E3 2012: Nintendo Predictions & Speculations

Our thoughts for gaming’s biggest event.

With a new console being released this year, all eyes are going to be on Nintendo at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. What new information will Nintendo announce? What will they offer attendees on the show floor? Will their press conference be a success, or will it disappoint? Nintendo Gal will be at the show this year, and here’s a list of things we’re expecting to see.

New IP in the wake of Wii Sports -

Nintendo needs a strong property that can really sell the Wii U technology, in order to get the masses excited about their console. Just as Wii Sports made everyone want to buy a Wii, Nintendo will unveil a totally new IP, designed to showcase all the unique abilities of the system. Another mini-game collection is certainly possible.

Don’t expect Super Smash Bros information -

While the announcement of a new Super Smash Bros. game last year got the Nintendo crowd excited, there’s a reason almost no details were revealed: the series creator, Masahiro Sakurai, hasn’t really been working on it. Now that Kid Icarus: Uprising is out, he’s focused on the new game and its 3DS/Wii U connectivity, but given the short amount of time he’s had, don’t expect much from this franchise this year.

Pikmin 3 will make an appearance -

The newest Pikmin title has been mentioned a few times over the past few years, but it looks like E3 2012 will finally give us a look at the new game, according to Shigeru Miyamoto. Seeing as the series has essentially skipped an entire generation, it’s quite a relief to see it show up again. We expect that the gameplay will see some interesting Wii U-focused enhancements, in order to sell the system a bit more.

Last year’s unreleased games will be on display -

3DS fans from last year will remember seeing games like Luigi’s Mansion 2 and a new Paper Mario title on display; unfortunately, we haven’t seen any more details since. Any games that haven’t been seen since E3 2011 are going to make a comeback, with playable demos for each one. All of them should be released within the year, so anything less wouldn’t make a lot of sense.

Nintendo will dedicate most of the booth to Wii U -

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Last year, Nintendo had something to prove regarding the ailing Nintendo 3DS, which had received some bad press for its poor launch. Now that 3DS sales are healthy, and the game library has expanded, it’s time to really sell the Wii U like there’s no tomorrow. Most of Nintendo’s booth is going to feature playable Wii U demos, including most of the demos from E3 2011 and several new games. Last year it was too difficult to actually get your hands on the Wii U, so Nintendo needs to get as many people playing it as they can.

We’ll hear more about the Wii U retail bundle -

With the actual launch happening later this year, this is a good time to bring some purchase information to the table. We won’t get a price or a release date, but Nintendo might tell us what you’ll get when you purchase the console. Will there be Wii Remotes included? Will a game be packed in, and what will it be? What is Nintendo’s storage solution? These are all pressing questions that Nintendo will probably answer.

More ladies will be at the booth, with QR codes -

We were rather surprised last year to find that Nintendo had employed quite a few women to work at the Nintendo booth, many of them with Wii U controllers or Nintendo handhelds attached to their waists. In an attempt to get as many Wii U controllers in media hands as possible, Nintendo will probably bring these ladies back, but with a twist: each one will have a QR code on their person, so attendees can receive their Miis in the 3DS Mii Maker. Other QR codes will be around the booth as well, with various Miis, Pokédex 3D entries, or Pushmo puzzles.

Miyamoto will tell us his new hobby and corresponding game -

Many of Nintendo’s biggest hits came around because Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to take his hobbies and place them into a game, such as The Legend of Zelda, and more recently Wii Fit. In an infamous Wired interview, Miyamoto said that he would like to be working more closely on some smaller games, and we suspect that he’ll have something fun and interesting to show us this year, which may eventually see life as a downloadable game. Whatever it is will probably be something nobody before had thought of.

Wii U interface shown at least vaguely -

Nintendo was quite proud to show off their Wii Channels interface back in 2006, which they felt contributed to their “easy to use” philosophy of gameplay at the time. They’re certain to have something similar to show us this year for the Wii U. How will players be able to select their games, check out the online store, and more? How will the tablet screen play into the main console menu? If they designed the menu with the same mindset that designed the controller, they’ll be happy to show us more.

Details about Kirby’s 20th anniversary -

When The Legend of Zelda turned 25, Nintendo partied like it was 1999, giving handheld owners four free Zelda titles, creating a series of symphony concerts, and releasing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Now that Kirby’s turning 20, it’s doubtful that the lovable pink puffball will be ignored. They’ve already revealed that there will be a 20th anniversary game disc available, and we’ll likely hear about what games are going to be on it; we’re guessing three classic games from the Game Boy and SNES, as well as Kirby 64: the Crystal Shards. There might even be a new game announcement, but we’ve had several new Kirby games recently, so perhaps not.

