Mario and Link were nowhere to be seen at press conference, but Miyamoto's outfit made waves with Animal Crossing: City Folk, the WiiSpeak peripheral, and more.
Microsoft fired the first shots of the E3 Media & Business Summit yesterday morning with its press conference, highlighted by the announcement that Final Fantasy XIII would be coming to the Xbox 360. As has become an E3 custom, Microsoft's opening shot will be followed today by the staccato salvo of back-to-back Nintendo and Sony conferences.
First up is Nintendo, which has gathered scores of journalists and industry types to the Kodak Theatre this morning. While the venue is the annual home to the Academy Awards, today it might be playing host to some award winners of a different medium, as Nintendo has been riding a wave of success that began with the 2004 release of the DS and continues with the Wii cultural phenomenon.
However, it's unclear exactly what Nintendo will discuss during the conference. It's a safe bet the company will shed some light on plans for its new precision-enhancing Wii Remote add-on, but things get dicey beyond that. Will the company confirm rumors of a new Kid Icarus game? Will it show off the next big mainstream hit, a la Wii Fit? Will the Balance Board get a new crop of killer apps? And how about a new handheld or DS redesign, both of which have been whispered about for months? We're about to find out.
[8:47] Gaming press have been flocking to the Kodak Theater since 7 a.m., and with about 15 minutes to go until the event's scheduled tip-off, the crowd is buzzing in anticipation and the choice seats are filling up quickly.
[8:51] It doesn't appear as if Nintendo wanted a packed house for its invite-only event, as the Kodak's three stacked balcony sections are all but vacant. As people find their seats, the requisite techno blares over the loudspeakers while pictures of Wii and DS players fade in and out on the stage backdrop.
[8:57] The early hour of the event hasn't done much to temper the attendees' chatter. A bevy of familiar faces work the crowd and catch up with contacts as bloggers hammer out last-minute connection issues.
[9:01] As posh a place as the Kodak Theater is, it's perhaps surprisingly situated in an (admittedly upscale) outdoor mall. Also situated in the mall is one of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell's upstart uWink interactive entertainment restaurants.
[9:06] The house music fades and the show picks up where last year's Nintendo conference left off, with a video montage of diverse people enjoying Nintendo's products.
[9:08] Out comes Nintendo exec Cammie Dunaway for her first E3 presentation. She notes that she isn't Reggie Fils-Aime, but says she's happy to be here in place of her boss.
[9:10] She talks about her kids and trying to impress them, saying gaming is a much safer way to appear cool than something like snowboarding. Apparently she broke her wrist trying that. Still, she said she wouldn't let it take the smile off her face or make her give up. She thought she just needed help from a friend. And here comes Shaun White.
[9:11] Shaun demos his Balance Board-compatible Wii game live for the crowd, busting out some tricks and taking a nasty spill. The game fades out and he starts talking about how the board enhances the gameplay on the Wii.
[9:13] Dunaway steps onto the board to try the game herself. She emphasizes that she's never done this before, then takes a trip down the half-pipe with a handful of tricks and wipeouts.
[9:14] Dunaway says the game will arrive "exclusively for Wii" by year's end. She must have been talking about the Balance Board-capable version of the game.
[9:16] Out comes Satoru Iwata, who reminisces about a time when people had a pessimistic view of Nintendo's future. He said people were just holding a common-sense view of the gaming market, and that even Nintendo employees couldn't have expected this much success just five years later. Specifically, he mentions the company's selling millions of "bathroom scales" (Balance Boards).
[9:17] He brings up the longevity of games these days, with Nintendogs, Brain Age, New Super Mario Bros., and Mario Kart DS appearing to be evergreen products. He also says players want more than just better graphics and more sophisticated content.
[9:18] He brings up the internal teams that make Mario and Zelda games, saying they're both hard at work to bring such new titles to the Wii. On the other hand, he says Wii Sports and Wii Fit have been successful with many gamers for other reasons. Small games with small budgets can have a great audience.
