E3 is rapidly approaching, and it’s set to a be big year. The early part of a new console generation is always an exciting time, and big game announcements are almost a guarantee as more and more developers shift their focus solely to new consoles. While Microsoft and Sony will be touting the success of their new machines and giving us a taste of the games that we’ll be playing on them in the near future, Nintendo is in a very different position. It’s no secret that the Wii U is not doing well at all and Nintendo desperately needs to turn things around. At this point there is almost no chance of the Wii U “winning” this generation, but it’s not too late for it to at least be a moderate success. If the Wii U’s fortunes are to improve, this E3 is crucial for Nintendo.
The struggles of the Wii U were not exactly a surprise, as many were predicting it would perform poorly even before it was released. With it’s lack of power relative to the competition and release date in-between generations, many were dubbing it the next Dreamcast, and given its performance so far that comparison seems accurate. However, even with its underpowered specifications, underutilized and feature-light tablet controller, and poor third party support, there is one thing that could turn things around fast; Nintendo games.
It’s no secret that Nintendo games are what sell Nintendo platforms, and the output of major installments in Nintendo’s core franchises has been few and far between in the first year and a half of the console’s life. The number one most thing standing between the Wii U and even modest success is a steady steam of high quality Nintendo games, and that should be their top priority at E3 this year. If Nintendo were to announce three or four Wii U entries in their big franchises during their E3 presentation this year, things would start looking up immediately.
Metroid seems like an obvious candidate for a new console installment considering it’s been several years since Metroid Other M, and even longer since the last good Metroid game, Metroid Prime 3. It also goes without saying that an announcement for a new Zelda game would go a long way towards sparking interest in the Wii U, and considering that Skyward Sword was released back in 2011 now certainly seems like the time to at least announce the next console Zelda game.
Now, whether or not Nintendo has these games in development has nothing to do with E3 (though if they don’t their problems are even bigger), but the point is they should be announcing everything they’re working on. With the Wii U’s abysmal numbers they need to generate interest any way they can, and letting gamers know that Zelda, Metroid, and any other major games are indeed coming would go a long way toward enticing people to jump in, even if the games are a ways off.
While you may say that showing these games at E3 isn’t that important and that the games actually coming out is what will help turn the Wii U around, but that’s underplaying the power of E3. E3 is a time when gamers around the world turn their attention to the three console makers hoping to be wowed. A great E3 showing is more than just announcing the upcoming slate of games, it’s a when everyone can get excited together. If Nintendo shows of bunch of Wii U games that get everyone excited, more people are going start to think positively about the system and maybe even consider a purchase. The Wii U has a long road ahead of it if there is any hope of a recovery, and that road starts at E3 2014.