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E3 2013: Bringing the Home Team Back Together

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, and Jon Lindemann - June 12, 2013, 10:52 pm EDT
Total comments: 20

The brain (Greg), heart (James), and soul (Jon) of RFN combine for a two hour meandering discussion of E3 2013, the future of Wii U, and the future of Nintendo's involvement with the annual convention.

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It's E3, so while Jonny and Gui are at the show - and misappropriating the Radio Free Nintendo label - Jon and James are at home getting the work done for the site. Well, James is. 

Just because they aren't there doesn't mean they don't have thoughts on the show. And of course, longtime friend and former RFN member Greg Leahy is equally opinionated, so it only stands to reason James should get the band back together.

Alas, international time zones are once again a cruel mistress so we were forced to record Jon and Greg separately. That does mean you get two uninterrupted hours of James hosting, so you'd be forgiven for skipping this episode.

That said, I wouldn't recommend it. Greg and James lead off by reviewing the news and reacting to it announcement by announcement. A fair bit of speculation accompanies mostly rational reactions. In the second segment Jon and James plumb Nintendo's involvement with E3 in light of their use of the Nintendo Direct and their Best Buy demos. They combine their years of experience covering the show in person and from home to speculate where this will lead. Hint: Make E3 about having the media engage with the people making the game and less about playing them.

Also, don't miss a Now Playing segment conducted entirely by James. It's a mix of exhaustion and desperation. Enjoy!

This podcast was edited by James Jones...sort of


Johnathon LovelessJune 13, 2013

I think Super Mario 3D Land was named that not cause it had 3D, but because is was a 3D platformer sidescroller on a portable. I would but it with the Super Mario Land games (platformer sidescrollers) for the Game Boy (a portable). So its like, What if Super Mario Land was a 3D platformer?.. Super Mario 3D Land. I think the same goes for Super Mario 3D World. What if it Super Mario World, a home console game, was a 3D platformer?.. Super Mario 3D World.

MASBJune 13, 2013

Man! I'll still processing what I listened to. That was the best episode of RFN in a long, long time. And that's not to slight the quality of recent episodes, because they've been very good. I think RFN has been on an uptick lately, but damn! This episode stands out, and not simply because of the welcome visit from Greg. The thoughts and analysis of the whole gang (James, Jon and Greg) was spot on and really encapsulated E3 for me. I don't think you necessarily have to agree with their opinions to think so either.

To me, this episode will take its place among the best that RFN has offered. If you've never listened to RFN before, you can't go wrong by starting with this episode (then proceed to 103 perhaps ;) ). I'll try to offer some specific thoughts brought up in the episode later, but the overwhelmingly thought right now is just that the episode was quality and can stand up with the best of any other gaming podcast going on today.

It's the podcast people! If you're a visitor to NWR and don't listen to RFN, start today.

Agreed. The analysis and commentary of James/Jon was really great. Not to mention a great return of Greg, he always seems to be able to discuss the ramifications of the bigger picture in a really great an eloquent manner.

RazorkidJune 13, 2013

So excited to listen to this! Will chime back in with thoughts.

tchatenJune 13, 2013

Halfway through - curious how the BestBuy events are going - planning on attending Saturday - curious if that discussion comes up towards the end ... (looking forward to getting a Luigi hat!)

shingi_70June 13, 2013

The new interlude music should be permanent. Just finished the first half of the podcast and it was nice to here the smooth tones of Greg once again,

In regards to Mario Kart being a more evolution/Hybridization, couldn't that be said for mostly everything shown. With the exception of The Wonderful 101.

Anyone else find it ironic that Nintendo has let the gamepad usage fall to the wayside this E3, while almost everyone else showing off optional tablet controls.

It is really gratifying to hear such high praise of a show I hosted, so thank you.

I tried to let Jon build on what I discussed with Greg. I am especially happy with where Jon and I ended up, because it very much describes an E3 I would like to cover.

Indeed, thanks for the compliments! It's really fun to do a show like this one when there's so many topics to cover.

Argh, I can't wait to listen to this! Maybe tonight, as I need to prepare my thoughts for another special podcast experience...

RazorkidJune 13, 2013

This was a great podcast full of great analysis and discussion representing both positive and negative opinions.  It has thus far been the best single podcast about Nintendo at E3 that I've listened to and felt like a mature conversation without the hur dur fanboyism that always seems to infect talk about Nintendo during E3 from a lot of other outlets.

A couple points:

- I don't think it was the format of the announcements that made Nintendo's "conference" just good, but ultimately lacking in oomph. I think it is, as you guys alluded to throughout the discussion, that there was simply nothing exciting or "new" to announce.  The Direct was good and has made me excited for the rest of the years line up. I am interested in picking up every single one of the 1st party titles shown (as well as W101). But there was nothing to convert anyone who isn't necessarily wowed over by nintendo franchises or are big fans of whimsical games.  I would garner that if the footage of X from earlier in the year was combined with what was shown during the E3 direct as well as Bayo 2 first unveiling, this would have made massive waves with non nintendo gamers and what Nintendo showed of it's first party would have just augmented the presentation with a very strong showing. But I think them revealing X and Bayo 2 (truly their only unique trump cards this year for WiiU) earlier this year was needed. 

-I don't think they should ever go back to doing a big press conference. Nintendo's biggest mistake presenting the E3 Direct was not handling bandwidth properly, something they will not let happen again.  Whereas Microsoft and Sony dealt with the same embarrassments of bad demos, forced banter, awkward devs on stage, and at the mercy of a cheerful or silent audience (who are suppose to be professionals).  I think you guys were right about Nintendo needing to make this more of a spectacle. Next year, they should double down on bringing E3 to the people with more demo kiosks and limited eShop releases of E3 demos.  This, combined with how they did the developer roundtables this year (where I think should be the only place devs should talk about their game in-depth at E3 instead of on-stage where a million and one things can go wrong) and more game specific directs would be a really exciting thing to look forward to.