[9:19] Now he brings up the expanding market, saying the old "common sense" view of the market was too linear. In particular, he said this has changed the seasonal nature of the industry. Where systems used to be holiday gifts, he now says it's more likely that customers were buying the systems for themselves throughout the year.
[9:21] He also says the industry is seeing a new form of social interaction. Last year he said he wanted to tear down the psychological barrier between gamers and nongamers. Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit were good for that, he noted, but Guitar Hero III was the strongest evidence of that. (He also noted it sold more on Wii than any other system).
[9:22] He starts to talk about innovation, and how it gets run into the ground more quickly when others imitate it, a jab at the competition that draws chuckles from the audience.
[9:22] Iwata says Nintendo always changes itself to be a pioneer "informing new paradigms." He wants fresh surprises, and hopes the crowd enjoys the ones Nintendo has in store today.
[9:23] Iwata leaves the stage, as a clip with Animal Crossing creator Katsuya Eguchi explaining the genesis of the series.
[9:26] He's showing off the new Wii version of Animal Crossing, and talks about the town and the game's persistent 24-hour clock. There's a new "city" area with an auction house, as well as a Happy Room Academy where players can see what others are up to, check out a fashion design store, or go to a beauty salon and change their hairstyles (or put on masks to look like Miis).
[9:27] Now he brings up WiiSpeak, a microphone that sits above the TV set and picks up the chatter of everyone in the room. They show it off with a demo of how it would work in a fishing minigame.
[9:28] He talks about visiting other friends' Animal Crossing towns and playing with them (the screens show four players at once), or just checking out their worlds. The clip ends with the logo for Animal Crossing: CityFolk.
[9:29] Fils-Aime comes to the stage and says Animal Crossing "complete with the WiiSpeak option" will be out by the end of the year. He talks numbers, with US retail sales of the Wii passing 10 million and DS sales passing 20 million.
[9:31] Now he talks about product life cycles, saying some expected 2007 would be the DS' peak year. However, 2008 sales are running 12 percent ahead of last year's. It's key franchises that sell systems, Fils-Aime says, and this spring it was Pokemon.
[9:31] The Pokemon franchise has now sold 180 million games.
[9:33] Fils-Aime expects June's NPD numbers to show that the DS will reclaim its hardware sales title from the Wii. "There seems to be an unlimited number of people out there looking for a way to get into our game," Fils-Aime declares.
[9:34] When the NPD numbers come out, Fils-Aime said Nintendo won't be surprised if the figures put the Wii overtakes the Xbox 360 to be the lifetime best-selling current-generation console in the US (though he didn't single out Microsoft's system by name).
[9:36] Fils-Aime said third-party publishers are finding success on the Wii, with 19 different third-party games from 11 publishers exceeding sales of 400,000 units in the US alone.
[9:36] Now Fils-Aime is lobbing softball hypotheticals at himself, asking if the Wii is the place for casual games, legendary franchises, or new experiences, before saying all of the above.
[9:39] He throws to a trailer of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which shows players using the Wii as a lightsaber, possibly with 1:1 motion. Next is Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party, which will use the Balance Board for a skysurfing minigame, among other things. Third up is Call of Duty: World at War, which will have co-op play.
[9:41] Dunaway returns to the stage to talk about portable games. More stats, as the portable gaming segment of the market is growing each year. Female players are also on the rise, as Dunaway says in 2007, the genders nearly reached parity among gamers, with 28 percent of gamers being women. She mentions Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades coming soon, as well as Spore Creatures for DS.
[9:42] A trailer shows Vicarious Visions' On Tour Decades, which will introduce song share between DS players with different versions of On Tour. Transitioning to Spore, clips of the DS concept art are shown as an EA rep explains the game's creature creator and various design decisions in bringing Will Wright's ambitious PC game to the handheld platform.
