E3 2009 - Nintendo

Nintendo is first this morning. Finding it hard to get excited. Last year they were so disappointing. I don’t really know what they’ll have this time. There’s supposed to be a core announcement (ie: a Mario or Zelda…and hopefully not just the new Zelda DS that’s already been announced – Spirit Tracks).

It was stormy all morning, but it’s calmed down now. If it gets nasty again later, I can just unplug the laptop and keep going.

Watching some G4 blabber.

Is the Nintendo DS(i) going to remain the dominant handheld? What’s going to beat it, the iPhone? Hahahaha. I think Nintendo is safe. iPhone may have good games, but it’s not a gaming platform.

Silent Hill 1 is getting redone for the Wii (also PS2 and PSP). Developer assures that it won’t just be a port or something, but will be a different game.

“Stop announcing stuff for soccer moms and 5-year-olds” G4 says. No kidding.

They’re running some trivia up on the screen, which you can see over at Kotaku. Some are really easy, some are a little hard.

And here it goes. Here’s Cammie, all in white (she was in black last year, yay fashion). She’s talking about how big video games are (as big as home video, etc). Now she’s mentioning that gamers aren’t the only players anymore, but your uncle or some random lady play games too now. Leap forward in game control and surprises in places you thought there wouldn’t be any left.

Talking about the biggest game icon now, sounds like Mario. Yup. Video showing the history of Mario…sort of. Really short. Moving Mario into the 4th dimension is the next surprise. New Super Mario Bros for Wii.

Treehouse Group guy mentions it’s not just more levels, etc, but more players. Four people are playing Super Mario. You can run around on your own or do cooperative actions (like carrying each other to reach higher places). It’s classic Mario, just with co-op play. Some new items, like a propeller suit. If the lead player gets too far ahead, everyone else…falls off the screen? Not clear if that’s a “death” or something. Cammie didn’t do so good: “This is why I make my living selling games not playing them.” Holiday 2009.

She says even Mario isn’t big enough to attract all consumers. Talking about Wii Balance Board/Wii Fit. Wants to make Wii fit easier to use – Wii Fit Plus. Helps develop a work out routine (sounds like what Ubi and EA were talking about yesterday with their programs) with a personal trainer. Adds some new activities. Choose programs to target specific body parts (like Ubi’s), and keeps track of calories (like EA’s). There’re also some fun games to play too. So Ubi and EA answered with their products, and Nintendo is basically countering with similar programs. Fall 2009.

Here’s Reggie Fils-Aime (Pres Nintendo of America). He’s talking about mainstream appeal just like Cammie was. Interface is the primary component. OK he’s talking about motion plus. Makes a game feel and play more real, not just look more real. Getting gamers off the couch (which the regular Wii mote didn’t really do). Fancy video that isn’t really showing anything. Ping pong player, basketball player, and a swordsman are waving a Wii mote around like a paddle/ball/sword; now an archer, golfer. Basically it’s showing that it’s like you’re doing the real thing. Microsoft’s Natal, if it works, will take this a huge step further.

Bill Trinen is back to demo with Wii Sports Resort (déjà vu, they pitched this last year). A Mii is skydiving and he’s moving him in the air with the ‘mote. A big group of Miis is falling in formation, and the parachutes open and you land in the Resort. Now he’s showing archery. It’s already loads better than Wii Play, which was the last game packed with a remote. Sports Resort will come with the Motion Plus add on. He’s using the ‘chuck as the bow string and the ‘mote is the bow in your hand. He’s bringing Reggie out to play some basketball with him. Bill “You shoot the ball at the hoop; you now that this is, right?” Reggie, sarcastically: “Yes, I do.” They’re being a little snarky about each others abilities. Shooting 3 pointers. You raise the remote and shoot like you would a real basketball.

Reggie is talking about Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, which will use motion plus (they will be packaged together). So will Grand Slam Tennis (also from EA like PGA) and Sega’s Virtua Tennis. “This new game in physical reality will have you muttering the same bad words you do in real life.” Red Steel 2 will be playable ONLY with motion plus (there ya go, have to have it to play). More 3rd party games were sold for DS and Wii than other platforms (really?).

