Well, it looks like the end for Nintendo, right? Many consider the Wii U to be a failure, 3DS sales have stalled, and the release calendar for the rest of 2016 is pretty barren. On top of all of this news, Nintendo recently announced it would only be showing one project at E3 2016: The Legend of Zelda for Wii U. Not only that, but Nintendo announced that Link’s next adventure and Nintendo’s next console, the mysterious NX, have both been scheduled for March of 2017. E3, the time of year Nintendo is supposed to wow us with all of its new software, will only have one game showing. Don’t forget that it will only be presented on the current system which is going to be replaced in less than a year.
Let the floodgates of negativity open! Write the articles about how Nintendo should become a third party so we can all play Metroid on our PlayStations! Post the videos complaining about the lack of content and innovation! Run down the street yelling about the House of Mario burning down in flames!
And when you’ve done all that, calm down and come to your senses. Nintendo is going to be just fine. Before you turn to the message boards and cry “It’s SEGA all over again!” here are a few things to keep in mind.
At E3 2012, Nintendo took the stage and unveiled the long awaited console that would push Nintendo into the HD era of gaming: the Wii U. Confusion over the new system knocked Nintendo down, and it seems it’s still trying to stand back up. Nintendo most likely looked at everything that went wrong at this presentation and made the decision to do everything different for the next cycle. For starters, the name “Wii U” confused lots of potential buyers. Was it an add-on to the Wii? Was it a whole new console? No one seemed to know. Nintendo has already clarified this by stating that the NX is not the successor to the Wii U; it’s an all new concept.
Fans have been clamoring for Nintendo to return to the stage at E3 since 2012, the last live stage show before moving to a digital-only model. Nintendo’s refused to do so, likely because it still feels the sting of the poor reception and poor presentation of the Wii U at the final live press conference. That was a long history lesson for a rather simple point; Nintendo wants to avoid the mistakes it made with the Wii U when ushering in a new home console.
Why would Nintendo reveal the NX in June when it would have only a share of the press and media coverage that surrounds E3? Why not wait until September or October when Nintendo would have the attention completely focused on the new system? Not only would the eyes of the gaming world be staring solely at the NX, but the games would surely be in a better state to present. Although it means waiting right now, Nintendo’s decision to keep quiet about the NX for now will ultimately lead to a better unveiling for the console.
I truly do not understand the uproar that ensued following the announcement that the new Legend of Zelda game would be the only game shown by the Big N at E3. It seems people only reacted to the number of games, not what game it was. This is Zelda! The game Wii U owners have been waiting for since the announcement of the system! The footage we’ve seen so far has been rather limited, but my jaw has dropped every time we’ve gotten even the smallest glimpse of that gorgeous field. And it’s more than just the visuals that have left such an impression.
Simply, the promises Producer Eiji Aonuma and his team have made were enough to make my excitement go through the roof. The new Zelda will take influence from western game design, meaning it will feature an open, expansive world that Zelda has not seen in years. While past games in the franchise have always felt big, the objectives were always very rigid and linear. For the first time since the original titles on the NES, Zelda fans will get to explore a world and complete objectives with little direction, which is an extremely thrilling prospect. There is so much about the new Zelda we don’t yet know, and light will be shed on these questions in June. Don’t be disappointed Nintendo is only showing off one project; be excited that Nintendo’s best franchise is back, and hopefully better than ever.
Even though we have to wait almost a year for Zelda, there are still exciting titles on the horizon for Nintendo fans. In June we’ll play the next Kirby adventure and finally discover for ourselves what Tokyo Mirage Sessions is about. Monster Hunter hits in July, with Metroid coming in August. The next entry in the Ace Attorney series releases in September. Come November, we’ll all be trying to catch ‘em all in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Don’t forget that a new Paper Mario title and two Dragon Quest games are on the way as well. Plus, by the end of this year we’ll be walking around with both Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing in our pockets!
I understand that the delay of Zelda and the lack of information on the NX seems frustrating now, but there really is no reason to worry. Yes, we’re waiting longer than we’d like, but Nintendo’s decision to wait will pay off in spades for both Zelda and the NX. While the time passes, there’s still plenty to enjoy on Nintendo platforms in the coming months. Nintendo is simply trying to avoid the mistakes that led to the poor reception of the Wii U, and I don’t blame them. I know that come March 2017, I will be skipping in to my local game shop in my new Nintendo Vans to pick up the game that will redefine The Legend of Zelda franchise. And even though I can wait a little longer, I can’t wait to dive into the new adventure.