Live E3 2011 Coverage – Nintendo

In Videogames on June 7, 2011 at 7:44 AM

This post will feature live, up to date info on the Nintendo press conference.  Nintendo is the last press conference of the show and the Big N is expected to formally reveal their new console and successor to the Wii, currently codenamed Project Cafe.  In order to keep the news up to date just hit your browsers refresh button.  Coverage for the Nintendo press conference begins at 9 AM PST/12 PM EST.  Also, be sure to check out previous coverage of the EA, Ubisoft, Sony and Microsoft conferences from yesterday on the main page.

9:01 AM – Big blue screen.  Indie rock.  I think that means a conference is starting.  On stage it looks like Nintendo is keeping our audience occupied with Nintrivia.

9:03 AM – The music has stopped.  And…it’s just changed to a different indie song.  Still rocking that Nintrivia on the big screen.

9:05 AM – The music has stopped for real this time because here comes a live orchestra playing Legend of Zelda music as a retrospective plays on the screen spanning every Zelda game ever, even that crapfest Zelda II.  I’m just guessing this is going to end with Skyward Sword.

9:09 AM – Finally we get some Skyward Sword footage.  Zelda appears to be riding flying birds like Avatar.  The video ends with a 25th anniversary emblem.  Did Ubisoft invade?  Now comes Shigeru Miyamoto to presumably show off Skyward Sword.  Miyamoto reveals that the live orchestra’s final song was the theme for Skyward Sword and mentions the importance of music in the Zelda franchise.  Then he invites the orchestra to play music in the upcoming game live for our audience.  As they play the sounds for opening a chest, Miyamoto playfully pretends to open a chest.  He’s having a blast up there.  Then he announces Link’s Awakening will be downloadable for the 3DS online marketplace as of today.  After that he goes straight into a speech about the upcoming Ocarina of Time 3D.  Finally he announces the Legend of Zelda: Four Swords for the DSi as a free download in the coming weeks.  Now we’re onto Skyward Sword and with the release of the game Nintendo is going to releases a limited edition gold Wiimote with a painted Zelda emblem.  Miyamoto then invites the audience to play both Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time 3D on the show floor.  Finally he announces that orchestras will be performing Legend of Zelda live concerts in every region around the world this fall.  Get my ticket ready.  But that’s not it.  Nintendo’s also releasing two CDs based on the music including Ocarina of Time soundtrack as a free gift for those who register their games early and another based on the live upcoming concerts.  Miyamoto then invites several of his colleagues out on stage who have worked on the various Mario and Zelda games over the years with him.

9:21 AM – And here comes Satoru Iwata.  He begins by talking up the recent efforts to introduce new gamers in the market, but states that there is still a divide between casual and “hardcore” gamers.  He claims that Nintendo’s new console will attempt to break that barrier with deeper and wider gaming experiences.  Iwata claims the goal of innovation is to “serve every player.”  Iwata then confirms the new console will not be out until next year.  This year’s focus will be on the 3DS and we immediately start with a trailer for Mario Kart on the 3DS followed shortly by Star Fox.  Then it’s a teaser for New Super Mario Bros. before the arena goes black to prop up some awesome Kid Icarus action.  After that is a tease for Luigi’s Mansion, which is pure amazing.  And then we get big Reggie out to presumably talk about all these titles.

9:28 AM – Reggie Fils-Amie addresses the consumers demand for returns of their favorites while also getting new content.  He says he’ll address both of those concerns, stating all five titles they just teased will be on the floor in 2D versions today.  Now we get a full blown trailer for Mario Kart 3D.  It seems like your typical Mario Kart action but with the inclusion of some pretty interesting hangliding and underwater racing aspects.  At the end the video also highlights some customizable kart action, which looked pretty intriguing visually but we’ll have to wait for the practical implications of that.

9:31 AM – Reggie now moves to Star Fox and shows off the ability to control your fighters by tilting the system side by side.  It also supports multiplayer experiences with 3DS’s street pass.  Star Fox 3D is due out in September.

9:32 AM – Now we move to Super Mario 3D, which looks like a strange mix between the fully 3D environments of Mario 64 and the side scrolling action of New Super Mario Bros.  The trailer shows off nothing new but does display some gorgeous Mario action.

9:34 AM – Up next is a full trailer for Kid Icarus: Uprising and this looks nothing like I expected.  There’s swords, there’s magic, there’s multiplayer, there’s Medusa.  Reggie reveals the inclusion of 3 v 3 multiplayer and augmented reality cards.

