New Metroid, Mario Galaxy, Wii Vitality Sensor headline Nintendo E3 event

E3 2009: The Big N returns to the LACC, showing off New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Wii Fit Plus, Mario & Luigi RPG: Bowser's Inside Story, Golden Sun DS, and more.

LOS ANGELES--The weeks leading up to the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo saw plenty of rumors and leaks about announcements from console makers Sony and Microsoft. However, Nintendo has been the subject of relatively few E3 rumors. A trademark filing for "Wii Fit Plus" raised eyebrows, as did an analyst prediction for new Zelda and Mario games, but the only widely held expectation is that the Wii maker will try harder to court the core gamer than it did in its 2008 E3 appearance.

Reggie Fils-Aime at the 2008 Nintendo E3 conference.

Whatever the subjects covered in the conference, there have to be plenty of projects up the publisher's sleeve. On the Wii front, Nintendo has little in the publicly announced first-party pipeline aside from Metroid Prime Trilogy, Sin and Punishment 2, and Wii Sports Resort. Perhaps it's time for rotund puffball Kirby to finally make his proper debut on the system, originally announced by Nintendo months before the Wii actually launched in 2006.

As for the DS, Nintendo has a slate of Japanese titles begging for localization, including Mario & Luigi RPG 3!!!, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, and Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver. Then there's the matter of the DSi, the recently released and premium-priced iteration of the popular handheld hardware that could benefit greatly from a killer app.

[8:51] Attendees have been trickling into Club Nokia for the better part of an hour now, many clutching courtesy cups of coffee or caffeinated soda.

[8:51] Nintendo's pre-show entertainment consists of the usual assortment of pre-show music and an abundance of Nintendo trivia cycling through on a big-screen that serves as the centerpiece to the stage.

[8:52] Unlike typical movie theater trivia slides, there are a good number of questions here. They only repeat every 15 minutes or so. Did you know Mario Kart DS was the best selling DS game of 2008 in the US?

[8:52] Fun fact: Mario Kart DS was released in 2005.

[8:52] The slides cover a fair bit of third-party games as well, with Silent Hill and Resident Evil featured.

[8:52] The balcony of Club Nokia is filling up nicely, but the floor seats seem to be waiting for late arriving attendees.

[8:52] According to the Club Nokia Web site, Stryper will be playing a show in this very same venue later this year.

[8:53] If Nintendo's show rocks half as hard, the Mario maker should be in good shape.

[8:55] The din of the crowd has picked up considerably in the last couple minutes. Everyone's eager to see what Nintendo has up its sleeve, given how few rumors and leaks were released ahead of time.

[8:56] A voice asks everyone to turn off Bluetooth functions on their electronics lest they interfere with game demonstrations.

[8:56] In Ice Climbers, what color parka does Popo wear?

[8:57] Pink

Welcome to the Nintemple.

[8:57] Blue

[8:57] Green

[8:57] Orange

[8:57] The answer is blue.

[8:58] Even the rows of seats reserved for V.I.P.s are filling up now. The balcony is pretty packed.

[8:59] Which character in Super Mario 2 could jump the highest? Come on Nintendo, quit throwing softballs!

[9:03] And we're officially getting off to a late start.

[9:03] With many of the attendees here racing over to Sony's press conference immediately after, there's bound to be a mad dash for taxis afterward.

[9:04] The music quiets, and the show begins with a trailer touting slogans like "Every culture" and "Every connection."

[9:04] We're being bombarded with pictures of non-traditional gamers playing the Wii and DS, then Cammie Dunaway is introduced.

Mario's congregation gathers.

[9:05] There's one thing everyone in attendance has in common, she says. That's a professional connection to games.

[9:06] So we should be pleased that the industry is trending up, she says. And the reason for its success is that the industry is focusing on people beyond the old notion of gamers.

[9:07] Dunaway says the Nintendo goal is to create and to surprise. She talks about showing us the next leap forward in game control today, and surprises where we thought there weren't any left.

[9:07] On that note, she talks about a guy who's been in more than 200 different titles and seems like he's already done it all, Mario.

[9:08] A quick trailer recaps Mario's history before Dunaway comes back and admits that Nintendo hadn't figured out how to move him into a 4th dimension.

