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NWR Mailbag: 06/24/13

by Justin Baker, Alex Culafi, Andy Goergen, Zack Kaplan, Zachary Miller, Carmine Red, and Neal Ronaghan - June 24, 2013, 11:30 am EDT
Total comments: 3

We asked you about E3, and you responded. Now it's our turn.

Over the years, the Nintendo World Report mailbag has come and gone. Today, we bring you the latest rebirth of Mailbag, and we're going to kick it off with your hot, hot questions regarding the recently completed E3 2013, in which Nintendo announced new Mario, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros. games. Was that enough to placate the hardcore Nintendo fan? Let's pull back the curtain and take a look at what you had to say, and what we had to say about what you had to say.

From Jasae: "With Sega's relations growing closer with Nintendo and games being announced exclusively for the console along with their mascot Sonic becoming a Nintendo exclusive character, what are the chances that we will see a platformer featuring Mario and Sonic working together against a common foe? Or Sonic taking on Bowser with Mario dueling Dr. Robotnik?"

Site Director Neal Ronaghan responds: I think there’s an outside chance the mystical "third game" in Nintendo and Sega’s deal might be some sort of collaboration between the two universes, but likely in a Mario and Sonic at the Olympics way. Maybe the successor to Sonic Lost World will feature some overt Mario inclusions, including the plumber, Bowser, and more. Nintendo might let Sonic join their brawls and sporting events, but I’d doubt we’ll see Sonic interrupt the next 3D or 2D Mario game from Nintendo.

Reviews Editor Justin Baker responds: Nintendo is far too protective of their brand to feature Sonic and Mario together in, what some may call, a "real" Mario game. Team ups like the Olympics and sports are fine, but when it comes to bopping Goombas, I think Nintendo will keep Mario a more pure experience.

From Dan: "I've heard that this title is to be the definitive Mario Kart with more modes than ever before. My question is can we expect a similar amount of tracks or courses in Mario Kart 8 as we have seen in recent editions, or will there be more this time around?"

Contributing Editor Carmine Red responds: Honestly? No. I fully expect only as many tracks out-of-the-box in Mario Kart 8 as recent Kart titles, and not a koopa-bit more. However, with Nintendo’s recent forays into DLC in first party tentpole games like NSMB2 and NSMBU/NSLU, I can’t help but wonder whether they’re considering selling a DLC "expansion pack" of tracks to increase the number of courses after release and help keep the game relevant and in "evergreen" sales.

Staff Writer Zack Kaplan responds: If there is one series Nintendo is slow to change, it is Mario Kart. Recent past Mario Kart titles have had the same amount of tracks, 32. Looking into the future one can only expect that to remain the norm. From the looks of it, Nintendo is continuing the hang gliding and underwater racing started in Mario Kart 7, so there will most likely be more ways to explore each track along with the anti-gravity racing.

From Mike: "Was X in the Nintendo booth at all? It looked very impressive in the Direct, but there has been little to no mention of it in any write-ups, so I didn't know if it had any presence at the actual show or not. Any word from NoA if we can expect it in 2014?"

Site Director Neal Ronaghan responds: No, X was not in the Nintendo booth. As far as we know, X is due out in all regions in 2014, and I think Nintendo of America would have to be incredibly stupid to show off this game like they have and then NOT release it stateside. When X comes out, I won’t be shocked by a several month gap between the Japanese and western releases, but I’m confident every region will see it.

From Pixelated Pixies: "Do you think that Nintendo could have made a bigger splash at E3? For instance, Nintendo was well placed to score some points with gamers by highlighting their own DRM policies, yet it seems that Sony had taken most of the credit. I also feel Nintendo might also have made a bigger impact with games like Smash Bros and 3D World had they got Sakurai and Miyamoto to actually demo the games in the Nintendo Direct stream. It might not have been a hardware year for Nintendo, but have they sold themselves and their games short?"

Reviews Editor Justin Baker responds: Let's be honest: Nintendo can come out swinging if they choose to. I think Nintendo knew that unless they had the most bombastic show of all time they'd be drowned out by the two new consoles hitting the market.

They seem to have shrunken back into their shell a bit with the pissing contest that Microsoft and Sony are having, and if they time it right they can pop out of nowhere and make a huge splash.

They showed some hard-hitting titles, and unlike Sony and Microsoft, they'll keep peppering us with Nintendo Direct presentations all year long. Trust me, we'll be seeing more before the holiday season.

Contributing Editor Carmine Red responds: Nintendo’s media angle at E3 was based around one concept: less gab, more games. Making a big stink over DRM policies would have been aggressive and confrontational, which I doubt anyone expects from the house of Mario. In fact, if MS or Sony change their DRM/used game policies (which has actually since happened), then Nintendo would actually look pretty foolish in hindsight having spent E3 talking about stuff that didn’t matter in the end.

