Why E3 2014 Will Be Make Or Break For Nintendo’s Wii U

By Michael On 21 Apr, 2014 At 03:49 PM | Categorized As Features, Opinion Piece | With 0 Comment

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Why E3 2014 Will Be Make Or Break For Nintendo

Nintendo and its Wii U have been floundering with negative perceptions. To no fault of anyone, but themselves – Nintendo is unable to recognize that they are indeed a crucial factor in why the Wii U is failing to resonate with the masses. I hate to do this, but it is necessary to put the hindsight hat on – to examine what went so terribly wrong – and how Nintendo can improve their selves in the future. Now, before we have extremist Nintendo fans calling me a hater  – please note, this is not a malicious attack on Ninty (actually far from it)! Besides, need I remind you that I am indeed a Nintendo Fan (Look at site name) – my intentions are noble, so relax.

Dwelling on the past is not going to help anyone at this point. What is done is done! “What If’s” and “Nintendo should have done this” statements are counterproductive.  With this said – as someone who has a major in History and studied extensively Historiography in University – looking at the past can be beneficial in planning for the future – learning from your mistakes to improve yourself, if you will.

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The trouble with Nintendo recently – for some unusual reason, have withdrawn into their shell – momentarily at times appearing to host a Nintendo Direct or Two. On the other hand, if you take Sony or Microsoft as a point for comparison – these companies have been able to maintain a positive presence for the consoles in the media and the gaming community – a feat Nintendo has failed to achieve. Even when Nintendo and their Wii U features on the headlines – it typically isn’t good news in the paragraphs following -with most following in line in ” X game isn’t coming to the Wii U” or “Wii U is doomed” or ” Wii U is underpowered” or ” Wii U has game droughts”. While some of the negativity is undeserved – most hold merit – therefore – it comes at no surprise that the perception of the Wii U isn’t entirely positive.

Essentially, Nintendo has failed to carve an appealing image for the Wii U from the very beginning. At a time where the entire world  had their eyes on the Wii U (figuratively speaking, of course) – an event criticial for positive momentum into the launch window-  Nintendo failed to make a favorable first impression at E3 2012. I can vividly recollect those moments almost two years. Pre- E3 2012, the atmosphere was ripe with hype – expectations from the entire community were at a massive high – especially considering Nintendo went completely quiet with the Wii during the previous years – it was only natural to anticipate a mind blowing conference.

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Many individuals at the time felt that Nintendo was guaranteed to win E3, and win it easily by a mile. Well… It didn’t exactly turn out that way. What we got was a mix bag of good and terrible – effectively leaving the community baffled about the Wii U’s message; was this a console for the core gamer or the casual?  In terms of what was good – Pikmin 3 was an excellent show starter, Lego City Undercover brought a sense of humor, and ZombiU showed the potential of the Gamepad when implemented in a core game. However, things went downhill as soon as Wii Karaoke U was shown on center stage, and was never able to recover – ending on a serious low note with the disappointment that was the Nintendo Land unveiling.

I do concede that it is necessary to focus on launch titles – however – an E3 unveil (or Re-unveil) for a new video game console should also convey a strong message for the future – to convince the community that this will be a worthy system to own for the long term. By no means should Nintendo reveal their entire hand – but showing glimpses of awesomeness could have altered perceptions drastically. I know in hindsight often strategies appear to be stupid – and I might be overly harsh on them, but that doesn’t negate the fact that Nintendo could have handled themselves better. Had Nintendo teased Bayonetta 2, Monolith Softs X, Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Super Mario 3D World at E3 2012- I will be willing to bet that the perceptions of the Wii U would be drastically different from what it is today.

Just watch at Nintendo’s E3 2006 Press conference  – look at their confidence in the Wii – examine their confidence in the message and look at the enjoyment of everyone – the undeniable sense of excitement. Go to the 15 minute mark of the video above – Nintendo presented a montage of the FUTURE games to be released for the Wii beyond the launch window – games like Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Fire Emblem, Super Mario Galaxy, Tony Hawk: Downhill Jam, Excite Truck and Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicle: The Chrystal Bearers. The problem now for the Wii U – is that potential consumers have little idea of what they can expect with the Wii U in the next 6 months, let alone in the next year or so, therefore, you cannot blame skeptical potential consumers – especially considering that Nintendo console’s have been prone to long game droughts.

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Furthermore, it was a critical mistake on Nintendo’s part to decide to host a ND instead of a traditional Press Conference. While I do enjoy Nintendo Direct’s immensely, I do not believe they are a suitable alternative to a traditional Conference. E3 is by far the biggest event in the gaming calendar, and it is an opportunity to make a BIG statement, especially amongst a live audience that can display RAW excitement. Many interpreted Nintendo lack of a conference as a sign of defeat, an admittance that they cannot compete with Sony or Microsoft, a lack of confidence in their product. Ironically, Nintendo had an incredible line up of games showcased during the E3 Direct – I mean they unveiled Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Bayonetta 2, and best of all Super Smash Bros For Wii and 3DS. By any measure – this is a fantastic display of games for an E3 conference – a line-up that eclipses anything shown by Nintendo’s competitors – so why did they go back into their shell?

What I am actually getting at – is that Nintendo has failed to make a BIG STATEMENT at big moments during the Wii U’s life so far. When it was time for the Wii U to shine – Nintendo has let the console down by their poor strategy and messaging. This needs to change! Nintendo will need to drastically alter the perceptions of the community by having an incredible E3 Conference that demonstrates a strong future for the Wii U. This is why I believe E3 2014 will be make or break for Nintendo’s Wii U.

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If they turn up at E3 2014 with a lackluster performance, then I cannot see why anyone should have faith in the Wii U, when Nintendo themselves, are showing little faith. E3 2014 is the time for the Wii U to shine – showcase games that will inspire and excite the community – so much so – that they will be saying to themselves “Hey, I need to buy a Wii U now”. Now is the time to fight back before it reaches the point of no return!

Perhaps, it is disingenuous to put so much weight and blame on a mere conference, however, I do believe this is a symptom of an overarching problem – which is the poor messaging of the Wii U’s appeal and a failure to get the community excited about the console. Rejuvenating the Wii U is a feat many consider impossible, and unprecedented – but I am refusing to count the Wii U out – especially considering Nintendo has a nasty habit of making a comeback. I hope E3 2014 has some pleasant surprises for the Wii U, and the community in general. Come on Nintendo! You can do it!

 

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About - Michael is the proud owner and Editor-in-Chief of Mii-gamer.com! He has a Bachelors Degree with First Class Honors ( try to guess his Degree), and has been writing about video games for many years. His favorite Nintendo franchises include the Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Bros. and Pokemon. When Michael is not playing video games – he is usually outdoors riding kangaroo’s, playing cricket or sleeping (or doing all three at the same time).