[9:43] Dunaway brings up one last DS game, Pokemon Rangers: Shadows of Almia, which will arrive in the US November 10.
[9:44] As for core gamer efforts on the DS, she says Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars will arrive on the DS this December.
[9:45] That gets a rise out of the crowd. She says it will feature the trademark GTA gameplay in a Liberty City setting, albeit with a custom game engine.
[9:46] The DS is more than games, though. Dunaway says the DS is being tested at airports to tell travelers where their baggage claim will be, what nearby restaurant options are there, etc. She also brings up the continuing DS interactive options at the Seattle Mariners' ballpark. Then there's meal-planning software that she says will arrive in the US this November.
[9:47] Dunaway yields the stage to Fils-Aime, who begins talking about the Wii Remote precision add-on.
[9:48] He says Wii MotionPlus makes the experience more precise and more intense, and talks about the need for outstanding software to live up to its technological promises. Wii Sports Resort is one such game.
[9:49] He says it's "literally a day at the beach." Every copy of Resort will come with a MotionPlus, as well as an extended Wii Remote jacket. Dunaway and a third participant come to the stage to test out a few Resort games.
[9:50] Dunaway tests a game of Frisbee fetch with a virtual dog. She flings the disc wide, missing the target entirely. "Is that the good wrist or the broken wrist," Fils-Aime asks. She tries again, the dog catches it, and the crowd applauds.
[9:51] Reggie takes over to demo a Jet Ski game that looks a bit like WaveRace: Blue Storm with a Mii rider.
[9:53] The third minigame will be a dueling competition. Fils-Aime and Dunaway square off in a sword fight with 1:1 motion. Fils-Aime clobbers Dunaway off the platform (in-game), and says, "That's why they call me the Reginator."
[9:54] Round 2 goes to Dunaway. Fils-Aime gets the stage to himself once again, and he talks about the broader opportunity to developers offered by Wii MotionPlus. He cautions it won't happen instantly, but once the world's best creators have gotten used to it, he said "they'll take you deeper than ever before."
[9:55] Wii Sports Resort launches globally next spring.
[9:56] Time for a game that will use the standard Wii Remote. There's a bit of fog machine and light show going on. It appears to be a first-person drumming game, part of Wii Music perhaps. It's demonstrated by a guy sitting in a chair on stage and using the Wii Remote, Nunchuk, and Balance Board to kick off a drum solo that gets the crowd cheering.
[9:57] Shigeru Miyamoto comes out to play with the drummer. He walks onto the stage pretending to play a Wii Remote saxophone, which translates to onscreen action and music.
[9:59] Miyamoto greets the crowd and introduces Wii Music. Speaking through a translator, he said it was one of the games designed alongside Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Wii Play. If you want to appeal to everyone regardless of age or gender, he said music is a must.
[10:00] Most music games require precise timing and onscreen symbol matching, he explains. Wii Music was designed instead to allow everyone to experience the joy of performing music. There's no need to closely follow notes or rhythm guides; just hold the controller like you would a real instrument and the game plays notes to match the song.
[10:01] Miyamoto doesn't play the sax, but he was able to play a song from an F-Zero game. Wii Music will include more than 50 instruments, including the piano and violin.
[10:02] He also demonstrates the game's electric guitar and taiko drum.
[10:03] The first-person drumming with the Balance Board demonstrated earlier is actually a special mode that will include tutorials to teach users to play drums.
[10:04] The orchestra game that Miyamoto demonstrated when Wii Music was first unveiled years ago will also be included. Players will be able to save parts of a song and combine them to form their own music videos.
[10:05] Up to four players can play simultaneously, and the in-game bands are limited to six instruments. They demo it with a xylophone, conga drums, cowbell, horns, and guitar. The group plays the classic Super Mario Bros. theme.
[10:07] They wrap up the theme with the big finish, take a bow, and Miyamoto and co. leave the stage.
