Nintendo Round Up
All eyes today were on the big N. We knew there was Zelda’s 25th birthday, Mario 3DS, Mario Kart and Kid Icarus oh and the small matter of a new home console. The stage was set for a pretty exciting E3 with a few classic Nintendo Surprises thrown in for good measure. Surprises as it turns out was the word. Everyone took their seats and the show began.
First up – Zelda. Nintendo are keen to celebrate the 25th anniversary in style and that is what they plan to do! As some may know, Ocarina of Time 3D is launching next week for the 3DS. Nintendo have also confirmed that (for the Americans at least) Link’s Awakening is now available on the 3DS’s newly launched Virtual Console.
Four Swords is also available for free on the DSiWare in the winter period this year and Skyward Sword with Golden Wii Motion Plus remote will follow just before Christmas. Shigsy has been playing Skyward Sword everyday and is getting a good work out from it!
On a non-gaming note there will be a Zelda Symphony tour and two Zelda albums also released by years end!
Nintendo then teased about the new home console by providing a deeper gaming experience and offering a wider appeal in the games offered. In true Nintendo style they tease, and move on! After this information focus shifted to the 3DS where we were treated to a video of Mario Kart, Super Mario 3DS – complete with… RACCOON SUIT, Star Fox 64 3D, Kid Icarus and the first surprise of the conference… Luigi’s Mansion 2!
Let’s begin with Mario Kart. Even though the video was presented in 2D we could see how the 3D would work. The karts this time have a number of improvements such as being fully custom-able and the new handglider, underwater racing features. The game is shaping up to look as good as the Wii version if not better!
StarFox 64 or Lylat Wars as it was known in Europe is bringing exciting new ways to experience online gaming. As a sign that Nintendo are finally taking online gaming seriously, the players will be in the game thanks to the inward camera. Also Voice chatting will be enabled to celebrate wins or coordinate with others.
Keen to show off what we all have know for a while, Super Mario 3DS will have the raccoon suit as hinted at by Shigeru Miyamoto a couple of months ago. The game is taking shape nicely and will be on sale by the end of this year.
Kid Icarus is a game that we have known about since the existence of the 3DS and again will be out by the end of the year, but time is being taken to ensure that this game is just as good as everyone hopes for.
Now here is a game we have been looking forward to since 2001. Luigi’s Mansion 2 for the 3DS. This time, set in multiple mansions, Luigi, with the help of Dr E. Gadd has to rid them all by using the trusty vacuum-cum-ghost catcher – the Poltergust!
Nintendo, quite cleverly are wanting all of our hard earned cash to be spent on them and not the Vita as all of the announced Zelda and 3DS titles are launching in the Winter months! An expensive time to be either a Hardcore Nintendo fan or a fan of handheld consoles!
Next we have the big one. It is safe to say everyone at E3 was talking about this, what would Nintendo bring to the plate to attract back the hardcore gamers while still keeping the causal base built from the phenomenal Wii? And what would the controller look like? Well the answer is Wii U.
The name is designed to show that Wii is for everyone and you (the hardcore gamer). The controller is as expected, a traditional layout. with two circle pads like the ones seen on the 3DS but with the Wii Nunchuck feel. The D pad and four buttons and four shoulder pads. The difference is the large 6.2 touch screen and forward facing camera in the centre of the pad!
The controller it seems can do everything, from video calling to taking the game from the TV to the controller’s screen. Impressive stuff, but what about the system?
It can also play games such as othello on the screen and have a special inventory for games such as Zelda ala OoT 3DS’s presentation. So is the controller the system or just an add on for the Wii?
You can use the Wii board to measure yourself and using the Wii U’s screen to play with out a TV. So it IS just another Wii controller?
Darksiders 2, Metro, Batman: Arkham City and even Tekken are confirmed for the Wii U. Ok, we are confused. Is it a system or just another Wii controller? Someone please tell us now!
A video of developers from the big companies such as EA, Activision and Ubisoft was shown telling us how they are finding development on the Wii U. They all unanimously said they are looking forward to what they can create with the controller and the new system! Hallelujah! It is a new console! So is it HD and what does it look like?
We aren’t shown. What is said is that it is backward compatible with all Wii games and will be available 2012. A Zelda product demo was shown in full 1080p HD. It is inevitable that there will be a Zelda game for the Wii U but the style presented was that of Twilight Princess, so expect major changes between now and a formal announcement. We would not like to see a repeat of Spaceworld 2001!
There are no playable games however 8 “experiences” of how the new system will work on are on the show floor. No titles were officially revealed, except for the very early development title of New Super Mario Bros: Mii, which shows Mii characters playing the parts of toad!
After a short speech, Satoru Iwata did spark interest by saying that when Kid Icarus is finished, the team will be setting out their next project – Super Smash Bros Wii U AND 3DS! This got the crowd very excited.
Finally, in an unusual move by Nintendo, they invited John Riccitiello of EA on stage to discuss their support to the new home console. He presented Madden in full HD and announced Battlefield 3 will to make it to the Wii U. This shows Nintendo are finally getting full third party support for their home console! Everything about the Wii U seems positive at this stage.
That was it for Nintendo. A short conference at just over 1 hour. It had 3 key points: Zelda, 3DS first party games and Wii U. That was it. The first two thirds of the conference went smoothly. However Nintendo confused us with the Wii U – focusing on the controller rather than the system itself. In fact the console wasn’t seen at all until shortly it ended. This would suggest that a final design has yet to be confirmed.