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E3 is underway and Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have all presented their keynotes. Microsoft left the whole gaming community in shock by anouncing Final Fantasy XIII would be available on Xbox 360. Sony couldn’t match Microsoft’s anouncement, but did alright with a few interesting titles coming up — nothing earth shattering. And then there’s Nintendo.
It seems Nintendo has entirely abandonned their core fans. The two biggest titles at their keynote? WiiSports 2 (including awesome mini-games like throwing a frisbee to a dog) and Wii Music.
I don’t get Wii Music at all. As far as I can see, you just waggle your wiimote randomly while pressing buttons when you feel like it (no rythm necessary) to play bad Midi versions of hit songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Yankee Doodle”. I wish I was kidding.
When asked if core gamers would feel left out of Nintendo’s line-up, Regie Fils-Aime (president of Nintendo of America) had this to say:
“How could you feel left out?” Fils-Aime said. “The Animal Crossing that we’ve been hearing about that people wanted. Fully connected to the Internet, go to other people’s towns. Plus, as I said, Grand Theft Auto on the DS. How do you feel left out with those types of announcements?”
So their best anouncements for core gamers is Animal Crossing — a game more casual than The Sims — and GTA on DS. Now GTA for DS would be cool if it were presented as anything more than a logo at this point. They didn’t even go as far as showing concept art for the game. Take 2 — GTA’s publisher — had nothing to say about GTA DS at their own press conference.
If Nintendo’s E3 keynote is representative of their current priorities, then it’s obvious they do not care anymore about gamers looking for deep gameplay. They now focus entirely on the casual cash-cow. Will third party developers bring what core gamers want? One can hope, but so far third party Wii games have been lackluster.