For the past month, Nintendo has been relatively quiet. With the exception of their big Pokémon X & Y reveal, the company has churned out next to no titles or information about upcoming releases. Comparing Nintendo to the other two major publishers showed that Nintendo was severely lacking in the month of January. Initially I thought that this was due to them saving up knowledge for E3 or a similar conference, but that ended up being wrong. Nintendo pulled a fast one on us and reinvigorated their market, revealing a slew of new content in their Nintendo Direct conference yesterday.
Nintendo showed off so many new games and content that some of it is taking time to leak into the news in the wake of two new Zelda titles and Pikmin 3 information. The Fire Emblem x Shin Megami Tensei crossover is particularly unexpected, but looks like it could be a lot of fun. The new gameplay of so many games shows that Nintendo has plenty up its sleeve left for E3. Their slew of releases has made Nintendo the top of conversation, directly reversing their trend at the start of the month. It’s a wise move from Nintendo and it makes their silence for the first part of the month seem trivial.
Nintendo also revealed that the Virtual Console will finally be available for their Wii U starting in the Spring and that they will have monthly sales in honor of the Famicon’s 30th anniversary. While it’s unfortunate that it took Nintendo so long to publish the Virtual Console (how long has it been since the console’s release?), it might mean that they have more tricks in the bag for Spring. Something akin to Steam’s social approach to games would be interesting. The sales that they plan on having is much more interesting and novel—how often do games go on sale for virtual release on console app stores? I can’t think of a single instance, barring games who have had their price lowered permanently.
As it stands, Microsoft and Sony are relying on rumors to keep their names in the media, which means Nintendo is standing at the top after their slew of revelations. With the speculation of Pokémon X & Y, the two new Zelda titles for the Wii U, and Luigi: Dark Moon, it looks like fans of the big three Nintendo brands will have something to be excited about. Nintendo has ramped up their reveal of information to what one would expect at E3, leaving the other two companies in the dust. Sony and Microsoft have nothing that would remotely equal this Nintendo Direct in forms of quality content—just a bunch of rumors circulating about their next-generation consoles.
It’s strange for Nintendo to have an unwarranted Nintendo Direct, unconnected to specific reveals or events such as E3, but I’m glad that they ended up revealing their information early. If Nintendo continues to have these conferences on a monthly basis, I can easily see them surpassing the hype around next-generation consoles and holding their own this gaming generation, even with a console as underpowered as the Wii U.