As has become tradition, Nintendo caps off the major conferences before E3 becomes just about showing off gameplay on the show floor. Nintendo doesn't appear on stage, but instead delivers a Direct, giving a recorded showcase of upcoming games and content. The veteran company also had the shortest conference, especially if only compared to Sony and Microsoft. Were their 25 minutes enough to really get people excited and the conference be considered a success?
Following their Switch promotional video, Nintendo started things off by not listening to the advice they heard when Breath of the Wild's English voice dub was shown off. The Xenoblade Chronicles 2 trailer featured some really terrible English voice acting, so hopefully the game ships with a language switch option. What followed after was a world premiere of an upcoming Kirby game for 2018. A fair amount of gameplay was shown which, for this Kirby fan, looked like a lot of fun.
Nintendo also talked by by far their most successful game on the Switch, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. E3 really isn't the place for showing off DLC, especially not when you have such a tight 25 minutes to fill. However, given how content barren the Switch is right now, and how popular Breath of the Wild is, it can be forgive. Along with digital content, they also showed off some upcoming Amiibos for the game.
They capped things off with a delightful trailer of Super Mario Odyssey. Fans have been really excited for this game, eager to see more of the game world and what Mario can do, and they got both. The gameplay trailer leads into the Treehouse's live demonstration of the game, giving a lot of content to be seen. What got me most excited wasn't so much the ability to possess objects, living or otherwise, but that Pauline, Mario's first squeeze, has become Mayor of the city!
Now, aside from Super Mario Odyssey, the games everyone will be talking about are the games that we saw nothing of: A new core Pokemon RPG for the Switch and Metroid Prime 4. As great as it is to hear these games are in development, their announcement was simply preemptive damage control. Clearly, Nintendo doesn't have anything to show for these games yet, which is fine. However, they knew that people wanted to know two things: 1) What are they doing with the Metroid series, and 2) Will a mainline Pokemon game be coming to the Switch, especially after failing to get that info from the earlier Direct?
Hearing these two titles are in development is satisfying to know, but Nintendo can't be graded on games that might come out. We have no idea how far along these games are, and a lot can happen between now and their projected release. Microsoft proved with Phantom Dust, and even Scalebound, that until the game has gone gold, you can't rely on it coming out.
Nintendo's short format means there's not much to talk about, as much as the conference is concerned. That means that with overall less content, the negatives count for more than they would in other conferences. Still, it wasn't like Nintendo bombed. They met expectations, nothing more.
Every conference starts with an average grade of C. As time goes on, the grade lowers or raises, depending on what happens. Because of it's length, Nintendo didn't have much runway. Had there been some Metroid Prime 4 or Pokemon footage, then their grade would be a lot higher. Those games were surprises, and people would have loved to have seen something more than a confirmation. By the end of the conference, Nintendo had barely earned a plus to their C average. However, the Treehouse that followed immediately after did show off in depth Mario gameplay. The Treehouse isn't technically part of the conference, so Nintendo only gets half credit, but it was enough to just barely eek out a better grade. While this means they pass, it also means they didn't pass with flying colors. B-
|+ We know the fate of Metroid!||– "Yea, yea, we're working on it…"|
|+ Super Mario Odyssey looks delightful and fun.||– Quality did not make up for lack of quantity.|