[9:08] And that number--4--is the key to the latest surprise.

[9:08] New Super Mario Bros. for Wii is announced.

[9:09] Bill Trinnen from Treehouse takes the stage.

[9:09] Trinnen explained the thought process behind the project, saying the big idea was more players.

[9:09] It's a four-player live demo with Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad, and Yellow Toad.

[9:10] Players can pick each other up, which can be used to work cooperatively or thwart friends.

[9:11] It's pretty chaotic, especially as the players fight to get all the coins in a hidden room.

[9:11] There's a propeller suit that looks like a Pikmin costume. It lets players jump up higher and float down slower.

[9:12] Even the flagpole at the end of the level is a multiplayer focus, with players having a few seconds after it's first touched to grab on and get bonus points.

[9:13] After the level, player scores are tallied and ranked.

[9:14] Dunaway says the game is on the show floor this week and will be available this holiday season.

[9:14] Now we're moving to the Wii Balance Board and Wii Fit.

[9:14] Dunaway says it's been the best-selling game around the world since it launched.

[9:14] With 15 million sold, Dunaway said the Balance Board has an installed base that ranks alongside other systems.

[9:15] Nintendo has been making Wii Fit Plus, which is supposed to make a workout routine more tailored to the user.

[9:16] There are 6 new strength and yoga activities, but the key is in matching and mixing the workouts. You can also omit the interludes between exercises so you get a continuous workout.

Ms. Dunaway has fully recovered from her snowboarding injury.

[9:16] "At the same time, this can't be entirely about fitness," Dunaway says.

[9:17] Nintendo is adding 15 new minigames for Wii Fit Plus, including a math-oriented game and a Mario-style obstacle course.

[9:17] Wii Fit Plus will arrive this fall with the Balance Board or without.

[9:18] Dunaway cues another trailer showcasing the entire Wii product line, then Reggie Fils-Aime takes the stage.

[9:18] Fils-Aime says the Wii is attacking the games market like no system before.

[9:18] The Wii philosophy has pushed the console beyond mainstream gaming and into mainstream culture, he says.

[9:19] The system's Wii Remote and Balance Board interfaces have been key to the system's success, he says, and today it's time for the next advance.

[9:19] It's the Wii Motion Plus, apparently.

[9:19] "What emerges is a new sense of realism in gameplay."

New and improved New Super Mario Bros.

[9:21] Fils-Aime touts an unprecedented level of physical reality, and tosses to a trailer for the add-on.

[9:21] The trailer shows a woman playing ping-pong, and using the controller to put spin on the ball. Next it's a basketball player shooting a free throw, and a samurai swinging a sword.

[9:22] An archer, a golfer, a dude on a jet ski are also shown.

[9:23] As for gameplay, the trailer is pretty much just for Wii Sports Resort.

[9:23] It's time for a live demo of the Wii Motion Plus, with Trinnen coming back to the stage.

[9:24] Trinnen acknowledges that Wii Sports Resort was at last year's E3, but says he's come back out to better show off the precision of the controller.

[9:25] It starts with a Mii skydiving. The Wii Remote serves as a proxy for the Mii, with Trinnen using it to dive straight down and then grab arms with other skydiving Miis.

[9:25] The entire crew falls in formation according to his Wii Remote motions.

[9:26] That's apparently the introduction to Wii Sports Resort that all gamers will go through the first time they play.

[9:27] Now Trinnen is demonstrating the archery game. The game takes into account aim, wind, a moving target, and other factors.

[9:27] Trinnen says it's not about learning the controls; it's more about doing what comes naturally.

[9:28] He's going to show one more sport, this one with multiplayer action. It's a basketball three-pointer contest.

[9:28] Fils-Aime comes out and talks a little trash with Trinnen.

[9:29] Every basket that goes in sets off fireworks in the background.

[9:30] Reggie and Bill are apparently playing on two different Wiis.

[9:30] Fils-Aime wins the shootout and Trinnen abandons the stage in shame.

[9:32] Fils-Aime mentions that EA is putting Wii Motion Plus before Wii Sports Resort comes out, with the add-on bundled in Tiger Woods. Also, Grand Slam Tennis and Sega's Virtua Tennis will support the peripheral.

