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E3: Nintendo and the Paradigm Shift


As the Electronic Entertainment Expo has seen a reduction in
size over the past two years, previous strategies have lost their
effectiveness. In 2006, when Nintendo unveiled their Wii console, fanatical
fans applauded rapturously and waited hours for a quick preview of the system.

But, as Nintendo was proclaimed a ‘paradigm shift’ in
Tuesdays’ press conference, the corporation needed to apply this theory to
their audiences. Gone from E3 are the fanboys, cosplayers, and assorted nuts that
would scream in a Pavlovian manner at the most ordinary of announcements. When
Nintendo announced Wii Sports: Resort, today’s crowd responded with forced
applause, a reaction that clearly bemused the corporation’s on-stage
executives.

Nintendo’s presentation began with the peppy Cammie Dunaway,
Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Dunaway unveiled Ubisoft’s Shaun White
Snowboarding
after a longwinded tale of a snowboarding accident that seemed to
leave the audience unaffected. The snowboarding game employed the Wiifit
balance board, which both Dunaway and White rode, Wiimote and Nuncheck-filled
hands flailing wildly.


Next, Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s President spoke of the corporation’s
recent success with the Wii and DS platforms. Iwata’s ideologies were in direct
contrast to Microsoft’s Don Mattrick; favoring long-term goals, innovation, smaller
budgeted games. To support this notion, Katsuya Eguchi unveiled Animal
Crossing: City Folk
, which seems to expand the social notions hinted at in
earlier entries of the franchise. To complement this interactivity Nintendo announced
the Wiispeak; a set-top microphone that is the equivalent of the Xbox Live
microphone.

Reggie Fil-Aime took the stage next to show three curious
titles- Star Wars: Clone Wars, Rayman Raving Rabbits TV Party, and Call of Duty
5: World at War
. None of these titles seemed particularly compelling, and
represented only a marginal improvement in the quality of third-party software.
 Then, Nintendo unveiled the Wii Motion
Plus, a device that plugs into the bottom of the Wiimote to increase
functionality. Fil-Aime then showed off the capability of the hardware by
staging a swordfight within WiiSports: Resort, but not before using the controller
to simulate a Frisbee throw. The audience seemed restless.


The show closed with a demo of Wii Music, a music game that
seemed to puzzle the crowd. Shigeru Miyamoto , creator of Mario Bros, played
the Wiimote like a saxophone, while a drummer used the balance board, Wiimote
and Nunchuck to create a jazzy rhythm.  The game, which seems more a tech-demo, allows
players to move controllers around to simulate one of fifty different musical
instruments. The only catch? It appears that gamers have to ‘play’
pre-determined songs; improvisation or even choosing a scale didn’t look like
an option. Players have to hit notes determined by the software; otherwise Wii
music might be a headache inducing jumble of sounds.

Still, Nintendo hasn’t completely lost touch with audiences-
its surprise announcement of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the DS set
off howls of approval from the crowd. Reggie even mentioned Wii critics who had
dismissed the Wii as a ‘fad’, expertly overcoming the objection before
closing the show. A few more moments like these would have had the audience sitting
on a Lakitu cloud, and cemented Nintendo chances with their smaller, more professional E3 audiences.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

65 comments

  1. Great overview. I miss the cosplay pics.

  2. ugh… wii music looks very boring…

  3. WTF is Miyamoto wearing? Sgt. pepper/Beatles gear?

  4. Is that Oprah in the top pic?

  5. Nice pics, man you guys were close, huh?

  6. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars just sounds like a fake title. How can this be done of the DS? It’ll be lame, I bet.

  7. Wait frisbee with a dog; that makes Wii play sound great.

  8. Why can’t the Wii have good titles? It’s just been disappointment after disappointment (and yes, I put Mario Kart and Brawl in that category as well).

  9. E3 wasn’t so great this year. ;_;

  10. Great review, Tech-gaming.

  11. Wii Music and Animal Crossing sound lame. And Raving Rabbit? Argh!!!!

  12. Highlight for me was animal crossing. Nothing else for me. Oh, I already have WiiMusic…I press play on my mp3 player and then I air guitar….what? WiiMusic only has crappy music with no vocals…nevermind.

  13. Wow, this was lamer than M$’s conference.

  14. Wat about Sony?

  15. Hmm, kind of sad.. No mention of DS redesign and what to do about Wii storage.

  16. Have to say it: Wii Music looked like crap.

  17. Awful. Simply awful

  18. Shaun White Snowboarding looked good.

  19. Good overview, sir(s). Keep up the good writing.

  20. Interested in what you think of the smaller E3 this year.

  21. i loved the first animal crossing

  22. Tired of hearing everyone complain about Nintendo’s briefing, as if they were expecting some great Zelda or Mario game to come out later this year. What did we get? A better control system, voice chat, Animal Crossing with hopefully good online capabilities, new Wii Sports, an interesting snowboarding game, Wii Music, and numerous other things. While storage is still somewhat of an issue, at any other place than E3 gamers would have been happy to hear these things. If a Zelda or Mario title came out this soon, would it not be half-baked? I’m not one of those fans who just blindly follows Nintendo despite their flaws; I just happened to watch all the briefings with an open mind.

