E3 2009: Nintendo Press Conference
Nintendo's quest to reach every type of gamer continues with the announcement of the pulse-sensing Wii Vitality Sensor, Team Ninja collaboration Metroid: Other M, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and more in this minute by minute blog of Nintendo's E3 press conference...
9:05: Nintendo of America's EVP of sales and marketing Cammie Dunaway takes the stage to promise new "surprises" from Nintendo.
9:10: Dunaway introduces New Super Mario Bros. Wii, demoing a four-player multiplayer mode. Due in Holiday 2009.
9:15: Wii Fit Plus confirmed. The exer game helps you find a "specific workout routine" by allowing you to be your "own personal trainer," Dunaway said. The original Wii Fit has sold 15 million worldwide so far. Wii Fit Plus will keep track of total calories.
9:16: "This can't be entirely about fitness. What makes this 'Nintendo' is that it's a lot of fun.' Said there will be a slate new balance games. "You can think of this as Brain Age for your backside."
9:17 Wii Fit Plus is due this fall as a bundle with Wii Balance Board, also available software only.
9:18: Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime takes the stage, where he boasts about how the Wii Remote and Balance Board have opened up new possibilities for gaming.
9:19: Fils-Aime talks about Wii MotionPlus and "a new sense of realism in gameplay."
9:24: Nintendo's Bill Trinen is demoing a skydying game in the upcoming Wii Sports Resort in which the skydiver closely follows the Wii Remote's movement using MotionPlus.
9:25: An archery game in Wii Sports Resort takes into account distance, wind, and other factors. "It's not about learning controls, but doing what comes naturally," Trinen said. The game relies on the skill of the user. "It's the kind of challenge that long-time gamers strive for."
9:28: Inject a bit of awkward banter between Trien and Fils-Aime here.
9:30: The two go head-to-head in a three-point basketball shooting contest in Wii Sports Resort. Fils-Aime wins! Wii Sports Resort launches in the second half of July.
9:31: Nintendo's term of the day: "Physical Reality". Screw virtual reality.
9:32: EA Sports games such as Grand Slam Tennis are a sign of strong third-party support, Fils-Aime said. Ubisoft's Red Steel 2 was confirmed as Wii MotionPlus-only. "Third party development is flowing to Nintendo... More third party games were sold on Wii than any platform. DS was second," Fils-Aime said of North American sales.
9:34: Nintendo showed Final Fantasy Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers for Wii and Kindom Hearts for DS.
9:35: Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story announced for DS. The 2D RPG is due in fall. Looks fun.
9:39: Golden Sun DS confirmed, with full 3D graphics for DS. Due in 2010.
9:40: Dunaway is back, showing author James Patterson's Women's Murder Club for DS. It's an adventure mystery game for the masses (or primarily targeting women).
9:41. Dunaway introduces Ubisoft's driving and on-foot shooting game C.O.P.: The Recruit revolving around an underground street racer. Fully 3D-rendered.
9:43: Style Savvy for DS will appeal to fashion savvy female gamers, allowing them to dress up avatars.
9:44: Cue video montage of people saying how great Nintendo is.
9:45: Dunaway: "People today don't just consume entertainment: They create it, and then share it."
9:46: She reveals Flipnote Studio, the simple movie-making game revealed recently in Japan as Moving Memo, will launch in the U.S. this summer for DSi.
9:48: A new Mario vs. Donkey Kong is coming to DSi next week as a download on Monday.
9:49: Beginning this summer you'll be able to automatically upload photos from your DSi and shared with friends on your Facebook, Dunaway said. Photos edited with DSi software will make sharing photos more fun, she added.
9:50: "We won't get carried away with user-generated content," Dunaway said. Gamers want stuff made by the pros, such as Zelda Spirit Tracks for DS, which will be playable on the show floor at E3.
9:51: Nintendo head honcho Satoru Iwata takes the spotlight. "The global gaming population is greatly expanding," he said. "But there are some that believe the expansion [is slowing]." He described three groups of people: People who play games, people who will never play, and people who will maybe play. "Maybes" are Nintendo's target now. "There are already more than 295 million people playing games in the three major gaming territories (Japan, Europe, North America). But "we still have a long way to go in expanding the gaming population," he said. Iwata claimed that the gaming population can expand by 50 percent.
9:55: "Our next goal is to create individual titles that can [please] every type of gamer," he said. Nintendo wants to make games accessible for novice players, and challenging for avid gamers. "If we simply lower the bar, we won't satisfy highly-skilled gamers."
9:56: Iwata reminds the crowd that everyone was a novice gamer at some point. "We were not born expert gamers."
9:57: What's the solution Iwata? "I thought I should give you one potential answer." The new Wii Vitality Sensor is a new peripheral that recognizes your pulse,and slips onto your figure. "Pulse is not just an indication of your heartbeat."
9:59: The Vitality Sensor will let players see the information relating to "the inner world of your body," Iwata said. The device will help people reach "greater relaxation", he said, working as a stress-reliever. "It may not be long before games are used to make people unwind or even make it easier to fall asleep," Iwata said. We're not sure how this relaxation device will bridge the novice to expert gap... Iwata departs.
10:01: Dunaway is back and announces a new full 3D Mario title, the first time two such titles have appeared on a single Nintendo console, she said.
10:02: Footage of Super Mario Galaxy 2 for Wii. Looks quite similar to the original, which isn't a bad thing.
10:05: Fils-Aime says Wii also has games for "hardcore" gamers, such as The Conduit, Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles and Dead Space: Extraction -- all previously announced third party games that have been on the radar for some time.
10:09: Third party publishers are drawn to opportunity, and there is no opportunity greater than Nintendo, Reggie said.
10:10: "Could a new, edgier game could be coming from us? The answer is 'absolutely.'" Team Ninja is collaborating with Nintendo on Metroid: Other M. It's a little darker, seems like there could possibly be some melee mixed in with shooting, but that's not clear. Pretty high-octane trailer.
10:13 "We believe there is a place [in games] for everyone," Fils-Aime said. And that's a wrap.