Scott Moffitt to take the stage -

Scott Moffitt joined Nintendo almost a year ago on May 9th, 2011. When I asked about his lack of appearance in my interview with Amber McCollom, she stated since he was new, it wasn’t the right timing for him yet. Expect to see Nintendo’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the E3 Presentation.

Someone will say something “meme” worthy -

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It happened during Nintendo’s E3 2007 Media Briefing. Reggie Fils-Aime came out to help Shigeru Miyamoto and translator Bill Trinen demonstrate a few features of Wii Fit. When he stopped in front of the balance board, he proclaimed, “my body is ready”. Since then, the phrase has been recognized as a meme on sites such as Know Your Meme. It’s been a few years since there has been anything that could be considered a meme in nature at the press conferences. If new blood takes the stage however, there’s bound to be something said that Twitter and the blogosphere will latch onto.

Reggie will wear gold pants -

Technically this to some would fall under the meme category, but since this would be an act itself, we’re not so sure. This could happen due to all the gold pants Mii QR Codes that have been pushed on Facebook. It would be quite the oddball move, but would certainly garner the attention of many.

EA’s John Riccitiello will get on Nintendo’s stage -

Last year Electronic Arts’ CEO John Riccitiello came out during Nintendo’s Media Briefing and talked about how excited EA was for the Wii U. This year with the re-revealing of Wii U, we expect Riccitiello to come out and serenade us with how wonderful their products will be on the system. He’ll also try to make many forget about how awful the company is in some eyes, but fail miserably.

No Wii U name change, to our dismay -

Deal with it

So much speculation has been swarming the internet with rumors of Nintendo changing the name of the Wii U. Given Nintendo’s past history with the name Wii and the initial negative reception it was met with, they will stick with it much like they did in 2006. This company doesn’t seem to care about the name of a product, but what it can do.

Online plans to be shown -

Recently company president Satoru Iwata talked briefly about the fact that both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS will have retail downloadable games. It’s not a stretch to think that perhaps that was the tip of the iceberg. At the E3 Presentation, Nintendo will try to convince us that their online system won’t be archaic and useless as it is for Wii. The system won’t be like the other systems however, which many will be disappointed about.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 shown, but playable on the floor -

Since it’s been recently revealed, Nintendo will waste no time in marketing this game. So much in fact that it may garner the most attention out of all the handheld games in their booth. Overshadowing titles such as Luigi’s Mansion 2, Paper Mario, and Animal Crossing. Nintendo will also show a short video of the game during the press conference and talk vaguely about it, leaving the specifics for later or the demo on the show floor.

Vitality Sensor -

Even if Nintendo doesn’t think E3 is the place to showcase the Vitality Sensor because the environment surrounding it is anti-relaxing, there’s still a chance for it to be talked about. The fact that we haven’t heard much about it, with the exception of last year when Shigeru Miyamoto talked about it not performing consistently, may not mean much. This could mean that it has been moved to Wii U and be used in the tablet itself.

Repeating 2006, Nintendo will have long lines for Wii U -

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NintendoGal.com’s first year at E3 was one many may never forget. That was the year where Nintendo showed off Wii and the lines were impressive, so much that in order to get into the booth and play, you’d need to wait the entire day practically. This was coupled with the rush when the doors opened to the West Hall in the L.A. Convention Center where a flood of people ran over to the Nintendo area. We expect there to be a line at the booth, but we’ll probably never again see quite the same rush due to better policing from the crowd control folks.

A small handful of 3rd party games will be at the Nintendo booth -

Although most 3rd parties that put their games out on Nintendo systems usually have their own booths, Nintendo also likes to showcase a few select titles in their own area. There also are probably not that many units available for use at a show such as E3 for 3rd parties, which means the Nintendo booth would be the only place to view certain titles. Companies like EA, Ubisoft, and Capcom could have games available to play at the booth.

Nintendo will walk on eggshells during our interview -

Last year, our interview with Amber McCollom was a rather interesting one. She misspoke about the Wii U and the GameCube. This lead to many outlets questioning Nintendo about the possible feature. They won’t make the same mistake this year and will be ready for any hardball questions we throw their way.