Nintendo finished up the “Big Three” E3 conferences today and as always, the GT team was there to bring you coverage straight from the show floor. As expected, there was a focus on their new hardware but a few surprising new titles were shown off as well. Remember, the end of the major conferences doesn’t mean the end of GT’s E3 coverage. There will be plenty more to come throughout the rest of E3. Until then, Ron again graces us with his play-by-play:
Settled in at the Nokia Theater for another Nintendo E3 Press Briefing. We’ve already gotten a tease of the power behind the Wii U thanks to the folks at Ubisoft, but it is time to finally get the full unveil. You can check out our Hardware Preview post from two days ago to see all about the concepts behind the hardware, but now it was time to look at the real reason why we come here year after year -it’s time for some games.
Kicking things off, we see Senior Managing Director of Nintendo, Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto take the stage. Bill Trenen also takes the stage to help Miyamoto with his translation work. He will want to be clear as we are starting with the Wii U. Showing the wireless Wii U Gamepad (in black), Miyamoto talks about how Wii U breaks the need for a dedicated TV screen, as well as unlocking new opportunities for unique gaming, all without powering on your TV. The Wii U will be able to support two Gamepads. We’ll get a closer look at the ways those Gamepads will be used in pairs in the coming weeks.
Pikmin 3 – The challenge of the Gamecube versions (being too close doesn’t show the whole map, and too far away and you can’t see the detail of the Pikmin) are fixed by the higher resolution of the Wii U. With this new game we also get a new Pikmin – a Rock Pikmin. The greater touchscreen fidelity of the Wii U gives much more precision to the Pikmin targeting. The ability to use the Wii U Gamepad also gives players a more tactical map that can be used to greater control and place your limited Pikmin army. You’ll be able to use 4 leaders this time around. At E3 this year we’ll be able to try the Challenge Mode – a mode that asks you to collect as much fruit as you can before time runs out.
Reggie Fils-Aime, President and CEO of NoA picks up the press brief as Miyamoto exits the stage. We will see 23 Wii U titles over the course of the next hour, and it represents only a small slice of the playable items available this week. Reggie insists that the Wii U will change the way that we play games, enjoy entertainment, and even how we consume television. This includes the notable items like Youtube, Hulu, Netflix and more. Check out the Nintendo site at E3.Nintendo.com.
Next up, we take a look at the Miiverse. When you turn on your Wii U, you’ll see the Miiverse first – it acts as your home screen. Using the stylus or the keyboard, you’ll be able to talk with your friends with something similar to Swapnote. This interaction is browser based, so eventually you’ll be able to use your 3DS, PC, or any other device that has a browser.
New Super Mario Bros. U – this title will support the Miiverse system, allowing the player to talk with other players about the game’s levels, share high scores, or ask for help with challenges that they might face in the game. Roll the video of the game in action. It’s nice to see Mario in high resolution, featuring 4 player cooperative gameplay, and awesome sidescrolling action. In “Boost Mode”, four players can play the game normally, while the Wii U Gamepad can place blocks to help those other players.
Batman: Arkham City – Harley Quinn introduces Martin Tremblay, President of WBIE to talk about Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition. The Wii U alows you to scan with the Gamepad, all of the gadgets are guided with the motion controls, and an armored Batman’s armored suit will absorb kinectic energy, allowing you to store the power for later use in taking out enemies. With the Gamepad, you’ll also be able to set and trigger explosives sequentially or simultaneously.
Scribblenauts gets a Wii U update. 5th Cell CEO Jeremiah Slaczka joins the stage to introduce Scribblenauts Unlimited. The world looks the same, but high resolution. You’ll be able to use the touchscreen to bring your crazy items to life – we saw a guy make a dog/car thing that he named “Auto Mutt”, and then was able to share it online. Another player then took the creation and added a mohawk. Anything you can imagine can be made supposedly, so the only limit is your imagination.
Queue the reel for third party titles including Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3, Tank! Tank! Tank!, TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2, Trine 2:Director’s Cut, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razers Edge, and Aliens Colonial Marines.
The Wii Fit balance board will be forwards compatabile with the Wii U- with over 43 million copies sold, it’s no surprise. Wii Fit U will bring new actions to the system. For instance, leaning, squat calf raises, putting out fires in a yoga pose, core exercises while luging downhill, and even the ability to upload exercise results to the board remotely that you accomplished earlier in the day. Given that you can use the Gamepad screen to play, this can all be done with or without taking over the living room.
Sing from FreeStyleGames- The Wii U wants to bring Karaoke to the front room, but also allow everyone to sing along with the songs, as well as clapping along to create a party atmosphere.
Switching to the 3DS, we see Scott Moffitt join Reggie on stage. At 6pm, tomorrow night, you’ll get a full hour of webcasted love on the 3DS and a look at all of the upcoming games. As a teaser, we get to see trio of 1st party titles for the platform. New Super Mario Bros 2 (August 19th, 2012 release date), Paper Mario Sticker Star (Holiday 2012), and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (Holiday 2012).
Lego City Undercover – This Wii U title will give players crimefighting craziness by allowing them to scan for criminals, fly helicopters, wall-run, tackle criminals, and much more in true TT Games fashion. A portable version exclusive to the 3DS is also in the works.
Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot takes the stage to talk about how the Wii U will bring Ubisoft’s games to life in a new and interesting way. Zombi U, Rabbids Land, and Rayman Legends are good examples of the assymetric gameplay that Wii U is trying to drive home. Xavier Poix from Ubisoft France takes the stage to demonstrate some of the games that Ubisoft has to show, starting off with Just Dance 4. Four dancers dance what’s on the screen, while the Wii U Gamepad acts as a ‘puppet master’ to what move is to be done next. The game has a VJ feature, and a standalone mode – we’ll have to see more at the booth.
Zombie U – The Wii U will act as sonar, inventory, a scanner to find hidden objects, a sniper scope, and you’ll shake it to break free from zombies. You’ll also use it to hack keypads on doors. The touchscreen looks like a well-integrated piece of the game. You can also use it to create a zobiefied version of yourself with the camera.
Queue the trailer showing Assassin’s Creed III, Rabbids Land, YourShape Fitness Evolved 2013, Rayman Legends, Sports Connection, and Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth.
NintendoLand – If all the Nintendo franchises came together in a gaming theme park, it would be NintendoLand. This title shows new players just how everything works together for new players to ‘get it’. Katsuya Eguchi and Jonathan Yeckley take the stage to talk about the title. It brings 12 attractions, with your Mii changing costumes as you go to them. In this title, the Gamepad will get special objectives and attractions – to see how this works, we get to see Luigi’s Ghost Mansion: Haunting Hijinks. The Gamepad gets to see the overview, seeing all of the players, but on the big screen you can’t see the ghosts. The Wii remotes rumble when the ghost is near, making the players work together to locate them. The ghost can attack humans who are caught off guard, and if all four players faint the ghost wins. Using your flashlight causes it to run low, especially when reviving a downed teammate. This will be a launch title this holiday.