An armchair view of E3 2011: Nintendo

Nintendo Conference: June 7th 05:00pm GMT

Everyone wants to see the new console Nintendo is premièring today. I don’t really want to take guesses on what it will be like, but my assumption would be no-3D and only about as good as the current gen. That said, they will hopefully have learned from the poor 3DS sales that really what matters is a powerful launch line-up.

 

  • Things are a little delayed to start with, probably with it being so early in the morning.
  • Screen showing random Nintendo facts, think the same happened last year. Same with the random multiple choice questions. But here we go. The proper start now.
  • Live orchestra starts playing a fantastic Zelda medley to videos of the various Zelda titles over the years. Does that mean they’re back to aiming at their older audience? Not many people younger than me will appreciate this trip down memory lane.
  • Towards the end of the video is new footage. Celebrating 25 years of Zelda games. That does make me feel old.
  • Shingeru Miyamoto takes to the stage. As cheerful as always. Attempted English GO. Fingers crossed for a better on-stage demo this year if there is one.
  • Phew, translator comes on stage.
  • Last year was Mario’s 25th, this year it’s Zelda’s turn. The song at the end of the orchestra was the theme to Skyward Sword. Chats about famous music (chest opening, item gained). He talks about the orchestra again and asks them to preform some famous Zelda riffs.
  • Item GET-o!”
  • Miyamoto takes a Titanic poster stance during the fairy music for some reason. He then wants to hear getting an item again, orchestra clearly hasn’t played Zelda and starts the wrong riff at first.
  • Each hardware system is getting a Zelda game for the anniversary. Link’s Awakening will be coming to the Virtual Console as a download today worldwide.
  • Next weekend Ocarina of Time 3D launches (we already knew that). Improved graphics, frame rate and a new sense of realism. Master Quest mode returns and there is a Boss Challenge mode. Free download of Four Swords.
  • Finally, Skyward Sword. Worldwide release this holiday season for Wii. “It’s finally done!”
  • It uses Motion+. They are making a special gold Wii remote. Will anyone seriously be desperate to get that?
  • He mentions he’s been playing Skyward Sword every day and it’s great exercise, he shows off imaginary muscles. Both games will be on the expo floor.
  • A symphony based around the Zelda music will be touring the world as part of the anniversary. That’s nice. Wii 2 please. Nope, plugging music CDs next. At a game expo. Really.
  • He invites numerous members of the development team onto the stage. I don’t think this is building to anything, he’s just mooching applause now. Mentions all the fans and thanks them, ending this section of the presentation – implies he’ll be back later on.
  • Nintendo President Satoru Iwata takes centre stage to some horrible music. I like what he’s done with his hair. What shade of dye would that be?
  • Talks about the boundaries that once separated age group, personality and gender being erased. Talks about horrible casual gamers. The vermin of the gaming world. I mean in a more positive way than I am making out here. Sadly.
  • Deeper and wider”. He’s talking about the new platform…I hope. So, deeper must mean 3D, right? A wider appeal than the Wii to gamers. “Let’s everyone see games in full detail” – no glasses, then? He was being a tease, he isn’t going into details until later.
  • Moving onto the 3DS and the franchises that are moving into it. He walks off stage as a large trailer begins, starting with Mariokart. Starfox is next. Super Mario is after that (these are all really short glimpses of what I’m not entirely sure is real gameplay).
  • Kid Icarus is after that. Next is…Luigi’s Ghost…mansion thing. What was that called again? Doesn’t matter, wasn’t very good.
  • Here comes Reggie. Medium sized microphone. Don’t start a speech with an aggressive “Look…” Reggie. It’s rude. Seems to be acknowledging people’s complaints about 3DS while at the same time implying that they are wrong.
  • Five key titles to show for 3DS. Mariokart first and a trailer plays. “It’s a tricked out version you’ve never played before” apparently, looks pretty much standard fare to me. Oh until they show that the karts can to flying type glides over large areas and also go underwater. Revolutionary stuff.
  • Mariokart 3D out this holiday season.
  • Starfox 3D next. Trailer playing in the background while Reggie talks. You can use controls or you can use the hand-held to tilt and steer – all those people who did that for years despite not needing to will love that! 3DS cameras record during gameplay…in horribly pixelated barely recognisable ways. It is released this September.
  • Super Mario 3D now. Again typical Mario game, not bad just not special either. That raccoon suit I’ve forgotten the name of returns. That counts as an innovation at Nintendo by the way, if you’re not familiar with them. Out sometime this year.
  • Kid Icarus Uprising. A voiced trailer plays. Probably the most impressive of the games shown so far. Trailer ends with multiplayer battles and then Icarus themed AR cards. MP is 3 on 3. Released later this year.
  • Final game, a new one. Oh right they count Luigi as new. Luigi’s Mansion 2. An entirely new game (technically). More than one mansion.
  • Third party developers now starting with Resident Evil Mercenaries 3D, then Mario & Sonic. Ace Combat, Tetris, Cave Story, Resident Evil Revelations, Driver Renegade, Pac-man, Tekken 3D. Montage ends on MGS Snake Eater 3D.
