E3 2012: Nintendo Press Conference - Highlights, Images, and Videos
Nintendo's conference started strong, with a video of Miyamoto and Pikmins following him. Then Miyamoto came on stage and explained how it's been 6 years since Wii launched. Just the next year started thinking about their new system, and they wanted one that didn't need to be dependent on the TV. They wanted no barriers to play games while others use the TV.
With the concept of Wii U, he realized he wanted Pikmin on that system, to be able to make it more realistic and detailed, and the tiny characters easier to follow. That's when Pikmin 3 was born. There'll be a new kind of Pikmin called Rock Pikmin, which can be used to aim at targets and destroy hard surfaces. With the Nunchuk and Wii Remote, the gameplay should be a breeze. On the gamepad, players will see a map of what's going on, which allows for more effective and deeper strategy. If you prefer, you can just use the Gamepad only. Without a doubt, this was the biggest announcement of the day and it came right at the beginning.
Afterwards, Reggie Fils-Aime (President of Nintendo of America) came on stage and said there'd be 20 titles to show today in their software-focused presentation.
Then he went on to talk about the Gamepad controller. Wii U will support simultaneous play with 2 Gamepads. It has 4 face buttons and real left and right analog sticks, which you can push in. There are also ZL and ZR trigger buttons, as well as L and R shoulder buttons. The infrared transceiver atop and the motion controls and rumble will also expand experience. With the built-in camera and stereo speakers, video chat will also be an option. Last but not least, the Home button will let you suspend the game and check for updates without exiting.
As they already explained at the pre-E3 conference, Miiverse will be an integral part of the Wii U menu, and it's the first thing we'll see. We'll see Miss from the same home system plus friends and people from around the world you've played with before. The Miis don't just congregate but communicate with speech bubbles for simple text messages, or you can even use the stylus to send your own stuff like on the 3DS Swapnote app. It'll also display recent activity and updates, you can change your status... Plus it's browser-based, so at first it'll just be on Wii U, but later on it will be on 3DS, PC, smartphones, and more. Certainly not a killer app for hardcore gamers, but a nice addition with the classic Nintendo signature.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Nintendo conference if Mario wasn't there, at least in spirit. They showed New Super Mario Bros. U, where characters have a flying squirrel suit, use new Yoshi abilities and a boost mode. Not only that, but 4 people will be able to play the game with the Wii-mote and another player will be using the gamepad to add things to the stage for players to interact with.
Hardcore gamers should be pleased to know Wii U is getting its own version of Batman: Arkham City, subtitled Armored Edition. Producers from Warner Bros. came on stage to explain what's new in this version. Players will be able to access menus, select gadgets and weapons, activate explosives, and activate a special slow-mo mode to facilitate Batman's attacks directly from the gamepad. They claim it's the most immersive Batman experience yet.
Scribblenauts Unlimited for Wii U was also presented by Warner Bros. and 5th Cell. In it, you can imagine anything and explore everything in HD. New functionality will let you draw and create objects to add to the game's dictionary and share your creations with friends for a truly fun and customized experience. In addition, it'll offer a new multiplayer mode and the story of Maxwell.
Other titles they mentioned will be coming to the Wii U platform: Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3, Tank! Tank! Tank! Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Trine 2: director's Cut, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, and Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Unlike other years, Nintendo didn't bore us with stats this time. All they said was they've sold 43 million copies of Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus around the world. That was their way to introduce us to Wii Fit U, which will use the new Gamepad to select games, add stats, etc. It seems like you can also add your workouts from the day from a pedometer to Wii U gamepad via infrared.
Another title we didn't know about is Sing, a karaoke and dance title you can use the gamepad to see the lyrics and hold the mic with the other hand while players dance along the character on screen and sing when prompted. Creates opportunity for an all-inclusive experience for a group of friends.
Surprisingly, or maybe not so much, knowing their love for their sudden video presentations, they didn't have much to say about 3DS software. NOA Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Scott Moffitt explained they'll be streaming a 3DS software show tomorrow at 6pm pacific, a webcast that'll be shown at e3.nintendo.com and their Facebook fan pages. However, they still showed three 3DS titles: First, New Super Mario Bros. 2 for 3DS, a gold-focused title with coins everywhere, as well as gold power-ups The title will be available on Aug. 19th in the US. Second, he presented Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Paper Mario is evolving, with the 3D depth and the addition of stickers plastered everywhere for power commands, to help you escape danger, or find secret places and hidden items. It'll be sold physically and digitally this December.
Finally, they showed Luigi's Mansion 2, which is now Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. It'll offer new puzzles, more emphasis on ghost-catching action, and strategies to catch different types of ghosts, and it will launch this holiday season.
Reggie then came back to show TT Games' LEGO City: Undercover for Wii U. It's an open-world action title, GTA style, but humorous. An exclusive portable version is also in the works with a unique storyline and new content.
Ubisoft also took part of the spotlight in this conference. Yves Gillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, presented their Wii U line-up: ZombiU, Rayman Legends, and Rabbids LAND all offer different experiences within the same game. Also, they demoed Just Dance 4, which will be played with the Wii remote, although another player with a Gamepad can mess around with the dancers on screen by changing their avatar outfits, rating them, requesting moves, etc.
ZombieU will take advantage of the Gamepad too. The survival horror title will surprise you with close-ups of the action, and quick reflexes and the Gamepad will be your ultimate tool to get rid of the zombies, etc. They also turned Reggie into a zombie on stage with a little app powered by the gamepad camera. Didn't know he could look so ugly!
Assassin's Creed III, as we know, will also be on Wii U, along with YourShape Fitness Evolved 2013, Rabbids LAND, Sports Connection, Avengers: Battle for Earth, Rayman Legends.
Last was the virtual theme park for Wii U called NintendoLand. It's meant to help players understand what Wii U can do, just like Wii Sports Tennis did for Wii. Animal Crossing creator Katsuya Eguchi presented the game. You come to the theme park with your Mii and there are 12 attractions, 5 of which will be demoed at E3. Some of the names are Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, Luigi's Ghost Mansion, Donkey Kong's Crash Course, Takamaru's Ninja Castle, etc. The title can be enjoyed single-player or with family and friends. Player with the Gamepad will take a special role, while other players will use the Wii remote to compete against him/her in what they call Asymmetric Gameplay. We played some demos last year and it was fun, so we'll just have to wait and see what each of the games will be like.
That was it for Nintendo. I guess we'll just have to wait for tomorrow to find out more for 3DS. Perhaps they'll show us the rumored 3DS Zelda then?
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