3DS Super Mario, Netflix revealed at Iwata keynote

GDC 2011: Nintendo president reveals new title, services at fourth GDC address, discusses game-design philosophy, offers lessons from the past; Game Gear, TurboGrafx coming to 3DS; AT&T to provide 10,000 wireless hotspots; 3D video recording also en route.

SAN FRANCISCO--In January, the organizers of the Game Developers Conference announced the keynote speaker for this year's event. The name was a familiar--and important--one: Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who has keynoted GDC three times in the past six years. In 2005, he gave the first details on the Wii--then called the Revolution. In 2006, he returned to announce the DS debut of the Legend of Zelda series with The Phantom Hourglass and offered first details of the Virtual Console. In 2009, he unveiled another Legend of Zelda DS game (Spirit Tracks) and expansions to the company's downloadable catalog with Virtual Console arcade games and high-capacity SD card support with which to store them.

Iwata used a previous GDC keynote address to introduce key features of the Wii (nee Revolution).

This time around, Iwata will be looking at gaming's yesteryear--and its tomorrow. In a presentation called "Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision for the Future," the executive will "talk not only about how video gaming has evolved, but also, more importantly, he will offer his views on where we go from here." The title of his speech refers to the 25th anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which saw a staggered North American release in 1985 and 1986.

[9:04] After some brief introductory remarks from GDC organizers, Iwata takes the stage.

[9:05] He offers humble thanks and then talks about how he talks all the time for work.

[9:05] But he says speaking at GDC is special, because he gets to speak directly to his colleagues.

[9:06] He says that it's a confusing time, and that everyone is vulnerable. "We are all playing gambles, and it's getting scary."

[9:06] He reminds the audience that content is king.

[9:06] He says no matter the time, the need remains the same--content.

[9:07] He tells the developers in the audience that they are the center of the video game universe.

[9:07] Now Iwata segues to a review of the past 25 years of gaming.

[9:08] He talks about how he started programming in college, and he posts a picture of himself from that era.

[9:08] He and some friends started a company called Hal Laboratory.

[9:08] He then started to become familiar with Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto, who also gets a college-era pic flashed on the screen.

[9:09] Iwata was initially a competitor of Miyamoto, but the latter's game far outsold Iwata's.

[9:09] "He taught me a lesson--content really is king!"

[9:10] "And imagination is more important than engineering."

[9:10] Iwata now talks about wearing many hats back in the day and shows hats for game designer, artist, and sound engineer.

[9:10] He jokes about scraping by to pay the rent, and how primitive games were back then.

[9:10] "We were video game cavemen."

[9:11] He says that graphics and memory are much bigger today, but the cost has also gone way up.

[9:12] He says a development cost of $1 million was unthinkable back in the day; now $50 million is common.

[9:12] He said that this massive cost has been offset by the number of gamers.

[9:12] And Nintendo's strategy has been to expand the base even more with the DS and Wii.

[9:13] He said to get more insightful data than NPD, Nintendo has been conducting surveys since 2005.

Iwata offered some statistics on US gamers.

[9:13] In the US, they surveyed 5,000 people aged 6-74.

[9:15] 45 percent of people played dedicated video game machines in November 2007--by October 2010, that number had jumped to 62 percent.

[9:16] Now he's discussing social network games versus social games.

[9:16] He believes they are two different things.

[9:17] He said that video games of a social nature go back 50 years, all the way back to Spacewar in 1962.

[9:17] By the 1970s, people were already playing text-based games online.

[9:17] Home console machines brought people playing together in the same room.

[9:18] The Atari 2600 had two controllers out of the box.

[9:18] The NES had two controllers as well, and the N64 had up to four.

[9:18] The Wii does as well.

[9:19] Back then, social just meant competing.

[9:20] But Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen introduced a new kind of social gaming in 2004.

[9:20] He says that Nintendo isn't taking credit for everything.

[9:20] He gives Call of Duty, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network all props for expanding online gaming.

[9:21] He said the big lesson over the past 25 years is what motivates gamers. "In America you have a term for this: 'must-have.'"

[9:21] He thinks the first Game Boy was definitely a must-have, since it allowed portable gaming.

