Gaming

Nintendo’s Been Killing It This E3 Conference

From being open with third party developers, to showing up at Ubisoft’s E3 conference – Nintendo has been killing it during this years convention.

Heading into this years E3 conference, there were a lot of eyes on Nintendo and its E3 performance. With the Switch doing well, the company had to provide a picture of the consoles future that matched the reality. Even the most hardened of Nintendo critics must admit that heading out of E3, Nintendo did a great job of winning over skeptics across the board. It might not have “won” E3, but it certainly made the most of it.

From Miyamoto appearing during Ubisoft’s E3 conference, to allowing third-party developers to use the company’s characters for their own projects – Nintendo is showcasing an impressive willingness to play ball with everyone. The Switch has never looked so good and with so many quality offerings in the pipeline, it can only get better. I don’t like to say Nintendo “won” E3, but they certainly did all the right things to get noticed during the conferences.

It’s arguably in the third-party department where Nintendo really impressed me today though. Nintendo is doing the hard work, securing major third-party offerings for its console that matter. Mario + Rabbids seemed like a bad joke until it was unveiled, now many Switch owners can’t wait to play it. By allowing Ubisoft to take the reins, Nintendo gained more exposure and a lot of positive praise. You could see the passion from the team at Ubisoft during the games unveiling – you can tell that they want this game to be amazing. It’s that kind of reaction that will endear Nintendo to non-Nintendo fans.

Moves like allowing Minecraft Switch users to play with Xbox One users is huge. While PS4 users begrudge PlayStation for not allowing their version of Minecraft to play nicely with rest – Nintendo Switch users can jump right in. Nintendo is working with Microsoft openly, because it understands it needs to do better. Rocket League was announced during the stream – it too will play nicely with other versions of the game. This approach will bring users to Switch – it’s a clever move by Nintendo.

It goes beyond this as well. Games like Skyrim and FIFA may not be the system sellers many scream for, but they certainly help to diversify the Switch’s offerings. It shows a willingness from third-party developers to give Switch a fair shout – and the number of positives Switch encountered from third parry developers can’t be overstated.

All of this only backs up the already exciting lineup of first party titles on show. One of the biggest fears around Nintendo Switch was if it could keep that momentum going. Since launch, the console has enjoyed impressive sales figures – but those were built off the back of games released on Wii U. For Switch to survive into the long-term, Nintendo had to ensure that it could deliver quality games well into the future – and it did that at this years E3 conference.

The showcase focused mainly on first party offerings, but it was sheer quantity of these that was noteworthy. Titles like Kirby, Yoshi and Fire Emblem are strong outings for Nintendo fans, providing enough quality to help tide the device over. They won’t win over Call of Duty fans, but they may help to pad out the consoles release schedule at a time when users are looking for something different or something to play on the go.

Of course the big fish in the pond is the upcoming Mario Odyssey, which looks leaps and bounds ahead of the franchises previous offerings. Nintendo knows this is the main attraction for 2017, and Switch users will likely turn out in force to take the game up. I’m impressed by what I’ve seen from the game so far, which looks like it could be another winner for the company. Compared to Microsoft (Which lacks a true tent pole offering) and Sony (Relying heavily on Spider-Man), Mario looks like it could follow Breath of the Wild’s huge sales success.

With Metroid Prime 4 and a new core Pokemon game also in the pipeline, Nintendo certainly has a lot to be happy about heading out of this years E3 conference. It may not have the biggest names in the industry on board (Call of Duty WW2 and Overwatch remain illusive) but it’s got enough names and enough good will right now to really push forward. It’s a shame we know nothing about the services Virtual Console though, something that remains one of the biggest bugbears of the console at present.

But right now, Nintendo is moving in the right direction. It’s changing enough and embracing third-party’s enough to justify a look from casual fans. Hopefully this is the start of a great year for Switch and Nintendo, a launching pad to greater things. This was a great conference, Nintendo should be happy.

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