What I want from E3: Nintendo

It’s down to just hours until the annual videogame crazy season that is E3, where announcements come so thick and fast that both the attendees and those watching it all online are left struggling to take it all in.

Everyone has expectations of what they’d like to see from their favourite game studio: some want a whole new console, others just want a much-loved older series to be given a reboot. Here’s my wish-list for Nintendo at E3.

New home console

Yeah, yeah we all know that it’s the most open-secret of this year that Nintendo will be announcing a new home console to succeed the Wii. But just what secrets are up the collective sleeve of Shigeru Miyamoto and his colleagues?

Firstly I’d like to see the obvious:

1.The console presents HD visuals

  1. It is at least as powerful as a PS3
  2. Blu Ray drive would be rather nice too

Rumours of an all-new control mechanic have been trumpeted by many. A tablet-style touch screen and buttons combination, with a camera, is the most common rumour presented. Whatever the control scheme, it’s almost a certainty it will be innovative and surely leaves jaws on the floor. Hopefully those jaws will be there for positive reasons rather than shock.

Picture playing a new Zelda where the dungeon map is presented on the bottom screen and (just like in the DS’ Phantom Hourglass) notes can be made or areas arrowed on this map. Inventory management can all be done on the games controller, with no need to pause the action to change items or weapons. Or a Lens of Truth where the player can hold the controller up and use it as a window to unveil hidden items, rooms etc. that are hidden from the main view displayed on screen on screen.

That’s just me thinking off the top of my head after playing some DS Zelda this morning. If a tablet style control scheme is to come, then the possibilities for developers to implement this in unique and challenging ways is staggering.

Launch games for any new console are obviously crucial, here’s hoping for a big Nintendo franchise to be the star turn of the new console’s line-up. Surely a lesson was learned with the somewhat lacklustre 3DS launch titles.

Metroid, Mario and Smash Bros for 3DS

My 3DS sits there, puppy dog eyes out, begging to be played with. Apart from the odd dog walk in Nintendogs or a little bit of balloon collecting in Pilotwings, my shiny new black console just sits there.

I checked the Activity Log on the console, in first and second place on my most played chart are Pokemon Black and Super Scribblenaughts. Nintendogs is third, followed by Pilotwings in fourth. My addiction to collecting people to use in StreetPass Quest is what keeps the console in my bag.

What I need is a real heavy hitter franchise, Ocarina of Time will keep me busy for the summer but I want something fresh to play come the winter months. The debuts of Samus Aran, Mario and the Smash Bros posse would certainly liven things up. Three may be asking for too much, I’d settle for now to see Metroid and Mario announced.

A 3D Metroid is a great fit for the console. Taking inspiration from Metroid: Other M, Samus could operate on both 2D and 3D planes. Classic 2D Metriod exploration mixed with some first person shooting would go down a storm. With the impressive design of Faceraiders, 3DS gamers could control Samus’ vision using the accelerometer as they move around a 3D room filled with enemies to destroy. Granted, it’s not something that could be played easily on the bus, but it would be a new experience dressed in the clothes of a familiar game. An optional accelerometer-focused control could be a fun addition.

Mario on 3DS could go either way, a New Super Mario Bros style game on 3DS would be nice, but a proper Mario 64-esque adventure has the potential to be rather epic. I experienced in Pilotwings just how pleasing a 3D effect is when judging distance and landing, in a Mario game this new sense of perspective would be revelatory. Fingers are crossed for a strong Mario game to really show off the 3DS’ capabilities.

Something to be really excited for

It feels like a while since I’ve really anticipated anything from Nintendo. I was excited for the 3DS, but not in any way as much as what I felt when counting down the days to the Gamecube or the original DS. Perhaps a new console, shown off in the most teasingly sensational way possible, will light that fire again and have me circling launch day fervently on my calendar once more. There’s always a big surprise at E3, the shocked faces of attendees playing 3DS from last year’s show being a particular highlight, perhaps this year it’ll again be Nintendo’s.


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