[9:32] Fils-Aime says it means all gamers' really bad habits when they play golf or tennis will be reflected in the games.

[9:33] Now it's time to talk RPGs.

[9:33] Square Enix is making an exclusive open-world adventure for Wii in the Final Fantasy franchise.

[9:34] It's the Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers game.

[9:35] Square is also bringing Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days to the DS on September 29. A short video shows off some of the game's plot points and an array of Disney characters.

[9:35] Now Fils-Aime is talking about Mario & Luigi RPG: Bowser's Inside Story.

[9:36] After the pair are shrunken, Bowser ingests them and the pair take their plumbing prowess to work on the villain's internal pipes, Fils-Aime says.

[9:38] One more RPG to talk about, as "a legendary RPG name is on its way back" to the DS.

[9:38] Golden Sun DS will arrive in 2010.

[9:39] The game will be in full 3D, but little else is shown in a brief trailer.

[9:39] Dunaway returns to the stage and talks about risky innovations, with three examples to come.

[9:40] She brings up mystery author James Patterson, and says his Women's Murder Club: Games of Passion will come out October 13.

[9:40] Chuckles are rippling through the crowd as a trailer plays. Players can play a reporter, a detective, or a doctor.

[9:40] Dunaway says Ubisoft has COP: The Recruit for fans of grittier, urban, open-world gaming.

[9:41] The game follows underground street racer Dan Miles, who gets caught and is given the choice of going to jail or going undercover for the cops.

[9:42] It's a mix of third-person shooting and driving in 3D.

[9:42] Dunaway brings up Style Savvy for tweens and 20-somethings.

[9:43] The game lets players run a fashion boutique with more than 10,000 fashions to choose from, customizing their shop and competing in runway competitions.

[9:43] Players can also shop in each other's boutiques. An ironic "Whoo!" from one audience member draws a few laughs.

I say, have you seen my Crystals?

[9:45] Now it's time to talk about the DSi, as a trailer comes up with "man on the street" testimonials using slogans and touting the system's features.

[9:45] Dunaway said the system should complement the DS Lite, with a different price point, features, and target audiences. So far, the DSi has sold more than 1 million units in the US.

[9:45] On top of that, the DS Lite has still managed to sell 400,000 systems in that same time frame.

[9:46] Dunaway said the goal with the DSi is to make players' portables feel unique and customized to them.

[9:46] One example is the Flipnote Studio movie maker, which will arrive this summer.

[9:46] More user-generated content is on the way with Mario vs. Donkey Kong.

[9:47] The Minis are back again, creating puzzles for players to negotiate.

This dragon is fired up about the return of Golden Sun.

[9:47] Minis March Again! is the subtitle, and will be playable on the show floor.

[9:48] It will only be available as a download for DSi, and it launches next Monday, June 8.

[9:48] WarioWare Myself is up next, with players being able to make their own microgames. Dunaway said it's as close to essential game design as any game has come.

[9:48] Players will also be able to share their completed games with other DSi owners.

[9:49] This summer, DSi owners will be able to upload photos taken with the system and uploaded to Facebook.

The DSi is perfect for policemen looking to kill time between cases.

[9:49] Dunaway said it makes it even more fun to personalize and share photos on the social networking site.

[9:50] While user-generated content is hot, Dunaway promises Nintendo isn't getting carried away with it. For instance, the professionally developed Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is as anticipated as any DS title.

[9:50] Spirit Tracks will be playable on the show floor this week.

[9:51] "In our world, everyone's game," Dunaway says before leaving the stage for another trailer.

[9:51] She comes right back to introduce Satoru Iwata.

[9:52] The president of Nintendo talks about the nay-sayers that said the company couldn't expand the audience. Now people are saying the audience expansion trend is beginning to fade.

The Reagle has landed.

[9:54] Iwata said that if the population is going to keep growing, it has to come from people who right now think they might play games someday. That group consists of 149 million people in the US, Europe, and Japan.

[9:54] That's about half the size of the current gaming market, and Iwata says there's a long way to go in expanding the gaming population.

[9:54] The ability to appeal to new players will decide the fate of new platforms, Iwata says.

