Nintendo’s E3 2015 presentation, released as a video much like its periodic Nintendo Direct streams, unveiled some promising games. (Like Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam!) Sadly, though, it looks like it won’t have a holiday anchor to replace the delayed Legend of Zelda title, meaning a collection of well-meaning also-rans will be left to pick up the pieces.
The most central of these games is Star Fox Zero, Shigeru Miyamoto’s special project and the return of the long-dormant series. We really hope it will be great (and we’ll have impressions soon), but it’s not a franchise that sells particularly well, and won’t drive sales of a Wii U that desperately needs a standard-bearer.
It’s joined by Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, which could be a game but is more than likely an interactive money pit from which you cannot recover; Yoshi’s Woolly World, which was clearly delayed from a summer release to try to pad things out; and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, which is a promising Mario sports release but doesn’t sport the most exciting feature list. Again, let’s be clear: these games could be great. But Yoshi, Animal Crossing and Mario sports games have never sold in traditional Mario, Mario Kart or even Zelda numbers around these parts, and there’s nothing about these titles that should change that.
So what will keep the Wii U afloat through the holidays? Maybe it’s the successful Splatoon, which lives on through constant updates and a thriving community. Maybe it’s more Super Smash Bros. DLC, with a popular third-party character or something leading the way and getting a marketing push. Maybe people will finally care about StarFox? Okay, probably not that last one. Regardless, nothing the Big N can throw out will keep that Zelda delay from hurting. Hey, at least the 3DS is getting Yo-Kai Watch?
Site [Nintendo @ E3]