  23. Wii music looked dumb and Nintendo gave me nothing to look forward to on the wii.

  24. Can’t wait to try the stuff you have reviewed at E3!

  25. More DS announcements would have been nice, Nintendo (for the few non-Wii folks out here).

  26. Gag me with a spoon.

    Some of these casual games are just novelty games. Why would I want to simulate throwing a frisbee when I can do the real thing quite easily?

    Wii Fit, though, was a stroke of genius , but I don’t know about Wii Music. If Wii Music was a pack in game, it would be ok but how many people will pay to play that game? Will they pack in a Wii Mote like they did with Wii Play?

    On the positive side, Animal Crossing and sword fighting looks fun.

  27. I guess it depends on whether you think Nintendo is making games for people to enjoy or making games just to make money.

    It seemed like some of the success in the past was caused by created those really fun games, people love years later. Hopefully Animal Crossing will be a game like that.

  28. Hmm… Wii Music looks alright. At least I don’t have to buy more plastic instruments…

  29. Great coverage. I am disappointed that no new Mario, Zelda, Pikmin, Metroid game was announced.

  30. Satoru Iwata>Any Microsoft Exec

  31. Very disappointing that there were no new titles for the heavy hitters. Was really hoping for Kid Icarus or a new Pikmin title. I think the Wii slips a bit this year.

  32. For some reason, I felt satisfied with the press conference. The casual audience has taken over the Wii and Nintendo is just adapting to them. If I want games geared for us hardcore gamers I’ll stick to my 360. For casual games that are fun to play with family, I’m sticking to my Wii. The fencing in Wii Sports Resort is gonna take over the long sessions of boxing we had at my house.

  33. Agreed. Nintendo has cornered the casual market. Microsoft shouldn’t even try to infringe.

  34. While I’m excited about the new add-on, I do hope they show Pikmin 3 soon.

  35. GTA brings the family fun!

  36. Wii Music = the music maker in Mario Paint

    Little kids will probably go bananas over it.

  37. This conference wasnt really FOR us. They have decided to use E3 as an event for the mainstream media and investors.

    You’re wrong if you think they are about to change their first party core release pattern, which has remained unchanged for 20 years.

    You get a Mario, Metroid, Zelda, etc game once or so a cycle.

  38. I was disappointed with Nintendo’s conference. Seems like they lost connection with the more hardcore gamers. GTA on DS sounds good though.

  39. I never thought Id see the day when GTA was coming out on a Nintendo console.

  40. GTA China Town sounds like a riot. I can’t wait to rent that.

  41. Wasn’t that the point of the article? That the press conference techniques haven’t changed since E3 was HUGE.

    I am content with everything announced.

  42. Boy he does look like a Japanese Schoolgirl in that pic…

  43. Was that first picture of Whitney Houston with a retainer? If you’re gonna be projected on the big screen wouldn’t you want to take your night braces off first?

  44. Glad to hear about GTA for the DS, I might actually pick that up when it comes out.

  45. I’m only somewhat interested in Animal Crossing, Star Wars, and Raving Rabbids 3, but even those are take it or leave it.

  46. Wow! The wii is seemingly outdoing itself. I don’t like the idea of wiimusic, too much though.

  47. Wii Music doesn’t even look like a game. The drummer guy was just wildly flaying his arm around. Absolutely no game that caters to a gamer.

  48. Animal Crossing will hold me over for the next few years.

  49. It was so embarrassing when the guy was drumming and nobody was cheering. :/

  50. What was that I heard about a new Pikmin? Just rumors? Or ‘leaked’ un-official news?

  51. m0rningbreakfast

    Nintendo, hoo-rah!

    from CAG

  52. Great opening picture.

  53. Can’t wait for animal crossing. Everything else seems pretty boring

  54. Cant wait for Animal Crossing. All the other things look boring

  55. Should be fun, I hope to get some more Wii friends before this comes out.

  56. You know, I’m slightly disappointed in WiiMusic’s performance. It looks way too much like a non-game.

  57. Yeah, Nintendo may be neglecting hardcore gamers now, but in the longterm they are creating more hardcore gamers.

  58. Nintendo just lost a lot of faith from the hardcore community. I hope they know what they’re doing.

  59. Wii music looks really boring and doesn’t even look any fun, Wii sports 2 on the other hand should be pretty good.

  60. I dont know what they are thinking with wii music, it looks absolutely horrible.

  61. It all seems pretty ho-hum to me. This is why I don’t have a Wii…almost nothing it has makes me want to own one, and so far there’s nothing coming in the near future that would either.

  62. Pretty boring conference but Nintendo def has some stuff behind doors that will be revealed sooner or later. Thanks for that in depth info though. Good job guys.

  63. I love the direction that Nintendo is going in.

  64. Let’s see if GTA DS delivers.

  65. I would like to thank you and appreciate you for the efforts you have made in writing this blog.