[9:55] Even though the range of skill level among gamers is wider than ever, Iwata said Nintendo is trying to create games that will appeal to all gamers. He acknowledges it's a major challenge, though.

[9:55] Iwata explains the struggle between including depth for experienced players and accessibility for new players.

[9:56] But everyone started somewhere. "No one was born an expert gamer," Iwata says.

[9:57] Last year, Nintendo started to address that problem with Mario Kart Wii and the Wii Wheel.

[9:57] New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Wii Fit Plus, and Wii Sports Resort are all titles designed to appeal to veterans and new gamers alike, Iwata says.

[9:58] Iwata understands that solution might not be convincing, and notes that most titles are still coming in familiar genres. Now it's time for a sneak peek at "another entirely different way of thinking about games."

[9:58] Following in the steps of Brain Age and Wii Fit, there's the Wii Vitality Sensor.

[9:59] It's a finger-worn pulse reader.

[10:00] It's also a rare attachment using the Nunchuk port on the Wii Remote.

[10:00] The idea was to visualize something that was invisible.

[10:00] Iwata wants people to use the product to acheive greater relaxation. There's still no word on a gameplay example.

[10:00] Apparently we're not going to get such word today.

[10:01] Iwata leaves the stage and Dunaway returns to the stage. She says there's a little stimulation left to deliver.

DSi is now Facebook friends with Facebook.

[10:01] She recaps the show so far, with Mario on Wii, DS, and on DSi.

[10:02] "But if you think that's all the Mario news you can handle, you might want to think again."

[10:02] It's another 3D Mario for Wii.

[10:02] Yoshi's back in a Super Mario Galaxy-like game.

[10:02] Lots more round planatoids and star collecting antics.

Up Next: Wii Polygraph.

[10:03] There's a snow level, underwater sections, the haunted castle, some interesting flower-laden worlds, and a lot of tricky platforming on display.

[10:03] Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the official name.

[10:04] Fils-Aime is out to tout the company's lineup again.

[10:05] He namechecks everything (including the Wii Vitality Sensor) before acknowledging that he reads "the blogs." He also wants more, with "more" being associated with third-party games.

[10:05] He starts off talking about The Conduit for Wii, from Sega and High Voltage.

[10:06] A trailer for the game shows off its sci-fi shooter chops.

[10:06] Capcom's Resident Evil is the next topic, as Fils-Aime introduces a trailer for Darkside Chronicles.

Not too soon after all, I guess…

[10:08] He talks about seeing familiar characters in a new light, while the trailer shows off the lightgun-style gameplay.

[10:08] EA's Dead Space: Extraction completes the trifecta with another trailer.

[10:09] Like Darkside Chronicles, Extraction is a lightgun-style take on a popular survival horror game.

[10:09] Fils-Aime says third-party publishers are drawn to opportunity, and there's no more opportunity than on Nintendo platforms.

[10:09] But Nintendo also has something edgy.

[10:09] It's time for a fresh look at a storied franchise, he says.

[10:09] A trailer shows Team Ninja's latest.

[10:10] Project M presents…

This thing is literally pumped for Super Mario Galaxy 2.

[10:11] A woman in a sci-fi base of some sort. It's Samus.

[10:11] Metroid: Other M is the game.

[10:11] It's a 3D action adventure game that looks to have a big focus on the combat, with a dash of melee added to the formula.

[10:11] 2010 is the release date.

[10:11] The trailer gets the biggest applause yet.

[10:12] Fils-Aime said the historic collaboration will reveal a Metroid game unlike any other, taking players deeper into Samus' story.

[10:12] Fils-Aime said Nintendo's mission is to revitalize these familiar names.

[10:13] Fils-Aime thanks the crowd for attending, says Nintendo is committed to making "Everyone's Game," and that's the show.

[10:13] Be sure to check back throughout the week as GameSpot covers E3 2009 top to bottom.

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How could they utilize the Vitality Sensor more? Maybe they could add it in to Super Mario Galaxy 2 Wii, you know, when you get pissed off at some stage, they'll make it more easier. That would make Super Mario Galaxy 2 accessible for everyone.


