In short: Nintendo Conference E3 (UPDATED)
The moment we’ve all been waiting for…
Not to dis on Microsoft (any more than already has been… Break) or Sony, but lets face it, Nintendo is what everyone was waiting for. Their press conference, we’ve known for a little while now, was going to introduce a new console. Nothing builds buzz like new hardware, and all of the potential it presents.
Now, at last, we know what Nintendo’s got up their sleeve. Break is going to launch a podcast from the show floor shortly, but for those who want those details NOW!!!, here’s a quick rundown for you.
Introducing, the Wii U…
UPDATED: Podcast is up here!
Nintendo’s press conference opened with some familiar fanfare. This year is the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, and a full orchestra played some of our Zelda favorites as a montage of screens from the franchise’s epic history played in the background.
Still the definition of adventure gaming, Zelda’s newest installment is finally complete and will be released this holiday season. Leading up to that release, Nintendo is presenting a nationwide, touring orchestra that will play Zelda’s music for all the gamer audiophiles out there.
The images of the Wii’s new Zelda game were well received, but brief. We’ve already seen many of them, after all. But they were soon replaced by a new video, just a few seconds long. Link battled a giant spider in stunning HD. The new console was before us. The Wii U.
Now, the system wasn’t as hugely revolutionary as I would have thought, but the potential for it is still enormous. Its Nintendo’s answer to a very specific and current problem with the Wii system. While the Wii does very well for a certain audience and a certain type of game, the system is limited to that on group, and only that group. The Wii U is designed to be able to play every type of game available in the current market, and do it better than any other.
The trick is in the controller, which has the following features:
- 2 analog sticks, Left and Right
- A D-pad
- 4 standard (likely pressure sensitive) buttons
- A touch screen
- stylus for said screen
- player-facing camera
- motion control sensitivity (gyroscopic)
- a microphone
- 2 bumper buttons
- 2 triggers on the underside
All said, that list of features allows the controller to emulate every type of controller in the current market. The Ps2 and 360 Controller, the Wii-mote, and even the games for the PS Vita, all of them are represented in this one controller, in addition to having a unique level of interactivity with the system that allows this system to play every game that will exist in the current market over the course of the next few years, and a multitude of unique titles beyond that. (For instance, the screen on the controller is also HD. It can operate independent of the TV’s broadcast. This will allow for one player to do a mission on the TV, and all his co-op buddies in the same room to run completely different missions on their own screen.) It will be backwards compatible with the Wii (Gamecube?) and runs all Wii peripherals through the new controller.
The system is also capable of gorgeous 3-D, as shown by the ‘bird flight’ tech demo, and an interested simulated ‘depth’of the game world though Augmented Reality functions.
Break will go further into that, but the potential is great. I do wish they’d had more games ready for presentation, though. All that Nintendo announced themselves is Smash Brothers (yeah!), so its yet to be seen what kind of interesting innovations they will cook up for the system.
3rd party support, however, was present and demonstrated:
- Darkriders II
- Batman Arkham City
- Ghost Recon Online
- EA Sports Library
- Aliens: Colonial Marines
- Metro: Last Night
- Ninja Gaiden 3
- Battlefield 3
- Harry Potter
- Army of Two
And more to come. It does raise more questions, though, as to things like online connectivity and price point. No news on those yet, but we’ll probe at the show for answers.
Aside from that, the Wii and the Nintendo DS were largely ignored. There will surely be more on the floor. I know they have a new Kirby game hidden somewhere, but they weren’t a part of the conference.
The 3DS will have its generally abysmal game library grow this year. Playable demos were available for Mario, Mario Kart, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Starfox, Kid Icarus, and more. Break is playing those even as I type this, so expect a report in his forthcoming podcast.
That’s pretty much all that was in the conference. I’m off to find more info on the floor. Make sure you check back through the day, and give Break a listen early this afternoon!