Instead, Nintendo tried to focus their E3 presence on "show don’t tell." They trotted out a whole bunch of first-party titles, they brought out the developers of those games to be available to the media and send out their Miis to the rest of us, and they opened their E3 booth an entire hour before anyone else go on the show floor.

Bottomline? They could’ve made a bigger splash at E3. But they decided to play humble instead and make only one promise for the future: Nintendo will keep trying to make fun games.

Contributing Editor Alex Culafi responds: As for the DRM thing, I think the last thing Nintendo wants to do is start talking hardware specifics with anyone. Everyone knows that the Wii U is like the Wii with DRM and it’s great. However, if you try talking about the hardware at all with proponents of the other two systems, people will immediately call out the Wii U on its inferior specs and price that is more comparable to the PS4 than it probably should be. For Nintendo to get the most success with Wii U, I think they need to focus on the games, what the new controller can do that’s so special, the fact that it’s a new console at all, and nothing else.

From Leo:"Will X be as big of a system seller as I think it'll be? (hint I think it'll be huge, but Xenoblade is my favorite game) Why hasn't Nintendo printed more Xenoblade copies or at least made it available in Wii U eShop for download? These things are going for over $100 on eBay."

Site Director Neal Ronaghan responds: I doubt it will be as big as you think it will be, but after the apparent success of Xenoblade and seeming frothing demand across gamers everywhere for X, I think it could be a sizable mid-tier hit like Fire Emblem Awakening.

Reviews Editor Justin Baker responds: I think that the recent success of Animal Crossing: New Leaf has shown us that if Nintendo works at it, they can properly market existing franchises to great effect. If they do the same thing with X, I think it could be a system seller. If not, it’ll likely still have solid sales that are scaled appropriately to the market, much like Xenoblade.

From XCWarrior:"Why do you guys ignore 3DS so much? DS was the top selling platform of last generation. 3DS will likely be the top seller of this gen. That system is going to make Nintendo plenty of money so they don't have to drop the price of the Wii U and can wait until 2014 when the big games come. So stop screaming for a price cut. It doesn't need to happen. What should happen - but won't - is a major update to Nintendo Land to make it online multiplayer. I think that would help sales more than they realize and give Wii U a system seller in the box. Or Mario 3D World online.... oh Nintendo, so behind the times."

Managing Editor Andy Goergen responds: To be frank, we cover what Nintendo shows us, and at E3 2013, they showed us Wii U. To suggest that we ignore 3DS is simply not accurate, we cover the system plenty. If we've been focused on Wii U lately, well, so has Nintendo.

Nintendo doesn’t need to cut the price of the Wii U... until they want to sell the system. If they’re okay not selling the system pretty much at all until Super Mario 3D World ships this holiday, then they don’t need to cut the price. I don’t think, however, that Nintendo is content with the Wii U being dead as a doornail less than a year after launch. I would be pretty surprised if we didn’t see a price cut before the launch of the competing platforms this November.

While I wouldn’t be upset with a major update to Nintendo Land which adds online play, I think that you are vastly overestimating how much this would do to make the system sell. Nintendo Land’s failings as a system-seller are many, but a lack of online multiplayer is simply not one of the factors that I would put high on the list.

Reviews Editor Justin Baker responds: Because we're secretly all Microsoft employees, of course! In fact, we're predicting that the newest season pass DLC for Nintendo Land will feature kill streaks, YouTube uploads for recent games, and Facebook like buttons on every menu!

Of course we'll have to raise the price of the console due to all those features. Instead of $50 less than the PS4, we're thinking of making it $500.00. What's that? Why, yes, that is exactly one cent more than the Xbox One... Oh, decisions, decisions... *wink*

From Rob: "Now that all games are saved on hard drives rather than cartridges, why are we still limited to three save spots on most games? I have four people in my family who are into games, but if they want their own Mario quest, we run into a dilemma that seems easily solvable."

Senior Editor Zach Miller responds: I feel like three save files is just one of those things that Nintendo games are always going to have. This was a problem for the 3DS as well, except they just allowed you to back-up your save files to the SD card in the recent OS update. This isn’t a problem on PS3 or Xbox 360 games, of course, so the three-save limit is just a relic from Nintendo’s past. I think another issue is with Pokemon games continuing to have just one save file per game card. Maybe that’ll change in X/Y? (Editor's Note: It won't.)

So how'd we do? Is there a burning question you have that needs answering in our next edition of Mailbag? Send it over! We'll get back to you just as soon as we clear Wily's castle...



geoJune 24, 2013

I wish nintendo hadn't announced what it was going to announce at E3.  I also think saving a link between worlds, X, pokemon xy, etc for E3 would have made them stand out much much more.

shingi_70June 25, 2013

In hindsight Nintendo had a great E3 the problem was nintendo announced nearly everything ahead of time so the impact was lost. I thought Sonic Lost world would have had a bigger showing at the E3 direct.

night814June 25, 2013

I really wish monolith would make a quick up port of xenoblade for WiiU. Release it digitally and it will sell great

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