E3 06: Zelda Wii sword fighting, next-gen WarioWare confirmed

This week's issue of <i>Time</i> partially pulls back Nintendo's veil of secrecy; Wii tennis game confirmed.

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LOS ANGELES--At its press conference on Tuesday, Nintendo will officially unveil its next-generation console, the Wii. It is expected that executives will demonstrate the console's full set of functionalities, which is known to include the now-famous "nunchaku" motion-sensing controller. The company will also likely reveal the official titles of previously announced first-party games, such as Super Smash Bros. and Metroid Prime 3, as well as possibly revealing some new Wii titles.

Today, though, some of Nintendo's press-conference thunder was stolen when the first copies of Time arrived on newsstands. The May 15 issue of the magazine has a lengthy article on the Wii, titled "A Game for All Ages," by technology correspondent Lev Grossman.

Grossman traveled to Nintendo's headquarters in Kyoto, Japan and was shown the Wii by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. The reporter was especially impressed with the Wii's controller. "It's part laser pointer and part motion sensor, so it knows where you're aiming it, when and how fast you move it, and how far it is from the TV screen," he said. "There's a strong whiff of voodoo about it."

More importantly for Nintendo fans, the Time article revealed several key pieces of information about Wii games. First, Grossman described playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on the Wii. "Now I'm Errol Flynn, sword fighting with the controller, then aiming a bow and arrow, then using it as a fishing rod, reeling in a stubborn virtual fish," he said. While Nintendo confirmed the much-anticipated GameCube title would have some Wii functionality, this is the first official description of what that functionality is.

Time also revealed the existence of not one, but two previously unknown Wii games. First up was the first next-generation installment in the popular WarioWare series. While he didn't give a title for the game, Grossman did describe its gameplay in detail. "In one hot minute, I use the controller to swat a fly, do squat-thrusts as a weight lifter, turn a key in a lock, catch a fish, drive a car, sauté some vegetables, balance a broom on my outstretched hand, color in a circle, and fence with a foil," said Grossman. "And yes, dance the hula."

Besides discussing how the next Madden NFL game will play on the Wii, the reporter also describes playing an unnamed tennis game. "The controller becomes a racket, and I'm smacking forehands and stroking backhands," he said. "The sensors are fine enough that you can scoop under the ball to lob it, or slice it for spin. At the end, I don't so much put the controller down as have it pried from my hands."

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