Nintendo’s E3 press conference started out with a montage of clips from various internet videos featuring the Wii and DS as well as some of the coverage in “mainstream” media. This would happen several times throughout the event, as if Nintendo is attempting to either convince everybody in attendance that the Wii is being accepted in the mainstream of culture, or as “preaching to the choir” about how well the company is doing.
Reggie Fils-Aime President & Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo came out to say that “We see today as a celebration.” “This E3 marks a conclusive turning point,” he said, for the industry with gaming moving into a more mass market and acceptable form, and staple of, leisure entertainment.
After a series of facts and figures spun in the favor of Nintendo (though they can’t be faulted for this, as everybody does this) he talked about how developers are flocking to the Nintendo systems. A couple of interesting figures were the increased growth in the portable gaming market as well as the increasing number of gamers over the age of 25 – which we all knew anyway.
100 Wii titles and 140 DS titles are projected to arrive on shelves through the rest of the year.
The Wii-Zapper was announced, which will house the nunchuck and the Wiimote and provide a new way for FPS games to be played. Ghost Squad was announced to work well with the game, as well as Resident evil: Umbrella Chronicles, and the Medal of Honor title. The Wii-Zapper will be packed in with a Nintendo title (wonder what that is). And also available separately for $19.99
Super Smash Brothers Brawl will launch on December 3.
A demonstration of Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass was handled with the editor of a Nintendo oriented website. The grappling hook was used to interact with enemies and gain access to different areas of the map. The menu is accessed by touching an icon on the bottom of the screen.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was then demonstrated with another fansite editor. Holding the minus button and gesturing toward a different are of the screen will change the visor. Holding the Z button will lock onto a target, allowing the player to strafe, but also allow them to target anywhere on the screen.
Online was then brought up, with the DS being touted as having over 230 million connections. 5.6 million downloads from the Wii was also mentioned, and the WiiWare developer tool. Reggie then announced CheckMiiOut, which will allow for community voting, contests and other stuff centered on the Mii.
Mario Strikers Charged was announced to be going online, as is EA’s Madden NFL 08 and FIFA Soccer 08.
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker for the DS was announced – RPG Monster catching
Guitar Hero III: Legends for the Wii will have a wireless controller and online play.
Mario Kart Wii was announced for the first quarter of 2008. “This is not your father’s Mario Kart.” A WiiWheel was announced to launch alongside the game.
There was a lot of talk about how the company is going to have a major online presence. Unfortunately, that just isn’t as true as Nintendo would like. Certainly the DS has some major gaming happening online, but a few titles for the Wii having online play is not taking online gameplay seriously.
Satoru Iwata then came out to talk about how the company is working on mass market appeal. He said the next challenge is to destroy he psychological barrier between veteran gamers to novices, and have the products classified as for everybody. That’s a nice notion, like saying all films are for everybody. Different tastes and preferences as well as varying quality makes each film appeal differently to different people.
A video showing a family from Texas was shown where there were lots of testimonials about the games that are coming out. Apparently this family got to play Super Maro Galaxy before its launch of November 12.
Flash Focus, a vision training game for the DS was announced to give the eyes a workout. This was mentioned as a game that could do for improving visual acuity the same way that the various brain style games have helped to help sharpen mental awareness.
WiiFit was announced, an exercise “game” wich has a new peripheral, the Wii Balance board, that looks like a scale where each of the four quadrants are segmented to allow for measurement of pressure on both the left and right side as well as front and back.
Shigeru Miyamoto then came out to talk about the game. WiiFit is a realization of what the Wii can be in its appeal to the whole family. A one legged stretch back and forth measure the balance a person has. Step aerobics is basically a mixture of step movements and DDR style rhythm. A sideways twist also measures the balance the person has while performing while performing certain movements. There will be four different categories of exercises, aerobics, muscle conditioning, yoga and balance. Overall there will be over 40 activities. Data will be maintained and the whole family can be tracked.
Another exercise that was demonstrated featured heading a soccer ball into a net, where players leaned to the left or right in aiming to connect with an oncoming ball with a virtual head. The character on screen leans left or right in conjunction with what the player is doing. This is a balance style of game.
Reggie closed the Nintendo press conference by saying “We are the ultimate interactive experience” in his closing remarks. It is a hard claim to dispute.