[9:21] But he thinks that technology itself doesn't make something a must-have.

[9:22] He says games can also be must-haves. Examples are Grand Theft Auto, Guitar Hero, Zelda, and Just Dance.

[9:22] He also says that another kind of must-have comes from the players themselves--namely, their desire to stay connected.

[9:23] He holds up World of Warcraft's 12 million subscribers as an example.

[9:24] He says the way to make a game a must-have is to look at the top franchises from the past 25 years.

[9:24] The top franchise? Mario, naturally.

[9:24] He said that when Mario made his debut in Donkey Kong, he was brand new.

[9:24] But he has evolved with each new game to stay fresh.

[9:24] The number two franchise? Pokemon.

[9:25] He said the exchange of Pokemons helped boost its popularity due to its social nature.

[9:25] Number three franchise? Tetris.

[9:25] He said it was the first game to attract a female audience.

[9:26] Number four? The Sims.

[9:26] He said that there was some skepticism since there was no way to win or lose--Sims games have sold 125 million units to date.

[9:27] So the lessons are: Constant improvement, Social Connections, Expanded Audiences, and…Universal Appeal.

[9:28] He now talks about his own personal experiences at Hal, where he helped create Kirby.

[9:28] After disappointing initial orders, they took the first Kirby game to Miyamoto at Nintendo.

[9:28] They suggested some changes and offered to publish the game.

[9:29] The original title for Kirby was Tinkle Popo, which didn't translate so well in the West.

[9:30] To help the game sell in the West, they also changed Kirby's color to white on the box.

[9:30] The game ended up selling 5 million copies.

[9:31] Changing gears, Iwata says that development is the same at Nintendo as it is everywhere else.

[9:31] "If there is a way to make it easy, we haven't discovered it yet."

Iwata hopes the 3DS is the next big must-have.

[9:32] Now he returns to the subject of must-haves, saying he hopes the next must-have will be the 3DS.

[9:33] He says the games that come preinstalled on the unit--Face Raiders, Mii Maker, and the AR games--are designed to make owners show their friends the 3DS.

[9:34] Now Iwata says the WiiWare and DSiWare aren't operating as well as they should have.

[9:35] To talk about new connectivity plans, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime takes the stage.

[9:35] He emphasizes that the 3DS is a game machine, first and foremost.

[9:35] He says two words are key: content and location.

[9:37] He is discussing Netflix on the 3DS, which will be available this summer.

[9:38] He said 3D movie trailers are also coming to the 3DS, starting with Green Lantern this summer.

[9:38] He also said a short-form video service is coming to the 3DS as well, which will be curated by Nintendo.

[9:39] The 3DS will also be able to record 3D video.

[9:40] Now Reggie is talking location, location, location.

[9:41] After talking StreetPass, he segues to SpotPass.

[9:42] He talks about how the SpotPass demos caused sales in nearby stores to increase sixfold.

[9:42] In late May, more than 10,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots will be 3DS hubs.

[9:42] They will be in restaurants, bookstores, cafes, and airports.

[9:43] 3DS will automatically connect to the Internet and will allow for online play and all other 3DS connected functions.

[9:44] He said all this will allow for maximum distribution for developers' content.

[9:44] Now he's talking the Nintendo eShop.

Reggie Fils-Aime discusses US 3DS plans.

[9:44] It will include the existing DSiWare shop and will have Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Gear, and TurboGrafx-16 games.

[9:45] The eShop will also have 3D-remastered classic Nintendo games.

[9:46] In late May, a system update will add the eShop, a Web browser, DSi store, and the ability to transfer DSi content to the 3DS.

[9:47] Reggie turns it back over to Iwata, who again says the 3DS will be the next must-have.

[9:47] Now he is going to talk about new games.

[9:48] There will be a new Super Mario for the 3DS, from the creators of Super Mario Galaxy.

[9:49] It will be a true 3D title, letting players jump forward and backward.

[9:49] He promises more details at E3 in June.

[9:49] Now he is talking about Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in 3D, which will arrive in June.

[9:50] He is now updating about Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which is shaping up very nicely with the Wii MotionPlus.

