I love The Legend of Zelda. I really do. It’s one of gaming’s best franchises, and certainly one of the most consistent. But Nintendo’s decision to dedicate the entirety of their E3 presence this year to the new Zelda for Wii U and the upcoming NX is a bit baffling, to say the least.
When I first read the news that Zelda Wii U/NX would be the sole playable game on the show floor, I was a little disappointed, but I was under the impression that they would still have a video presentation showcasing other future games, so I wasn’t too bummed. But then I heard that Nintendo wasn’t even going to have a special edition of Nintendo Direct, as they’ve done the past three years, and instead just have a live stream solely dedicated to the new Zelda title, I was really disappointed, and more than a little confused.
Look, I understand that Zelda is one of the most beloved series of all time, and holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers. But for one new entry to be the entire focus of Nintendo’s presence at one of the biggest gaming events of the year just isn’t enough.
I can respect the delay for the release of the NX. Although missing out on the holiday season may be yet another bummer, but you can’t rush a product before its finished, and the delay means it won’t be launching in direct competition with PSVR and the newer edition PS4s and Xbox Ones that are supposed to hit by year’s end. But to not even make the NX a subject at E3 in any capacity is ridiculous. This is Nintendo’s new home console and, if rumors are true, their new handheld as well. Even if they don’t have it on the show floor, shouldn’t they want to use E3 as a means to get some early buzz for the platform?
At the very least, couldn’t we at least get word on some games to expect on NX? They wouldn’t even have to go into great detail with them. They could just list off “a new 3D Mario,” “Pikmin 4,” and “Super Mario RPG 2″ (let me dream!) will be hitting NX in the future” and that would be enough to get some extra interest and investment going. I mean, sure, Mario coming to NX is an inevitability, but early confirmation would help nonetheless.
Of course, the most disappointing aspect of this news isn’t even in regards to NX, but Wii U. The Wii U was Nintendo’s least financially successful home console, so I kind of get why it won’t be a focal point for E3 now that it’s entering its twilight (it was still a great system, damn it!). But to not give the people who own the console a last wave of release dates and reveals at E3 is more than a little bit of a sting. I’m not even saying they need to be major announcements, but surely there’s enough time left between now and the NX launch to give Wii U owners a game or two to look forward to.
Frankly, I feel like Nintendo is putting all of their eggs in one basket in regards to their near future and Zelda Wii U/NX. The game definitely looks great, and its promise sounds quite interesting. It could wind up being the best Zelda ever by the time it’s released. But as it stands, Zelda Wii U/NX just enough for an E3 showing. Not when they’re leaving Wii U owners high and dry and keeping those who are excited for NX guessing. Even if Zelda’s showing at E3 is phenomenal, Nintendo’s won’t be.
3 thoughts on “Zelda Wii U. All Alone at E3.”
Yeah, it is disappointing to learn they will not even hold a special Nintendo Direct. That is the least they could do to promote the rest of their games that are coming out in 2016. But I guess they will get to that eventually… right?
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I think Nintendo has decided, for the most part this year, to focus on behind the scenes more, I.e. Focus on getting the NX right, and therefore don’t want to overstretch themselves too much in other areas such as production of Wii U games and marketing of the ill fated console. We all know the Wii U is theoretically finished now, Nintendo knows this (well I hope they do) so I think they are saying hey we haven’t got much to show you currently but what we have is amazing, quality of quantity. I’m not too disappointed there will be no NX showing or announcement at E3 I think the right time for that is in the fall just before we get the annual glut of games released in the latter parts of the year. They have to make the NX big, bold, clear, exciting, tantalising and most importantly seem worthwhile to gamers and consumers. The Wii U suffered because of poor communication when marketing it (as well as other factors) so Nintendo are probably trying to avoid similar mistakes.
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The biggest disappointment for me is also the lack of content for Wii U in the coming year. I was hoping for some surprise announcements to offset the Zelda delay. Now, we’re left with Paper Mario: Color Splash and Tokyo Mirage Sessions with no other Wii U title in sight for the holidays. You’re also absolutely right that Zelda cannot carry Nintendo’s E3 presence alone, so unless they have an additional plan for another Direct soon, we will just be left in the dark for anything coming out for Nintendo for a while.
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