Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Nintendo Press Conference

Nintendo's press conference at E3 was amazing. They brought the Revolution/Wii out right away, and yes, Wii is apparently the official name, it wasn't a joke. But the Wii looks incredible and is going to have an amazing line-up of games. The "wii-mote" remote/wand controller truly does appear to work very well and will change the way we play games. Here's some of the games they announced for Wii:

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - yes, it's a full Wii game, with enhanced graphics and of course fully using the wii-mote interface, you use the nunchuk addon to control Link's movement and shield, and the wii-mote to aim and attack and for most functions. The interface looked slick. And the wii-mote apparently has a speaker and rumble capability, which is used to great effect in the new Zelda. When you pull your bow string back, you'll hear it right on your wii-mote, and feel it get taunt. When you shove your nun-chuk forward, you'll bash with Link's shield and feel it. Yes, that's right, the nun-chuk also has the motion/position detection in it, and force feedback on it too. And for those unlucky enough not to score a Wii, there will be a version of Twilight Princess released for the GameCube as well with standard GC controls. Best of all, this game will be a launch title for the Wii.

Red Steel - The Ubisoft shooter/brawler. Apparently you're some kind of vigilante or cop, I'm not sure but you shoot bad guys with the wii-mote and move with the nun-chuk, and you can also do all kinds of cool moves, plus you can sword fight with the wii-mote, using it like an actual sword (oh yeah, forgot to mention that you also do this for Link in the Zelda game). While Zelda will concentrate on the adventure and puzzle solving aspects, Red Steel focuses on the action.

Super Mario Galaxy - this will be a system launch Mario game for the Wii and it looked great. You use the wii-mote to direct mario, but it's not clear to me how that worked, although it seems like the wii-mote has very precise motion detection and can detect mere flicks of the wrist to do stuff in Mario.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - we only got to see glimpses of this but it looked amazing and will use a control scheme similar to what I described for Red Steel. This I think will be a 2007 release.

Wii Sports - up to four players can whip our their wii-sticks to play tennis, golf, or baseball, and the motion of the controller is used exactly like you'd expect to control your player, so you'll swing it like a golf club in the golf game, or like a tennis racket in the tennis game, or like a baseball bat in the baseball game. Should be fun, the tennis demo looked really neat.

Several others were mentioned or shown, including a Rayman game, Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam, ExciteTruck (sort of a 3D "exitebike" but with an off-road 4x4 truck instead), Metroid Prime 3, Project H.A.M.M.E.R. (some kind of beat-em-up I think), Animal Crossing, Disaster: Day of Crisis, Super Smash Bros. Wii, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Batallion Wars Wii, Pilot Wings, Pokemon, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, Donkey Kong Wii, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Fire Emblem Wii, Mario Kart Wii, Madden 07, NCAA Football 07, NBA Live, NASCAR 07. Also they said that 27 games would be playable on the E3 floor so we should be hearing a lot more about those games this week.

But that wasn't the only thing exciting at the conference. Nintendo also revealed a bunch of new DS titles, such as a new Yoshi's Island 2, a new Kirby game, a Star Fox game, DiddyKong Racing, Magical Vacation, and more, plus games we already knew about such as the Final Fantasy III remake got some great footage shown. The DS will be the handheld to own this year.

In short, Nintendo pwned Sony, their show was far more exciting and far more cool stuff was shown, with actual gameplay footage, not just cinematics. The only downside is that they did not announce a price or a firm launch date yet.

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