E3 2011: What I Want From Nintendo

E3 is just a couple of weeks one week away, so it’s time to start thinking about what to expect. Rumors are already flying and everyone is making predictions. Now, it’s my turn. Rather than making predictions based on rumors from questionable sources, I’m going to detail what I want to see at E3 this year. I may venture into the “this will probably never happen, but I want it” zone a bit, but this year there is plenty to be excited about without making wild guesses.

I’ve already looked at what Sony and Microsoft could have to offer this year at E3, and now it’s time to talk about Nintendo. We already know that Nintendo will be announcing a new gaming console this year and that the console will be playable on the show floor. But Nintendo is famous for making surprise announcements that no one expected, so there are tons of possibilities.

Project Café

New rumors are surfacing constantly about Nintendo’s new gaming console codenamed Project Café. With so much information flying around it’s hard to tell what’s true and what isn’t. Right now, it’s fairly safe to say the console is more powerful than the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 and will probably sport a traditional dual analog controller with a touch screen.

One of the "leaked" images of Nintendo's next console.

Rumors say the controller could have a front-facing camera and could allow you to stream games to the controller instead of playing on a TV. In addition, the rumors claim that Nintendo has gotten its act together and has a true online service to rival XBOX Live and PlayStation Network. While all of that sounds great, I’m not getting my hopes up just yet. Even so, I’m extremely excited to see what Nintendo is actually planning.

The new platform will be playable at E3 this year and should be in stores sometime after March of 2012.

Super Smash Bros. Café Announced

Some of the latest rumors say Nintendo will announce the next Super Smash Bros. for Project Café. I think there is a great possibility that the game will at least be mentioned. Super Smash. Bros Brawl is a great game, but it missed the mark when it came to online play. If Project Café is really going to fix Nintendo’s online woes, then a new Smash Bros. would be the perfect game to showcase that.

The only problem, which has been noted by several other people before me, is that the creator of Super Smash Bros., Masahiro Sakurai, is working on Kid Icarus Uprising. It’s possible that Kid Icarus is complete or nearly complete, but either way I don’t expect to see much of Smash Bros. this year.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Stays on Wii

As soon as Project Café was announced, fans of The Legend of Zelda became concerned about the future of the upcoming Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, for Wii. The last major console Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, was originally announced for the Nintendo Gamecube and later move to the Wii. The game was ultimately released for both the Gamecube and the Wii, but that’s not a situation I really want to see repeated. I also don’t think Nintendo is going to do the same thing again.

Skyward Sword is a completely different situation than Twilight Princess. Twilight Princess was originally built to be played with the traditional Gamecube controller. When the game was moved to the Wii, all the developers did was change the controls to work with the Wii remote. Most actions are still done simply by pressing buttons, but swinging the sword and aiming projectiles (most notably the bow and arrow) uses the motion capabilities of the Wii remote.

On the other hand, Skyward Sword was built from the ground up to use Wii Motion Plus. The game relies entirely on the Wii remote. While it’s likely that Project Café will be backward compatible with the Wii, I find it unlikely that Nintendo is going to release a Wii Motion Plus-based game at the launch of their new non-motion based game console.

I believe The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will remain a Wii exclusive and be one of the last major Wii games.

Nintendo 3DS Finally Gets More Games

The Nintendo 3DS launch has been a disaster reminiscent to the launch of the original Nintendo DS. The Nintendo 3DS has been available since March, but there are still very few worthwhile games to play. The original Nintendo DS had Mario 64 DS, but the closest thing to a “killer app” the Nintendo 3DS has is a port of Street Fighter IV.

The remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time will be released in June, but hopefully Nintendo can give us release dates for several more worthwhile games (Kid Icarus: Uprising comes to mind).

Super Mario 3DS is confirmed to be making an appearance, but I have no idea what to expect. Shigeru Miyamoto is great at presenting exactly what you don’t expect. On that same note, I expect him to make announce a new game that no one expects.

Despite all of the new games that will no doubt be announced for the Nintendo 3DS, I expect Project Café to be the highlight of Nintendo’s press conference and the highlight of E3 2011.

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