Nintendo just wrapped up their E3 press conference and be assured that it didn’t disappoint! In addition to revealing the new Nintendo 3DS, the publisher showed off Wii Party and Metroid Other M and even managed to pull off more than a couple of surprises with the unveiling of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Mario Sports Mix, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong: Country Returns, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Goldeneye. We also got a taste of Just Dance 2, Disney’s Epic Mickey, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn and Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies.
Nintendo of America’s President Reggie Fils-Aime kicked the conference off by explaining that Nintendo is once again seeking to raise the bar in terms of gaming experience. And what better way to demonstrate this than with the new Zelda game, now titled The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Zelda’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto emerged on stage to delighted applause after Nintendo’s Bill Trinen tried rather unsuccessfully to demonstrate the new sword and shield controls of the game.
Miyamoto demonstrated how players will have the freedom to use Link’s sword, shield and items naturally using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. The game will be compatible with Wii Motion Plus and will see players swinging the Wii Remote to engage in swordplay and raising the Nunchuk to make use of the shield. Players will also be able to enjoy new items such as the whip and beetle, as well as other useful ones including the slingshot, bow and bombs, simply by selecting them on an item wheel. Miyamoto wants this Zelda to be remembered as a key turning point in Zelda’s long history and expects the game to be released next year.
Reggie returns to say that Nintendo’s goal is to provide new experiences for everyone, expanding on Miyamoto’s goal of universal appeal that entertainment can cross culture, age and gender. He then discusses the differences between ultra realistic sports games (for example, Madden NFL, PES and MLB) and those sports games that provide over the top arcade fun, like NBA Jam. This leads him to reveal the new Mario Sports Mix that sees Mario and the crew engaging in volleyball, beach and ice hockey and basketball. Mario Sports Mix will be available for the Wii in 2011 and is described as “pure fun.”
Reggie then moves on to discuss how Nintendo has sold more games for the Wii since its launch than any other videogame console. The popularity of what Nintendo call “bridge” games, like Mario Kart Wii and New Super Mario Bros. Wii has a lot to do with these sales. Wii Party is an example of such a bridge title and the publisher promises that it will “redefine multiplayer fun” with 13 different party games modes and 70 different mini-games when it releases this holiday period.
The publisher then showcased Just Dance 2, Ubisoft’s popular dance game which has enjoyed runaway success on the Wii. Up to eight players will be able to dance when the game arrives on shelves this fall. Next up was Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for the DS which will be available this holiday, followed by Goldeneye which will feature splitscreen and online multiplayer, 8 classic Bond characters as well as 16 game modes when it becomes available exclusively for the Wii this November.
Junction Point’s Warren Spector then gave us a first look at Disney’s Epic Mickey, showing us around the Wasteland and giving us a better idea of how the core gameplay mechanic of paint and thinner works to erase or restore objects in the gameworld.
Reggie returns to the stage to introduce an entirely new game, Kirby’s Epic Yarn. We were treated to see exactly how this new world of yarn has been constructed with a new art style and what we can expect when Kirby’s latest adventure launches on the Wii this fall.
Nintendo then announced that Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies will be available for the DS on the 11 of July, that’s in 26 days in case you were counting! Another great franchise will also return when Metroid Other M launches for the Wii on the 31st of August.
Could that be the sounds of Donkey Kong that we’re hearing? It is because DK is back in a new adventure for the Wii titled Donkey Kong: Country Returns. Much clapping and whistling ensues!
Reggie is back to explain that Nintendo is no longer happy to just raise the bar, but now they want to extend it into the distance too! And so the President of Nintendo Satoru Iwata takes to the stage and proclaims “Everyone, this is Nintendo 3DS. I can’t wait for you to try this.” I like him already, no beating around the bush as he explains why the 3DS will be better because it doesn’t require 3D glasses (this is explained through a short montage of the history of 3D with some really scary looking 3D glasses). The 3DS will feature an improvement to the graphical capabilities of the DS as well as a motion and gyro sensor, two cameras to take 3D digital pictures and the ability to watch 3D movies from Walt Disney, Warner Bros. and Dreamworks.
But it’s games that gamers care most about right? So Project Sora was created to create games designed specifically for the Nintendo 3DS, in particular a game featuring a character that is familiar….Kid Icarus who cheekily exclaims ‘Sorry to keep you waiting’ as he flies by. We don’t know when Kid Icarus: Uprising will be available, only that it is ‘coming soon.’
The Nintendo 3DS will enjoy the biggest launch support ever from third parties, including Activision, Atlus, Namco Bandai, Capcom, EA, Harmonix, Konami and the list goes on. Some of the games that will be coming to the 3DS that were highlighted include DJ Hero 3D, Resident Evil, Assassin’s Creed, Ridge Racer, Metal Gear Solid and Nintendogs and Cats.
Everyone in the press conference was then given the opportunity to play The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and take a closer look at the Nintendo 3DS.