What Can We Expect at E3 2013?
Nintendo recently shocked gamers everywhere with an announcement about not having their typical E3 press conference in 2013. The past few years of E3 have had Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all having a “main” conference where they show off exciting new technology, relay business statistics and strategies, and debut games all live on stage. Nintendo is seemingly dropping that type of presentation in favor of smaller events, where they will personally address smaller crowds and allow them to play the latest games. Many believe the company will use Nintendo Directs around the time of E3 as a way to deliver their exclusive footage of new games to people worldwide.
E3 2013 is also supposed to be when the public gets its first look at the new Smash Bros. game(s). Whether this will be through screenshots, a trailer, or even playable demos at E3, no one knows. What we do know is what we have seen in the past, specifically the debut footage of Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Super Smash Bros. Melee was first revealed at E3 2001 at a live stage presentation. Nintendo wished to show off the power of the Nintendo Gamecube, leading into the debut footage of Super Smash Bros. Melee. The impressive intro FMV is shown in its entirety, followed by additional in-game footage of the fighters in action. Nintendo even had a playable demo available at the show, which made kids like me reading at home about it on their computer super jealous. However, players would not have to wait long to get their hands on Melee; while it missed its intended release date as a launch title, it did manage to come out the very same year, 2001.
If you’re familiar with Nintendo’s E3 conferences of the past few years, you will notice how much smaller in scope and size this presentation is. There was no professional live stream, grand stage, or dramatic lighting. This was before the conferences were being watched and scrutinized by everyone around the world at the same time, and was instead much more personal. Despite this, the amount of revealed content was almost overwhelming. Imagine getting a full-length debut trailer, gameplay footage, and hands on impressions of a game demo of the new Smash Bros. all at once!
Super Smash Bros. Brawl has a very different history, one that stretches over multiple years. Before anything was even shown, Nintendo announced a sequel to Super Smash Bros. Melee in 2005 for the Gamecube’s successor. It was not until E3 2006, however, that the public caught its first glimpse of the new title, in the form of a debut trailer. Much like Melee’s intro, this trailer was an FMV which showed both cinematic renderings as well as snippets of gameplay. Additionally, it included a teaser at the end for Solid Snake, the very first third-party playable character in the series. The direct feed of this footage was available to download worldwide shortly after it was shown at a scaled down press event, which took place after Nintendo’s main conference.
However, this time around, Nintendo did not have a playable demo ready. Game development had only started in October 2005, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl aimed to have a massive amount of content. The first playable demo appeared in 2007, the same year as the debut of the Super Smash Bros. DOJO!!. 2007 was also the expected release date for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but development troubles lead to it being delayed into early 2008. However, 2006’s debut trailer was still an amazing sight to see all on its own, and it reflected the look of the final product perfectly.
What most Super Smash Bros. fans have come to expect as a result of these game’s debuts is an impressive trailer, one that goes beyond being a simple tease. They both also emphasize the graphical leap provided by a new console, and show several new characters and abilities. Development on the 4th installment of Super Smash Bros. started in early 2012, so it is not unreasonable to assume an eye-catching trailer of 2 minutes or more will be available in some form. With the announcement of a changed presentation format at E3 that focuses on giving more time to playing games early on in the show, it may even be likely that a playable demo will be available. However, there is an “X factor” with regards to this Super Smash Bros. sequel being developed for both 3DS and WiiU. Will Nintendo show something for both versions?
Just for fun, I will also include links to two Japanese commercial for the first Super Smash Bros. on Nintendo 64. As far as I know, this game did not have a debut trailer, which can be credited to its history of originally being a low-budget, small-time title. Things sure have changed!