Tuesday, June 7, 2011

E3 Coverage Pt 3: Nintendo Conference

The Big N, Nintendo that is, gave their presentation this morning and I must say, it revived some of my fanboyism from my high school days.  I've been a lover of all things Nintendo since I was 4 years old, so I won't even try to hide my bias, but I did want a little of my fervor to die down before I wrote this article, so I'll try to present to you the facts first, and you can ignore my interpretation at the end if you choose to do so.  A stream of the conference can be found here. Without further ado:

Nintendo went for a balance between hardware and software this time around, but the major headliner here has been the target of rumors for months.  Namely project cafe.  Speculation of the device produced several concept devices that ended up not being that far from the mark:
Nintendo officially revealed the true nature of the console today:
Stating a desire to no longer pander only to the casual gaming crowd, Reggie Fils-aime described the addition of "u" as literally meaning "you," as in the solo player.  The Wii U (a clever pun because it sounds like Wii 2) will not only deliver an HD console experience but allow you to transfer that experience to the screen on the controller, allowing one person to not completely dominate a TV during their play time.  But there's more.  The tablet acts almost like the second DS screen when playing games, and can give you inventories, maps, multiplayer personal screens, the possibilities seem endless.  Here's a list of all the features of the controller:
  • Resitive Touch pad (stylus useable)
  • Two Circle Pads
  • Microphone
  • Front Facing Camera
  • Two Shoulder pads, two triggers
  • Capable of interacting with anything bearing the wii name
  • Accelerometer
  • 6.2 inch screen
No pricing info yet, but I can imagine these controllers are going to be ridiculously expensive, and there isn't any footage of multiple of these working together.  The Wii U console looks similar to the Wii, but much rounder:
It's rather difficult to simply explain all the things it can do, you really have to watch the conference for yourself.  Now onto games:

Alot of nintendo's flagship titles are coming back, along with a few surprises:
Kid Icarus (3DS)

Luigi's Mansion (3DS)

Animal Crossing (3DS)
Super Mario (3DS)
Star Fox 64 (3DS)
Mario Kart (3DS)

Kirby (Wii)
Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword
And Iwata mentioned a Smash Bros that would play on 3DS AND WiiU, though no footage or images were show.
And these are just first party titles.  Needless to say, I will be buying all of these.  Nintendo has also promised a whole slew of things from Ninja Gaiden to Socom to Metal Gear Solid from third party developers.
Nothing concrete yet, but you can expect to see games like these to be appearing on all three platforms equally after WiiU is released.

Bias aside, it's clear that Nintendo dominated this year's E3, but that's not to say that Wii U will not have any hurdles to jump over.  Nintendo damaged it's identity with many core gamers so it has to work through that first.  The 3DS was a step in the right direction and this is too.  There are alot of naysayers saying the tablet is just a gimmick like motion controls were before, but I think they fail to see the possibilities that can be done with such a device.  I, being an aspiring game designer, am absolutely giddy about the things you might be able to do.  This could completely eliminate the screen looking problem in local multiplayer, or you could integrate the tablet so that certain clues in a mystery game appear on it only, etc., etc.  In the early years, expect to see the tablet being used mainly for inventories and maps, but Nintendo generally knows what it's doing when it introduces new hardware like this.  It's almost as if Nintendo makes first party games to show other developers how many different ways their things can be used.

But you may have noticed that the controller bears an eerie similarity to the PSVita.  While people obviously won't be buying that device to use it as a controller, Sony has mentioned that a player could transfer the game they are playing on a PS3 directly to the PSVita and continue elsewhere.  Who's to say that Sony won't follow suit with this tablet idea and allow the PSVita the same kind of integration with its console counterpart?

I am extremely excited for all of these, this is very much so one of those
moments.  This holiday season and next year are going to be interesting times in gaming.

My evaluation of E3 this year?  Definitely did not disappoint, but I do wish I could've seen more from Microsoft, the Kinect has so much potential that is being wasted right now.  And for once, Sony might convince me to buy one of their handhelds.  Only time will tell though, in the meantime I'll just keep giggling to myself about how excited I am for Nintendo games.

Thanks for reading my coverage of E3, if you liked my thoughts, recommend this blog to your friends and share the love.


  1. I can't wait for mario cart 3ds to come out, i was addicted to the first one and the one on the WII

  2. I dunno about these games. I have been a Zelda fan since the series was created, but I feel like the gameplay looked a bit weak, and Kid Icarus also seemed to be lacking.

  3. i am definitely getting a wii U!!

  4. Wii U looks interesting. I would have to personally play it to say whether or not I would buy it though.

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