June 2, 2009 (Club Nokia, Los Angeles) - Nintendo fans were a bit disappointed last year with the few announcements that took place at the E3 press conference. However, expectations are high this year, as most of us expect the unveling of a new installment in either the Mario or The Legend of Zelda franchise. Hopefully whatever Nintendo has to say this year will satisfy us!
Check out the play-by-play below for up-to-date info on the Press Conference.
9:01 - We're here at the Club Nokia, waiting for the show to start. Nine screens show the Nintendo logo, though they've been showing a Nintendo trivia until now. Does this mean the show is imminent? I'd say so!
9:04 - After a quick intro video, Cammie Dunaway (Executive Vice President of Marketing & Sales) enters the stage. She's already talking numbers, as we expected, noting that video games are already bigger than the music and movie industry together.
9:06 - She makes a point about a new leap in game controls. Then proceeds to talk about the man who seems like he's done it all. Guess who! Of course, no other than Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto. He's not on stage, but they still have an amazing announcements we were all waiting for....
9:09 - New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii!!! In the live demo, we see cute little Mario, Luigi, Yellow, and Blue Toad jump around the screen the old fashioned way. While there's somewhat of a 3D visual style to it, the gameplay is a pure side-scroller based on the original Super Mario Bros., complete wiht hidden passages, pipes that lead to treasure rooms, and more. Four-player co-op will, no doubt, make this one of the best-sellers this holiday season, especially considering it's Miyamoto's latest masterpiece.
9:15 - Wii Fit Plus is now the topic at hand. The updated game will have new exercises, new mini-games, and more. The new bundle will include an updated and redesigned Wii Balance Board, and it'll be sold starting Fall 2009.
9:17 - Reggie Fils-Aime now comes out to gives us his speech. Comments on the importance of word-of-mouth to make their systems popular, but he then explains how an intuitive and accesible interface is what makes all the difference.
9:19 - This leads to the (re-)introduction of Wii MotionPlus. We already knew about this little adapter that plugs into the bottom of the Wii Remote, but since it's about to be released, Nintendo wants to make sure we know how much more accurate game controls will be with it. A video presentation shows people playing sports with the Wii-mote, obtaining 1:1 movement-response results.
9:24 - More last year news... Bill Trinnon comes onto the stage to give us a live demo of Wii Sports Resort, which shows the beginning of the game. The player jumps from an airplane and is then controlled easily with smooth motions of the Wii Remote. On to archery! By separating the Nunchuk and the Wii-mote in a tight motion, players can pull back the rope to point and shoot at the target. Controls seem very accesible and accurate, though we'll have to see when we try it out at the showfloor.
9:28 - One new sport that has been added to Wii Sports Resort is basketball. Reggie and Bill duke it out against each other just shooting some hoops, having a 3-point contest.
9:31 - Reggie talks about upcoming third-party titles that will use Wii MotionPlus, such as Grand Slam Tennis and Tiger Woods 2010, from EA, and Red Steel 2, from Ubisoft, which will only be playable with the controller attachment.
9:33 - It's time to talk RPGs. Square Enix trailers show us Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers for Wii and then an impressive-looking Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the Nintendo DS.
9:36 - Nintendo's systems wouldn't be the same without cool Mario & Luigi RPGs. After stating that Bowser sucks, we see a video fo Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. This title will be available in the fall of 2009.
9:38 - Yet another RPG hardcore fans were waiting for: Golden Sun for DS is in the works! We only get to see a short trailer for now, but things are looking good for fans of the franchise.
9:39 - People don't seem too excited about this one, but Cammie introduces James Patterson: Women's Murder Club, an adaptation of Patterson's novel into a Nintendo DS game.
9:40 - Another title coming to the DS is C.O.P.: The Recruit, a new Ubisoft franchise that seems to have somewhat of a GTA style. We won't get our hopes up just yet, but hopefully it'll be a solid addition to the DS's extensive library.
9:42 - Want mnore DS? Here's a new franchise, called Style Savvy. It's evidently targetted towards young girl gamers, just like Ubisoft's incredibly best-selling Imagine series.
9:44 - Cammie proceeds to talk numbers a little more: Nintendo DS Lite sales in the last two months: 400,000 | Nintendo DSi sales: 1 million units. The point is they both sell because they target a bit different audiences, with the DSi more geared towards customization.
9:47 - The DSi will see a hot seller title in just a few days (June 8, via DSiWare): Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again. Also, FlipNoteStudio, another title, will let DSi users create little animations.
9:48 - Another interesting title for the DSi will be allow players to design, play, and share their own WarioWare mini-games. As if that wasn't enough, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is also coming out this year for DS and DSi. Good news for us! It'll be playable in the show floor. Look for our hands-on impressions coming soon!
9:50 - Iwata (President and CEO of Nintendo) finally takes the stage. He talks about global gaming, and how Europe, Japan, and North America are huge consumers of Nintendo's video games. However, he explains there's still a long way to go.
9:57 - Considering Brain Age and Wii Fit are such good sellers, Iwata has a new announcement. It's called the Wii Vitality Sensor. We're not sure about the shape of that thing, but it attaches to the bottom of the Wii Remote, just like the Nunchuk, and measures your pulse. Hmm... strange, but hey, it's Nintendo, and it's Japanese! Right? Hmm... Yeah...
10:01 - Awesome! Yet another 3D Mario game fot the Wii is announced! The game looks like a solid sequel to the succesful Super Mario Galaxy. Platforming at its best will be the gameplay style once again, facing obstacles and challenges against classic enemies such as Bullet Bills, Gombas, and the likes. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is no longer a dream - it's a reality! No release date has been mentioned yet, but we're definitely ready!
10:03 - It was about time to hear some real cheers! The audience is incredibly excited about this announcement, and you can feel the energy fill up the entire theater room.
10:05 - Reggie now talks about upcoming titles to appeal the hardcore gamer. He shows upcoming third party titles such as The Conduit, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, and Dead Space: Extraction. Certainly, no one will argue those titles aren't exciting offerings for the core gamer, though I have to admit we were expecting something from Nintendo itself.
10:09 - Fear not! Nintendo has partnered up with Team Ninja to create a new Metroid! If you were missing Samus Aram, don't worry, she's back again! Well... she will be, sometime in 2010, with Metroid: Other M.
10:14 - I guess this year we have no reasons to complain! The Nintendo Media Briefing was packed-full of surprises to please all sorts of gamers. Whether you like RPGs, action, puzzling, or platforming, there seems to be something for everyone!
CCC Site Director / Editor-in-Chief