What could now be considered as cliche, every gaming publication gives their take on how each company could possibly "win" the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3. But with the conference a week away, the excitement is palpable and everyone is roaring to go. As opinions are tossed around like potatoes during a food fight, let the debate begin as to who could take the crown of this corporate battle-royale.
Nintendo has set precedent on how to put on the perfect conference, and somehow the company overshadows its competitors each year. Never failing to disappoint, 2011 is looking like the best yet. Although Project Cafe will get the most attention, I am interested to see how Nintendo will respond to the slower-than-expected sales of the 3DS.
The first talking point is obviously the new console. Rumours are spreading faster than herpes in a hot tub (thank Stephen Colbert for that joke) and the specs have been "leaked" dozens of times. The highly anticipated piece of hardware is reportedly coming out next year and might be playable at the conference. And that's pretty much all we know. Nintendo has been very secretive about their new project, but at least they confirm its existence. When they do present, we can expect a name, a release date, and possibly a hint of their lineup. I've heard distant speculation of a Super Smash Bros. game and Mario title being part of the launch lineup, but we'll have to wait anxiously until the morning of June 7 for confirmation. The conference will be played live on Nintendo's website, so a simple Google search can get you there.
Aside from the new console, the 3DS will be showcased as well. Nintendo's first foray into the three-dimensional world was at first a successful endeavour, but lately sales have slipped. It's unclear why, but Nintendo will have to bring out its best come conference time. Kid Icarus: Uprising, Ocarina of Time 3D and the 3DS Store will all be making an appearance. We can also expect word about Skyward Sword, probably the last big-name title for the Wii.
Many publications have posted quite the range of rumours regarding Nintendo's new console, so realistically the machine could be anything. High definition support and a new online service are probable, a strong launch lineup is almost necessary, and some sort of Wii integration would be an awesome addition. I don't know how exactly they could tie the two consoles together, but knowing Nintendo they have an ingenious trick up their sleeve. Will Nintendo try and win back the hearts of the hardcore, or further embrace its newfound casual audience? Having the Wii preceding it, Nintendo has really put themselves in a spot to dazzle or disappoint.
If the release date is this year or next, I believe Nintendo is acting too hastily. The Wii can still pack a bunch if the catalogue of games continues to be stellar. Though sales of the console itself have diminished, that's only because of age. But sales are still incredibly high given the length of time the console has been available. Microsoft may be winning right now, but the Wii can maintain a high degree of purchases if Nintendo gradually eases the audience toward its new console. The company will likely treat it as the new evolution of gaming and not a direct successor. Doing so would undermine and ultimately alienate the established audience, so staying with what works could be the path to creating maximum profits.
Nintendo is expected to have the strongest showing, though Sony will be hot on their heels. Tomorrow I'll take a look at what Sony could show, and how to appropriately respond to the attacks. Ciao!