Oh god... Vitality Sensor... So that friends and family can see when you've finally died from shovelware/hardware toxidrome. :) The Metroid from Team Ninja looks great, but this wasn't the most... impressive thing I've seen. I think the Vitality Sensor says it all... right now Nintendo may be full of cash, but if you stuck that pathetic little pulse oximeter slash heart rate sensor on your Wii it would be a flatline. Heck, even the Metroid game is going to be painful to look at on an HDTV and Metroid deserves better than this.


Like to see a M rated Metroid for the DS.


Lame. Besides a couple of games (Metroid, Golden Sun, and Mario and Luigi) Nintendo has only confirmed that my Wii will be gathering some more dust. Maybe I should look at other uses for it, maybe a bookend?


hey when are we going be able to download the video for the nintendo conferrence


lost of good new stuff


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nintendo doesnt need more innovation, they just need to keep doing what they are doing. sony and ms need innovation. and natal threw it at us in droves. sony on the other hand needs to be a little more original.


nintendo should name their next console Ballsy then they can get Ballsy sports, Ballsy pool, Ballsy golf, Ballsy women games.. maybe not


From everything to everyone to Been there done that!


Wow that was a lame conference. Only one hour long? Good games but where is the innovation? More Mario, c'mon Nintendo!


I'm not that impressed by Nintendo really. Metroid Prime always rocks, and the Conduit sounds nice, but I really don't care about more stupid minigames and countless Mario spin-offs. Oh, and now I get third party light-gun shooters from EA and Capcom? How 1990s of you. But wait, you're also including a hospital heart monitor that hooks up to my video game console? Well, I certainly never saw this coming! I can believe that no one thought of this before. :-/ What part of this is supposed to excite me? I've been tired of Mario for years, and now I get more of him along with possible Kirby and Warior games too? How exactly do you re-invent a fluffy pink ball that sucks things up and then spits them back in your face? Snowball Menace: Kirby's Revenge? Dust continues to collect.


Being a Wii owner I am totaly conformed, only I was waiting Modern Warfare 2 for Wii but with Dead Space and the new "ON RAILS" Resident Evil I am more than happy. Also GTA:CW


Probably the best E3 for the Wii yet, in my opinion. The Wii is really making a come-back.


Wii Vitality Sensor??? Nintendo will throw out just about anything. I'm not blaming them, the never-ending legions of casual Wii owners will buy pretty much anything Nintendo gives them, no matter what the price.


@Flint247 Nintendo not beating last year's show is like...its like being....well its really really easy okay!


@nate1222 Are you kidding me. Microsoft and Sony both had great conferences. And if you think that 360 and PS3 just have graphics going for them, you obviously have played nothing. Games for the Wii that are also on PS3 and 360 are very dumbed down versions because the wii can't handle it. PS. anyone looking forward to that Wii Vitality, wow, nintendo doesnt yet realize a lot of gamers just want to use a controller...not have 100% body interaction with games.


This year was definitely more epic than last year. New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Wii Sport resort, Wii Fit Plus, man, Nintendo is back on top!


My main problem with nintendo is that no third party companies can make good games for the Wii, its normally just Nintendo making all the games that people care about. Im not going to buy a Wii just to play more Mario, I wanna see some new IPs that actually are fun and creative.


Last year Wii did terrible. Looks like we're in for some good sh!t this year.


It was better than last year!


Pretty good E3 this year for Nintendo, worlds better than last year. No one seems all that excited about the new Mario titles, but you guys can hoop it because New Super Mario Bros Wii and Mario Galaxy 2 are gonna be ill as hell. New Metroid and Golden Sun also = All I need from Nintendo this year!


- I'm sorry... they bored me with their number and sales, etc. They should have pulled a Microsoft. Whoopty do for their new Mario games and what not. The only thing that appealed to me as a core player was the Metroid game. I really thought they were going to bring more to the table and I'm sure I'm not alone on that. Other then that.. I felt as if Nintendo was mostly dipped in a bucket of failsauce. IMO


i dont know if i like metroid the other m ( i liked prime3 ) becous it was FPS RPG , i hop it goes well but again idont think so




the wii fit sounds cool and so does the mario games.


Go to bed Nintendo no one cares. Maybe a few of these I will play but my Wii sits off ALWAYS.


