Nintendo 3DS Conference 2011 in review; software schedule detailed
Ahead of TGS 2011, Nintendo shed light on the upcoming schedule of software coming to the new handheld, as well as games headed to Wii and a new bit of hardware. Although they didn't have a whole lot in store, the few tidbits they revealed were quite a surprise!
Of course, the entire conference was in Japanese, so we're relying heavily upon the translations and reporting of the always reliable Anoop Gantayat of Andriasang, as well as the official Nintendo press release (featured after the cut below).
The event was highlighted by announcements such as a girl-friendly Misty Pink 3DS, a brand new Monster Hunter coming to 3DS, and official confirmation of the Nintendo 3DS Expansion Slide Pad peripheral. Additionally, entries in the Gundam, Fire Emblem, and Dynasty Warriors franchises were teased. Also, Square Enix will bring an original RPG property to the handheld. Guesses, anyone?
Another announcement that makes us happy is the system software update that's coming this year, which will unlock the ability to record 3D movies. Previously, only 3D photos were able to be be snapped. Furthermore, those 3DS owners that have already collected all the puzzle pieces in Puzzle Swap and beaten all the levels in Find Mii will find a host of new challenges in the Mii Plaza.
If you want free goodies, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition will be made available to both DSi and 3DS owners for download for no charge through DSiWare or the eShop from September 28, 2011 to February 20, 2012. "The game allows up to four players who have downloaded the game to play cooperatively and has also been enhanced with a new single-player mode. Unlike the original, all multiplayer game play is handled wirelessly. Once players finish the main quest, they will unlock new stages and abilities to expand the game's replay value." - Looks like Nintendo's feeling generous!
As far as the Misty Pink 3DS is concerned, we can expect this to launch only in Japan, at least initially, as Nintendo is looking to bring a bit of parity to the system. Platforms such as Wii and DS were well served by capturing the imagination and interest of not only males but females gamers as well. In fact, those systems saw virtually identical adoption rates among both sexes, so Nintendo wants similar stats for 3DS. Go pink!
Last week it was announced that Monster Hunter Tri, originally launched for Wii, is getting updated and ported to 3DS as Monster Hunter 3G. Today we learned that Monster Hunter 4, a wholly original entry in the series, is also headed to the handheld. No mention of exclusivity was iterated, so we've got a feeling PS Vita might just get an MH4 of its own.
In addition, several other games were confirmed by Nintendo for release in Japan including:
- Fire Emblem -- coming in 2012 and featuring co-op play
- Shinrei Camera -- developed by Tecmo Koei, this will be part of the Fatal Frame series
- Culdcept -- a competitve collectible card / board game strategy title that found a lot of success in North America on Xbox 360. Launch is set for 2012.
- Culchopit -- a soccer sim from Parity Bit's Hiroyuki Sonobe, also coming in 2012
- Hatsune Miku Project Mirai -- a rhythm title from SEGA coming in March 2012 that will feature augmented reality (AR) dance performances
- SD Gundam G Generation 3D -- being developed by Level-5, this mech action title will hit 3DS in Japan on December 22, 2011
- Dynasty Warriors VS -- classic Dynasty Warriors gameplay with 4-player competitive mode, releasing in 2012
- Bravely Default: Flying Fairy -- an RPG from Square Enix coming in 2012. AR features will also be a prominent part of the game, but gameplay will be centered on old school grinding and challenge
- Friend Collection -- according to Andriasang, this is "A 3DS version of one of the biggest Japan-only DS titles"
Previously announced titles were also showcased or at least mentioned, the majority of which have been given firm release dates and launch windows in Japan.
Revelations of note included the fact that Kid Icarus: Uprising is getting pushed back to 2012, but the game will receive 3D anime films delivered for free through Nintendo Video. Also, Animal Crossing for 3DS will get upgradeable outfits (that impact gameplay) as well as interchangeable (tradeable) houses. No word on when it's coming yet.
Mario Kart 7 will feature major online / Wi-Fi updates, an optional first-person driving mode with gyro sensor controls, and new playable characters like Lakitu and Metal Mario, as well as a tricks system similar to that found in Mario Kart Wii. What's more, we learned that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will boast 50-100 hours of gameplay and over 100 minutes of cinematics. These two sound like winners to me!
Super Mario 3D Land: November 3 (November 13 in North America)
New Love Plus: December 8
Monster Hunter 3G: December 10
Mario Kart 7: December 1 (December 4 in North America)
Tekken 3D Prime Edition: Winter
Ace Combat 3D Cross Rumble: Winter
Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater: Winter
Girl's RPG: 2011
Kid Icarus Uprising: Q1 2012
Resident Evil Revelations: Early 2012
Animal Crossing: 2012
Mario Tennis: 2012
Paper Mario: 2012
Luigi's Mansion 2: 2012
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games: 2012
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: October 27 (Novemebr 20 in North America)
Hoshi no Kirby Wii: October 27
PokePark 2: Winter 2012
Taiko Drum Master Kettei-ban: November 23
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games: December 8 (November 15 in North America)
Nintendo Press Release
NINTENDO 3DS GETS 3D VIDEO RECORDING AND TWO GREAT MARIO GAMES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Strong Nintendo Holiday Lineup Includes Treats for Fans of The Legend of Zelda
REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 12, 2011 – This November, a new system update for the portable Nintendo 3DS™ system will enable owners to capture 3D video footage. People will be able to record and view moments from birthday parties, soccer games and holiday events, or create their own original 3D productions and show them to others in 3D, all without the need for special glasses. The system update will also provide new experiences for people who have conquered all the StreetPass™ challenges in StreetPass Mii Plaza™.
