Nintendo have managed to keep pretty tight-lipped about their announcements at E3 this year. The only slip was the unearthing of an English Wii Fit Plus logo on the Japanese trademark database, suggesting a sequel to the popular Wii Fit will be revealed tonight. We also predicted that a new Mario game may be unveiled to appease the hardcore gamers who were disappointed by last year’s performance but let’s see what Nintendo had up their sleeves by taking a look at what happened at the Nintendo’s E3 Press Conference.
(Update: Now includes footage accompanying the announcements at the conference, including New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2.)
The event started with Nintendo’s executive vice president of sales and marketing Cammie Dunaway taking the stage and discussing how videogames are becoming more and more popular. She promises to deliver both innovation and surprises during tonight’s show, before introducing us to a videogame character who has appeared in over 200 different titles. Cue the Mario retro video montage.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Dunaway continues, talking about how great Mario was in 3D but how Shigeru Miyamoto has been striving to move him into a new dimension, thinking for 15 years now about one new way to play a new Mario game. Apparently number four is the key. A logo for New Super Mario Bros. Wii is displayed on screen!
Bill Trinen takes the stage, explaining that it’s not just about more levels, enemies or items but more players! Up to four players can join in the action in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Cammie demonstrates the game with three other players, showing that you can pick up and carry other players, which you can use to either save or defeat enemies. If you lose a life, you return inside a bubble which players can also choose to pop to help you:or not.
There will also be the normal warp pipes, hidden areas, new items such as the propeller suit and lots and lots of coins to collect! It will be possible for players to get wiped off screen if they are too far behind the first player. Once a player reaches the end of a level, you have about three seconds to complete it and score points. Coins, enemies, bonus points and ranking will be displayed at the end of each level. New Super Mario Bros. Wii will be available holiday 2009.
Wii Fit Plus
Next up is Wii Fit. Nintendo has been thinking of ways to make the game easier and Wii Fit Plus is the answer. The new game will include a specific routine for players and a personal trainer in the locker room. There will also be six new strength and yoga workouts, but players will also be able to mix and match elements as well as omit interludes so you can workout for longer periods of time. Total calories will also be displayed but the game will still focus on fitness and fun.
Adding to the fun factor will be 15 new balance games including juggling, skateboarding and Perfect 10 (described as ‘Brain Age for your backside’ by Cammie). Wii Fit Plus will be available this fall, bundled with the Wii Balance Board or available as standalone software.
Wii Motion Plus and Wii Sports Resort
President of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, takes over, but not before another video montage of Punch Out, Mario Kart Wii, Wii Sports and Wii Fit scrolls across the screen. Reggie chatted about how Wii Motion Plus will ‘feel and play more real’ by adding precision. Another video, this time showing Wii MotionPlus in action, first up is ping pong, basketball, sword fighting, archery, golf, jet skiing, canoeing and finally Frisbee.
Trinen comes back on stage to give a live demo of Wii Sports Resort. Apparently we will all start the game by jumping out of an aeroplane. He demos the skydiving before moving on to archery and then faces off against Reggie in basketball. Wii Sports Resort will launch across North America on the 26th of June.
EA’s line-up of games that utilize Wii MotionPlus will launch within a matter of weeks, including Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 (bundled with Wii MotionPlus) as well as Grand Slam Tennis Wii. Sega’s Virtua Tennis will also feature Wii MotionPlus and Ubisoft’s Red Steel 2 will only be playable with Nintendo’s latest innovation. The point of all of this is that more third party games were sold for the Wii than any other platform, with the DS coming in second place.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
Reggie moves on to discussing RPGs. We see footage for the open-world RPG Chrystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers for the Wii from Square Enix as well as a DS exclusive Kingdom Hearts which will be available on the 29th of September. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story is next, footage shows the famous duo exploring the innards of Bowser after the fiend inhales the brothers. The game will be out in the US and Europe this fall. In addition the sun will rise again as Golden Sun DS launches in 2010.
Cammie’s back on now, talking about James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club Games of Passion for the DS by THQ, set to release on October 13th, as well as Ubisoft’s Cop: The Recruit. Style Savvy, known as Girls Mode in Japan, will also be coming to the DS in an effort to expand the female gamer install base.
The show moves on to the DSi now. Nintendo reveals that one million DSi units have been sold in the US since the console’s launch in April. In addition 400 000 DS Lites were sold during the same period.
Mario vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again
Some new DSi games were then revealed. Moving Memo will be coming to the DSi this summer, with Mario vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again will be available for download on the 8th of June. Players will also be able design their own games in WarioWare DIY. Cammie also announced that DSi owners will be able to upload photos taken with the console to Facebook this summer.
Cammie introduces Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo. Iwata discusses how Nintendo divides the population into active gamers, gamers who might someday play and people who won’t ever play. A study taken by Nintendo reveals that 295 million gamers are actively playing in Japan, Europe and North America, while 149 million people who fall into the might play category. No guesses why Nintendo want to tap this part of the population.
Iwata goes on to talk about the struggles to include the depth that veteran gamers demand with accessibility that new gamers need. However, he reminds us that ‘no one was born an expert gamer’ but that ‘everyone was a new player at one time.’ He believes Mario Kart Wii and the Wii Wheel helped to bridge the gap between new gamers and veterans, while games such as Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort will also appeal to everyone. Iwata then gives us a sneak peek of the Wii Vitality Sensor, which recognizes your pulse.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M
Cammie’s back now, hinting that there’s still something else new to come. It’s Super Mario Galaxy 2, footage of Mario riding Yoshi and exploring planets in space much like in the first game. The first time a second full 3D Mario title will launch on a single Nintendo console, the Wii.
It’s back to Reggie now, who admits that he reads blogs too and knows that gamers want more. He shows off footage for The Conduit from Sega, which is due out for the Wii this June. EA’s Dead Space: Extraction is next, another Wii exclusive. Reggie teases a new edgier game, something that Nintendo and Team Ninja are working on together. It’s Metroid: Other M! It promises to be a Metroid game unlike any experienced before and it will be out in 2010.
That wraps up Nintendo’s E3 press conference ‒ a new Super Mario Galaxy game, a new Super Mario Bros game and a new Metroid game, not bad for an evening’s work. More information, screenshots and trailers to follow soon.
Tags: dsi, e3, marioandluigubowsersinsidestory, mariovsdonkeykongminismarchagain, metroidotherm, newsupermariobroswii, nintendo, supermariogalaxy2, wariowarediy, wiifitplus, wiimotionplus, wiisportsresort