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Feature Article

E3 Press Conferences, What Does Nintendo Need to Do

It's been a rough year for the Wii U, but Nintendo has rebounded from troubled console sales in the past. GameSpot's editors discuss what Nintendo needs to talk about at E3 to come out on top again.

Like last year, Nintendo is foregoing a traditional press conference at E3 in favor of a Nintendo Direct presentation, but that doesn't mean the company lacks for big announcements. E3 is going to be Nintendo's chance to show off how it plans to turn around the troubled Wii U and give gamers a glimpse at their upcoming NFC figurines and quality of life improvement ideas.

Microsoft and Sony may have more successful home consoles at the moment, but Nintendo has a history of bouncing back from adversity (especially looking back at the crazy, surprise success of the original Wii). We've already written about what games we want to see on Wii U and 3DS at E3, but here's what some GameSpot editors feel the company needs to discuss at the show to reassure fans Nintendo is on the right track.

Never Bet Against Nintendo - Edward Makuch

It's no secret that the Wii U is struggling, but as Nintendo says: a single game can alter the fate of a platform. By the time Nintendo's E3 briefing takes place on June 10, Mario Kart 8 will have already provided a nice sales jolt for the Wii U in the US (much like it did in the UK), and Nintendo needs to capitalize on this opportunity to advance the platform's momentum in a meaningful way. Nintendo can do this by giving us details on powerful exclusive franchises (New Legend of Zelda, 3D Mario, and Metroid perhaps), as well as games that leverage the Wii U's GamePad in unique ways. The GamePad can open up new and exciting ways to play, and Nintendo needs to show us why we should care about the tablet-like peripheral.

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Nintendo also needs to not only give us more details about the NFC technology it's planning to introduce for Wii U, but more importantly, tell us why what Nintendo plans to offer is more meaningful than what Skylanders and Disney Infinity already let us do. There's also the matter of Nintendo's mysterious "quality of life" initiative, as well as Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's thoughts about the company wanting to be known as more than a games developer. Does Nintendo have an ace to play or are we in store for another "vitality sensor situation"? We'll find out soon.

Some Original Games Please - Mark Walton

It's safe to say Nintendo's Wii U isn't in the best place right now. Even the Gamecube--hardly regarded as a success--had sold nearly 10 million units compared the Wii U's six million by this point in its lifecycle. Alas, it's hard to see what Nintendo can do to pick up the pace. Third parties aren't exactly rushing to develop for the console, so it's all up to a strong first-party lineup to entice people towards a purchase.

But Nintendo's focus on established franchises like Zelda and Mario--which take a long time to develop--can only take it so far. A change in direction is sorely needed. There are some immensely talented people working for the company, and I'd love to see Nintendo announce some original games, and more regular releases, to make the Wii U a worthy alternative to the PS4 and Xbox One. A price drop would certainly help things along too. Maybe that could rekindle some of the magic that the much cheaper Wii had.

No Time Like the Present - Tom Mc Shea

How long does Nintendo plan on treading water? The Wii U is in a bad situation, and even though the 3DS houses countless great games, its time is also running short. We've seen just about every major franchise make its way to Nintendo's handheld already, so there just aren't many more blockbusters-in-waiting, unless we see sequels to the games that we just finished playing. Clearly, Nintendo needs to make a move, and there's no time like the present.

We already know that Nintendo is working on a quality of life platform, but considering that mystery device probably isn't related to video games, I don't think we'll see it at E3. Instead, we need to see the first glimpse of Nintendo's next console. Ideally, it would be a console that you could take with you--replacing both the Wii U and 3DS in one swoop--so no longer would Nintendo's internal teams have to fight among themselves. Rather, the best developer in the world would be able to combine its efforts in one place. Just imagine how many great games would appear on a console in which the entirety of Nintendo is focused just on it. Sounds pretty good, no?

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I Want Nintendo To Get Healthy - Dan Hindes

What I want to see from Nintendo is also what I have no interest in actually engaging with: its mass market experiences like Wii Fit and Brain Training. All Nintendo needs is just one of these on the Wii U to take off and become a system seller to get the console out of the red. Now, I have no personal interest in anything like Wii Fit or Brain Training, but the Wii U needs to be healthy so I can get more of the games I actually want to play - the Marios, Zeldas, and hey, maybe a full-featured Pokemon game on a home console, for once.

I doubt we're actually going to be seeing any of that this year, however. Nintendo has been hinting at its new quality of life platform--some combination of hardware and software that they seem completely unwilling to describe in further detail--signifying the company's new direction. That new direction is what we'll be seeing this year. Because if Nintendo is happy to fall back on Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. as system sellers for the core gamer, then E3 for Nintendo is going to be all about how they recapture that mass audience that it had in its grasp with the Wii.

You've read our thoughts, but what games do you think Nintendo needs to talk about to reassure its fan base? Let us know in the comments below!

And for even more E3 discussion, check out our full pre-E3 series:

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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