It goes without saying that Nintendo could be having a much, much better E3. I'm no professional industry analyst, but I'm guessing they originally had an earlier release date for the NX in mind - which explains why this fall seems so dry. Of course, they're definitely rolling out the big guns to make the wait for the NX more tolerable: Pokemon Sun and Moon is the first non-remake game in the series since 2013, and The Legend of Zelda: Subtitle Unknown still feels like one of their best-kept secrets. In fact, it's been in hiding for two years now: E3 2014 stands as the last time we've ever seen the game in action.
Zelda might not be the only Nintendo offering at E3, but it's definitely what they have the most riding on. To put it lightly, expectations are kind of high for a Legend of Zelda console release - and the years stretching out between Skyward Sword and now have only made the wait more unbearable. The only question, then, is what this new Zelda will do to turn heads. All we currently know about it--or the version shown off two years ago - is its open-world nature; and while that's a step in the right direction from the all-too-linear Skyward Sword, the prospect of an open-world game doesn't feel so bold and exciting as it once did. But with Nintendo being Nintendo, I'm guessing they'll offer up some unique twist on the formula. (And for their sake, they'd better.)
Truth be told, even if Zelda amounts to Nintendo's only showstopper, their showing at this year's E3 feels absolutely geared towards JRPG fans--even if that's not the most profitable demographic to chase. The 3DS port of Dragon Quest VII, Monster Hunter Generations, and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE will all be making appearances at the show, meaning we'll at least have hundreds and hundreds of hours to kill while we wait for the NX--and that's just counting Dragon Quest VII (I kid, I kid.). Zelda aside, it'll be a pretty quiet show for Nintendo, but not one without its highlights. The lack of any NX announcement can't help but feel like a missed opportunity, but Nintendo isn't throwing in the towel just yet. — Bob
My outlook is similar to Bob’s. I’ve already written a bit about how Nintendo’s quietness at E3 2016 may be symptomatic of a metamorphesis. Nintendo’s not giving us the NX at E3 this year because the company simply isn’t prepared to unfurl itself yet. But when it’s ready, I think it’s going to be quite a show.
The strange thing is, I don't sense any helplessness or frustration or peril from Nintendo over its subdued E3 showing (I can sense these things - I am the Nintendo Jedi). There’s only a quiet anticipation from the direction of Kyoto and Washington. So while I’m disappointed Nintendo’s kind of half-sitting out the show this year, I’m also very interested to see where things go next.
The question that remains is, how will Nintendo do at E3 this year with what it has? I think it’ll do fine. We’ve already all made our peace with the fact the NX won’t be there, and Nintendo obviously wants us to clear our minds and take in the new Legend of Zelda. I can honestly deal with that.
True, we know next to nothing about this new Zelda, but I think going in clean and ignorant will serve us well when we bathe in the light of this new Link. What we have seen already looks fresh and different. Even Link is bereft of his (her??) traditional green threads. Maybe some people’s feelings will be hurt by Nintendo’s seeming disregard for the series’ iconic sights, but I see a warrior, a horse, some bad guys to fight, and a big open world without a hint of grey or brown. I’m good for whatever comes next.
Mind you, my feelings aren’t hurt by the fact one piece of very familiar Legend of Zelda iconography, the emblem for the Sheikah tribe, is present in the "Loading" graphic for Nintendo’s main E3 page. Hmmm... - Nadia