Nintendo's ECTS plans unveiled
Standing outside with sandwich boards, by the sound of it.
Europe's much maligned gaming trade show ECTS, which arguably once competed with E3 for scale and flamboyance, could be on the verge of a revival thanks to increased publisher interest on the back of last year's PlayStation Experience and a new "London Games Week" initiative. Then again, that's what we're told every year, and despite everyone's best efforts, Ubi Soft always seems to have the biggest stand, and publishing heavyweights including Nintendo and Microsoft regularly go elsewhere.
Nintendo, for their part, will at least be at ECTS this year, but instead of setting up a serious stand inside Earl's Court, the connectivity-obsessed company plans to park a 40-tonne truck outside the event's Brompton Road entrance and show off Mario Kart: Double Dash and a few other games on the 40-plus console pods inside - presumably an attempt to lure some of the PS Experience punters away from the plethora of PS2 titles on show inside. "This is the main thing we're doing," a Nintendo representative told C&VG yesterday. "If we have any other plans we'll announce them at a later date." No Nintendo Show this year, then? And we were so looking forward to The Sims Bustin' Out...
Apart from Mario Kart, which MCV reports will be running in finished form, Nintendo's truck will also showcase various GBA titles (including the new Zelda: Four Swords title) connected to Cubes via the Game Boy Player peripheral. Nintendo did a lot of this at E3, so it wouldn't surprise us too much.
But while Nintendo's promotional plans grow increasingly eccentric, with Vimto-backed Pokémon tours, Des Lynam's sponsored moustache and mobile game libraries parked outside trade shows, Microsoft will be whisking hundreds of journos off to sunnier climes and Sony is bound to impress with a hall of Earl's Court once again entirely under its command. Sideshow Mario is going to need more than a bus to make an impression this year, and if titles like MGS Twin Snakes, Geist, Final Fantasy and F-Zero GX don't make an appearance, questions will have to be asked.