E3 Day 2: Nintendo Press Conference Recap

The first big press conference of Day 2 was Nintendo, and boy did they ever bring out the big guns this year.

The pre-show video was some really interesting Nintendo trivia. Apparently the early versions of the Wii mote had a star-shaped button in the middle. Then Reggie took the stage and talked a little bit about how awesome Nintendo is.

First big debut of the show – Wii Zelda, formally titled “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword”. I heard someone say this is giving them a “skyward sword” in their pants. Miyamoto comes on stage by busting through a paper wall to demo the game, the man can certainly make the entrance. He’s showing off how the controller is the sword and the nunchuk is the shield. It looks like a lot of fun. Skyward Sword seems to be taking a slightly different art direction than both Twilight Princess and Wind Waker. I would say it is almost a cross between the two. He shows off a bunch of interesting things you can do, like block, parry, thrust, counter attack, and even bash enemies with the shield.

He drinks a health potion. He says it tastes good and the audience eats it up. He has some trouble with the new items though. He says there’s a lot of Wi-Fi interference and promises it works perfectly on the show floor. Crowd goes nuts realizing he just said it’s playable on the show floor. He shows off the Slingshot, Bow, “Beetle” and new Whip. Then a montage of in-game footage runs showcasing other aspects of the game, different levels and enemies. Looks like a solid new Zelda title.

Reggie comes back out and talks about the Wii’s sport franchises like Madden and MLB 2K. NBA Jam is announced to be a Wii exclusive and playable on the show floor. He moves on to Mario sports games.

Mario Sports Mix includes a bunch of the Mario sports titles we’ve come to love (Baseball, Basketball, and Soccer) and some new ones including Mario Volleyball and Mario Hockey. Coming 2011.

Reggie breaks out the charts. The Wii has sold more units than any other console in history within the time frame. NPD study shows that Wii owners play their consoles for longer and purchase more games than either of the other 2 major consoles. Reggie talks about “bridge games”, that is games that appeal to non-gamers for their accessibility, ease of play and fun factor. These bridge games get non-gamers interested in gaming and thus Nintendo has created their own market by bringing in people who were not previously gamers and converting them.

Wii Party is announced (Mario Party Wii). A huge amount of party-based mini-games are flashed up on the screen. Most of them look pretty fun but I have to wonder if the sentiment of the Wii have too many mini-game shovelware titles is going to hinder Wii Party at all. Judging by sales figures, probably not, but I’m sure some ‘game journalist’ out there will cry foul.

Just Dance 2 is announced.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for the DS is debuted. Turn-based fighting, RPG elements, a boss battle that takes up both screens. Coming this holiday.

Goldeneye Wii is announced, crowd goes ballistic. I mean seriously nuts. This is the loudest I’ve heard any of the crowds so far at any of the press conferences. A very updated version of Goldeneye 007. Daniel Craig is James Bond in this one. Multiplayer looks awesome yet again. Coming this holiday, exclusive to the Wii.

Epic Mickey is up next. Warren Spector comes out on stage to show off the game. You can paint, draw, and erase almost everything. Including the ground. Wow. There’s a black and white side-scrolling level that looks like Steamboat Willie. The animation here is absolutely amazing. Disney buffs are going to love this game.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn debuted. The entire game looks like it is made of yarn. Kirby is a string of yarn that can take different shapes. A very interesting art direction with this game. Showing off some great side-scrolling action. Coming this fall.

Dragon Quest 9 up next. Man, oh man, crazy release announcements one after another. Dragon Quest 9 is coming to the DS with 4 player multiplayer. Coming in July.

Metriod Other M new in-game footage is shown. Samus returns August 31st.

Donkey Kong Country Returns is shown next. Crowd goes crazy again. 2D platforming with Donkey and Diddy Kong. 2-player co-op is shown. This game looks similar in mechanics to New Super Mario Bros Wii, which is a great thing. Coming this holiday.

The new Nintendo 3DS is debuted. Reggie makes fun of the need for 3D glasses. The 3DS does not require 3D glasses. 3.5 inch widescreen display on the top, touch screen on the bottom. 3D depth slider allows you to turn off the 3D effect. Sports 2 cameras to take 3D pictures with. Backwards compatible with all DSi features (I assume that means DSware) and DS games. There’s also apparently a gyro and motion sensors.

Nintendo has already signed on Disney, Warner Bros, and Dreamworks to bring 3D movies to the 3DS.

Now they start rolling out 3DS exclusive titles.

Kid Icarus! Wow. Crowd goes insane yet again. Kid Icarus: Uprising. Amazing visuals.

Iwata talks about how the 3DS automatically searches and connects to nearby Wi-Fi and updates everything automatically. New stages, levels, quests, ghost data, and rankings.

Miyamoto is shown on the big screen playing Nintendogs 3D. There will also be a Nintencats 3D.

Now they start a machine gun of 3rd party 3DS games. DJ Hero 3D, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Professor Layton 3D, Resident Evil Revelations, Assassin’s Creed, Metal Gear Solid, StarFox 3D, Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, Paper Mario, Pilotwings 3D, Shin Megami Tensei, Street Fighter IV, Bomberman, Contra, Harvest Moon, Dragon Ball, Gundam, Ridge Racer, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Monkey Ball, Final Fantasy, Dead or Alive, Dynasty Warriors, Saints Row, Driver, Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell.

That’s an absolutely insane list of titles.

The show wraps up with a bunch of models bringing out over a hundred 3DSs for the audience to try out and several Wii platforms rise out of the floor with Zelda: Skyward Sword available. Crowd is still going absolutely nuts. Nintendo definitely hit it out of the park this year.