Talking about RPGs, the story goes on inside your head. It’s a Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles game. The Crystal Bearers. Looks good. Also coming to the DS – oh this is the Kingdom Hearts game. This I WANT. Good looking trailer with Utada singing Passion.

“Bowser really does suck. And I mean that in a good way.” LOL Reggie. It’s called Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story; it’s for the DS. This fall.

A legendary RPG name is on its way back to portables. GOLDEN SUN DS! AWESOME. It looks great. 2010. Have to get that.

Cammie is back to talk about the DS and innovation. She’s talking about James Patterson (a mystery writer). Women’s Murder Club: Games of Passion – an interactive novel for the DS. I don’t read a lot of modern novels, and I don’t read any mystery, so I don’t know what this will be. But it looks OK.

New intellectual property from Ubisoft – Cop: The Recruit. About an undercover New York cop named Dan. He used to be a street racer, but got arrested, so now he works for the force. Racing and shooting.

*sigh* Girly fashion game for tweens and women in their 20s. Style Savvy for the DS. It’s the Japanese game Girls Mode.

Nintendo DS = diversity, Cammie says. “Something for everyone.” She’s talking specifically about the DSi now. Video of mostly a bunch of girls and a couple guys talking about the DSi. Personalization is the difference between the DS Lite and DSi. People don’t just consume, they create and share. Flip Notes Studio, an animation program, is coming this summer. Mario vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again will be the first to let players design levels from the ground up. Available only as a download June 8th. Wario Ware DIY lets people design their own games from scratch. Cammie is better when she’s bubbly and smiley; she’s kind of subdued today. This summer you can upload DSi pictures onto Facebook. “No Nintendo DS creation is more anticipated than….Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks.” She didn’t give a release date for that.

Video “Everyone’s Game.” Another montage of random stuff. And here’s Satoru Iwata (global Pres.).

Aw isn’t he adorable with his heavy accent (he is). Talking about globalization and audience expansion (which he says people think is falling). Talking about targeting “Maybe” players to get new players. 149 people in US, Japan, Europe who “might” play video games. For every 2 people playing there’s 1 more waiting to play, he says. Those who never played games in the past will never play games in the future, he says. He says that people assume games are too complicated (I think that’s what he meant). But if they lower the bar they won’t satisfy skilled players. There’s a big gap between the experienced and the novices. Wants to use New Super Mario Bros, Wii Fii and Sports Resort to help bridge the gap; they’re “everyone’s game.” But he says this might not be entirely convincing. So he has one potential answer. Wii Vitality Sensor.

It’s like a pulse taker you put on your finger. …. So, this is for…what? It goes hand in hand with Wii Fit, I guess. He says it can help with greater relaxation. Traditionally video games give increased excitement and stimulation, but it will not be long before they help people unwind or even fall asleep, he says. Again…what is this going to do? …. Uh well…. Huh. That was…odd. He didn’t really give any real example of what would be done with it.

Cammie is back with more Mario news. For the first time ever, she says, a second full 3D title will appear on a single Nintendo console. It looks a little like Mario Galaxy. Um, OK a lot like Mario Galaxy. Exactly like Mario Galaxy. And it’s called Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Reggie is back. He’s naming off all the things they just announced. “But I’ll be honest, I read the blogs too. And I’ve been a gamer myself for a long time. I know there are still people out there listening: OK great, but I want more.” And he says this is usually associated with 3rd party titles. A new IP from Sega – The Conduit. Retails in 3 weeks. It’s a FPS with aliens. Capcom – Resident Evil The Darkside Chronicles. Leon, Claire, Steve, with some classic RE action. These are all really short trailers that aren’t showing much. Dead Space Extraction from EA.

What about Nintendo itself, says Reggie. Could a new edgy game be coming. A fresh look at a franchise. Team Ninja and Nintendo. That looks really nice. Looks great actually. Metroid: Other M. Samus is kicking some ass. Flips back and forth between 3rd person and platforming. 2010. Nintendo is delivering this year. But…where’s Miyamoto? Big finale? Zelda console maybe?

Reggie is talking about their goals of making everyone gamers again. …. No Miyamoto? A Nintendo conference without Miyamoto???? Wow. That was it. Sony is later.

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