[10:08] Fils-Aime and Dunaway come back out and recap some of the event's news. Shaun White, Animal Crossing with WiiSpeak, and Wii Sports Resort are among the highlights mentioned.
[10:09] "Nintendo simply brings more smiles to more faces," Dunaway says.
[10:10] Fils-Aime addresses charges that the DS and Wii are fads. He said they're not, and paradigm shifts like this often spawn imitators. He talks about moving beyond the current thing and into the next big thing. He thanks the audience for attending, and says they'll feel that next big thing in Nintendo's games over the next few days of the show.
[10:12] That does it for the Nintendo conference, as attendees flee, many in a rush to hit Sony's conference across town.
World at war thatll be cool...oh another animal crossing game.....zelda and mario bringing pretty nice...wii fit and the balance board doing good, duh..... GTA coming to the NINTENDO DS..... WAIT WTF thats going to be AWESOME GTA FTW!
Cool, Conduit, a crappy FPS with late-generation Playstation 1 graphics, just what Wii always wanted!
Call of Duty: World at War sounds great. I'm excited about Conduit as well. The Wii will get more later I'm sure. The thing about the Wii, it's really in its own category of gaming.
I too own both ds and wii.. but none of this excites me.. I have basically the best games out on the wii MKwii wiisports SSBB that is pretty much it at the time.. nintendo exclusive are like the best ones... and just like last year the wiis are going go to be short AGAIN... well Hello ebay to most people that really want one
errr.. is anyone else excited about the Pokemon ranger game :-$ lol I prefer the DS to the Wii( I have both) so can't wait for some new, hopefully decent DS games. Ok, wii music, isn't the whole point of music games timing??
ok conference.. but yeah a few good exclusives coming out.. im not that into star wars.. and it doesnt look like this one will really change my mind.. imo it doesnt really look that great.. BTW who loled at the brwn drummer?!
Many people here is missing the point: Nintendo's conference wasn't for the gamers or the general public, it was for the stockholders. If it wasn't for some embarrassing bits (like the start of the conference, OMG) it would have felt more like a bussiness presentation than a gaming one. I believe Nintendo will be giving more news little by little and most probably all the good stuff will come in TGS
If the Wii is selling this good, mainly off 1st party titles, imagine what games like this will do! I haven't been sold on one yet but I think this is good news for Nintendo fans. It seems weird saying GTA and Nintendo in the same sentence.
gta 1,2 and advanced were on gameboys so this new 1 will probley be top-down veiw like them but it will still be cool.
Getting me started on this WILL created a immense rant so let's just not. I'll try to leave it at: "BOEOEOEOE"
gta on the ds? WHAT ABOUT SAN ANDREAS STORIES FOR THE PSP!!! ROCKSTAR!!!!!!!!!! chinatown should still be ok, i guess
Man this Press Conference wasn't that bad, they only problem is see is that they have a lot of games for the Wii coming thats multi-platform, and exclusive, and they didn't show them, the third party developers separately had to if you watch the G4 live coverage you can tell, even if you hate it as much as i do you would do best to watch it there actually a lot of games coming to the Wii which are very interesting, as long as you can take Kevin P. stupidities for a good 3 hours i think you can survive watching it.
getoconnection I really enjoy reading your comments and appreciate what you bring to the table. As for the wii. I thought the coolest thing was that musical game that they created.
