Nintendo E3 Press Conference Highlights

On the morning of June 7, Nintendo held its annual E3 press conference. Here is a breakdown:

* Nintendo opened its conference with a live orchestra playing various Zelda medleys, while a montage of Zelda footage spanning the entire franchise played on the screen above them.

* Shigeru Miyamoto came out to discuss plans for the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series, which includes the release of Link’s Awakening for the 3DS eShop (available today), a free download of Four Swords for the DSi in September, along with a special gold edition Wii controller to accompany the release of Skyward Sword this holiday season. Additionally, starting in the fall, Nintendo will hold Zelda symphony concerts in each region. No dates were given on when they would take place. Finally, to cap the celebration off, Nintendo will be releasing two Legend of Zelda music cd’s; one being the Ocarina of Time soundtrack (free for those who register Ocarina of Time 3D), the other a soundtrack based on the symphony concerts, to be used in conjunction with the release of Skyward Sword.

* Nintendo’s global president Satoru Iwata elaborated on “deeper and wider” gaming experiences, referring to their new home console, though details weren’t disclosed immediately. A short video was shown, teasing upcoming 3DS titles, including Mario Kart, Star Fox, Super Mario, Kid Icarus, and the return of Luigi in Luigi’s Mansion 2.

* Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime hit the stage, bringing with him a video of Mario Kart 3DS, after which he announced will release this holiday season. A demonstration video of Star Fox was shown, showcasing traditional button controls, in addition to controlling the game using the 3DS’s gyroscope. Also revealed for Star Fox is a group play mechanic that, using the 3DS camera, will capture and record facial expressions in real time, allowing for better recognition as players chase down friends and foes.

* Brand new trailers were shown for upcoming 3DS titles Super Mario and Luigi’s Mansion 2, along with Kid Icarus: Uprising, which was revealed to have 3 on 3 multiplayer battles, including augmented reality battles. All three titles are scheduled for release later this year.

* Short montages of gameplay clips are shown, including clips of Resident Evil: Revelations, and Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater

* 10 3D trailers are released for the 3DS eShop, including trailers for Animal Crossing and Resident Evil: Revelations. Game demos for downloadable and retail software will be available later this year.

* Reggie introduces the world to the Wii’s successor, “Wii U,” along with its new tablet-like controller, which boast a 6.2 inch touch screen. A video demonstrating how the controller is used ensues, highlighting a variety of ways players will use the controller to interact with games. Wii U’s controller will feature a d-pad, four face buttons, four shoulder triggers, two analog sliders, a power button and a camera. The controller can be used either simultaneously or separate from the TV; gameplay can be streamed from the TV to the controller, and vice versa. Video chat between two tablets is made possible via the camera, as was demonstrated in the video. Wii U supports resolutions up to 1080p. Wii U will launch next year, though no exact date or price was given.

* The demonstration video concluded with HD footage of how The Legend of Zelda might look using Wii U’s new processing power.

* Iwata announces that new versions of Super Smash Bros is coming to both Wii U and 3DS.

* A tech demo supposedly showing off Wii U’s processing power is shown.

* New Super Mario Bros. Mii is announced for Wii U. Players can now play as their Mii’s.

* The new controller has a mechanic called “Shield Pose,” that lets you “take the game world off of the TV and spread it all around you, and peer into it from any angle.”

* A new form of multiplayer is announced called “Chase Mii,” and when using the new controller, allows a “birds eye view” of the action when playing with others who may be using standard Wii controllers.

* Lego City Stories is announced for Wii U.

* A video showing developer reactions to Wii U is shown, bringing with it the reveal that Batman: Arkham City, Assassins Creed and Darksiders II will release on the system, the latter being a launch title.

* An additional video showing more Wii U games is shown, including: Dirt, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online, Metro Last Light, Tekken, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge.

* CEO of Electronic Arts John Riccitiello comes out to highlight “a breakthrough relationship” with Nintendo, “based on a stunning breakthrough in technology.” He praises Nintendo’s vision, new gameplay opportunities for EA’s franchises, “deeper online capabilities,” and the Wii U’s “brilliant high definition graphics.”

* Reggie steps out once more to announce that 8 Wii U tech demos are playable on the show floor, also announcing that Nintendo Network is back to give viewers from home exclusive content, including daily news updates, interviews with key developers, and an in depth look at the Wii U controller.

Analysis: Let me tell you what I didn’t expect: I didn’t expect them to use the Wii name again. Secretly, I kind of wanted a new name. One with power. One that stands tall. I wanted a name that sent chills down the backs of those who nagged and griped about Nintendo’s past efforts. A name like, “Wii Eat Kids,” or something.

The end.

-Donavan Tucker


But not really…

You see, I’m not that difficult to please. Yes, I gripe, bitch, and moan at times (which is totally not true), but in the end I just want to play games. So Project Cafe ended up being called Wii U – “shock, OH, surprise” – whatever, just show me the games. Quite honestly, it was foolish of me to even think they’d leave the Wii legacy behind; Wii is a big fat cow named BRAND. They’re gonna milk the shit out of it.

But whatever. This isn’t about the name. It’s about the games.

Oh wait a minute — no it’s not…

It’s about the controller.

Personally, I like what they’ve done with the place. Wii U’s controller is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and is definitely more of a revolution than the original Wii controller. Like Wii, some people will think it’s “cool” to go around calling it a gimmick, when in actuality this thing has some real potential. Of course, potential means nothing if there’s no ambition behind it, so it’s up to developers to push the envelope. A good portion of developers are graphic whores anyway, and being that Wii U can output some serious resolution, I’ve got a feeling it’ll be that much easier getting them onboard, if they’re not already.

With the exception of Samus, everyone seemed to show up for the 3DS’s coming out party, from Pit to Mario, Link to Fox McCloud, and even Luigi; The gang was all there. We’ll see most of those releases later this year, so I think it’s safe to say that the 3DS is about to lay the smack down on all who opposed it. Bitches.

An amazing new trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was released, and as I predicted, Link will fly. Sorry, I had to mention that…

Unlike Microsoft and Sony, I don’t feel like Nintendo was trying to do anything, just only what comes natural to them, which is something I appreciate in life, in general. No one can ever be a better you than U. U know what I’m saying? Nintendo does.

Sorry, but I have nothing but good things to say about Nintendo’s showing at E3. It was a fine balance of just about everything I wanted to see, from core gamer titles to casual, and all that was in between. It made me smile.


I gotta say it was a good day.

The REAL end


About Donavan Tucker