We tweeted a mix of anger and disappointment yesterday during Nintendo’s press conference at E3. There were so many basic errors on show. The Wii U may have a bright future, it may not. No-one knows these things until they’re released into the wild and the market has given its judgements through cold hard cash.
But the market seems to have already given it a massive thumbs down. We awoke today to news that Nintendo’s share price has fallen to a five-year low, plummeting 5.7 per cent and seeing over 2 million shares sold. What that means in layman’s terms is that investors were disgusted with what they saw at E3, lost faith in Nintendo and let them know about it. We think we know why – Reggie…
The Reg Factor
Well, not just Reggie. The whole Nintendo presentation stank from start to finish. And it could have been so much better – we were treated to a fantastic opening Zelda montage to celebrate the series’ 25th anniversary, accompanied by beautiful music from a wonderful orchestra.
Then it all went downhill. Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto came on stage with his translator, with both speaking at the same time and clambering all over each others’ lines. Instead of information about Skyward Sword, the hardcore who had waited for so long for new information were treated to Miyamoto dancing on stage like a madman. His gospel was nothing new – a few re-releases of old games, a gold Wii remote to commemorate the landmark and the orchestra touring. Nothing about Skyward Sword. Zzz…
Then along comes Reggie Fils-Aime to proclaim to the world that “Nintendo had listened”. The following hour proved that Nintendo hadn’t at all, causing in-the-know investors to jump ship like rats.
Showing off core first-party titles for the 3DS took up a hefty chunk of Nintendo’s presentation. And while the new games looked good, there’s only so many times you can get excited by a new Mario game, as fantastic as they are. This was the part of the pitch where your stomach lurched and you realised that all the rumours of GTA V exclusives and Nintendo investing in the hardcore market were about to evaporate.
A Star Fox 64 remake with tilt functionality. A new Mario Kart with karts that could hand-glide and grew propellers when underwater. For a company that prides itself on innovation, Nintendo didn’t half trot out some uninspired crap. Something about a 3D Pokemon and a Pokedex update – Reggie looked seriously in the camera as though he was revealing the Da Vinci code to an unknowing audience. Nintendo was dying on its feet.
Wii U? Pee-ew…
And then Nintendo did what it does best, blowing on its own trumpet as it revealed Wii U to muted gasps. The crowd and those of us watching were utterly confused – was this a new console or a new controller? Was it an iPad? Nintendo didn’t really care to explain clearly; a shoddy tech demo of a bird in flight looked average and unimpressive at best.
Third party games were announced such as Batman: Arkham City and Assassin’s Creed. There were a couple of cheers from the crowd, but come on, it was just a sign to us that Nintendo are hastily playing catch-up after being caught with its trousers round its ankles after dipping in the casual market for so long. And the Wii currently has Call of Duty games – who’s to say that these third-party titles won’t be terrible ports? We won’t for a while, especially with Nintendo keeping the Wii U’s specs under wraps.
Chaos and Confusion
Oh wait – so it actually is a console?? But you’ve chosen to concentrate on the controller again in the VT? Well done Nintendo, it looks OK, but stop patting yourselves on the back and tell it to us straight. Nintendo’s presentation was shocking, nothing short of confusing and uninspired. This E3 served to confirm that Nintendo is firmly encapsulated in its innovation bubble and refuses to leave it until it pops.
For a company that wants to bring everyone together, it sure has a horrible knack of pushing them away with its psychobabble. Nintendo haven’t listened at all, as Reggie so claims, and the sooner they fix their PR and stop talking to the public like Doc Brown does to Marty in Back to the Future, then a lot more investors are going to put their cash elsewhere.