Well...only thing I care about that I've read is Wii Speak, that Wii motion plus and call of duty 5...even if they didn't say much about it
Reggie says the Wii is not a fad, so clearly it's not. LOL. He can call it a paradigm shift all he wants. That doesn't mean I and several other let-down fans of Nintendo have to like it
Despite what some of you say NINTENDO IS NOT KILLING HARDCORE games. They've just given the lions share to Sony and MS. In the beginning the hardcore sand box only had a few kids playing in it. Now it is crowded with kids who don't build sand castles correctly. Nintendo just took their sand pail to a bigger sand box where hardly any kids were playing. Sony and MS are victims of their own strengths. There's more competition in the hardcore arena meaning there are less opportunities to sell your game making it harder to turn a profit because the cost to develop the game is so high. What don't you all understand about that? Nintendo is doing the same thing they've always done, it's just this time around they are in the driver's seat. E3 is not what it used to be. Nintendo's whole approach was showing potential future stock holders how they plan to hold on to this casual crowd. Nintendo fans will always get the same games Nintendo has brought out for years. Nothing has changed. If anything, be happy Nintendo has created a situation that allows savvy devs (see UbiSoft) to create games on the Wii and DS that absorb development cost of creating games for the other two. If you only have a Wii, get a 360 (or PS3). It's what the cool kids are doing now-a-days.
chimairawr getoconnection: An average of 5 million units per game? Get a grip. Find me sales figures that indicate that, because I strongly doubt you can. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You must be new around here. In the interest of not wasting forum space with the same information, I'm going to go ahead and direct you to the previous page where these numbers have already been posted. Don't be a tool, stay in school.
@Serpentes420: If you grew up with the Mario and Zelda, etc. games of the 80s and 90s, don't you think it stinks that your son doesn't get the opportunity to play the same caliber of games? I mean, sure the stuff Nintendo's coming out with these days is still fun, but it's not the same, imo. I'm keeping all my old consoles in as pristine a condition as I can for this very reason. GTA on the DS was definitely a shocker, and I loved how she announced it so very nonchalantly. We'll have to see how it comes out.
Nintendo's focus is clearly not on late teens to 20 something "hardcore" gamers, and thats why they are so successful right now. I'm a hardcore gamer in my 30's but the only console I own is...the Wii, because I bought it for my 8 year old son, he loves it and its kid friendly. I remember when the NES hooked me into gaming back in the day with Mario and Zelda etc.. and they are now bringing the fun gaming experience to new generations of yes KIDS! Thats their niche and it will work great for them. Basically you all might understand someday when you have kids of your own, its nice to have something like the Wii for the family to have fun together with. As for hardcore gaming, stick with your Xbox or PS3 or like me play the "hardcore" games on PC.
Nothing this year was really surprising or deeply moving. (Granted, we have yet to get everything they or Sony promised in E306). Everything announced this year were games we knew about on some level or were expecting. I can't care about WiiSpeak until someone reports how it works in real world testing. The Motion Plus would've been nice, but they decided to announce it early. Bah, I'm just staying the course until I can get excited about TGS.
nothing for the hardcore gamers on the wii this year the good games was in the begining now they have ****
Although the conference disappointed me, articles I read post conference helped bring back some of faith in Nintendo. There is a new zelda in the works and Kid Icarus is in the works although the person being interviewed could not officially confirm it.
I can honestly see people making youtube parodies of Nintendos press conference. The 'mom' and shawn white isn't a good way to start off a press conference. There were some things said, that made this conference embarassing just to watch. And sadly nothing was really majorly announced.
All of the press conferences were pretty blah this year, but Nintendo's was the most interesting for me for sure.Wii Music came outta nowhere and really blew me away, most impressive new game out of the conferences(that actually showed the game, *cough* GoW3*cough*), showing off the new precision of motion+ with a swordfight that was actually like a real swordfight was really cool(gives me hope for Force Unleashed if they use it, even if they don't), and the snowboarding game was the first snowboarding game to give me any interest whatsoever since Cool Boarders 2(yeah it's been awhile).And of course Animal Crossing is gonna be a lotta fun just as it always has been. So all in all, even without a franchise title, i found some good, original stuff there for the Wii, and it was definitely my favorite conference when compared to the borefest of Sony and the WTF of the second half of MS.So there it is.
