As Polygon reported yesterday, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that the company will not have a traditional press conference at the E3 2013 trade show. Instead, the company will focus on smaller events. Whether this is a sound strategy or not remains to be seen. What’s certain is that is creates a perception problem for Nintendo. Its major competitors, Microsoft and Sony, are going large with events to promote upcoming console hardware. By not having a competing presser, many pundits believe that the company looks weak, whether that’s a fair judgement or not.
For my part, I couldn’t help but think of the last major console company not to have an E3 presser: Sega. Before it was Microsoft vs. Nintendo vs. Sony, it was Nintendo vs. Sega vs. Sony. I distinctly remember videogame journalists predicting the demise of Sega when the company announced that it wasn’t having an E3 press conference. Many of them had the knee-jerk reaction that it was a sign of the company’s impending doom as a console-hardware manufacturer. And that knee-jerk reaction was right.
Nintendo’s supporters are defending the move by saying that E3 doesn’t matter anymore, the trade show isn’t for the enthusiast press (and by extension, readers of enthusiast outlets) anymore, and that Nintendo plays a different game than the other console companies. I’m not going to argue any of those points because that’s not a debate that can be won. What’s undeniable is that by not having an E3 2013 press conference, Nintendo has created a perception problem that the company’s marketing and PR teams will have to fight.
Of course I want to hear your take on the issue too, because you guys and dolls are smart and awesome. RPadholic smartguy and I touched on it briefly in the RPad.TV live chat, but lets keep the conversation going. What do you think of Nintendo not having an E3 2013 presser?
It looks like the only noteworthy game shipping this week is Injustice: Gods Among Us. Comic-book fanboys and fighting-game aficionados will definitely want to keep their eyes on this one. One of my videogame writer friends was raving about the game last night, saying that it’s lots of fun and comparable to the most recent Mortal Kombat game. As a mark from DC Comics (Nightwing rules!) and one of the people that actually enjoyed Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, I’m excited for this…but really, I’m excited for any game that features Nightwing. The dude rules, like Ben Affleck in Phantoms.
Dark Horse Books and Nintendo team up to bring you The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, containing an unparalleled collection of historical information on The Legend of Zelda franchise. This handsome hardcover contains never-before-seen concept art, the full history of Hyrule, the official chronology of the games, and much more! Starting with an insightful introduction by the legendary producer and video-game designer of Donkey Kong, Mario, and The Legend of Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto, this book is crammed full of information about the storied history of Link’s adventures from the creators themselves!
For gamers — especially longtime Nintendo fans — this is pretty much the best coffee-table book ever made. While I knew it would be popular with videogame aficionados (duh), I was still surprised to see it top a NY Times best-seller list…but perhaps I shouldn’t have been. A lot of people that grew up with Zelda are at an age where they’re buying fancy coffee tables and need fancy books to put on top of them. Hell, Robin Williams named his hot daughter — Zelda Williams costar of Noobz — after the game.
It’s fantastic seeing how mainstream gaming has become. If you had asked Fledgling Gamer Me if a videogame book would be at the top of the NY Times best-seller list, well…I probably wouldn’t have paid any attention to you because I was glued to my Fairchild Channel F. However, if you asked me that question when I first started writing about games for Happy Puppy, I would have said not for a very, very long time. Yet it hasn’t been all that long (humor me) and Hyrule Historia reigns supreme!
Any of you surprised by the book’s success? Any of you have it or plan on getting it (through the nifty Amazon link above, please)? Now please excuse me, as I need to order the book for my (totally cheap Ikea) coffee table.
There are several fascinating takeaways here. First, it’s awfully impressive that there are two Call of Duty games on the list, which is a testament to the franchise’s immense and enduring popularity. LEGO Batman 2 is one of the few videogames that stars Hawkgirl, proving once again that Hawkgirl equals mad sales. I was happy to see Borderlands 2 on the list. Remember when a prominent videogame analyst said the original was “sent to die”? If videogame series could talk, Borderlands would be saying, “How do you like dem apples, Pachter!!!” (Just kidding, Michael.)
Did America’s most popular videogames pan out the way you thought they would? Please leave a comment with your thoughts on NPD’s top 10 of 2012.
2012 was a rough year for the console gaming business. A lot of people believe that mobile devices and the vast improvement in the quality of mobile games are the key reasons for the decline in console game sales. Others believe that the current generation is simply long in the tooth and new hardware is needed to kickstart the console business. Some believe that the three major console companies haven’t done enough with digital distribution and relying on the boxed-disc model has hurt sales. Whatever the reason, sales figures are down and there are a lot of questions about console gaming heading into 2013.
How do you think things will pan out? Will console game sales roar back? Will sales continue to decline? Or will things remain about the same. Please vote in today’s poll and expand on your answer in the comments section.
Justin and I got to spend time with two Nintendo Land mini-games: “Donkey Kong’s Crash Course” and “Mario Chase”. The former is a unique puzzle game that takes advantage of the Wii U gamepad’s gyroscope and tilt controls. The latter is a multiplayer racing game that’s a blend of Mario Kart and Pac-Man Vs. Kindly check out this video preview that features Justin’s thoughts on the minis and some footage of them (both onscreen and from the Wii U gamepad). After you’ve watched it, please let me know what you think of these two Nintendo Land minis. Is the game enough to make you want the Wii U Deluxe Set?
Justin and I recently checked out The Wonderful 101 by Platinum Games for Wii U. The game is like a more violent Pikmin, but with Viewtiful Joe-style art. The brief portion of the game we saw looked and played great. The art and tone of the game was charming, while the gameplay was clever. Check out what Justin had to say about the game, as well as some gameplay footage onscreen and on the Wii U gamepad. After you’ve digested all of that, I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Wonderful 101. Is this something you’d buy?