Nintendo has the most to prove this year. It’s newest console, the Wii U, is lagging behind the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Unfortunately, the problem is largely about hardware. Nintendo tried to sell the Wii U by promoting the GamePad, a controller/tablet hybrid that comes with each system. Unfortunately, gamers seem little interested in the giant controller.
Nintendo will undoubtedly have great games at E3. It always does. We’ll see more of Hyrule Warriors, an action-oriented take on the Zelda series, and we’ll likely get our first real look at the next proper entry in the Zelda series as well. We’ll also likely see more of the next Super Smash Bros., and we’ll definitely get at least one new character reveal.
But, again, Nintendo’s problem with the Wii U isn’t really about the software. It already has great games, including the recently released Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World. Sure, more would help, but it won’t give Wii U the boost it needs to start competing with Microsoft and Sony.
Expect Nintendo to do something drastic with the Wii U. Maybe it’ll follow Microsoft’s lead and drop the game pad as a mandatory accessory. Maybe it’ll use its extensive catalog of retro classics to make a streaming service. Still, don’t expect to already see Nintendo write the whole thing off and introduce a new system. That move would garner a lot of ill will from those who already adopted a Wii U, and console development is expensive. Nintendo will stick with and try to fix its newest system.
However, we do know that Nintendo plans to introduce a health-based machine to the market. While such a device could be a hit with nontraditional gamers, it wouldn’t exactly get the E3 crowd excited. We could learn a bit more about this initiative this week, but we probably won’t see anything substantial.
Of course, the portable 3DS is still doing fine. However, since the Wii U needs so much attention, don’t expect Nintendo to touch much about the handheld during E3. We’ll likely see some more of Pokémon Alpha Ruby and Omega Sapphire and some other exclusives, but don’t expect anything earth-shattering.
That pretty much does it. Whatever we’re expecting or hoping for, we’ll all find out soon enough. Brace yourselves, the E3 madness is nearly upon us.