"Look, we hear you. You want what you have always wanted, but you also want....something new" growled Reggie at the opening of Nintendo's E3 conference. He totally gave us that, but he also gave us two other things....the same old franchises and confusion over the new Nintendo system.
Yes, Nintendo showed off their new console. Well, at least the controller for the console. But before I get into that let's have a look at the 3DS. Take up has been slow so far, and there is a definate feeling of the 3DS being a slow burner. The new Nintendo 3DS store has just launched, and you can download a few decent Gameboy games, such as Super Mario and Zelda: Links awakening, as well as the stupidly addictive new companion to the shitter in the form of Gameboy Tennis. One can't help but feel that if Nintendo has waited until THIS E3 to announce that the 3DS was available to buy, TODAY.....with all this stuff ready and waiting for consumers from the offset that the gaming world would have gone into meltdown. Instead, the 3DS had a bunch of titles that we basically knew were coming, with a few highlights. Mario Kart looked once more like it has lost it's way, with "Karting" now taking to the air with huge jumps aided by what appear to be hang-gliders strapped to the top, and water is no longer the barrier that once was, with karts now diving beneath the waves and James Bond-style propellers farting out of the back of the karts. One step too much for me, and if Mario Kart even DARES to kill me if I go into the water at the sides of a course after introducing water courses I will officially kill the developers! Starfox looked great, and i'm looking forward to that a great deal. Ocarina is a remake, and even though it comes with the Master Quest mode and a few other additions it's still a port.....a port of one of the most respected games ever i'll admit, but really...no chance of a new adventure? The new Super Mario looked great, the love child of Super Mario World and Mario 64, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Same with Luigi's mansion 2, which adds several mansions for you to go and suck the dead out of. Another showreel blared out, featuring the likes of Driver, Metal Gear Solid, Tekken, and a whole bunch of other games which could be a boost for the system. I for one wasn't expecting Tekken. All in all a good showing for the 3DS.
The Wii was catered for with the new trailer for Zelda: Skyward Sword, which is was incorrectly predicted by internet know-it-alls the world over as going over to the new system. Oh no...it's on the Wii and it's looking great...released for Christmas this year, and in another bit of Zelda related news Zelda: Four Swords will be released as a free download for DSi owners...which is nice. There was probably more news about the Wii, but I don't pay attention to games that make you look like you're trying to swat an invading army of invisible wasps whilst playing, so the Wii can fuck off.
Anyway. To the new system. You have all seen it so i'm not going to go into detail. The main showing was the controller, which drew simultaneous gasps of joy and "what....the....fuck....is this the console?. Looking like a classic controller that's been subjected to torture and stretching on a rack, and whilst it was down someone stapled a small iPad to it, it did look veeeeeery "Apple". Clean, neat, curvy......like a joypad version of Carol Vorderman. Demos of the unit in action shot over the big screen, with FPS style games, a unique way of playing golf with the new pad acting as a sandy tee with the ball on it, while you use the compatible Wiimote as a club, all sorts of technical demos which both astounded and confused at the same time. The SINGLE most impressive thing in my eyes was the answer to the age old arguement of who gets to use the TV. No longer, with the new "WiiU" console....yep, that's the name....if you're enjoying "Mario porno party kart 3" and your beloved comes into the room demanding to watch the next pile of X-Factor bollocks, no longer do you have to sulk...simply transfer the game to the controller and carry on playing with the screen now acting as your new TV. That part was spellbinding, and as far as i'm concerned probably one of the biggest draws to the system. All the big boys are on board, with some huge 3rd part support with Assassins Creed and Battlefield 3 looking like they are coming to the system. All good then?
The whole showing of this new system was so badly done it beggars belief. I still have more questions about it than answers, and that's no way to launch a console to consumers. I'm a big boy.....a very big boy in certain areas, and I can usually figure shit out on my own. On no......WiiU is almost like a real life Professor Layton puzzle.....where, what, how, when, why.....?? It just keeps coming.
We are told it's a 1080p system, that's "as" powerful, if not more so, than current systems. Well, those current systems are around 5-odd years old now...the absolute LEAST I would expect is for them to graphically match what is out there. Fuck it Nintendo, BLOW THE LIVING FUCK OUT OF WHATEVER IS ALREADY OUT THERE......don't just do "as good". So how powerful is it? What are the specs? How many controllers can I connect? It used the Wiimote, so I take it the sensor bar is still needed? Is it backwards compatible? How big is it? What is the new disc system? HDMI? How much are additional controllers? Don't you think it's a bad idea to have it attached to a shoddy plastic gun? How many batteries does it take? How long do they last? Can I hook up my new 3DS to it? If not, why not? Can I stream porn to it so I can "disappear" upstairs for a while? How does it connect online? Friends codes? How does the video conference calling work? Is there an additional cost to play online?
This is my dilemma. What I saw had promise, but Nintendo didn't explain just why I needed to get this system. Yes, it's out next year, but why do I need it? Sure, it gives something to everyone, but an old proverb says "If an Eagle chases two rabbits, he will catch non". Sure I can see what they are doing, i'm not that fucking thick, but non of it has been explained. It basically broke down to "we are releasing this thing, we aren't telling you how powerful it is, or what games are coming out. This may come out, and we may get this game......everything you are seeing is what may or may not happen.....this game may be released...this is what Zelda could look like, but it's just a tech demo, so don't count on it. It may cost this much, but it may not, so instead we will just leave it where we have and we'll catch you next year".
Why? Why go to all of that trouble and tell us nothing? It's akin to having a classy whore sidle up to you in a bar, whispering oh so dirty nothings into your ear about what she's going to do to you, and how much you're going to like it and why you will never look at another woman after what she is going to do to you, only for her to jump in a waiting cab and take off until some random point in the future. You'll just feel let down, confused and you'll have to go and do something with that woody that you have in your pants. The news that Smash Bros was coming to WiiU had some cheers from the crowd, but that all soon died down after the conference when the developer of the Smash bros series said work hasn't even started on the game yet!
I applaude Nintendo for doing something new. In trying to get an entertainment system that will be for every household they seem to have the right idea. Unfortunately, that's all it really was. An idea with no real substance. A game console souffle. A Nintendo Cheryl Cole. I'm hoping the upcoming months and the Tokyo game show will really go in depth with the system, and i'll become as indoctrinated as the Nintendo fanboy massive that are seeing this as another huge win for Nintendo and another dominating performance over Sony and Microsoft at E3.
But with the news that Nintendo's shares have plummeted to their lowest in five years after their conference.....it's not just us gamers that need convincing.