Tech Blog

My Predictions for E3 2009 (Part 2 - Nintendo)

by Blogger on ‎05-20-2009 09:02 PM - last edited on ‎05-02-2012 05:31 PM by Retired Moderator

 

E3_logo.jpgGreetings my fellow gamers!  Welcome back for part two of my crazy and zany E3 predictions. I say that because, well, the whole point of E3 is for the big three console makers -- Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft -- to knock us off our feet with their bold reveals, and only the truly nutty would try and guess what surprises await us enthusiastic gamers. If you ask me, predicting isn't about your scorecard after all is said and done, but rather the fun and excitement that comes with trying to foretell the bombshell announcements we all know are looming on the horizon.

 

In case you missed part one of my E3 predictions, where I go into detail about what I think Microsoft will reveal, I encourage you to check it out right here on the Future Shop Tech Blog.  I mentioned in that article that I was going to do my Nintendo and Sony write-ups combined in one post, but I quickly realized that my Nintendo predictions were quite vast, so I've decided to split this feature into three. (My Sony predictions will be ready this weekend!)

 

So let's kick up our feet, relax, and have ourselves a good old crystal gazing roundtable about gaming. I would love to hear what you think about my guesses!

 

Nintendo Press Conference - June 2 at 9:00am PST  

 

Nintendo is in a precarious situation right now. On the one hand, the Wii and DS have been a clear runaway success for the company, especially here in Canada. On the other hand, after last year's lackluster E3 showing, vocal core-gamers were quick to express their growing sense of alienation with no new core-friendly franchise extensions for Nintendo mainstays such as Mario, Zelda, or Metroid. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata even went so far as to apologize for their media briefing shortcomings and reassured long-time Nintendo fans that hardcore titles are coming.

 

It's for these reasons and more that I think Nintendo will definitely seek to please their long-term fans in a big way this year. Nintendo luminary, Shigeru Miyamoto assuaged concerns last year by announcing that the Mario and Zelda teams had reunited and were actively working on their next projects. I predict we'll see at least one of these big game announcements at E3; if I had to place my bets on one it would a sequel to Mario Galaxy.  The reasons?  It's two-fold: 1) we know that members of the Twilight Princess team worked on Wii Fit and I would imagine that game kept the team busy for quite some time (especially if a Wii Fit sequel is in the mix); and 2) Nintendo has already announced that The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks will be available for the DS later this year. Surely Nintendo wouldn't plan two Zelda games in the same holiday season, would they?

 

Nintendo will also supplement their hardcore offerings with trailers for Pikman 3, Sin & Punishment 2, Cosmic Walker, and Dynamic Slash. With luck, maybe we'll even get a North American release date for Disaster: Day of Crisis, but I wouldn't hold your breath on that one. I also think Nintendo will dig deep into its archives and resurface another long beloved franchise (such as what they did this year with Punch Out!!) -- most likely the long-rumoured return of Kid Icarus. Or, maybe we'll finally see what Retro Studios has been up to since they finished Metroid Prime 3: Coruption all the way back in 2007.

 

With all the great success Nintendo has had lately catering to the casual crowd, I would also expect to see Wii Sports Resort featured prominently during their media brief, as well as an announcement of the next major casual title. If I had to take a guess I would probably bet on a new Brain Age Wii sequel, or perhaps we'll finally see Nintendogs make it's way to the Wii. One thing is almost certain to happen -- Nintendo will announce the next major title to fully support the Wii Motion Plus technology (likely their next big casual title). It wouldn't surprise me if Nintendo also announced Wii Motion Plus compatibility with one of those hardcore titles I mentioned above (Pikmin 3 would be a great candidate). Speaking of Wii Motion Plus, I think it almost goes without saying that Nintendo will announce at least one more device or add-on to Wii's growing list of accessories. In less than three years we've already seen the Wii Balance Board, Wii Wheel, Wii Crossbow, and Wii Speak. (That's a lot of Wii's don't you think!)

 

Much like the Microsoft media brief, I'm sure we'll see a video reel (or live demonstration) of a few notable third-party titles including EA's Dead Space: Extraction, Ubisoft's Red Steel 2 or Rabbids Go Home, and hopefully Square-Enix will show off Dragon Quest IX for Nintendo DS. 

 

Finally, I predict Nintendo will reveal some DSi games that really take advantage of the unique features of the system -- perhaps a game that requires you to take photographs with the built-in camera, or a game that requires you to load photos on your DS and manipulate them somehow.  Unquestionably, there will be some new DSi downloadable games touted at E3, and I think we'll see an expansion of the DSiWare service, possibly to include the ability to download old Gameboy games (similar to the Virtual Console on Wii).  Last but certainly not least, I expect Nintendo to announce that Mario & Luigi RPG 3!!! will be coming to North America and dropping this fall.


Well there you have it, my Nintendo E3 predictions are in the bag.  I hope you enjoyed them -- and please, let me know what you think!  Cheers.

