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Nintendo’s 2008– err, 2011 E3 conference: What’s old is old again

June 7, 2011
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I haven’t followed E3 very much since about 2008. In fact, I haven’t been following much of the gaming industry at all since then. (Can i be blamed?)

So it’s been an ironic surprise that, in my lack of awareness that E3 was happening this morning, nothing much has changed in my absence. Seriously. Sony’s still improving what they do well, Microsoft is still going after a Wii-esque audience, and Nintendo has yet to learn the definition of ‘innovation.’

Nintendo – in its continued futile attempts to regain the respect of the most hardcore audience in gaming’s history – is actually harping on the same old tune from 2008: “we want our hardcores back!” Now it’s mixed with a little bit of “sorry about that (but not really),” bringing out a 2nd Wii console that adds YOU to the mix. More specifically, ‘U.’

The console might be ‘new,’ in a technical sense, but the message is still the same. Rather, the messages:

The philosophy of “Deeper and Wider Gaming” is Nintendo’s new foundation for the future. They hope to “serve every player” equally and expand its audience to “everybody.” The new “gaming companion” console looks set to change the dynamics of the videogames medium in many new ways.

Sounds awful familiar, don’t it? It do, it do. In fact, you could simply place the word “Wii” above that paragraph and an innocent bygamer would never guess that Nintendo is promising something new here. Let alone a next-step version of their flagship console.

The message is muddled in contrast to other Nintendo exec statements from years back. For example, this gem from Reggie in 2009:

…I think it’s a mistake to say that we’ve ignored the gamer or that we don’t have products for the core gamer. I mean, New Super Mario Bros. has every gamer excited. Just the little tidbits that we’ve shown about the new Zelda for Wii has gamers tremendously excited. We’re going to continue to bring great content both to that experienced player as well as the brand new player, and that’s what we do really well.

If you did it really well, Reggie, you’d probably not be crying over core gamers complaining about what you’re giving them. Just a thought.

In all honesty, I don’t see anything to be excited about in this year’s E3 promises on the Nintendo side. Not that i’m looking for them, but it has to be comically insulting to those gamers who follow them with bated breath and clenched buttcheeks. Maybe they still drink the Kool-aid, thus are unaffected.

But I can’t fathom myself paying for the same console twice, or its controller for that matter– which is basically a fat PS Vita in white. Another underpowered system with hair-brained gimmick peripherals which will never meet anything close to the full potential proposed. Nintendo has made an absolute killing on the myth of potential ever since the DS; that is the real message to be obtained here.

More and more Nintendo prove that handhelds are what they do best, while consoles no longer are. Hence, the home handheld! Genius, Nin. We’ll see how that mashup goes. Or doesn’t.

Let’s take the time machine back to 2008 to see how much hasn’t changed in Nintendo’s false marketing.

Scary, isn’t it?… Not nearly as much as a Cammie Dunaway smile.

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