Nintendo takes the lead

I’ll wait until E3 is over before making any outrageous predictions, but judging by the three presentations over the last two days, Nintendo is about to come back in a big way.

Sony spent its time showing off tech demos of EA’s new facial animation and the motion-sensing PlayStation 3 controller, and the buzz afterwards was about the high price tag. Microsoft didn’t seem to have much of a focus, but showed off hot games like Gears of War and the Halo trailer.

Now watch this and this. (All videos are via Kotaku.) At Nintendo’s showcase, people were playing tennis on the stage!! And they showed a promo video for Wii — probably the most brilliant PR movie I’ve ever seen. You really see how the Wii controllers will be different and how incredibly fun it looks.

Sony and Microsoft were a jumble because they’re ultimately just doing the same thing they’ve always done. How many ways can you sell the same old thing? Nintendo’s presentation was different because it’s doing something different and has articulated this new strategy and approach very clearly. Every announcement, every demo is geared toward showing how intuitive and unique the Wii controller is, how easy it is to pick up, how it’ll make your girlfriend or mom or dad or roommate want to play along with you. And when you watch the video, you believe it.

— May 10, 2006

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