Message Edited by PaulH on 05-21-2009 12:03 AM
Message Edited by PaulH on 05-21-2009 12:07 AM
Message Edited by Laura on 05-29-2009 03:05 PM
Message Edited by ElizabethS on 07-27-2009 11:23 PM
Message Edited by Laura on 08-21-2009 04:47 PM

Comments
by Exalted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎05-21-2009 12:12 AM

A new Hardcore title from Nintendo would be great. Might me be dreaming but wouldn't it be nice if they were to release a new Zelda game with support for the Wii motion plus? I mean, real sword fight in a quality "Nintendo" game. What could go wrong with those combination?

 

Ok, time to stop dreaming...

 

To be honest, I also think Nintendo is in a  precarious situation for not the same reasons as you. The problem I see with Nintendo is that they're beginning to have too much great but "absolutely needed peripherals" :

 

On the Wii you have well, the Wii, which is great by itself, add to that balance board, another great idea (I'm having a lot of fun with this one) and now, we'll get the Wii Motion Plus. If all those came with the original Wii, we could really see some amazing ideas for ground breaking games. The problem is, how many people will have all of the above. Imagine a great Zelda game using those. Nintendo would either greatly limit their sales possibility for that game OR have to tone down the use of those peripherals so the game can be great while not using them. If you ask me, it's a lost/lost situation that will keep Nintendo from doing amazing things for at least a year of two:smileysad:. Not saying it won't be great, just not amazing.

 

Same thing with the DSi. The original DS with the DS lite install base is so large that making games that use "too" much the capability of the new DSi would once again, greatly limit their sales number. I love my DS lite but the DSi? While it looks good, it's not worth paying $200 if you ask me. At least, not if you already own a DS and that's THE PROBLEM since probably half the planet already has one (I know I know... but you get the point).

 

One thing I know is coming and that I hope will be great is the new FPS some companies are making. The Conduit for example seems to be shaping up the be a pretty cool game. With the Wii, there's so much potential for great FPS and yet so few of those:smileysad:. FEAR, a PC game at first, could be one example of a possible great port for that console. What I mean is that there's so much "old" FPS out there that could run on the Wii hardware and benefit from those wiimotes. While I usually am not a big fan of port, the Wii seems like the perfect platform for those old BUT amazing titles.

 

And while I'm talking PC, you say you're making three blog, one for each big companies. Any intention on doing one for the PC? Honestly, that's really the part I'm most looking forward to.

by Trusted Expert on ‎05-21-2009 05:24 PM

Personally, I don't think Nintendo could be in a better situation than they're in right now.  Yes, I'll definitely agree that the core gamers who own Nintendo products are furious with them - rightfully so - but in all honesty, I think that group makes up but a tiny fraction of the people buying their products.  In the long run, they may have lost a few of their buyers to Microsoft and Sony, but they've picked up so many new ones that the compromise is justified (in their eyes of course).  As for me, I continue to shake my fist at them. 

 

I think they'll continue to put out a few core titles every year, but for the most part their product offerings will be directed mainly at the casual audience.  And speaking of those core titles, I think they'll satisfy exclusivey-Wii owners to a certain extent, but they'll falter pretty hard when compared to what's going on on the other two consoles.  Like you mentioned Morfanos, The Conduit is being hyped a lot right now, but I think that's largely because the Wii itself has such a large hole in terms of FPS selection.  When reviews start rolling in I expect we'll find out that it is a fairly generis title, but it'll shine on the Wii because there's no other options.

by Blogger on ‎05-24-2009 11:26 AM

Morfanos,

 

I definitely think a new Zelda game that utilizes Wii Motion Plus would be amazing, imagining 1:1 Link sword fighting sure is exciting.

 

On to your next point about the release of too many add-ons, that definitely does pose some challenges for Nintendo (and third-party developers).  By having games be Wii Balance Board + Wii Motion Plus compatible, it will definitely limit the market and add extra development time to ensure optimization of each peripheral.  What I'm sure we'll end up seeing is games such as Punch Out!! that can be played perfectly fine using just the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, but can add that extra layer of immersion if you also have a balance board.  It's just unfortunate that in order to get the *complete* experience you need to buy all these gadgets.  With all that said however, it should be noted that Nintendo has been quite successful at selling their add-ons with their bundling deals (e.g. Wii Remote with Wii Play, Wii Zapper with Link's Crossbow, etc), so I would imagine quite a few people would be able to enjoy the full experience.