  • Talks about the e-shop and updated browser for the 3DS now. Tried it earlier – nothing to go on about. Though Reggie then said there’d be exclusive 3D trailers on there later.
  • Virtual Console next and the GB, GBA titles on it.
  • The biggest download news for 3DS concerns one of the biggest franchises in history” – he’s talking about Pokemon. Is he really trying to make that tacky 3D Pokedex sound like some amazing innovation? I tried that earlier too, bored of it after a couple minutes.
  • The essential tool for fans” – I’ll stick with the in-game one, thanks.
  • Bloody hell they are being as condescending as those old Wii training videos. Talking very slowly about how to update the 3DS.
  • Reggie is talking about the Wii. The name makes sense once you hear how it is pronounced, apparently. Is this building up to the justification of whatever stupid name they’ve chosen this time around?
  • It’s called….Wii U. Sounds like a poor Asian child. I mean come on. Why not just Wii 2?
  • The controller is a hand-held by the looks of it. Looks a lot like the PS Vita hilariously, if it had a baby with the 3DS.
  • Video plays showing Wii U in action.
  • Display switches from TV to the ‘controller’. Shows that it can be used like a tablet for drawing. It has touch screen. Graphics are as poor as the Wii. Well, maybe not quite. Use it as a scope for sniping with while playing first person games. Picture-in-picture calls.
  • Wii U is very underwhelming. It’s no big thing to stream to the hand-held essentially, PS3 could do that with a few select games. It’s a gimmick sure, but has no practical use. Unless the game is self contained in the ‘controller’ as well and thus you can play portable or not anywhere, but I doubt it.
  • Out next year if you want one for some reason.
  • Wii U has 6.2” screen built in. Backward compatible with Wii games and accessories (in other words it’s still just a Wii).
  • We believe you will love the variety of the new console” – Uh huh.
  • Ramble feature.”
  • Touch screen, microphone, speakers, two circle pads, control pad, gyroscope and so on. Every time Iwata says button it sounds like he’s saying bollocks. Fitting really.
  • Ah, yes it’s wirelessly transmitted so it’s a hand-held Wii with the features of a 3DS essentially. “Those with an HD TV attach it to play Wii games in HD” – isn’t that like watching a black and white movie on the world’s best colour TV?
  • Promotes strong bonds with the family, web-browsing, etc.
  • How can it be incorporated into gameplay” – and why.
  • Trailer of a horrible conversation between Iwata and Miyamoto begins. To be honest I’ve lost all interest in this conference so I’m not sure what their translated voice-overs are going on about.
  • Smash Bros. is coming to 3DS and Wii U, working together on both platforms. First genuine claps from the audience there.
  • Reggie is back to talk about what Wii U games are playable at E3. “Eight different interactive experiences” – yeah, what about some nice new games please?
  • Trailer plays. A tech demo I assume, a bird flying along on river to some nice music. I’m not even sure this is a tech demo actually, it’s more like it’s just…a video. What were they thinking with that?
  • He moves onto how the new controller changes things. Conceptual “New Super Mario Mii” using your Mii alongside Mario. Drowning in innovation here.
  • More concept art and concept descriptions. This is sounding like the Wii U is either just really, really early in development or there’s nothing to do with it.
  • Oh, oh! One title in development for Wii U! Lego City Stories! Stay there a second! I need to put in my pre-order now to beat the rush! Get out of my way!
  • I’m back. Still talking about lego I see.
  • Video with Peter Moore and various other assess of gaming making nothing sound like the next generation. I remember the reaction to 3DS last year, even if it didn’t turn out as good as it sounded at the time, at least it got the crowd hyped. In comparison, this is pure embarrassment.
  • Assassin’s Creed and Batman Arkham City will be on it apparently. Ghost Recon too.
  • Nintendo have heard the voices of the hardcore gamer” – are you kidding me? He did not just say that. Rage.
  • Darksiders 2 trailer plays next. An Aliens game was also shown and some footage of Metro Last Light, Ghost Recon and Tekken. Tekken has customizable costumes. Ninja Gaiden 3 footage ends the Wii U montage.
  • Reggie and Iwata on stage together. Blathering on.
  • EA’s John R takes the stage. Don’t put your hands in your pockets during a speech – good (he took them out). John chats a bit about Wii U.
  • Brilliant high definition graphics” – really? They show Battlefield 3 footage (PC version) in some poor attempt to imply a Wii U version would be anything like it.
  • John is off. Didn’t really listen to what he said.
  • Reggie is back to conclude things. Asks people to think what each platform represents. “They share a common pedigree – inspiration” – kind of true, but how about actually being, you know, decent?
  • It’s hilarious how quiet the audience is throughout.
  • And it’s over. Thankfully.

 

Nintendo wins worst conference of E3 2011 hands down. There wasn’t a single on-stage demo. Even a Kinect heavy Microsoft conference couldn’t compare to that waste of time. Forgive my obvious frustration as I watched, because even if I hate what Nintendo has become I loved them for many years. Those days are long gone.

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Written by Ian D

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

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