[9:51] Cut to a trailer that shows Link slicing and dicing opponents with his sword.

[9:51] Yes, there will be puzzles as well.

[9:51] Iwata is back, and now he will offer some thoughts about the future.

[9:52] He is discussing industry concerns, foremost of which is craftsmanship.

[9:53] He says that the nature of game development today has led to a loss of craftsmanship.

[9:53] Huge projects allow for small details to be lost in the process.

[9:53] He said back in his early days, all developers were generalists, not specialists.

[9:54] This is part of his second concern, talent development.

[9:55] He said the culture of specialization prevents people from seeing the totality of a game.

Iwata also had some thoughts--and concerns--about the future of the game industry.

[9:57] He said that competition is getting stiffer and stiffer and that apps are making it even harder to make games that are profitable.

[9:58] He says the tens of thousands of games generate little revenue and make high-value games less visible.

[9:59] He said that at Nintendo, hardware is just a means to give consumers software. He thinks that Sony and Microsoft think the same way.

[9:59] He said that mobile games, social networks, and app stores have no interest in quality software, just quantity.

[10:00] Since high quantity is how they generate profit.

[10:00] He says that Nintendo's software creates value, and he wants to protect that value.

[10:00] Iwata offers some tips for a game to get noticed.

[10:01] He said the game's appeal must be self-evident immediately, or players will get bored.

[10:01] Second, he said the game's idea must be simply understood so people can recommend it to others.

[10:02] If both conditions are met, then the game will sell itself.

[10:02] He said that this can all be summed up in a single word: innovation.

[10:03] At Nintendo, they ask themselves the question "Is there something impossible we can make possible?" to keep themselves from getting complacent.

[10:04] Wrapping up, he urges developers to "trust their passion" and "believe in their dream."

[10:05] "For 25 years, game developers have made the impossible possible. Why would we stop now?"

[10:05] And that's it!

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214 comments
Tacojoint
Tacojoint

i kinda wanna buy 3ds but then iwanna buy my own ps3 cause my bro is a dick sometimes and he wont let me use for the lamest reasons,damm this is gonna be hard to decide.

Masta_Rix
Masta_Rix

i wish they added a mini kinect thing to it so we could interact with the 3d by touching it. that would be something. But 3ds is still an amazing thing that I've been waiting for for quite a while, if it does what it says...

Kenshin0011
Kenshin0011

Okay after this, I've decided to FOR SURE buy a Nintendo 3DS....but in may. I think it's the smartest thing because I'll be out of school and have time to enjoy, the content update will be out (which seems CRUCIAL to me because it includes a web browser and store), and I'll have a chance to let the hype simmer out a bit. I can go to gamestop and see it in action first too. Also about the new Mario game it will be AMAZING. They are making so many smart choices. 1. They are keeping the "Galaxy" out of this, so it is fresh and the galaxy titles stay planted on Wii and aren't rehashed onto the portable 2. Although, it's the same dev team, so we can expect a GREAT game. 3. The graphics look awesome, 4. Bringing back SMB3 elements like the tail is not only great fan service, but will be awesome to play with on this next gen console.

renji4eva
renji4eva

Its good that theres going to be some good fighting games coming to the 3ds. Street Fighter, Dead or Alive and Blaz Blue. Pinch me i must be dreaming!!

wahyudil
wahyudil

thats it? just one hour? we want more ... talk moreeee ... I want to reap all of your secrets nintendo ... talk moreeee

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

It's a good thing that Master Quest will be available on OOT 3D.

riariases
riariases

@Wormkid_64 There are power outlets on every train, bus and plane i've ever been on. If you're talking about a city bus, well they're not 5 hours long so you'll always get a chance to charge it. I don't see the battery life as a big problem. When i'm on the go, I don't play for 5 hours.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@ Flint247 There you have it. Who has time to even play for the 5 hours you get out of the 3DS?And anyway,there's almost always an outlet nearby in a house or car,which is where it will get the most use.The only places I can think where it will be a real issue are on long plane,train and bus trips,but I expect only a small percentage of 3DS use would be on a trip of those types over 5 hours long.