9:36 AM – And here comes the first new announcement for Luigi’s Mansion 2.  I wonder what this isn’t called Luigi’s Mansion 3D.  The first Luigi’s Mansion game always got a bad wrap because it was a launch title that wasn’t Mario, so hopefully this game will get the respect the first one deserved since it was awesome.  Reggie confirms why it isn’t called Luigi’s Mansion 3D because they stress that this isn’t a remake but a full game built from the ground up for 3DS.

9:39 AM – Here comes a trailer for a bunch of games like Resident Evil: Revelations, Driver Renegade, Tetris, Pacman and Galaga Dimensions, Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D, and Cave Story 3D.

9:40 AM – Reggie then goes into hype mode for the 3DS virtual console and e-shop, complete with the announcement of ten 3D trailers up this week.  To promote the virtual console Reggie announces a free download for Excitebike 3D.  Then Reggie quickly goes to Pokemon and showcases Pokedex 3D and the ability to find new Pokemon through various features such as AR markers and street pass.  If I was 13 I think this would be blowing my mind right now.  The Pokedex 3D is also available for free only on the 3DS e-shop.

9:44 AM – Reggie moves on to our last order of business and that seems to be the new Nintendo console.  As an official successor to the Wii, the console will be called Wii U because it’s all about “you.”  Reggie then shows the new controller, which looks sort of like a tablet computer mashed into the center of the bottom half of a 3DS.  Now its trailer time.  The trailer begins by showcasing the ability to switch from the TV to the in controller display.  You can also use the display to draw similar to the Wii’s U-Draw.  The screen is also a touch screen where you can play games such as checkers.  In a demo for baseball the controller is used to catch a ball.  For golf it displays your ball buried in a sandtrap.  The controller can also be used for video calls like Skype and potential uses of Kinect.  Similar to the DS the controller can also act like a menu or map system, which is shown for a potential Zelda title.

9:50 AM – Iwata is back onstage to explain more about Wii U.  To start, Iwata highlights the screen as a 6.2″ display.  He also insists the Wii U will be 100% backwards compatible and usable with the new controller.  The controller will also have two analog sticks, a control pad, six interface buttons including L and R, a built in speaker and microphone, touch screen, rumble and tilt functionality.  Iwata then stresses that the system is not portable and designed to be in home even though the controller shows characteristics similar to a portable system.  Iwata also hints that the system is HD compatible, which will certainly make Michael Pacther a happy man.

9:55 AM – Iwata then throws the ball to a video interview of Miyamoto discussing the practical applications of Wii U.  The video doesn’t go into specifics though and deals in vague concepts rather than absolutes or ideas.  Iwata then announces a Smash Bros. game that will be cross platform and the crowd gives their biggest cheer of the entire E3 2011 so far.

9:58 AM – Reggie comes back out to announce 8 interactive demos on the show floor that are essentially tech demos for the new product.  He then shows an on stage video of what the system is capable of, highlight a bird flying through beautiful landscapes.  While its graphical potency looked fine, it wasn’t amazing and there was no use of the controller in that trailer so I don’t see the point of that.  He then reveals a New Super Mario Bros. game in development tentatively called New Super Mario Bros. Mii.  Reggie discusses various prototypes before revealing an official new game in development by Tt games based on the Lego universe called Lego City Stories, an open world Lego game exclusive to Wii U and 3DS.  Like the 3DS reveal last year, they finish the Wii U portion with a video of various developers discussing ways they could use the platform as a developer or gamer.  They then tease potential games for Wii U such as Darksiders II intended for launch, Assassin’s Creed, and even Batman: Arkham City.  After the developer montage we get short videos for Darksiders II, Dirt, Aliens Colonial Marines, Ghost Recon Online, Metro Last Light, Tekken, and Ninja Gaiden 3.

10:08 AM – Reggie and Iwata hype up the future and then invite EA CEO John Riccitello on stage.  Riccitello talks about implications for Madden or Battlefield and their potential in an open online environment that can utilize EA’s various online hubs for their many games.  Riccitello’s appearance presumably exists to alleviate concerns of Nintendo’s past with third-party publishers.

10:12 AM – Reggie leaves us by hyping the innovation of Nintendo’s four consoles, all of which he claims changed gaming.  He states the presentation today was “just the beginning” and that the next step begins right now.  He states that people watching online can experience live updates and exclusive content including an in depth look at Wii U on the Nintendo Network at E3.Nintendo.com.  With that Reggie bids us adieu and that wraps up the press conferences from E3 2011.


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