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Wednesday July 11, 2007 11:21 am

E3 2007: Nintendo’s Press Conference Recap And Impressions

Shigeru Miyamoto Mario Luigi

As with the Microsoft conference before it, I was confined to my hotel Wi-Fi to take in Nintendo’s E3 press conference. But, unlike Microsoft’s, I’m walking away thoroughly and utterly disappointed. I’m going to go ahead and spoil part of the full story from after the break: there was no mention of Smash Bros. being online. Me = worried much.

Set your expectations low before you view the rest after the break.

The show begins with videos showcasing the Wii’s success and various YouTube clips and excerpts from South Park.

Reggie appears on stage and proclaims that he is happy. Naturally it quickly moves on to statistics about market growth, yada yada yada, that’s great. Show me some games. Nintendo’s industry growth dwarfs Microsoft’s, 69% to 2%. Nintendo’s ratio of women to men playing games is 1:2, while the rest of the industry is 1:4.

The Wii has been sold out every week since release. Hey, maybe this would be a nice time to tell us you’re opening up more manufacturing factories.

140 news DS games are coming, and 100 new Wii games. Cue more YouTube videos and the like, much like when the show began. Clearly, they Nintendo spent a lot of money on this presentation… NOT! Borat would be proud.

The Wii Zapper is shown, which is a combination of the Nunchuk and Wiimote. Resident Evil:  Umbrella Chronicles is seen with the Zapper being used, followed by Ghost Squad and then Medal of Honor. Nintendo is developing a game for the Zapper, which will be a package deal for $19.99 – Duck Hunt, anyone?

A flurry of games are shown for both the DS and Wii; Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword continues to catch my eye.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is coming December 3.

More videos showing off what the Wii does! This isn’t getting old.

Zelda Phantom Hourglass is shown off, looks very cool.

Metroid Prime 3 is up next, nothing particularly noteworthy here.

Reggie talks about Nintendo getting serious about online… Virtual Console, Miis and Google Maps doesn’t qualify as serious, in my book. Or as 1UP.com’s Patrick Klepek put it in his live blog, “Moving onto online. ‘What if I already did, and you just didn’t notice?’ Notice what? Virtual Console? THAT’S NOT WHAT EVERYONE MEANS, REGGIE. And let me know when people creating Google Maps that have Mii avatars represents Nintendo getting serious about online.”

New channel: Check Me Out, basically lets you show off your Miis and allows others to rate them. I have a feeling that’s going to get old after about 20 minutes, tops.

Some online games: Mario Strikers Charged, Madden 08, FIFA 08, Guitar Hero III (!?).

Mario Kart Wii is coming, and will be online in Q1 2008; when gameplay video arrives, it’s nothing breathtaking. But online Mario Kart on a TV sounds pretty good to me. There’s a Wii Wheel accessory coming at the same time as Mario Kart, too. Meh.

End of online section, no Smash Bros. to be seen. WTF

Iwata comes on stage and talks for a while about expanding the market, apparently he wants to merge the hardcore and casual game audiences.

Even more video about stuff gamers, me and probably everyone at E3 couldn’t care less about.

Super Mario Galaxy slated for a November 12 release, and is referred to as the “first worthy successor to Super Mario 64.” Apparently Mario Sunshine didn’t go over well at Nintendo HQ.

MySims and High School Musical… umm, k.

More friggin videos. Okay, Nintendo, you’re the best thing ever. We admit it. Now stop showing these.

And now we’ve got Wii Fit. This is apparently Miyamoto’s new IP, which has been long rumored but isn’t exactly what the hardcore would hope to see Miyamoto focusing on. The game comes with a pressure sensitive mat, and you can do all sorts of silly shenanigans like taking dance lessons and checking your body mass index. This is what Miyamoto wanted to introduce, and not stuff gamers wanted to see. I love the logic. We get a demo of the game, which is what you would expect it to be. Reggie is overweight.

That’s it. I could not fathom a press conference so horribly terrifying, but that’s what this was. I love Nintendo, my Wii and DS Lite, but what the hell?

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Comments:

As I mentioned in the beginning of the Microsoft conference story, these are my personal accounts from watching the press conferences. I did indeed report facts throughout the story, and we’re posting more stories pertaining to noteworthy announcements.

Buzz, Microsoft may not have shocked us with anything, but they showed an extremely solid lineup—look at all the games I mentioned in the Microsoft story. With the exception of Resident Evil 5, it’s ALL coming out between now and the end of the year. That’s why it was so much better than Nintendo’s.

I stated in the beginning of the Microsoft piece that these were merely an outline of my take on each of the respective press conferences. I actually was a big fan of the DS prior to it being announced (although I’ll admit, I didn’t think the second screen would be of much use). And I also thought Nintendogs was a cool concept, and nearly pre-ordered it myself. I had a good time playing Dogz on PC as a kid.

So, by your logic, Sony and Nintendo don’t need to have something to show us because they don’t have the largest install base? That argument is irrelevant; each of the three manufacturers should have a list of quality titles that will be made available for their respective platforms—whether or not they’re in the lead in terms of console sales.

And I’m not mocking Wii Fit. It’s probably going to be one of the best selling Wii games by early ‘08, and I can certainly see kids justifying the purchase of a Wii to their parents because of that game. And frankly, I don’t know where you see me mocking Wii Fit—I simply stated that it’s not the type of game hardcore gamers would expect to see Miyamoto announcing.


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