Weltanschauung1
Weltanschauung1

@Bangerman15 WP7 is great. I really wonder how users of other phone OSs deal with all the junk and clutter. I guess that's why I see everyone with their face in a phone all the time at my son's soccer games, etc... @Gamingclone According to my XBL e-mail for the month of February, Live was connected for a week real time with half of it being on Netflix. QED, I like it. :)

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

Super Mario 3D looks interesting... heck it looks pretty cool! The logo Nintendo made has a tail at the end of the word 'Mario', so it makes me wonder if the raccoon/tanooki suit will make a comeback? We can only hope.

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

So let me get this stright: Outa the box features: Optional 3D feature analog stick improved adjustable non plastic stylist charge dock 6 AR cards 2 built in games 2GB SD stick Dull DSi, and DS lite game support on the hardware Better graphics then the Wii system Street pass Vurtal surround sound speakers 2-8 GB games for developers at launch, 16- 32 GB games for developers soon after (OMG U could make some massive Wii looking titles with ten times the content! Think about it! u just bought Medal of Honor 3DS It has a 10 hour long SP game, 4 difficulty settings, 20 MP maps, and 4 game modes! OMG!) Street pass feature for online play on the go without the need for hooking into a wi-fi hot spot: Not a prob where I live all the coffie shops around here have free wi-fi, so do all the bars! Mii creater A great line up of future and announced titles.............. Features added later via firmware updates: 3D video recording Netflix streaming full flash 10.1 supported web browser (also read that unlike the Wii they have a deal with Adobie to support flash on the platform with future updates!) If they announce anymore features My head will explode! Why was the Wii not treated like this out the door? They would be almost as good as Xbox360 at that point. I think next year they should announce a Wii HD with all these features and more..........

Hulksmash77
Hulksmash77

If Nintendo keeps progressing with their online capabilities and their graphics and innovation... they'll dominate the video game industry.

Flint247
Flint247

I can live with the short battery life. I got other games to play and other things to do. I don't want to be playing the 3DS ALL day long. The short battery life will help balance my schedule so I can play it and do other things like play my 360, Wii, draw, HW, and more.

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

I think i'm finally over Nintendo. the only thing I liked about any of what was said was Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but stopped caring at "in 3d"

riariases
riariases

@Kcube How overweight are you?

Fayt1986
Fayt1986

yeah your right if its in sleep mode it will connect with any wifi it finds and any other 3ds for new content.

togo2828
togo2828

@bloodyrooster It automatically connects wether you are playing it or not, all you have to do is I assume is leave your 3Ds on and closed and you will get the content regardless of if you game is in there or not.

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

@Weltanschauung1 Hey! Finially someone who has a netflix on a 360! Lol i thought that by the lack of people mentioning how they like or hate netflix on their 360, that it just wanst good, lol bad assumption.

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

@Weltanschauung1 yea netflix on windows 7 phone is surprisingly high quality video, it looks nice on it, im sure it will on the 3ds too so now it wont have to kill my phone battery lol. this little handheld will be taken everywhere with me :D

awssk8er716
awssk8er716

I am not a huge fan of watching movies because I don't like to sit there for two hours straight. I definitely get Netflix for my 3DS because I would be able to watch it where ever I wanted in my house, and move around if I needed to without pausing. I can't wait to catch up on all the movies I missed out on.

Weltanschauung1
Weltanschauung1

@Gamingclone I watch Netflix on my 360 nearly everyday. It's great. Fast, searchable, and high quality. I have netflix on my windows phone 7, but I'll enjoy it on the 3DS just the same. :)

Kcube
Kcube

I just want to swing links sword with a button press. Twilight princess did nothing but wear my hand and arm out. SO I got the GC version.

Supabul
Supabul

Why has Nintendo not announced GB advance games for the store, because it would be stupid to not offer them for download

bloodyrooster
bloodyrooster

the wifi spots is lame. This thing should have integrated 3g option. They are trying to turn the US into Japan and it won't be that cool. Regardless the thing will sell, it just won't access the internet unless it's at home.

jecht_35
jecht_35

If i can watch a full length movie on my Ipod Nano on a three hour flight i can watch movies on this no problem

supermajorabros
supermajorabros

I noticed the logo for Super Mario 3ds has a tail. I wonder if that means it will be like Super Mario Bros. 3...

