Ryan’s Corner: Why Nintendo Won E3

To some, E3 is a get-together for the industry to see what major announcements and news could come out of it. To others, E3 is nothing but a contest to see how little companies could bring to the table. I’ve been able to understand both sides of coin fine, but this year I figured it’s time to let my inner fanboy out and say that Nintendo was the one who turned the most of their homework in. Those that agree may already know what I’ll be discussing here. For those that don’t, allow me to elaborate.

2016 was a comparatively underwhelming year for the Big N. I should know; last year, I was brought onboard TiCGN in the first place to deliver Nintendo content due to my dedication for the company’s works. What I wrote up instead were a bunch of “What they did wrong” and “Here’s why this isn’t that great” articles during my first few months. Then the Nintendo Switch reveal happened. There were still reasons to be skeptical I suppose. This E3 assured us that Nintendo is making sure their new system comes out on top. They demonstrated both a sense of aggression and a sense of vulnerability, both of which haven’t been prevalent during the Wii U era.

Before their presentation, fans were worried about their schedule. They thought the 30-minute video presentation wouldn’t work. Expectations were lowered as assumptions arose that Nintendo may not be delivering a lot of new announcements. That the Switch may get lost in the midst of everything. That Nintendo may not be trying.

Then within the first half of the presentation, several announcements happened.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 got some screen time initially, but what followed immediately was not only a look at a new Kirby game, but two key announcements that blew fans away. A new core RPG Pokemon title will be coming to a home console for the first time in twelve years, and Metroid Prime 4 will finally exist. Despite no footage or screenshots revealed yet, just the fact that there is a set-in-stone confirmation of these titles is enough to set hype thrusters to the max. More importantly, Nintendo brought another IP back from the dead! TWICE in the same E3! Do you see Microsoft doing that anytime soon with Banjo-Kazooie and Conker?

Then we got a mix of new announcements and details on the already-announced, such as Pokken Tournament DXFire Emblem Warriors, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (which, to be fair, was shown in-depth on Ubisoft’s stage prior to Nintendo’s showing), an untitled Yoshi game, the Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC packs, and Rocket League. Yes, Rocket League! That awesome multiplayer car soccer game. It’s coming to Switch with all of its features and then some. How cool is that? And yet, there’s more.

Remember that amazing-looking trailer for Super Mario Odyssey that Nintendo showed off back in January? Yeah, well it turns out it only scratched the surface of what this game will offer. The E3 trailer revealed that there’s way more to discover and admire! Topped with the very first vocal theme song for a Mario game, the Spotlight was a huge success.

As if that wasn’t enough, new game announcements were hidden within the Nintendo Treehouse presentations. There was a cute little arcade-puzzler about sushi named Sushi Strikers. Obviously the Metroid II and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga remakes were the bigger games. These aren’t just simple “remasters” either. Metroid: Samus Returns is developed from the ground-up with an all-new perspective, and Mario & Luigi features an extra campaign starring Bowser’s henchmen.

At that point, I felt more than full. I had no idea Nintendo would be dishing out so many game announcements like this. They effectively guaranteed that along with all of the games people already knew about, the Switch will receive huge heavy-hitters during its life. Also the 3DS’s library has yet to die anytime soon. This may as well also be considered as “The Year of Metroid“. To see an IP come back to the public eye with such vengeance is pleasantly astounding to me. I may even keep a close eye on Samus Returns as it gets closer to release!

Not everything was covered during E3, however. The whereabouts of Virtual Console is still a mystery and I’m sure there are other IPs that come to mind when it comes to Nintendo’s back catalog (Hi, F-Zero). For what has been brought to the table though, Nintendo’s presentation could only be seen as a genuine surprise. That’s more than I can say for other companies’ attempts to woo at E3.

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