What to Expect From E3 09 – Nintendo
Nintendo has a lot to prove to gamers this year. After last year’s infamous emphasis on the casual crowd, I think the company knows that they want to shy away from their previous approach. Of course, with both the Wii, DS, and the new DSi selling so well, even if Nintendo decided to cater to the casual crowd again this year, they wouldn’t lose much income at all. The casual market is already pleased, so I think Nintendo realizes that this is the year to prove to its hardcore fans that there is more to the Wii than Wii Sports, Wii Music, and watered down versions of other consoles’ games (such as Call of Duty: World at War).
Wii Sports Resort
The best way to appeal to the hardcore would be to add a new entry in one of their many big franchises. A Mario, Zelda, or Metroid would fit the bill, but all three of those franchises already have an entry on the Wii. Looking back at some of Nintendo’s previous consoles, we can see that typically only one full-blown Mario platformer is released per system. The N64 had Super Mario 64, and the Gamecube had Super Mario Sunshine. If Nintendo keeps this pattern up, the Wii will not see another Mario platformer, because the Wii already has Super Mario Galaxy. There might be another Zelda game coming to the Wii, as the consoles usually have two of those if you look back at history. However, I think the only Zelda news we will see from Nintendo this year is concerning Spirit Tracks, the recently announced DS game. Metroid Prime 3 was released to great critical acclaim on the Wii, and the Gamecube did in fact have two Metroid Prime games. I know that a Wii disc containing all three Metroid Prime‘s is set to release some time this year, so that might possibly be Nintendo’s way of getting the market hyped for a new entry in the series.
The most hardcore crowd-pleasing Nintendo games involve Shigeru Miyamoto, and I think he would only work on one game at a time. Seeing as the three aforementioned franchises have an entry already on the Wii, he will want to work on a separate series. The best guess is that Miyamoto is working on Pikmin 3, a game that he has talked about in the past. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was unveiled next week at the convention.
Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Another big focus of this year’s show will undoubtedly be the Wii MotionPlus, a Wii remote add-on that improves the accuracy of the system’s motion controls. Games like Grand Slam Tennis, Wii Sports Resort, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 will be shown to a great extent. Some third party games certain to make a splash on the show room floor are Red Steel 2, Rabbids Go Home, The Conduit, Little King’s Story, and Muramasa: The Demon Blade, all of which are games geared more towards the hardcore crowd. I expect big things from Nintendo this year, but I think they have what it takes to deliver.