-You guys also hit the nail on the head with the fact that if you are currently a WiiU owner, there is a lot to look forward to over the next 6-12 months.  But Nintendo, nor 3rd parties, have shown any system sellers to the non-nintendo crowd or anything that showcases the Game pad in a "gee whiz, I gotta buy this system to try this out" way.  I think, much like with the 3DS, more people (ie. nintendo fence sitters and non-nintendo fans) will buy the system as the quality software library builds up over time instead of everyone buying the system right away for the "it" game. I foresee a lot of "I wouldn't buy a WiiU for SM3DW, Bayo2, WWHD, Pikman3, or W101. But when X (or SSB4) comes out, I'm definitely picking up a system along with a host of those other games."

Again, fabulous job guys. James did a great job hosting and it was soooo good hearing Greg's sane voice once again.

Quote from: Razorkid

I foresee a lot of "I wouldn't buy a WiiU for SM3DW, Bayo2, WWHD, Pikman3, or W101. But when X (or SSB4) comes out, I'm definitely picking up a system along with a host of those other games."

I agree 100%, because this is exactly the boat I'm in.  That's why I'm so disappointed that Mario Kart 8 was pushed to next year...I had my heart set on getting a Wii U+Mario Kart 8 for Christmas. Having to wait another 10-12 months for the game that is literally gating my Wii U purchase - a system that I'm just looking for an excuse to buy - really burns.

I'm also not pleased that there are are so few system-sellers for me, personally. Contrast this with the 3DS, where the games that I'm going to buy for the rest of the year are slowly stacking up (Pokemon, Link Between Worlds), not to mention the fact that Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons are going to keep me busy throughout the summer. On top of that, I like the system so much that if Nintendo brings over the Monster Hunter 4 3DS I'm going to buy a second version of the system. I'm not exactly a hard sell.

EDIT: One more thought: I didn't buy a 3DS until Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land were available. It looks like Wii U will be the same way; it might not be one game that does it, but instead a critical mass of games that makes it impossible for me to resist a purchase.

DonkeyBilly KongJune 14, 2013

"a system that I'm just looking for an excuse to buy"

That is funny, because I think many of us Nintendo fans are doing the same thing.  It is hard to believe that I've waited this long to buy the console.  I expected the next big Mario game and a price drop this year, along with something from Retro, which would easily push me over the edge.  Instead, it is another year of waiting for next year.

Since I've waited so long, I can hold out for a price drop and special edition.  As an early adopter, I've never been able to get the fun colors.

TJ SpykeJune 14, 2013

Quote from: KeyBilly

I expected the next big Mario game and a price drop this year, along with something from Retro, which would easily push me over the edge.

2 of those 3 are happening though.

You presume that the second part of his Retro statement, "Something that would push me over the edge," is satisfied by Donkey Kong.

TJ SpykeJune 14, 2013

He said something from Retro would push him over the edge, he didn't say it was something specific.

DonkeyBilly KongJune 14, 2013

Okay, TJ.  I should have been more specific.  :P:

For the first time, a Nintendo console did not have enough at or close to launch to make me buy it, or even be very excited to try it.  We didn't get the "next big Mario game" yet, or even an announcement.  We didn't get a price drop, though that could be announced later this year.  Retro's game was shown, and it was Donkey Kong.

I like DKCR and will likely get the sequel on sale at some point, but it is not a system seller.  I like Super Mario 3D Land, but it falls far short of a full marquee Mario title in my view, and just got tedious after a while rather than capturing my imagination like Galaxy or Sunshine.  It should be fun for mixed groups.  SSB and X are 2014.  It's just not enough yet for me personally.

But, at some point it will be.  It will be fun to jump in late and get the perks of having a lot of cheap games to pick from and special edition consoles.  I should have done it with the 3DS, but I bought it because it was a Nintendo system rather than waiting for it to be worth the price.  I guess that experience is what gave me the willpower to wait this time.

TrueNerdJune 16, 2013


Uncle_OptimusJune 17, 2013

I want to echo a couple of the comments here lauding Jon, Greg and especially James for delivering a fantastic episode of RFN. Jonny and G could rest easy this week 'cuz you dudes absolutely held down the fort.

While every RFN is appreciated, I particularly value the show when it delves into the kind of thought exercises that look at Nintendo's E3 stance this year in context of where the company is in the market currently, what they sought to accomplish last week and their interesting decisions regarding E3 engagement (obvious confidence in the Direct medium giving them, surprise surprise, full control of timing and message). Very interested to hear that their Best Buy hands-on initiative has been relatively well executed in lieu of their terrible handling of the much-anticipated live-stream.

Really wonderful job, James, tying the Greg segment (what a treat to hear his level-headed thoughts again!) with the spirited and funny rat-a-tat chatter with this promising new Jon fellow. Great PR-idea spitballing. (BTW promising fresh voice here, looking forward to hearing more from him!) Cute little segue you put in there, too, bravo.

MASBJune 17, 2013

Quote from: Uncle_Optimus

Really wonderful job, James, tying the Greg segment (what a treat to hear his level-headed thoughts again!) with the spirited and funny rat-a-tat chatter with this promising new Jon fellow. Great PR-idea spitballing. (BTW promising fresh voice here, looking forward to hearing more from him!) Cute little segue you put in there, too, bravo.

He's no Evan Burchfield, but I like this Jon guy. He's got potential. Like they say in pro sports, he's got a lot of upside.

Rubber Band AIJune 19, 2013

Yes, I actually listened to this behemoth of a podcast twice. Twice.

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