The Wii successor, Nintendo 3DS and more - come on bring the noise

We’re closing in on E3 2011 and for Nintendo it’s going to be a huge one. A new console is on the way, the Nintendo 3DS will get its second big showing and then there’s Zelda! But what do Nintendo need to show? With the feeling toward Nintendo at a bit of a low they need something special, something magic! I’ve again sat down with Tintin Mark Serrels from Kotaku AU for a bit of a banter about it.

MARK: E3 is rapidly approaching, and it should be a big one. I have to admit though, I’m most excited about what Nintendo bring to the table. What are you expecting? And do any of the recent rumours about Nintendo’s latest console hold any weight do you think?

VOOKS: I’m excited Nintendo’s going to be showing something for once! Nintendo have really neglected the Wii as of late and it’s beginning to show, everyone knows Zelda’s coming but we want something more! We all know the Wii successor is going to be shown off at E3, that’s really the only thing confirmed at this stage. I’m expecting nothing less then same as what we got for at E3 last year for the Nintendo 3DS. Showing off the latest ’thing’, what it does, the form factor, the controller and things like that.

Unless it’s truly revolutionary we won’t get a full demo of the online services or the OS or anything like.

 As for the rumours, to be honest some of them worry me. The controller with a 6" screen, streaming games to the controller all seem counter-intuitive to what Nintendo need. Things like HD and 1080p and high capacity disks though are good things and I hope those are true at least. Having the same power as the big HD consoles is a great thing it brings the system up to par with current generation games, however if they’re going to do another radically different controller or have ’streaming’ to controllers - third parties will again (outside special efforts) probably avoid the console or not devote it any serious development time.

None of this please.

MARK: The rumours worry me, because they seem to show a Nintendo that is reacting to the current market place situation, instead of being pro-active and really attempting to disrupt the market – which is what Nintendo does when it’s firing on all cylinders.
I honestly think the whole 6” screen rumour is false, and the reason is it simply seems far too derivative to be a concept that Nintendo would follow through on for their next major home console. The tablet market is about to be flooded with different products, and I don’t see Nintendo setting their stock on a product that looks and plays like other mainstream consumer tech.
I’m hoping to be blown away at E3. I’m hoping to see something completely new. But by the same token, I’m also preparing for disappointment. The 3DS hasn’t set the world on fire, and I’m starting to worry if Nintendo has lost touch with the innovative spirit that transformed the company with the DS and the Wii.

VOOK: Exactly, but I want Nintendo to take it further. I don’t simply want something different for the sake of being different. Motion controls for better or worse have changed the way we play games. This has resulted in some great immersive experiences and other times it’s left us with Wii Mini Game Compilation #435. I want Nintendo to really get up in there and shake things up but do so because they want to - not because they think they have to in order to compete.

You’re right about the tablet market. No matter how much people say Android tablets are great, Apple owns that space for the foreseeable future. Video game consoles while spreading to the masses starting with the Wii and now Kinect and Move, won’t even be able to touch the iPad, even in mindshare. Oh, and how much would a 6" screen controller cost? A Wii Remote is already $69 by itself!

As for the Nintendo 3DS, we need to see a few things from that and soon. Games being the first. Get the ball rolling Nintendo, we know Mario Kart, Paper Mario and Animal Crossing are on the way. We’ve been seeing them for a year now!

Forget those - show us what’s next. Mario (that’s confirmed), Starfox, F-Zero, Pikmin or hell even something new! Give people a reason to pick up their 3DS. At moment, there’s none. Ocarina of Time is on the way, but after that... when’s the next game? I haven’t seen a console turn so fast, the hype behind the 3DS has gone. They truly need to amaze us. The eShop, online and internet abilities of the console too need more than just the Virtual Console. Give us a reason outside StreetPass to take our 3DS everywhere.
Going into anything Nintendo related with quiet optimism is always the way to go.

This is called Pikmin, you MAY have heard of it.
MARK: I think a quiet optimism is about right. My major worry is that Nintendo has quite possibly realised a little too late the corner they’ve painted themselves into. The mainstream install base they have are not going to buy another Nintendo console unless it’s a true, fair dinkum purple cow of a console.

Gamers can scream ‘HD visuals, proper hard drive, regular control pad’, until they’re blue in the face, but that’s not what they’re going to get – and the reason for that is simple: that kind of console will not shift the kind of units Nintendo need to shift.

I think the 3DS is absolutely the best example of this – here is a console that innovates in the most obvious, uninteresting way possible – 3D visuals. Sure you have the whole ‘no-glasses’ thing, but it’s hardly the grand leap forward the DS was in terms of control. It’s not the kind of innovation that spreads like wildfire, the kind of innovation that someone plays and instantly knows they need to have.
Nintendo, with their new console, needs to satiate a brand new need that gamers didn’t even know they had. And that’s easy enough to say, but infinitely more difficult to achieve in practice.

You know what I would really love to see? I’d love to see an E3 presentation that has each and every single game journalist in the country going: what the hell did I just watch? What is that thing I barely understand or want?

That’s how folks felt when they saw the N64 controller, that’s how they felt when they saw a DS for the first time. That’s what they felt when their last console was named the ‘Wii’. In fact – that’s probably the greatest predictor for success with Nintendo – if game journalists hate it, then it’s bound to sell.

Apply this to the Nintendo 3DS ASAP = Win
VOOK: That’s one of the problems they have with the Nintendo 3DS, despite the marketing and the obvious power difference at the moment too many people see it as another DS. The name is even similar, obviously us wiser gamers know better but the general joe public are having a hard time with it. When some more kick arse games come out for the Nintendo 3DS, that’s when they’ll see the need to upgrade. This is what they’ll have to avoid with the Wii successor, find out how to make it different enough. A big ramp up of the crazy on this one please Nintendo.

You’re right Mark, let’s all hope that game journalists hate it, then we’ll know Nintendo’s on the right path. They all loved the Nintendo 3DS, and look how that’s going so far...

What do you think folks? What does Nintendo need to bring to the floor.