Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Nintendo at E3 '09

The Nintendo conference was impressive on the handheld front, but less so concerning the Wii.

Wii Sports Resort looks cool, but not much more fun than the original Wii Sports. The new Mario and Metroid games look great. Those and Dead Space: Extraction are all that will save the Wii with regular gamers.

Red Steel 2 takes more advantage of the Wii Motion Plus, but the swordfighting I saw in Ubisoft's demonstration the other day was hardly nuanced. It was more a full body equivalent of button-mashing; whack-a-mole action.

The Wii Fit Plus will sell well, but I doubt it greatly excites even the people interested in buying it. It's a mild evolution of the original product.

Overall, the Wii's future looks basically the same as their history. Great games are few and far between. The system has a lot of potential, but most of what's designed for it is mediocre. I expect the Motion Plus will greatly help in that regard, but it will likely be at least another year before we start seeing that bear fruit.

Though I've never had much interest in the Nintendo DS, I respect what Nintendo has done in that area. Allowing players to design Mario levels on a handheld is impressive, as is the drawing software. The COP game looks great.

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