Nintendo Announces Smash Bros. Invitational, E3 Plans

Posted by Bob Muir on Apr 30, 2014 in Videogames |

Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Nintendo ducked out of the E3 conference game last year, declining to host a big conference at the event in favor of a longer digital broadcast of Nintendo Direct, a series of mini-conferences with smaller, spread out announcements released throughout the year. This year seems to be the same, with Nintendo planning to air a Nintendo Digital Event — why not Nintendo Direct? — on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 9AM PT. Furthermore, there will be online coverage throughout the show from Nintendo Treehouse, the legendary localization department that’s worked on some of Nintendo’s best games. But that’s not all that Nintendo has planned.

With Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U being one of Nintendo’s biggest games this year, Nintendo is apparently taking a page from the Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament held last year at fighting-game championship EVO 2013 due to fan support. (Nevermind that Nintendo originally tried to block that tournament’s broadcast due to copyright issues until they understood how the fighting-game scene worked. Maybe this is some form of penance?) Yes, Nintendo will be holding their own 16-player Super Smash Bros. Invitational, featuring 16 of the best Smash Bros. players going at it in the newest, unreleased version of the game. I personally think that Smash Bros. is boring as a one-on-one high-level competitive game and is much more interesting with the random, unbalanced elements that make it a great party game. But I recognize that many people enjoy it competitively, so as long as I don’t have to play them or hear them whine about items or stage gimmicks, I can appreciate their dedication; this will be great for them, and great publicity for the game’s release.

Furthermore, in a similar move to last year, Nintendo will have demo Wii U units sent to select Best Buy locations. On those units will be their Super Smash Bros. Smash-Fest promotion: a way for fans to try out the game before release. Apparently they’re not bothering to demo the 3DS version, despite the 3DS version releasing first during Q3 2014 and the Wii U version releasing later during Q4 2014. It’s likely that Nintendo doesn’t want the 3DS version to look technologically inferior to the Wii U version. I mean, it is, but it’s still impressive that the game is looking that good — 60fps in 3D! — and it comes out first, so I’m sure Nintendo doesn’t want every consumer to skip the 3DS version in favor of waiting for the Wii U version, especially when they both have many stages exclusive to each version.

Possibly the best part of this announcement was the video Nintendo released. They hired comedy troupe Mega64 to make the video, and they decided that Rocco would make a Reggie Fils-A-Mech, a piloted-robot version of Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. It’s not their best work, but it’s still pretty funny. Moreso, I find it continually amazing that the president of the American branch would take the time to make a silly video. In the games industry, the whole “console war” concept turns the heads of these giant, multi-national game companies into icons and rallying-points, which is often unlike most other companies in the world. Some embrace this connection and the roles fans see them play, including those like Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida, but no one does it as dorky and endearingly as Nintendo’s execs.

Source: Nintendo @ E3

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