leaves Nintendo’s highly talented teams to work on other titles, sequels or hopefully new ideas. It’s still unclear as to what Retro Studios have planned and it’s a situation that hasn’t changed for a number of years – we know they are hard at work on something but what?
The remake of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker also opens the door for future remakes and in an industry that has been suckling off HD remakes wouldn’t it be great to see Nintendo join the fray?
Imagine having one system where all your classic and favourite Nintendo games of the past are re-imagined in HD and all playable off the GamePad? That’s now a reality. I would have gobbled up GameCube games on the Virtual Console but an HD remake? Wow, didn’t see that coming.
As shallow as it sounds I found it really hard to slug through Skyward Sword on the Wii, switching between Batman: Arkham City and Uncharted 3 back to my SD Wii was difficult. Now a Skyward Sword in HD on Wii U I would be down for.
It’s also clear that Nintendo’s own mini-e3 yesterday still left a lot of room for manoeuvre with third-parties and moving forward this will be key. While we’re still not sure how much more powerful the next PlayStation and Xbox consoles will be Nintendo need to give you a reason to purchase the same game on Wii U. Miiverse could be the answer.
With yesterday’s announcement that the Miiverse is being expanded was a step in the right direction. Community ‘verses’ and the ability to access it all from your smart phone shows that Nintendo are finally thinking outside the box.
If you listen to CAP I’ve been a harsh critic of Nintendo’s on not thinking outside the box. For years it’s felt like they had the windows blacked out and the doors locked, being happy in their own little bubble doing as they pleased. It’s a strategy that worked with the Wii but the world is so interconnected on a technical and social level that it’s impossible to ignore other medium’s of connecting your consumers together.
While there are still issues with digital content being locked to systems and not accounts as well as some troubling OS issues Nintendo appears to be on the right track.
We have to remember that the launch of a new console is a marathon and not a sprint. It took Sony a number of years for the PlayStation 3 wheel to be in full flow and even the Xbox 360 has inched rather than leaped it’s way into the hearts and minds of many.
I’ve hardly touched my Wii U since launch but yesterday’s news made me go back and check out ZombiU again. The GamePad is such a user friendly piece of technology that if Nintendo can strike it right with not only their own games but with third-parties as well I can easily see me making the Wii U my primary system for the next few years.
Perhaps the most exciting part about all this is if we’re getting all this information in January, just imagine the excitement before Nintendo’s e3 press conference.
Mr Iwata it’s over to you….