Nintendo, nintendo, nintendo. The conference I wanted to blow me (away) more than all others left me the most apathetic. We knew a new console was coming out, but we never knew it would be called the Wii U—lots of rhyming just then. The problem with this new console is they never explicitly showed the console; they only focused on the new controller, which looks like a child's "my first tablet." Calling it a tablet is a bad comparison because it is not a tablet; it is simply a receiver for the console—an obvious way to keep cost down. There are some potentially interesting utilizations of this new system, but Nintendo has yet to show me a reason to buy the Wii U or even be interested, but they have until 2012 to wake me up before they go-go.
Games, you say? There were games, but nothing surprised me and the entire conference lacked excitement—besides the opening with Miyamoto showing he's Tom Hanks in Big. Nintendo acted like we would be surprised by a Mario 3DS game or a new Super Smash Bros., but I wanted to see something new, not the same old, same old. I also can't deny the difficulty in finding excitement from the 3DS when I can buy a PlayStation Vita for the same price. There was a tease of Zelda in HD—which looked absolutely beautiful—and a big push for third party support on Wii U, but support means nothing if people continue to purchase these games on other consoles, especially if they don't release day and date with their competitors. Another issue is the actual controller, which doesn't look comfortable and comfort is not something I would give up for an inventory screen. I do want to quickly go back to Zelda as I was disappointed by the lack of an actual anniversary collection, but I am extremely giddy over the announcement of a Zelda concert tour—Zelda always featured some of the best video game scores.
The overall conference was weird and full of odd bullet points. Is it really that amazing to have a controller with a screen that allows you to check your weight without the need to use a big-screen television? Nintendo seems to think so. Reggie Fils-Aime was all "punny," rarely funny and didn't sell his product as well as he's done in the past. The use of Miis in a New Super Mario Bros. game is apparently innovative and Luigi's Mansion 2 is announced for the system without a perfect flashlight controller. It was a very bizarre conference and less exciting than I expected—a poor way to end the big conferences. When it's all said and done, the Wii feels left behind; the Wii U is weird, interesting, intriguing, but for 2012; and the 3DS is the current star in need of support. My happiest moment was seeing Darksiders II get some mainstream exposure at one of the big three conferences—the one I least expected.