It was an interesting E3 this year. Initially I didn’t know what to think of the conference as I watched it live. Then straight afterwards we were hit with a bunch of announcements, many of which we were surprised they weren’t featured in the conference. We saw the reveal of the Wii U, but it wasn’t entirely a reveal like we’ve come to know from Nintendo. 2011 was different, but we need to remember that different isn’t bad.
I do tend to wonder whether live-blogging at the same time as watching it takes away your ability to fully appreciate it, but it seems that quite a wide number of viewers share the sentiment that the first time was blah. Upon rewatching, we could better appreciate what the conference offered.
Without doubt, the opening to the E3 conference stands out as one of the best E3 moments ever in ZI’s opinion. The lead in to the Skyward Sword trailer was pretty “epic”. The 25th Anniversary announcement that followed were, well, not as big as everyone had hoped. Ocarina of Time 3D and Skyward Sword we knew about. Link’s Awakening we knew was coming, and Four Swords was the fulfilment of our hopes.
Then there was the special Zelda Wii Remote Plus coming with Skyward Sword, the two CDs and live orchestra tours. All pretty great stuff, I think we were just expecting something physical. Not a compilation of games like for Mario’s 25th, but something where we could say we “have it”. Instead there is a whole barrage of things – not all of which are physical. Sure, we expected more, but what we’re getting is some great stuff. Besides, Miyamoto said there is still more to come.
The 3DS section of the conference itself was really entirely expected. Trailers, details and dates for Mario Kart 3D, Super Mario 3D, Kid Icarus and Starfox 64 3D. The disappointing part was that we expected more, but only those four were featured. Then came a standout moment when Luigi’s Mansion was revealed – the only real “out-of-nowhere” or “surprise” announcement.
The third part of Nintendo’s conference was the most interesting. The reveal of the Wii U was hard to digest, but was also done exactly how it needed to. Nintendo didn’t need flashy reveals. They explained the name, explained that the goal was to cater to all audiences and then backed up its capabilities with demonstrations. There was EA on stage, the graphic demonstration video and then hands on demos on the show floor. I didn’t understand what Nintendo was doing while watching this part of the conference live, but I later came to see that they chose a very specific strategy. Rather genius in my opinion.
The conference then concluded with a whole barrage of titles appearing on the screen. Some announced and some new. I’ve always loved Nintendo’s ability to still dominate E3 press conferences without even using some of the major titles they could during the conference. Last year it was Ocarina of Time 3D. This year there were so many like Kirby Wii, Mario Party 9 and others that I feel should still have been in the conference, but weren’t.
This E3 truly showed that both the DS and Wii are coming to an end. The DS is pretty much done, and understandably wasn’t featured in the conference – with only three new titles announced. The Wii on the other hand I feel deserved at least 10 or so minutes during the conference. It really seemed shunned aside for Wii U.
This conference seemed very rushed. Skyward Sword didn’t get a 20 minute segment like you would expect. Instead Nintendo focused the conference on the future – the 3DS and the Wii U. It is just like Nintendo to push ahead to the future. What we need to do with E3 this year is consider the whole package. The conference and the aftermath.
Personally, the moments immediately after the conference stood out to me. The e3.nintendo.com website exploded with new trailers, announcements, games and details not mentioned during the conference. It is sersiously pretty much the best site on the web at the moment. To get the full Nintendo E3 experience, the conference was really just intended to be “a part” of the show, which it is. The aftermath is part as well. Private developer conferences are a part of E3 too, where we learned more about Skyward Sword and Pikmin 3 for Wii U.
When we consider the whole package, Nintendo delivered at E3 this year in abundance and won out of the big three once again this year. It was just different. There were few memorable quotes or moments as Nintendo wanted to really concentrate on Wii U and the 3DS – also making Zelda announcements for the anniversary. The showfloor and aftermath allowed for them to share everything else they had.