I guess with these new Nintendo games I will finally have 10 games in my Wii collection.


They could of stopped at New Metriod, and that would of been enough to get me interested. Glad its in 3rd person, action games should always have a 3rd person view.


its so good to see new games coming from nintendo... finally nintendo is waking up a little bit. because we need donkey kong, kirby, pickmin, a new mario party ONLINE and maybe a second luigis game i will hope for zelda, mario galaxy and a metroid


Another stupid minute-by-minute "account". How about just waiting until the "event" is done and compose properly-written articles instead? Like Sendai Publishing used to do!


looks good to b a wii title..........


i'm thankfull metroid will be on 3rd person, it was an action game back on 2d not an fps anyway that sounds cool and i couldn't be more exited about golden sun 3 but there are just 2 announcements (i mean for wii mgalaxy and metroid)


Just not interested in kids games anymore. Thanks but no thanks. I will stick with the grown up gaming.


@ Mikethechimp Wow are you really that much of an idiot? Firstly, how does more characters and third person perspective equals casualisation? And where did you come off saying that there won't be any exploration? Next, Metroid never followed FPS rules, Retro decided to make Metroid PRIME (see the PRIME, since PRIME is a series of Metroid, Metroid NEVER was defined solely as a FPS-styled game, only PRIME was) play that way. If anything third-person perspective is actually going back to the roots considering Metroid was a 2d side-scrolling game (2d = third person perspective) and most Action/Adventures pre-Mario 64 ended up third person post-Mario 64... If anything Metroid SHOULD be third person. As for "LOL METROID CAN'T HAVE CHARACTERS WTF", the original metroids DID have a plot and other characters... I think after so many years of PRIME you have deluded yourself on what Metroid is or isn't. Prime was a good series, of course, but its moronic to say that "EVERY METROID GAME AFTER PRIME SHOULD ACT AND PLAY EXACTLY LIKE PRIME DID!!!11". Please, chimp (and I wouldn't be surprised if you were one), know Metroid history before spamming your ignorant opinion. And you do know who is making this game don't you? Team Ninja reinvented Ninja Gaiden, one of the best games on Xbox, as well as a whole list of good quality games. Tell me... HOW IS THAT CASUAL?!


"GOLDEN SUN 3 YEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS" Actually its golden sun 2, the lost age on the GBA was golden sun 1 part 2 :P


better than last year by darn darn far.


Mikethechimp, Don't be dumb and judge a game that was just announced. That's not the official gameplay footage.We don't know anything besides there's a new Metroid coming.




The WII Vitality is a rip off! These machines are placed in drug stores to test your blood pressure lol.


A Metroid game that is focused on combat? That's not Metroid.. At least to me, Metroid was always about the exploration. So Nintendo's strategy is basically to release tons of family/non-gamer demographic, and once in a while toss in a new Mario/Metroid/Zelda to hush the old Nintendo fans. Hmm. :(

Mikethechimp Trailer for the new Metroid. How did THAT get applause? Pathetic, ridiculous attempt by Nintendo do "casualify" the franchise even further than they did with MP3. Other central characters besides Samus? A THIRD-PERSON PROSPECTIVE WHEN YOU'RE NOT ROLLED IN A BALL? BEAT-EM-UP MOVES FOR COMBAT? Screw exploration, this game doesn't even have a MAP.


Metriod was awesome at E3 09. Samus Aran is Hott!!!


I want Pilotwings, Dammit! even if it's just merged with Wii Sports Resort


New Metroid - good, but i think the controls ruined Corruption for me. I didn't like the wii remote. New Mario Galaxy - good, but they should have made a completely new experience. Wii Vitality - bad. I'm just sick and tired of this hardware bullcrap. WE WANT GAMES!


nintendo didnt completely ignore the hardcore but still made the casual the headline of the show.... (sigh)


Wii Vitality Sensor,,, can it be yet another Wii peripheral gimme a break. Nintendo is dead to me, long ago.


I havn't played my Wii for a while (except for SSB: Brawl). The new Mettroid and Mario games should get me playing on it again. I think all three companies had great E3 presentations this year. I cant wait to see all the games I have seen in the past two days be released.