An armchair view of E3 2010: Nintendo

Nintendo Conference: June 15th 5:00pm GMT

Here we are in time for the big one. Why is this the big one? Well the 3DS is going to be shown for sure and as for other predictions: another Zelda game has already been strongly hinted at and the Goldeneye remake. I just have my fingers crossed they don’t fall back on yet another new Mario game. It’ll be hard to do worse than last year’s Wii Vitality Sensor either way.

  • From the looks of it the audience were entertained with multiple choice trivia questions on the huge screen taking centre stage like last year. A missed opportunity to have an epic game of ‘Who’s That Pokemon’.
  • Music playing; “Are you satisfied?” No, Nintendo. I am not.
  • Here we go, starting for real now. Good old Reggie takes the stage and he’s as smiley as ever. They must put something in this man’s water to be that lively so early in the morning.
  • As usual, that buzz begins with technology” starting off with the big one are we, Reg? “Technology is only a tool.” Yeah? So is a pencil. “Let’s begin with details on an experience you’ve been waiting for…”
  • A trailer plays, revealing the new Zelda game to lots of applause. Link in his various guises over the years, then it focused on a few N64 type design Link followed by gameplay. Skyward Sword, it seems to bridge the gap between the visuals of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.
  • Miyamoto appears on screen talking with two voices at once about how to use a sword and shield (at least he isn’t on stage with them this year…). The answer he’s come to this year is…the Wii remote and the Motion Plus. Must remember I’m not allowed to swear, but think of a saying that ends in ‘…Sherlock’.
  • Back and fourth between a demo guy on stage and the pre-recorded video of Miyamoto. Live demo follows showing the remote being used…poorly. Then Miyamoto bursts through onto the stage to show him how its done. “I’m going to explain it myself” Miyamoto declares (in broken English), “I think that’s a good idea” his partner on stage says. I don’t think it is. Thankfully he’s translating for him.
  • To be honest, looks very fidgety to play and Link isn’t reacting very well to Miyamoto’s swipes with the remote (but that could be down to the conditions of the room more than anything else). He confuses an eye on a door that follows his sword movements by swinging it around in big circles.
  • Slingshot is demoed by Miyamoto’s inability to aim with it, then he blows himself up with a bomb by accident while trying to demo how to throw and on the second attempt the Wii remote doesn’t react to the throwing action or rolling action. The bow is next and he seems to have trouble with aiming only at the floor. Miyamoto blames people in the audience using wireless devices since it “was fine in rehearsals”.
  • A new item, a beetle which is launcher and is then controlled is then shown, this is cut short because of the interference as well. The new whip item is next. You whip with it. Were you expecting something else?
  • Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be out next year. The same gameplay trailer that opened also ends this part of the presentation after an over-long explanation about the interference once again and that it’ll be on the show floor to prove it’s really fine to control.
  • Reggie is back on the floor. I notice that while last year it opened to a five minute boasting session about how well they’ve been doing, this year has been very much more subdued.
  • The focus here seems to be the sports games coming to Wii, eventually getting to…ugh, Mario. Mario Sports Mix. Basketball, football, hockey and a bunch of other sports given the Mario twist. Released next year.
  • Switching topic again, Reggie is now talking about last year people saying Wii momentum is on the wane and now he’s boasting that they aren’t. I take back what I just said above, seems they still feel the need to defend themselves. Basically what he’s getting at here is that Wii consoles are still being used and aren’t just touched for a while and left alone – which contradicts the actions of everyone I know who owns one, but there you go. He’s got facts, so he must be right.
  • Wii Party, for your Wii Mii needs. In other words it’s Mario Party without that Mario twist. Innovation at its best, Nintendo.
  • Now a new Just Dance game from Ubisoft by the sounds of it. Remember during the Microsoft console I mentioned the game where you just dance? Well this is exactly like that except you need to hold the Wii remote. Which is better by that comparison? Just Dance 2 exclusive for Wii, out later this year.
  • Reggie mentions that last year a lot of people “got jazzed” with the news of a new Golden Sun. It’s now got the subtitle Dark Dawn. A trailer for it plays, very…colourful gameplay, I guess. Turn based battles and dungeon exploration shown, fairly good looking for a DS game. Various summons (?) are shown filling both DS screens. The game will be out at the end of this year.
  • A new trailer plays. Can already tell that this is about Goldeneye. A group of people having a forced conversation around a table now. As was leaked the other day by numerous websites (including ours) exclusively for the Wii, Goldeneye is making a return. For some reason Bond is Daniel Craig in it now. It’ll also be out the end of this year.
  • Changing tracks quickly here. Mickey Mouse, in other words Disney: Epic Mickey. Warren Spector takes the stage with some other staff behind the game. The game is out at the end of this year (recurring theme, it seems).
  • Welcome to Wasteland” Warren announces. The on-stage demo takes place in Ventureland. Mickey is talking to Smee. Paint and thinner are Mickey’s weapons to “dynamically change the game world to save it”. “Play style matters.”
  • The location changes to an ‘action zone’. This is a side scrolling platform section inspired by Steamboat Willie and is mostly in black and white.
  • That’s it for Epic Mickey and Reggie is back. “Keeping popular franchises fresh takes a lot of imagination”. I know it does, Nintendo, but it’s too late to worry about it now.
  • It seems there is a return to Kirby. A trailer plays on the big screen showing off Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Actually looks quite amusing to play, with bits of the stages being unzipped or crumpled to open new passages and things like that. Everything has a hand-stitched visual style and co-op play is also shown. It’ll be out later this year.
  • Topic shifts to how popular Dragon Quest XI is in Japan. Reggie goes over the various quest numbers and things like that, but points out that it’s the community of players that make it so good thanks to up to three people playing together. The top player has clocked in around 140hrs. Fear my 350+hrs Disgaea 3 file, lady.
  • Metroid Other M is next up with a gameplay trailer showing lots of ball rolling and Samus staring. Typical Metroid without the focus so strongly on first person. Trailer abruptly cuts off. The game is out on 31st August.
  • If you listen, you can hear it coming.” I know that music…! Yup, a new Donkey Kong game. Gameplay trailer is shown, classic gameplay to match the classic music. Looks fun. Donkey Kong Country Returns – again this year.
  • Here we go, 3DS. Finally. This better be good. Mr Iwata takes the stage.
  • Man, those glasses…that kind of fashion statement doesn’t come cheap, don’t be surprised to pay a hefty amount for those types of glasses.” So is it going to have them built into the screen or something… Reggie states no glasses.
  • A trailer plays. Shows the growth of 3D and the glasses and then…
  • The new DS is sitting on a glowing white cube. It looks quite small, the camera is panning in. It’s got a glowing bottom/middle and what looks like two camera lenses on the front casing.
  • One large upper widescreen, smaller (by comparison) lower square screen and a very obvious analogue stick on the left. It has a ‘3D Depth Slider’. The bottom screen is a touch panel but the top one isn’t.
  • Improved graphic capability and control. ‘Slide pad’ rather than analogue, my bad. Camera on the front and two lenses on the outside. The reason for two on the outside is to take 3D pictures. It can also play 3D movies.
  • Project Sora was meant to design a game specifically for 3DS, starring a familiar character. Kid Icarus Uprising gameplay trailer as the first 3DS game – very impressive though perhaps not quite as up to scratch as the PSP.
  • It’s not just the 3D graphics that make the 3DS 3D”…okay. It constantly scans for Wi-Fi and other 3DS nearby without you needing to do anything. Meaning ghost data, new maps and such like are on your system without you knowing it. Is that really a good thing? Hope it has a lot of space. Really wish they’d be specific about the specifications for it as well. Stated that there is no monthly fee for the access.
  • Talking about releasing hardware and third party support. Where’s this going…?
  • Oh, Nintendogs now with cats. Astonishing. But then he moves on to a list of publishers working on 3DS games. Some games being worked on include; Kingdom Hearts 3D, Saint’s Row, Professor Layton, Resident Evil and possibly most shocking of all; Metal Gear Solid.
  • He leaves the stage saying that there will be a Kingdom Hearts 3D demo and then a trailer plays with various huge names of the industry talking about their reactions to hands-on time with the 3DS and what it means for them.
  • Important information still missing: specific release date, price and so on. Reggie is back, so perhaps we’ll hear that now. He’s talking about “A new dimension” and so on.
  • Since 3D can’t be displayed on a normal screen they struggled with how to demo it, so they’re trying something different. Let’s see where this is going. Yeah, this isn’t exactly a realistic advert for the hand held, but it’s a bit of fun nevertheless. Ends with Bowser burning Reggie’s face off.
  • Back on stage, he removes his jacket…for some reason. At least his shirt is tucked in. “We’re going to let everyone here travel to that third dimension, right here, right now,” he says as music kicks in. A bunch of women with 3DS’ chained to their belts start pouring out the stage – by the looks of things to show the thing up close to the press in the room. This is where I can’t really comment sadly. Hundreds of women chained to 3DS’ flood into the crowd.
  • For those who don’t get the chance to see the 3DS up close, some Wii consoles came out the floor to show off and allow people to play the new Zelda game.
  • Reggie says his goodbyes and walks off.

