E3 2005: How NOT to make a press conference, Nintendo

You only get one chance a year, and Nintendo blew it. Their pre-E3 press conference was nothing short of a debacle, as the company seems stubborn to reveal any concrete details on what exactly it is they have planned. Whereas Sony is showcasing some of the most graphically impressive demos we've ever seen, Nintendo lets us know that on their new hardware, we can play the 20-year old Super Mario Bros.

The idea of being able to play Nintendo's entire library is intriguing… until you start to think. Obviously, ROM's of these games are available free right now all across the internet. No word has been set on cost for these downloads, but even still, why would you pay, at minimum, $150 for a new system to play classic games when you can do that on the very computer you're reading this from? Licensing issues will prevent countless games from being available, including numerous movie based games and other assorted licensed titles. In fact, just about any third party game could be excluded.

They claim this idea will draw in casual, hardcore, and new people into the industry. The casual people are looking for a brief experience, and will head for Madden or the latest entry from Rockstar. In other words, the titles they know. The hardcore gamer has likely played every game they'll offer, or even own them. New people won't grasp the concept of buying a new piece of expensive hardware to play old games. Actually, nobody will. Even kids who have grown up in the Playstation era will take one look at Excitebike and move onto to something that looks cool for their friends.

The system they showed was a prototype, and as of this very moment, all the world knows is that is can play classic games. They skirted over announcements of a new Super Smash Bros., then faded away when the controller and new Miyamoto game was mentioned. Less than 24 hours previous, Sony blew the gaming world away, demonstrating exactly what gamers want in a next gen system with Killzone. Nintendo is selling you a NES game.

On the portable side, their new Game Boy Advance is just that: a Game Boy Advance. The Mini is a decent looking piece of hardware. Unfortunately, it plays the same games that the GBA, GBA SP, and DS all play right now, just with a smaller screen. If this is their plan to conquer Sony (as indicated by Reggie Fils-Aimes snide comment towards the competition), they have already failed.

The simple fact is Nintendo blew their chance. They showed me, as a die hard gamer, absolutely nothing as to what they're going to provide me with in this generation other than 20-year old games I already own. Even though Microsoft's press conference was a disappointment as well, at least they offered a glimpse as to their strategy and games. Nintendo desperately needs direction after the Gamecube fell off the radar, and it still seems like they're unsure of what to do next.

Comments (1)


i like the nice use of blind bias in your article. mmm, can't you just taste killzone already? i'm sure it'll be just as great as the last one, and look exactly like that pre rendered video sony showed us.

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