All I can say in the end was that my body was not ready. Nobody can ever be ready for how Nintendo is going to do things, and nobody seemed to be this year. Last year saw title after title of software announcements before the reveal of the 3DS. This year saw a focus on the future of hardware, with some software.
As a site, we simply loved this E3. Not only because of Nintendo and what they delivered, but it being a big break out for us. Just like this year, we’ll be there next year. In the meantime stay tuned for all of the Zelda news and big Nintendo news until then. Check out below for a full recap of all of our E3 features for this year.
Countdown to E3
- 2 Hours Remain – Countdown to E3: Dawn of a New Day
- 4 Hours Remain – Countdown to E3: Top Five Anticipated Nintendo Games
- 8 Hours Remain – Countdown to E3: The Grand E3 Game Plan
- 12 Hours Remain – Countdown to E3: “My Body is Ready”
- 24 Hours Remain – Countdown to E3: ZI’s Official E3 2011 Predictions
- 36 Hours Remain – Countdown to E3: What Nintendo is All About
- 48 Hours Remain – Countdown to E3: Top Five Most Anticipated of E3 2011
- 60 Hours Remain – Countdown to E3: Nintendo’s Best Five E3 Pesentations
- 72 Hours Remain – Countdown to E3: What to Expect from Zelda at E3 2011
- 4 Days to Go – Countdown to E3: What to Expect from Nintendo at E3 2011
- 5 Days to Go – Countdown to E3: Zelda’s History at E3
- 6 Days to Go – Countdown to E3: Nintendo’s History at E3
- 7 Days to Go – Countdown to E3: Getting to Know Your Presenters – Miyamoto
- 8 days to Go – Countdown to E3: Getting to Know Your Presenters – Iwata
- 9 Days to Go – Countdown to E3: Getting to Know Your Presenters – Reggie
- 10 Days to Go – Countdown to E3: Did Nintendo Keep Their E3 2010 Promises?
- 11 Days to Go – Countdown to E3: What’s This E3 All About Anyway
- 12 Days to Go – Countdown to E3: My Five Favorite Days of the Year
- 13 Days To Go – Countdown to E3: Memorable Nintendo Staff Quotes
- 14 Days to Go – Countdown to E3: My 10 Favorite Nintendo E3 Moments
- 15 Days to Go – Countdown to E3: How Many Game Franchises Does Nintendo Have?
- 16 Days to Go – Countdown to E3: Relive Nintendo’s 2010 E3 Press Conference
Exclusive Impressions From E3
- Skyward Sword Impressions: Cutting Through the Hype
- Skyward Sword E3 2011 Demo Fan Q&A
- Skyward Sword E3 2011 Demo Fan Q&A, Take Two
- Super Mario 3D Impressions: Mario Grows a New Tail
- Luigi’s Mansion 2 Impressions: Check Out This Severely Subprime Real Estate
- Mario Kart 3D Impressions: Custom Karts, Hang Gliders, and More!
- Wii U Impressions: Made For U and Mii
- Kid Icarus Uprising Impressions: Feels Like a New IP
Exclusive Analysis and Thoughts
- Skyward Sword to Show the Founding of the Royal Family? – By Ben Lamoreux
- Skyward Sword: A Theorist’s Speculation – Round Two – By Dathen Boccabella
- Can Skyward Sword Provide a Balanced Zelda? – By Ben Lamoreux
- Zelda Has a Control Problem – By Ben Lamoreux
- Everything We Know About Wii U – by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
- Super Zelda Galaxy… err… I Mean Skyward Sword – By Dathen Boccabella
- Can Skyward Sword be the best Zelda to date? The Debate Rages On – By Nathan Rumphol-Janc
- Why Wii U is Genius By Dathen Boccabella
- Skyward Sword is Poised to be the Best Zelda Game Ever – By Alex Plant
- How Zelda on Wii U Could Ruin Zelda – By Dathen Boccabella
- Will Skyward Sword Be Ruined By Poor Controls? – By Dathen Boccabella
- Where I Think Zelda is Headed on Wii U – By Alex Plant