Of the big three publishers, Nintendo was the one with the least to hide at E3 2012. Its plans were fairly obvious: release the Wii U and try to get a jump on both the next generation as well as the whole second screen push.
The side story that's more interesting is how many third-party developers Nintendo can get on board. Nintendo hasn't been good for third party developers since the GameCube, with third-party publishers in particular suffering from amazing piracy levels on the DS and no software sales on the Wii. At E3 2012, Nintendo took steps to show that people want to buy games on its platform not made by Nintendo itself.
While Ken Levine's Bioshock Infinite might have slipped to next year, the Wii U actually boasted a reasonably large third-party launch line-up.
Action-RPG Darksiders II has been confirmed for launch, as has last year's amazing Batman: Arkham City re-branded Batman Arkham City Armored Edition. The interesting thing about this version of Batman is that the the player uses the WiiU Gamepad to interact with the game in a way that really makes sense. Batman uses gadgets and the WiiU Gamepad may be the ultimate gamer gadget.
Later releases will include Tekken Tag Tournament, Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon Online, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, FIFA, Metro: Last Light, Dirt Showdown, F1 2012, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Aliens Colonial Marines, Rayman Legends, Lego City Stories, Killer Freaks From Outer Space, Project Cars, Dragon Quest X and Project Nova.
Check out the best of the games announcements made at E3 2012 in our video round-up:
Despite this, Nintendo's gamble on that controller could pay off, as the combination of a touch-screen, traditional controller and motion sensitivity could be used for just about anything - if developers feel its worth spending their time doing so.
Add in the possibility of cross-platform play with the 3DS, which Smash Bros' Sakurai hinted at earlier in the year, and the device will have three different controllers - though it's a pity it can only cope with one Wii U controller at a time.
Not that this matters; as we said, people just want to play Mario, Zelda or Pokémon. To that end Nintendo announced that not only will Mario be available at launch in the form of Super Mario Brothers U, but also Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon. Since this press conference was all about the WiiU, Nintendo showed how players will use the new console and Gamepad to play games solo or via multiplayer.
Boasting one of the more hardcore fanbases in all of gaming, fans at the press conference were extremely excited to hear about NintendoLand. Essentially a compilation of minigames from Nintendo's storied history.
Nintendo says that WiiU will do three things: change your gaming, change the way you interract with your friends, and change the way you watch TV. Boasting asymmetric gameplay that should enable gamers to seamlessly play on the TV or the mobile device, Wii U's challenge isn't to defeat the existing consoles - it matches them in terms of power - but to convince third party developers that they can sell their games on it, and the public that the new controller is worth picking up a new console for.
Nintendo didn't mention pricing, but they did announce that the WiiU will support up to two of the new Gamepad controllers. Of course, we have no idea how much it will cost.
Much of that depends on the price, which Nintendo won't be revealing at E3. Despite that, if any company is the favourite to win E3, it's Nintendo.
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