Nintendo 2011 E3 Press Conference Recap

And finally, its time for the final E3 press conference from the console giants and the most hyped E3 press conference this year, it’s time for Nintendo to take center stage.

Nintendo kicked off their E3 with a trailer showing the last 25 years of The Legend Of Zelda with music provided by a live orchestra. This was a very well produced video and was worthy of a franchise as prestigious as Zelda. Shigeru Miyamoto then took the stage and talked about the music in Zelda and how important it is to the experience. He announced that The Legend Of Zelda Skyward Sword had full orchestral music and got the live orchestra to perform some soundbites from the games. He then announced some Zelda related games that would be coming this year. As it’s the 25th anniversary of Zelda, each Nintendo console is getting some form of Zelda, the 3DS eshop is getting The Legend Of Zelda LInks Awakening, The Ocarina Of Time comes out next week for Nintendo 3DS, Four Swords will be coming to the DSI as a free download as a four player game and The Legend Of Zelda Skyward Sword is coming for the holidays this year and to celebrate its release, Nintendo are releasing a special gold Wiimote with a Zelda logo to be released alongside it. Also, Zelda symphony concerts will be coming around the world and 2 CD’s will be released, the first is an Ocarina Of Time soundtrack which will be given to those first to register the game at Club Nintendo and the second is made up from music played at those concerts and will be released alongside Skyward Sword.

Satoru Iwata came on stage next and talked about how Nintendo expanded the gaming population with the Wii and DS. He basically admitted that people saw Wii as a casual console and that the industry hasn’t yet seen a console that appeals to both hardcore gamers and casual gamers. They aim to do this with their new console that is coming next year but first talked about 5 games that were coming to the 3DS.

These were Mario Kart 3DS, Starfox, Super Mario 3D, Kid Icarus Uprising and Luigi’s Mansion 2. Mario Kart showed new gliding mechanics, underwater racing and kart customization. Starfox uses the camera to record your reactions while playing and you can use the motion sensing in the console to control your starship. Super Mario 3D showed how it mixes 2D and 3D and different camera angles for its gameplay. Kid Icarus had a new trailer which revealed the use of AR cards and a 3 on 3 multiplayer mode. Luigi’s Mansion 2 was showed off in trailer form and looked like a direct sequel to the Gamecube game. All of these games are coming later this year. Nintendo then ran a video which showed third party games coming to the 3DS. These were Resident Evil the Mercenaries 3D, Mario and Sonic at the London Olympics, Ace Combat 3D, Tetris, Cave Story 3D, Resident Evil Revelations, Driver Renegade, Pac Man vs Galaga, Tekken and Metal Gear Solid 3 remake. Also it was announced that the 3DS would be getting game demos by the end of the year.

And finally, it was time to talk about the new console. It is called Wii U. The new controller is as the rumours suggested, an iPad with buttons. It looks like the bottom half of the 3DS but with a 2nd circle pad on the right side above the buttons. You can stream gameplay from the TV to the controller, can draw using a stylus, you can also play only using the controller, it has motion built in and uses current wii accessories like the Wii Fit balance board. You can make video calls and it has certain airplay like features. The screen is 6.2 inches and the console is backwards compatible with all Wii games and all Wii accessories. Nintendo stressed that although it has some characteristics of a handheld, it is not designed to be a handheld console as its main use is to stream content from the TV and the console. Satoru Iwata then announced that Smash Bros is coming to Wii U and the 3DS and the games will work together in some capacity. Various tech demos were then shown showing the motion and the screen in action and it looked exactly like how you would expect. They then announced that the only game they would be formally announcing today for Wii U is Lego City Stories, an open world Lego game.

Next 2 separate videos were shown, the first were third party developers talking about how the console and the controller can be used and announced that Tekken, Darksiders 2, Batman Arkham City, Assassins Creed and Ghost Recon Online are all in development. The second trailer showed gameplay footage of Dirt, Aliens Colonel Marines, Metro Last Night, Ninja Gaiden 3 and footage of how you can draw on peoples faces in Tekken. EA then took the stage and announced unparalleled support for the console and how its franchises would work on the system and mentioned that the new system has deeper online capabilities.

Nintendo then wrapped it up by saying how Wii and DS changed gaming through innovation and how 3DS and Wii U will continue to change gaming.

In conclusion, it was a tale of 2 halves. They didn’t disappoint in terms of the 3DS with great software coming before the end of the year and a great lineup coming within the next year from third parties. But the Wii U almost felt underwhelming. There is no doubt great third party support with great games coming but all they really showed was concepts, they didn’t show any games running on the new system and bizarrely didn’t even show the console itself, just the controller. Although since the conference ended, a picture has surfaced online which is at the end of this post. Although I was disappointed with the Wii U, the 3DS more than made up for any shortcomings and the 3DS is starting to look like the must have console this year.

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