After disappointing many fans with its initially limited plans for this year’s E3, Nintendo announced that it will, in fact, showcase a handful of games other than The Legend of Zelda Wii U at the upcoming gaming conference. According to an official statement, the company on the first day of the conference (June 14) intends to live-stream gameplay from the upcoming Zelda adventure as well as the first live gameplay of Pokemon Sun and Moon.
Nintendo also said that, on the second day of E3, it will display upcoming releases through Nintendo Treehouse such as Monster Hunter Generations, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, and the North American 3DS port of Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past. As of now, Zelda Wii U remains the only playable game from the Japanese gaming giant at the event.
The move represents an enormous sea-change for the company’s plans, as it announced not long ago that Zelda Wii U would be the only upcoming title on display at E3. The announcement upset many gamers and Nintendo fans, as the company also said explicitly that it would not present any new information on its upcoming NX console at E3.
Nintendo is in an interesting place as a game maker, since the Wii U is more or less defunct as a console (save for a handful of upcoming titles) and it’s already working on a console it claims will once again revolutionize the gaming world. The 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS continue to be the driving forces of sales for the company, but only really have new Pokemon and Monster Hunter games driving future success (unless you also want to include the controversial Metroid Prime: Federation Force).
Despite its recent challenges, the Big N has still managed to churn out some quality content over the past couple of years: Super Mario Maker and Splatoon were both highly innovative and successful, and diehard fans still fawn over games like Fire Emblem Fates and Xenoblade Chronicles X. Welcome remakes such as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD and Majora’s Mask 3D have also served as excellent fan service, reminding the most loyal of customers that, while some decisions may not be popular, their best interests are a priority (to a certain extent). Still, highly-anticipated titles such as Star Fox Zero and Pokken Tournament failed to meet expectations, and lack of consistent and high-quality content has turned Nintendo into somewhat of a tragic joke within the gaming community. It’s hard to rebound from that kind of reputation if all you’ve got is Federation Force and another Pokemon.
It’s unclear whether Nintendo will make a splash at all at this year’s E3, but one thing’s for certain: Zelda will still be the star of the show no matter what. Fans should also be pleased that it won’t be the sole performer.