Monster Hunter 4 headlines Nintendo TGS conference
Mario maker kicks off Tokyo Game Show week with its own event; Monster Hunter Tri, Animal Crossing, and more shown for 3DS; Kid Icarus delayed to next year; Miyamoto talks Skyward Sword for the Wii.
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Last month, Nintendo stock spiked when it was discovered that the company was planning a pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference. Buoyed by speculation that the company would be introducing new games for the 3DS, or perhaps even a new model of the hardware itself, investors pushed Nintendo stock up 9 percent in a single day of trading.
It was a welcome breath of optimism for Nintendo, which has endured a difficult stretch of late. The handheld failed to live up to initial sales expectations and was deeply discounted within half a year of its launch. Meanwhile, the Wii U unveiling at the Electronic Entertainment Expo received a lukewarm reaction from investors. The slashing of the 3DS's price was rivaled only by the slashing of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's paycheck, as the executive took a voluntary 50 percent salary trim in the wake of the company's troubles.
However, things have improved for Nintendo since the 3DS price cut, with the handheld now regularly topping hardware sales in Japan, and showing notable improvement at US retailers as well. The system also raised eyebrows with a recent Famitsu report that Capcom would be bringing Monster Hunter Tri to the handheld later this year. And that's not even mentioning the new cradle accessory for the system, which adds a right analog stick to the 3DS.
[8:01] The Nintendo conference is kicking off. Street Fighter series producer Yoshinori Ono has tweeted that he's in attendance.
[8:02] We start with a trailer for Skyward Sword, and then Shigeru Miyamoto takes to the stage with Link's shield and sword.
[8:02] He thanks the crowd for coming.
[8:03] And then admits that he's a little embarrassed to be seen with a shield. It has been 25 years since Zelda was released, Miyamoto notes.
[8:04] He takes a trip down memory lane with some clips of older Zelda games. Then he says there was a competition to make artwork for Zelda's anniversary and Nintendo received lots of entries.
[8:04] Now he's moving on to talk about Skyward Sword.
[8:05] Miyamoto is now demonstrating the gameplay with the prop sword and shield.
[8:05] He says players can gather power in the game by pointing the sword skyward.
[8:06] Now Miyamoto has a Wii Remote and Nunchuk. He demonstrates the gameplay by swinging the controllers to the side and vertically, saying the game will have a big story. More than 100 people were involved in making it.
[8:07] Moving on to look at some gameplay footage of Skyward Sword, Miyamoto demonstrates the rope swing showing Link swinging, balancing, and swimming.
[8:07] Players can swing vertically or horizontally.
[8:07] Now Miyamoto shows off a new boss, who is very strong with the sword.
[8:08] He demonstrates some of the puzzle-solving elements in the game and new items such as a flamethrower-like item that melts snow.
[8:09] Players can even catch butterflies.
[8:10] Miyamoto says it's the culmination of 25 years of ideas in development.
[8:10] Miyamoto says there will be 50 to 100 hours of gameplay in Skyward Sword.
[8:11] The gameplay demo is over, and Miyamoto leaves the stage to applause.
[8:12] We've reached the 3DS portion of the show, as Nintendo is showing a montage of 3DS games, including Mario 3D Land, Kid Icarus, Luigi's Mansion, Tekken, and Resident Evil.
[8:13] Animal Crossing, Monster Hunter, and Mario Kart 3D were also featured in the montage.
[8:13] Satoru Iwata walks onto the stage and thanks people for coming and for those watching at home. He says he would like to talk about the future of the 3DS.
[8:14] Now he moves on to talk about Square Enix titles coming out for the Wii. The next Dragon Quest game hits September 15, with Just Dance Wii following on October 13.
[8:15] Kirby is coming Oct. 27, with Taiko Drum Master on Nov. 23 and Skyward Sword Nov. 23.
[8:16] He quickly details the special 25th anniversary Zelda pack with gold controller and disc and then mentions that the Sonic and Mario London Olympics game for the Wii hits December 8, with another Pokepark Pokemon spin-off by the end of December.
[8:16] He says that people no longer need to worry about software for the Wii with all these titles coming out. Now he's going to move to talk about the 3DS.
[8:17] The Wii has a 50/50 male/female audience, but the DS is more female, Iwata says. Then he announces the misty pink 3DS and notes that the 3DS skews more male.
[8:18] The misty pink 3DS comes out October 20. To go along with this new color, the Mii Plaza will be made better.
[8:18] The Nintendo E-Shop will also have lots of added functions.
[8:19] He says there will be more content for Street Pass, and he reveals a November 3 release date for Super Mario 3D.
[8:20] The game will feature added camera controls, giving players more freedom to move the view. Iwata shows gameplay footage for the game and then moves on to talk about Mario Kart 7. It will feature underwater levels, flying through the air, and car customization.
[8:21] The game will also feature international networking, so players can race with people around the world. Mario Kart 7 will be released December 1.