The update is just one of the many elements of Nintendo's strong holiday season lineup that features two Mario™ games – one platformer and one racer – for Nintendo 3DS. The season also sees the arrival of the largest game-development project in Nintendo history: The Legend of Zelda™: Skyward Sword for the Wii™ system.
"The 2011 holiday season offers up multiple must-have Nintendo games for both experienced players and newcomers," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "Shoppers know they can count on Nintendo to offer amazing entertainment experiences at an unbeatable value."
The first appearance by Mario on a new Nintendo system is always cause for celebration. This fall, Nintendo is giving fans two big reasons to celebrate. On Nov. 13, Nintendo will release the Super Mario™ 3D Land™ game for Nintendo 3DS. In this first-ever true 3D Mario platforming adventure, players can scout levels and find secrets before they play using the built-in gyro sensor feature of the Nintendo 3DS system. The game will feature propeller blocks and will have StreetPass functionality. Mario Kart™ 7 will be available Dec. 4 and will include a new optional first-person driving mode that is controlled using the gyro sensor. The game also introduces new playable characters like Lakitu and Metal Mario, and a tricks system like the one in Mario Kart™ Wii. Both games are essential to the game libraries of Mario fans, and more details about them will be announced in the future.
A Legendary Holiday Season
Nintendo is pulling out all the stops in honor of the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda™. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword launches Nov. 20 and represents one of the deepest and richest experiences ever produced by Nintendo. More than 100 staff members have been working for five years to produce the epic story, which includes a new approach to game play and more than 100 minutes of cinematic cut scenes. The game also will feature a boss challenge mode and, for players who need assistance, optional hint movies to help them along.
In honor of the 25th anniversary, Nintendo is offering a free classic game for a limited time. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition will be available to download between Sept. 28, 2011, and Feb. 20, 2012. Fans can download the Nintendo DSiWare™ version of the game using their Nintendo DSi™ or Nintendo DSi XL™ systems, or by accessing the Nintendo eShop with a Nintendo 3DS system (wireless broadband Internet access is required for download). The game allows up to four players who have downloaded the game to play cooperatively and has also been enhanced with a new single-player mode. Unlike the original, all multiplayer game play is handled wirelessly. Once players finish the main quest, they will unlock new stages and abilities to expand the game's replay value.
Fans of Nintendo's downloadable games will be getting a special Zelda treat as well. Between Oct. 3, 2011, and Feb. 20, 2012, select retailers will carry limited-edition cards highlighting the series' 25th anniversary. The Nintendo 3DS Prepaid Card, which is used in the Nintendo eShop of the Nintendo 3DS system, features an image of Link™ battling Ganon. The Nintendo Points Card, which can be used in the Wii Shop Channel or Nintendo DSi Shop, shows Link flying high in a scene from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
In other game news, families can look forward to making fun holiday memories with new games like Fortune Street™ (Dec. 5) for the Wii console and Fossil Fighters™: Champions (Nov. 14) for the Nintendo DS™ family of systems. Third-party publishers are also adding to the roster of great games headed for Nintendo systems between now and the end of the year, including Just Dance® 3 (Oct. 7) for the Wii console from Ubisoft, Go Vacation™ (Oct. 11) for the Wii console from NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc., Skylanders Spyro's Adventure™ (Oct. 16) for the Wii and Nintendo 3DS systems from Activision Publishing, Zumba® Fitness 2 (Nov. 15) for the Wii console from Majesco Entertainment and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™ (Nov. 15) for the Wii and Nintendo 3DS systems published by SEGA. For more information and to see a listing of upcoming third-party games for Nintendo systems, visit http://www.nintendo.com.
Looking Ahead to 2012
Beyond the holiday season, Nintendo is already making plans for 2012. Nintendo is revealing a previously unannounced 3D Mario tennis game for the Nintendo 3DS system. Mario Tennis™ (name not final) will launch in 2012 and more details will be announced later.
Also in 2012, Nintendo 3DS owners will be able to enjoy a new 3D installment in the Animal Crossing™ franchise. This version will include a number of options not available in previous versions. These include the ability to become the head of the village and boost its development, a way to install certain items in the village to make its characteristics more personalized for each player, and the ability to view homes of other players who are tagged through StreetPass connections.
In 2012, Nintendo 3DS fans will also see the arrival of new games in the Luigi's Mansion™ and Paper Mario™ franchises.
In one final bit of news, the development team for Kid Icarus™: Uprising for Nintendo 3DS has determined that more time is needed to complete the game. As a result, the game will now launch in 2012. Nintendo is also in the process of developing 3D Kid Icarus animations with critically acclaimed Japanese anime production houses. These animations will be made available free of charge via the Nintendo Video™ service to Nintendo 3DS owners worldwide.
Remember that Wii and Nintendo 3DS feature parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about Nintendo, visit http://www.nintendo.com.
About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii™ home console, Nintendo 3DS™ and Nintendo DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 3.7 billion video games and more than 600 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™ and Nintendo GameCube™ systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company's website at http://www.nintendo.com
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