Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nintendo's E3 2010 Press Conference: Predictions

Just gonna say I wanted to write up a similar article for the Microsoft press conference (No such intentions for the Sony conference), but I was unexpectedly busy on Sunday watching four guys blow things up in a spectacularly over-the-top manner. As a side note, A-Team was some pretty good action. Now then, moving along...

The time has come once more: Nintendo's E3 2010 press conference is nearly upon us. But we can't go having a press conference without a healthy serving of my predictions, can we? And so I come out of my nearly month-long Springtime hibernation to bring you this, my list of predictions for the rapidly-approaching conference.

First, though, let's get two little things out of the way: The 3DS and The Legend of Zelda. These two things are practically confirmed to be showing up tomorrow, so really, there's no need to "predict" their presence. Alright? Alright. Let's get started.

To get things going, I'll to start with something we've known about for so long yet have seen absolutely nothing of: Pikmin 3. This has been hiding behind the scenes for ages now, and I'd say it's about time for this flower to bloom. Pikmin 3, Nintendo; I know you've got it. Now show it!

Next up I'll play off a little rumour I heard recently. According to Destructoid, Nintendo's planning on launching a new Animal Crossing game with the 3DS. Will it be a revolutionary step for the franchise? Will it bring back all those who were turned away by City Folk's over-familiarity? Heck if I know. Considering the prosperity of the franchise, though, I get the feeling that this little rumour will be going to E3, not crying "wee wee wee" all the way home.

Another rumour that's been floating about is Retro Studios working on a new Donkey Kong game. To give this rumour a little more validity, an IGN staff member Tweeted teasingly in a sly manner, using terms such as "go ape" and "barrel me over". A suggestion of insider knowledge, or just some of that classic trolling we internet users have become so used to? It's hard to tell right now, but man, I could really go for a rumble in the jungle right about now. I'm gonna let my hopes take the wheel here and put this in the "probable" column.

Talk around in some groups and all you'll hear about is Pokémon Black and White. Pokémaniacs are practically (And in some cases, literally) frothing at the mouth for more information on the fifth generation of Pocket Monsters, and they've got themselves convinced that these games will be showing up at the conference tomorrow. Myself being a somewhat reformed Pokémaniac, however, I'm looking at the situation from a more fact-based angle. In the past, information on new Pokémon games has emerged almost exclusively at Japanese venues. While Nintendo's been doing a lot of things differently as of late, I don't see this particular trend changing. If I hear the Pokémon theme coming from my headphones tomorrow afternoon I'll be very surprised.

Turning attention to the Wii, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a major redesign of the Vitality Sensor showing itself tomorrow. Today Ubisoft showed off a very similar device, and it was far smaller than the clunky device shown hanging off a Wii remote just over a year ago. I've always thought that the Vitality Sensor was over sized, and now I see it's more than possible to shrink it down to a more manageable level. I'm willing to bet Nintendo see that, too.

Now to revisit a prediction I have made every single year since E3 2007: Star Fox, and its long-overdue return. Do I even have to say it anymore? The Wii remote is perfect for the job, and it's an absolute mystery why this game hasn't surfaced yet. To be perfectly honest, I don't see this prediction as likely or unlikely. I just see it as far, far overdue. I can't just leave this here without a likelihood rating on it, though... Well, as much as it pains me to say it, I'm going to file this in the "unlikely" column. As much as I hope it'll come true, there's just been no evidence whatsoever of its existence. Sorry, Fox, but it's looking like you'll be warming the bench for another year.

There will probably also be talk of sales, reaching new demographics, slideshows of actors pretending to be families and overdoing the motion controls, graphs, charts... You know, the typical Nintendo conference stuff. Okay, I get it, you're successful. Can we see games now?

And finally, there's always that announcement that comes out of nowhere and defies all predictors such as myself. Can I predict such a vague thing, or is that cheating? Bah, I'll do it anyways. Feel free to consider it a null point on my score sheet when it happens.

That's all, folks! The predictions are made, and the wait is on. Not that I expect anyone to read this before E3... in which case I could totally just edit out all the false stuff and write in a bunch of facts as "predictions"... Nah, I wouldn't. Or would I? Nah. Good night, and have fun watching the conference!

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