Nintendo E3 Press Conference
Today was the Nintendo Conference at E3, wrapping the presentations from the holy trinity of gaming. Nintendo is the only one announcing a new console: the Wii U. They presented the Wii U Gamepad in a pre-E3 conference but did not talk much about the console itself.
It was made clear early in the conference that they would not go in details regarding the technical specs of the Wii U system, but instead focus on games. It was implied that it would support content providers such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. Miiverse, Nintendo's social plateform, was quickly demo'ed but it didn't add much to what was mentionned in the pre-E3 conference. There was however no set release date other than "this Holiday Season" and not even one ball park figure as to its price. You'd think that, being the only major game manufacturer launching a new system this year, they would make a bigger deal out of it. So far, the XBOX update is the most outstading announcement of the year since it will essentially enhance the gaming and entertainment experience much like the Wii U, except using hardware you already own. Nonetheless, the Nintendo conference did not fall completely flat.
Nintendo managed to squeeze in 23 games in their presentation, including the long-awaited Pikmin 3. This classic will feature off-line and online multiplayer and utilise the Gamepad's features. And what would be a Nintendo console launch without a new Mario Bros. game? Yet another 2D plateformer that is sure to deliver great fun and much like its Wii predecessor, it will support up to 4 players. The game will also be playable on the Gamepad independently from any TV set. So if the Habs do make the play-offs this year, I'll be able to play Mario Bros. Wii U while my boyfriend is glued to the TV set. They premiered the trailer for Lego City: Undercover which looks like a fun and hilarious game. Another expected release is the Wii Fit U which will feature new excercises utilising both the Balance Board and the Gamepad. Other titles presented for the Wii U were reboots of popular games that you might already own on another plateform like Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition, Mass Effect 3 and Ninja Gaiden 3. Ubisoft will be releasing new games like Zombie U and The Avengers as well as a Rayman reboot.
They skimmed over a few 3DS titles, keeping the bulk of the announcement for their follow-up 3DS only conference. Notable releases include a new Luigi's Mansion, a new 2D Mario Bros. which will be completely different from the Wii U version and a brand spankin' new Paper Mario. Each seamed to stay true to their respective franchise with small tweaks and new features that will utilise the portable console's capabilities. For example, in Paper Mario, you collect stickers instead of items. The stickers are expendable so let's say you get a flower one, you have a finite amount of fireballs to throw.
The big finale was reserved for Nintendo Land which combines Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and Animal Crossing. It's basically what it sounds like, a giant theme park of mini games and puzzles that will provide wholesome fun.
Missing from this conference were key franchises like Zelda and Mario Kart.
So a good conference from Nintendo however nothing we didn't expect. They are keeping it nice and safe. To check out more videos from the E3 conference, head to Nintendo's Youtube Channel.