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

I find it funny how everyone making netflix comments are saying that on the Wii and Ps3 netfix is very good and enjoyable, yet no one mentions the 360's verson. Is it that bad? Or are 360 owners just avoiding the artle :P?

jecht_35
jecht_35

I'm already sold on the 3DS now all i need them to do is make a super smash bros. game for it

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

@hahamanin my guess is that they are trying to make sure that all the 3DS features (that wont be available right from the start but one or 2 months later), such as web browser, are fully functional and arent buggy and dont need major updates later on in the 3DS life cycle (such as flash player for the Wii's web browser). I think Nintendo has learned from the Wii and DS and this time around are trying to aviod these issues.

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

@Bangerman15 trust me, its not going to happen any time this year, and not likely for next year either. From an Iwata Ask interview, someone (I forget if it was Iwata or the 3DS creator) said that this time around, the 3DS has the full package from the start, unlike the DS. Iwata said that they also didnt have any plans for a hardware revision anytime in the near future. Ofcorse hardware revisions will come, but they arent really needed at the moment, such as larger screens, better battery life (which if you have a screw driver you can easily remove the bottom and put in a better battery I've heard), possibly another anolog stick (which I dont want), and cell phone (also not needed). Looking at all of those obvious updates, none of them are really needed right away or at all even.

Pickleking23
Pickleking23

3DS is getting better and better. Finally Nintendo is getting on the internet wagon, with the netflix, friends list, etc. And 3D Video recording?! I'm very excited for launch. Even though the titles at launch look lame but I got plenty of DS games to hold me over.

QWERTYCommander
QWERTYCommander

I'm going to wait a year after both 3DS and NGP come out to make my decision. Because I am too poor to get both.

QWERTYCommander
QWERTYCommander

I just saw screenshots of the new Mario game. Looks very similar to Mario 64, with better graphics of course. In other words? Amazing. That could just be a system seller or me.

franzito
franzito

Still, I want to see what really will be unleashed at the very release of 3DS

spooky102
spooky102

I love Nintendo. The 3DS and its great games will be awesome and also, LoZ: SS should be brilliant too.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Nintendo is awesome. :) I'm really looking forward to the 3DS but I think I'll wait til they make the first hardware revision because I need a longer battery life. If it weren't for the short battery life I would get it when it comes out...eh who am I kidding, I'll probably get it regardless. :P

stEElyDaN909
stEElyDaN909

I like how Nintendo's speakers point out the strong points of their competition, instead of downplaying them. It's nice to see that in big competition markets like this, people can still give credit where credit is due. Except for apps, of course, but he does make a point. Except for the several dozen or so great apps I've found (angry birds, fruit ninja, ect...), most of the rest are crap cash ins on an already flooded market.

Crazy_Legs87
Crazy_Legs87

I have to get a 3DS, Mega Man Legends 3 is waiting for me.

chazy035
chazy035

3DS can record 3D VIDEO!!!! YES!!!!!! and stream NETFLIX 3D MOVIES

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

Activision exploited Call Of Duty once a years yet a lot of fans hate it like hell, while Nintendo always releasing Mario spin-off every 3 month, and yet no one really upset!! It's just amusing :D while I'm kinda bored like hell, hearing Mario name.... IMHO I want Mario died at least for 3 years!! I'm being serious here... :evil:

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

they better not release a 3ds lite anytime soon because i really want this and be happy with it for quite a few years, I was embarassed to take out my silver ds phat when everyone has cool colorful ds lites :(

missonrs
missonrs

a NEW mario game?!?! same developers from super mario galaxy!?!?! Netflix!?!?! I need $120 now! (I already have $130 saved).

wexorian
wexorian

make mario galaxy 3 and all will be happy :D

Flint247
Flint247

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

CorruptGamerGX
CorruptGamerGX

@Flint247 That was my point. Nintendo will eventually release a revision of the 3DS when sales start to die down in Japan and elsewhere. You'd have to be delusional to actually believe this when I'm sure Sony is going to do the exact same thing with PSP2/NGP.