Simply put: the Nintendo E3 Direct was very disappointing. There were some good announcements but overall it was underwhelming. It wasn’t awful by any means but it didn’t even come close to last year’s Nintendo E3 presentation. So what went wrong?
Lackluster 3rd party support
The Nintendo E3 Direct opened on a strong note. A new IP Daemon X Machina. 3rd party exclusives are always welcome, especially if they look this good. Sadly it sent a false notion that we were going to see proper 3rd party support during the direct, but frankly this did not happen.
We got some indie games, which is expected at this point. Nintendo Switch is regarded as the indie machine of choice. There weren’t many surprises though, most of the indy games shown such as Wasteland 2 or Ark: Survival Evolved were announced months ago.
We did get a Dragon Ball FighterZ announcement which was cool, but it felt like they didn’t spend enough time on it. It was just part of the showreel which did not feel right, especially considering it was one of the most demanded games for the Switch!
Apart from that, the only really big announcement was Fortnite. It’s a huge game so it’s a good addition to the Switch’s library, but I don’t feel like it was enough.
Where were Bethesda, Ubisoft and Capcom? All these companies that Nintendo supposedly has a good relationship with. Companies that said that their games sold well on the Switch. This really brings in to question the Switch’s position in this generation of consoles, and if it really can be considered a competitor to PlayStation 4. Or even the Xbox One.
One thing is sure, the Nintendo E3 Direct brought uo more questions than it answered.
Where are all the 1st party games at?
First party games are the pillars upon which each generation of Nintendo consoles is built on. The Nintendo Switch’s first year proved that fact. Thanks to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo sold more Switches in it’s first year than they sold Wii Us in its life time.
Yet the first year has ended and the 1st party support seems to have droppe massively. What have we really got this year so far? Mario Tennis, Kirby Star Allies? New entries in much lesser series, which are cool but are not system sellers. We got some re-releases as well such as Hyrule Warriors and Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. Both great games, which were good fillers for the first half of the year, but we all hoped for something huge in the latter.
Which we didn’t get. Fire Emblem was announced during Nintendo Switch reveal and has now been delayed to 2019. We also got an announcement about a new Mario Party game which will be coming October 5th this year. Yet, Mario Party is still not a system seller. This leaves Pokemon Let’s Go! and Super Smash Bros Ultimate.
Pokemon Let’s Go! is clearly catered towards casual players and Smash is more aimed at hardcore Smash fans. Both are great franchises yet lack certain universal appeal that Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey had. There is no real mid-ground this year, which could have be filled with Animal Crossing, Metroid or Mario Maker yet unfortunately that’s not the case. It would not be a problem if there were more triple-A 3rd party games coming, but as we learned that is not happening.
Hmm… Something is missing?
Where is Yoshi and Metroid Prime? Both announced during last E3, and were no where to be seen thisttime round, which is worrying. Especially for Yoshi which was meant to come out in the first half of 2018.
The lack of Metroid Prime 4 is also quite worrying. We did not expect a full blown gameplay trailer but a cinematic one at the very least would be nice.
In conclusion?… Meh
The Nintendo E3 Direct was the most disappointing presentation of this E3 as they had most to prove. The Switch is relatively new console yet it has been a tremendous success up until now, with many thinking of it as the real competitor to the PS4. But without a good stream of 3rd party games and great 1st party titles Nintendo is slowly falling behind again. Switch is doing great right now sales-wise, but if they don’t step up their game people will move on. Super Smash Bros didn’t save Wii U, so lets hope Nintendo has something up their sleeves to showcase soon.