That was ... interesting, wasn't it?
Nintendo's E3 press conference, which took place earlier this morning, began a bit uncomfortably, in my opinion. The Zelda montage and mini-concert was nice, but Bill Trinen talking over Shigeru Miyamoto was not.
Still, I'm sure Zelda fans were happy to hear that The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening will be available for sale on the 3DS eShop later today, and that The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures will be added to the DSiWare store (and given away for free) this fall. Oh, and that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Swords will come with--or be sold alongside, I'm not sure which--a special gold Wii Remote when it's released later this year.
As nice as all of those announcements were, they left me feeling more than a bit antsy. Like pretty much any Nintendo fan, I tuned in to this press conference to hear about new games--especially for the 3DS and Wii--and new systems (more on that in a minute), not to hear about games that were announced and/or released long ago.
As such, I probably looked like this during the first portion of the presser:
Thankfully, Satoru Iwata soon kicked Miyamoto and Trinen off the stage and then showed off a bunch of upcoming 3DS games, including Super Mario 3DS, Star Fox 64 3D, Mario Kart 3DS, Kid Icarus: Uprising and ... Luigi's Mansion 2!
I have to say, that last one surprised--and excited--me. Also exciting: The Super Mario Bros. 3-ish Super Mario 3DS. It includes airships, Koopa Kids and Tanooki Suits--'nuff said.
Mario Kart 3DS is due "this holiday season" and Super Mario 3DS is due "before the end of the year," by the way. Oh, and Kid Icarus supposedly will be released "later this year," too.
Unfortunately, that was it was far as first-party 3DS games were concerned. A bit disappointing, if you ask me. (Thankfully, new screenshots and trailers of Animal Crossing 3DS and Paper Mario 3DS can be found here. Also, screenshots and trailers of some of Nintendo's upcoming Wii releases, such as Kirby Wii and Rhythm Heaven, can be found here.)
The so-called sizzle reel of upcoming third-party 3DS titles was similarly lackluster. Here's hoping more will be revealed in the next few days.
Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime, along with a little help from Iwata, wrapped things up by, finally, unveiling the company's next controller, er, console (I think), which will be called ... Wii U.
Huh. I have to admit, when I first heard the system's name my face (likely) looked something like this:
Actually, that look remained on my face while I watched a video that showcased the tablet-like Wii U controller--which looks a lot like the uDraw peripheral recently released for the Wii--and some of the things it'll seemingly be capable of when it launches next year.
As you've likely already heard, the controller has a 6.2-inch touch screen in the center of it. Located around said screen are a pair of analog circle pads (like the one found on the 3DS), a traditional d-pad and four buttons. The controller also includes a pair of shoulder buttons and a pair of triggers, an inward-facing camera, a microphone and a speaker. Oh, and an accelerotmeter and a gyroscope.
Basically, the thing includes everything but the kitchen sink.
What will all of those things allow you to do? I'd tell you, but it would require more paragraphs than I'm willing to write at the moment. May I suggest watching the video of Nintendo's presser that can be found at e3.nintendo.com?
What I am willing to say is that I'm intrigued by some of the things the Wii U controller seemingly will bring to the table. I like that I'll be able to continue playing games when my husband comes into the room and wants to watch the latest episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County or The Weather Channel. I also like how the controller's screen will be able to give me a different view of the action taking place on my TV.
The possibilities are endless. Of course, that's what we said about the DS and Wii. As was the case with those systems, it will be up to both Nintendo and third-party developers and publishers to make all of those possibilities become realities.
Thankfully, third-parties seem to be interested in the system--which, by the way, is capable of HD graphics that appear to be at least on par with those that can be produced by the PS3 and Xbox 360--at this point, and a number of them have already promised to support it with their top-tier games. (Aliens: Colonial Marines, Assassin’s Creed, Batman: Arkham City, Darksiders II, Dirt, Ghost Recon Online and a new Tekken all were shown during an end-of-presser trailer.)
As much as the last third of Nintendo's E3 2011 presser excited me, it also confused me quite a bit. For instance, I'm still somewhat unsure what the Wii U is capable of in terms of graphics. I'm similarly unsure what to expect from Nintendo in terms of first-party games for the system, as the only ones mentioned during today's conference were New Super Mario Bros. Mii and a new Smash Bros. sequel.
Hopefully Fils-Aime, Iwata and Miyamoto will shed a bit of light on those subjects and more in the coming days. In the meantime, I'll continue to consider the possibilities of their company's oddly-named console.
See also: 'The many faces of Sony's E3 2011 presser' and 'Yeesh'