Pity about the lack of information regarding the 3DS but hopefully that will all be revealed before the event is fully over. I’m quite impressed by it, but it’ll all depend on price and release date how well it fairs and if Sony has something new for the hand held market up its sleeve for later today.

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Written by Ian D

Misanthropic git. Dislikes: Most things. Likes: Obscure references.


  1. steven g /

    Ive already seen some video footage of the zelda game from one of the pods – it looks very nice the controls seem almost 1-1 and accurate. Itll be interesting to see how fluid the actual game is, but Im sure itll be a 8/10 or above.

    Im frustrated about the lack of real info on the 3DS. How powerful are the graphics? gamecube, Wii level or PS2? Also what about a revamped download store, more onboard memory, perhaps a bookstore! I suspect we will get much more after Sony’s conference as a way of bursting Sony’s bubble and keeping the E3 headlines.

    After all no one is talking about Kinetic now….

    Looking forward to SOny conference starting now…… PSP2 anyone?

  2. Kevin M /

    Nintendo had the best conference of the manufacturers that’s for sure. The 3DS looks great, and I hope the demos of Snake Eater and Ocarina of Time become full blown games. As you say Steven, not much word about onboard memory, console cost or other specs, but hopefully we’ll find out more during the week.

    The Wii Zelda looks great, and I have high hopes for it, as it’s the first Zelda designed specifically for the Wii. As for other games Epic Mickey and Kirby’s Epic Yarn both look terrific, and hopefully the Goldeneye name won’t get sullied again this time around!

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