 

Since you mentioned PC, I should note that unfortunately I won't be doing formal E3 predictions for that platform.  The main reason being that my intent was to predict what Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo would announce at their press conferenes, and if it's similar to past E3's we'll see very little in the way of PC announcements.  I find now that most major announcements get revealed other shows such as Bizzcon or GDC.  E3 seems to focus much more on consoles and handhelds.  With that said though, I do have a few predictions for this year.  From Blizzard, Starcraft II will likely release this year and we'll probably see a new WOW expansion announced. Portal 2 is almost guaranteed to be announced for this year, possibly we'll see a Portal/Half-Life hybred.  I think publishers such as EA will back off of DRM this year, especially given all the problems they had with Spore.  And finally, it's not really a prediction since it's almost certain to happen, but Sims 3 will be the best selling PC game of 2009.

by Blogger on ‎05-24-2009 11:30 AM

lilwingman,

 

I certainly agree with your comments there.  Nintendo has definitely switched their focus to a broader audience with great success.  Really I think all Nintendo has to do is pump out two or three major hardcore titles a year and it should satisfy most core gamers.  As much as I may miss the sheer volume of core titles Nintendo created back in the SNES and N64 days, their new focus has been great for the company and great for gaming overall.  Just look at how embraced our medium has become in the last few years.  If Nintendo announced a new Super Mario, Zelda or Metroid game this E3 I would be satisfied.

by Exalted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎05-25-2009 02:04 PM

You're right, we see less and less PC only announcements at E3 but I think it had more to do with the turn the last 2 (or 3) E3 took. For big companies like Nintendo or Sony, they can't "not" be present at E3. But with a smaller E3, it was less interesting (and possibly a waste of money) for PC only games maker to be there.

 

Also, I don't think they'll really do a Half-Life/Portal hybrid. Portal was enjoyed by a lot of people who had never even heard of HL.

 

What is more likely to happen (I sure would love that) is the announcement of Half-Life 2 : Episode 3 and Portal 2 with the plot finally using what we saw at the end of the previous ones and tying those two together for good. That way, they could attract new consumers to the HL universe while possibly releasing another "Orange Box" retail combo type with maybe Left4Dead... Might be some wishful thinking on my part but it would make for another "sure" best seller. 

by Blogger on ‎05-25-2009 06:57 PM

Morfanos,

 

To expand on the Half-Life / Portal hybrid, what I was thinking is that it's likely that Half-Life 2 : Episode 3 will feature an Aperture Science weapon -- and my guess would be the portal gun.  If the gun does appear in the game I hope it's towards the end or used for a short period of time.  I just wouldn't want to see the portal gun play a dominant role in the overall game design.  I certainly hope that we hear a firm release date for Portal 2, I've been waiting for more news on the sequel for months now.  Other games I hope we get a firm announcement on include Crysis 2, Alan Wake and hopefully a release date for Max Payne 3 (I believe Rockstar said *winter 2009* so does that mean it's releasing between December 21 and December 31?)

by Exalted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎05-25-2009 08:20 PM

Can't wait for the next Crysis but the fact that their next engine, CryEngine 3 was made for console (hence producing lesser result than CryEngine 2) worries me a little.

 

Alan Wake is a title I've been waiting to see for a long time and is also the reason why I'm not too happy with the announcement of Max Payne 3. Remedy Entertainment, the one responsible for the first two Max Payne, are the one working on Alan Wake meaning that the team that made the two first Payne games aren't involved anymore:smileysad:. When this happen, it's rarely a good thing for a franchise (unless we're talking Duke Nukem Forever:smileytongue:).

 

Winter 2009 is a stupid way to say Winter 2010:smileytongue: since winter begins on December 21 it's still technically... 2009.

 

 

by Retired Blogger on ‎05-26-2009 07:47 AM

@Morfanos...re: Portal2 - I would so be there on release day. Played Portal on the PC and 360, loved both versions. Great use of First Person tech to solve puzzles, not just up the body counts :smileywink:

 

 

 

by Blogger on ‎05-28-2009 06:36 PM

Morfanos,

 

I agree that when franchises change developers that it's not always for the bestA good example of this was SOCOM: Confrontation that came out last fall for PS3Zipper Interactive is busy at work making MAG and the series was entrusted to Slant Six GamesI've put in many hours with the game to me, it was a little bit of a letdown.  

 

On the flip side, sometimes changing devs can improve a series, just look at what Crystal Dynamics has done with Tomb Raider as a good example.

 

I have faith that Rockstar Vancouver can pull off a good Max Payne gameI thought their previous game, Bully, was quite goodAt least the series is in good hands.

by Exalted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎05-28-2009 10:40 PM

Changing developers for a series can be good if the said series has problems (exactly like Tomb Raider did back then) but changing because the original team refused to works on the product (Max Payne 3) for whatever reason (in this case, Alan Wake) is rarely, if never, a good move.

 

Bully received praises but it might have been a lucky hit for them as they didn't do that much games and to my knowledge, none of them were anything similar to what Max Payne is.

 

Also worth noting is the fact that Max Payne was never really meant to be a trilogy. It's one of the reason  why Remedy Entertainment never wanted to do a third one.

 

I really loved the first one, must have finished it at least 3 times. Everything about this game was well made especially the story and how it was told. The second one was also really great but the story arc finished with it. A third one would really need to have an amazing story and new gameplay elements to stand out of the now crowded slow motion (AKA bullet time) shooter segment.

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