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It's the second day of E3 2011, and Nintendo is about to start their press conference.  After Sony last night announced the PS Vita (something I couldn't cover because my laptop sadly ran out of power), no doubt it's time to hear about the next generation console that we've been waiting for from the Nintendo camp.  I'll call it the Wii 2 until I hear otherwise.  The Nokia Theater is packed, and people sound excited.  The presentation is starting, so let's get to it!


9:06 AM  Music from the Legend of Zelda series is played by an orchestra whilst images from the games flit across the screen.  It seems Nintendo knows that this is the game series people most want to know about. It’s only fitting since it’s the 25th anniversary of the franchise.

Shigeru Miyamoto takes the stage, Zelda’s creator along with his translator.  Since they created the franchise, the music has evolved throughout the years.  The orchestra is now playing various selections of music from the games: Getting an item, the music from a fairy’s fountain, etc. 

They have a Zelda for every system:  Zelda: Link’s Awakening is available from the Nintendo eShop that launched yesterday.  It’s available for download today.

Next weekend Ocarina of Time 3D will launch on the 3DS around the world.    They have added the Master quest mode and a boss challenge mode for those who have already played the game.

Legend of Zelda Four Swords will be available for free from the DSiWare this December.

Skyward Sword will be out this holiday season for the Wii.  “It’s finally done.”  Uses Wii Motion plus for sword movements, so they are releasing a special gold Wiimote available at game launch.

They hope it will be the most satisfying game in the series.

They are announcing a Zelda anniversary symphony concert series that will be playing in cities around the world.  There will be in each region, in the fall.  More info on specific dates to come. 

Also two music CDs: Ocarina of Time soundtrack that you can get free if you are one of the first people to register the game with Nintendo.    The second release will be the music from the Symphony, including music from Skyward Sword.

Over 200 people within Nintendo itself have worked on the Zelda series. 


9:22 AM

Now Satoru Iwata takes the stage to talk about the release of Wii and DS.  Boundaries between gamers and non gamers based on age, etc are breaking down.  But there are now boundaries between hardware, since Wii a

ttracts casual players, etc.

The new platform will provide deeper game experiences, and it will offer wider appeal to all gamers, hardcore and casual.

It will let everyone see games in a different. 

The goal of innovation at Nintendo he says, is to serve every player. Will be available next year.

Mario Kart is now moving to the 3DS.  Happy face.  So is Star Fox, and Mario, and Kid Icarus of course.

And finally, Luigi’s Mansion is also teased, looking pretty awesome in 3D. 

Regie Fils-Amie is now up, talking about “Something for Everyone” concept, explaining this is something coming to the 3DS as well as the new home console.

Mario Kart:  A tricked out version for the new handheld.  Footage includes underwater tracks, cart customization and hang glider abilities.  Coming this holiday.

Star Fox 64 3D: You can use the gyro sensor to navigate, 3DS camera and voice support for group play.  Out this September.

Super Mario 3D: First 3D adventure made exclusively for a handheld. They’re showing footage from the game now, and it looks like they are definitely playing with perspective here not only with abilities but also in level design. Aww, the logo has a raccoon tail.

Coming Holiday 2011

Kid Icarus: Uprising – Footage shows boss battles and touch targeting from ranged abilities, as well as 3v3 multiplayer gameplay. “So Medusa, your days of darkness are numbered,” says Kid Icarus, “Prepare to meet the light!”  The game will use ARG cards in battles.  Coming end of year.

Luigi’s Mansion 2: Footage shows Luigi, vacuum in hand, nervously traversing a new labrynth of ghost infested halls.  It ends with the appearance of the mummy, naturally.  This is an entirely new game, that features several new mansions.  No release date yet.

There are also a bevy of third party developers creating games for the 3DS, including Resident Evil, Tetris Online, Cave Story, Driver Renegade, Pac Man and Galaga, Tekken, and MGS Snake Eater. 

They are creating a virtual console just for 3DS, so lots of ports from the Gameboy and GB color.  3D Classics Excitebike is being offered free for a limited time from the virtual console.

For the first time Pokemon will be 3D, and it seems they are using the ARG abilities of the handheld to enhance the pokedex.  You’ll need to spotpass, download from friends, scan AR markers, to fill the new pokedex. 

Each pokemon has an AR marker that you can photograph and upload.  Pokedex 3D is a free gift from the eShop.

Now we finally get to find out about the new console:  WiiU.  Pronounced “We  You.” 

The WiiU is completely backwards compatible, and will be used much like the second screen in DS titles for some games.  The console was created so that the widest number of gamers can be supported as possible.

This was not designed to be a portable video game machine, although it shares characteristics with handhelds.  The images are only generated by the WiiU console.    

They want to create a strong bond between games, your TV, and the internet – as well as a connection between you, your friends, and your family.  Lots of social sharing technologies will be available.

Smash Brothers will be available for both 3DS and WiiU that will work together cross platform.

The video demo for the WiiU system is pretty impressive considering how little power its predecessor had.

New Super Mario Brothers Mii seems a little laughable honestly.

Shield Pose

New form of multiplayer – allows birds eye view of opponents.  These are conceptual prototypes.

Announcing Lego City Stories for WiiU, a new installment in the series being developed by Tt Games.  It’s a new, open world game.  Exclusively to WiiU and 3DS.

Lots of third party support for the WiiU, including Darksiders 2, Arkam City, Ghost Recon Online, Metro Last Night from THQ, Tekken, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge.

I guess we finally have a Nintendo console that can run with the big boys.

EA is coming to the stage in the form of John Riccitiello.  This is the first partnership with Nintendo for EA. 

Brilliant HD graphics and new gameplay opportunities.  Battlefield 3, Madden, and Fifa 12, Need for Speed, Harry Potter, Sims, Army of Two, all coming to Wii U.

All four recent consoles from Nintendo “changed gaming.” 


So after it's all said and done, we now have the Wii U, the innovative console with the silly name.  I look forward to checking out the new controller this week when down on the show floor.  It's great to hear that Nintendo will finally have HD quality games on their console.  This is definitely the right move for them.  Well, that's it for this morning.  It's time to dive into appointments with the developers.  E3 begins in earnest right now!

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