Seriously , some people here are acting like a bunch of wankers.......there's more for Nintendo to reveal than the games at the press conference . Have faith and patience...
getoconnection: An average of 5 million units per game? Get a grip. Find me sales figures that indicate that, because I strongly doubt you can. See: "with 19 different third-party games from 11 publishers exceeding sales of 400,000 units in the US alone." Over 400,000. Not over 4 million.
orlando9212 Okay, looks like i have to set some nintendo fanboys straight. First of all "getoconnected", you prove the point I was previously talking about. NO ONE cares that the Wii is on top. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nintendo does, so do their share holders. It's why FF 13 is going to the 360. Don't be such a Sony fanboy and look at what Nintendo is doing from a business stand point. Their games sell on average 5 million copies a pop. Because you think these games are crap is irrelevent to their bottom line in this weak economy.
Yea this years E3 was boring. The only games that got me pumped were Gears of war 2, god of war 3 and Resident evil 5. Never was a fan of resistance but Resistance 2 looks nice, lets see. Im also really interested to see how GTA on DS will turn out.
This press conference was for the investors and the casual gamers who dosent even know what E3 is... Why even air it? It couldve been done at a closed invite only lounge for press members, I had no use whatsoever of watching it. My Wii will continue to gather dust. Theres just no point in using it, it aint fun. If I do by some weird change of fate want to play minigames, I have thousands free games on the internet who do me good. Im considering buying 360 just because of this conference....
I think there's more... :| I think Nintendo is just adding suspense or something. Arousing the crowd. Mabey they plan to make a dramatic turn that will peak all of our intrest. I think Nintendo isn't done yet. They haven't showed us what's under their sleeve. Who's with me?
Im glad they did gave us the hope of seein a new Zelda game in a future,(thats what I understood) but... oh man im so sad they didnt mentioned anything bout Metroid... :/ cry ;_;
Im glad they did gave us the hope of seein a new Zelda game in a future,(thats what I understood) but... oh man im so sad they didnt mentioned anything bout Metroid... :/ cry ;_;
All the conferences were a let down. Nintendo practically had nothing that even got my blood pumping. The music game was pathetic. More than half of Microsoft's games were coming coming out for the PS3 as well so I am not sure what was the point of showing them and even though the Final Fantasy news was a surprise I think I saw it coming after Square said they were losing money. Sony 's showings were okay but they should have shown more games but they kind of have an excuse since they have three systems to cater for there fore they couldn't show every little thing.
i need zelda, etc. seriously, though... i'm looking forward to 1:1 wiimote action. i find it odd that they didn't close with that, rather than the fairly lackluster wii music announcement. though i would like to finally learn to play drums halfway decently...
Ya I know that everyone is upset and dissapointed and to be honest I am to. However although im not a fan of wii they did earn a little of my respect by staying true to themselves and sticking with what they know best. The most dissapointing thing to me though is that they focused more on the ds instead of the actual wii. I understand that the ds sells more but how are they ever going to appeal to hardcore gamers if they keep this up. I love nintendo but am not a fan of the wii however i must say that there music thing is really cool and innovative. It is original and doesnt copy anyone. That is why they have now earned some of my respect. I am happy with nintendo but at the same time extremely dissapointed. I dont really know how to describe it.
So where are the "hardcore" games promised by Reggie before E3? I was hoping to find some new games that would finally push me to buy a Wii and have my current-gen console collection complete since i have the 360, PS3, PSP and DS. Well looks like I still don't want a Wii. Nintendo has really turned their backs on the non-casual gamers and that sucks.
rob111094 > How'd you say that one with a straight face? Wii Music wasn't what I had in mind...was kinda hoping for a music player with a Wii Twist....maybe? Kinda cool though, but seems more like that Air Guitar Hero with a remote. Animal Crossing I was expecting. Kinda hoping they were to make another for the DS to go with this one to give the game a cooler feel, but works for me. Wii Speak? Not exactly what I had in mind. Was thinking more like an attachment for the REMOTE, give it the cell phone kind of feel (like what No More Heroes tried to do).
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