[8:21] Now Iwata moves on to talk about Mario Tennis, due out 2012.
[8:21] Paper Mario is also coming out in 2012. The game will include lots of new gimmicks that players haven't seen before in previous Paper Mario games.
[8:22] Luigi's Mansion 2 is also coming out in 2012. Luigi will use a special strobe light to stop the ghosts.
[8:22] Mario and Sonic at the London Olympics is coming out for the 3DS in 2012.
[8:23] Animal Crossing is also coming out in 2012 for the 3DS. Iwata says it's going to be better than ever before on the 3DS.
[8:24] Players can arrange their entire environment in the game, from the garden and house to their surroundings. It will use Street Pass functionality to add people's houses to other players' games.
[8:25] Now Iwata is showing a short video for Tomodachi Collection, a Japanese-exclusive game.
[8:26] Nintendo is adding "Girls Mode" to the game, where players can choose fashion, etc.
[8:26] This game was first released in 2009 for the DS. It was a life simulation game.
[8:28] Next Iwata shows off a new soccer game for the 3DS, set for release in 2012.
[8:29] Iwata moves on to show off the Magic: The Gathering-meets-Monopoly Culdcept game, then a new Fire Emblem, coming out in spring 2012.
[8:30] These were all Nintendo first-party titles. Now Iwata is talking about third-party titles and shows off a short video for Dynasty Warriors Vs.
[8:30] Dynasty Warriors Vs. is coming out in 2012.
[8:31] Now he's showing a trailer for a Square Enix title.
[8:32] The RPG specialist is making Bravery Default: Flying Fairy, a new RPG coming in 2012.
[8:32] On to the next video. It's Gundam!
[8:33] SD Gundam G Generation 3D will be out December 22, 2011.
[8:34] Now it's a trailer for Project Mirai, a Project Diva title for the 3DS. Vocaloid girls!
[8:34] It's a rhythm game.
[8:35] Correction: It's not a Project Diva title. It's called Project Mirai. But it's the Vocaloid girls.
[8:35] That's coming out March 2012.
[8:36] Biohazard Revelations is planned for release on the 3DS in 2012, Iwata says.
[8:36] Ace Combat 3D: Cross Rumble is planned for release "this Northern winter."
[8:36] Tekken 3D: Prime Edition is also coming out this winter.
[8:38] Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is also coming out this winter. It's a Final Fantasy rhythm game, if you couldn't guess from the title.
[8:38] Slime MoriMori is coming out November 2, and Cinderlife (a new title) is coming out before the end of 2011.
[8:39] A new Loveplus game is coming out December 8, 2011 (featuring lots of new ways to communicate with girls).
[8:39] And Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater is coming "this winter."
[8:39] Now Iwata is talking about Kid Icarus.
[8:40] He apologizes that it's taking longer than expected to make and says it will be released in the first half of 2012.
[8:41] Studio 4C, Shaft, and Production IG have been added to Nintendo's list of software developers.
[8:41] Iwata says he's talked a lot about software so far…
[8:42] And adds that Nintendo is planning to double the number of titles in the Nintendo eShop.
[8:43] He leaves the stage and the lights go dark to show a mysterious clip. It looks like Monster Hunter 3DS!
[8:43] The trailer shows a lot of underwater gameplay, bringing to mind Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii.
[8:45] The logo looks like Monster Hunter 3G Tri.
[8:45] Or perhaps that's Monster Hunter Tri 3G.
[8:47] Iwata introduces one of the developers who worked on Monster Hunter. He started working on the game two years ago and says he wanted to make it available to people on a handheld.
[8:48] The developer, Sugimoto-san, talks about adding new regions to the game.
[8:48] The game is coming out December 10 for 5,800 yen.
[8:49] He says the 3D aspect will bring a lot of people back to Monster Hunter.
[8:50] He says there is lots of hype about the underwater sequences, and shows one final video.
[8:51] It's a trailer for the game that shows a lone hunter on the run from a very angry dragonlike monster.
[8:52] It's a trailer for Monster Hunter 4!
[8:52] It's an entirely new project for the 3DS.
[8:53] Iwata says Nintendo didn't quite meet the expectations of the audience with the 3DS.
[8:53] But now, with all these new titles, Iwata hopes Nintendo will make up for that.
[8:54] And Iwata says he hopes the audience will stay with Nintendo. Iwata leaves the stage, and it's back to a montage.
[8:56] And that looked like it might have been it, but now they're playing a Battle of the Planets/Gatchman video that ties in to Monster Hunter 3G.
[8:57] And another one.
[8:58] Let's make it three straight.
[9:02] It's starting to look less like this is an intermission and more like the show might be over. They did thank the crowd for watching before cutting to the ads, so the conference appears to have concluded.
[9:03] Those holding out hope for an announcement of the 3DS right analog stick accessory will have to wait for another day, as there was no mention of it during the conference.
[9:05] As the stream continues to rotate through 3DS commercials, that will bring the blog to a close.