25th Anniversary of Zelda
To start the press conference off Nintendo showed a montage of various Legend of Zelda titles from the franchise's 25 year history. The montage was shown while a live orchestra played below a giant screen showing the video. The video along with the orchestra brought back memories from my childhood playing the early Zelda titles as I'm sure it brought back those nostalgic memories of 99% of the audience members sitting there watching the video.
The video was very well put together and the addition of the live orchestra just added to the feel of watching your childhood flashing before your eyes.
The montage was in celebration of Zelda's 25th anniversary the Nintendo has planned. Legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto announced on stage that The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening from the GameBoy Color days is available now in the newly released Nintendo 3DS eShop.
Miyamoto also announced that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is releasing this upcoming weekend on the 3DS worldwide. It was also confirmed that the game would have "hint" system to assist you in gameplay if you get stuck somewhere while playing the title. Master Quest was also confirmed to be in the 3DS version of the game.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was confirmed to be a Wii title and will be releasing in holiday 2011. Miyamoto also announced that Skyward Sword will be released with a golden Wiimote to commemorate Zelda's 25th anniversary.
It was also announced that the orchestra that was playing at the press conference would be traveling around the globe holding a concert series to celebrate the music of Zelda in its 25 year history. The concert series will be coming to the US, Europe, and Japan.
Two Zelda commemorative soundtracks were announced to be released later this summer.
Core Games For Core Gamers
Nintendo's Satoru Iwata then took the stage to talk about turning focus on the 3DS to the core games that have made Nintendo so popular.
It was announced that Mario Kart 3DS would be coming to the 3DS with all new tracks, all new karts, and all new modifications. It will be out before year's end.
Another core game announced for the 3DS was Star Fox 3D which will include the gameplay you know and love as well all new multiplayer that will utilize the 3DS' camera to where your face is recorded and appears where the normal flight character's face would. You will be able to control your space fighter with the 3DS' motion sensing controls.
The game will be releasing on the 3DS this September.
The next 3DS title to be shown was Super Mario for the 3DS. A very detailed demo was shown for the game with the first gameplay seen of Mario donning the raccoon suit from yesteryear. It's coming before 2011 ends.
Kid Icarus: Uprising was the next title shown at the press conference with a pretty fantastic looking trailer detailing the game's flight system as well as the game's multiplayer. The game will come with AR cards allowing you to experiment with the 3DS' augmented reality.
The game is out this holiday.
The last 3DS first party title to be shown off was Luigi's Mansion 2, which was promised to bring back the excellent gameplay that was first introduced back in 2002. Multiple mansions were promised as well.
No release date for Luigi's Mansion 2 was announced.
A video montage of third-party titles was then shown featuring Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, Ace Combat 3D, Tetris, Mario & Sonic, Cave Story 3D, Resident Evil: Revelations, Pacman & Galaga Dimensions, Tekken 3D, and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D.
From Project Cafe To Wii U
Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime then took the stage to announce that their new console, which had been codenamed "Project Cafe", will now be going by the name "Wii U". Fils-Aime stated that the console was named as such to mimic the new console's individuality as it pertains to its user.
The new console's controller resembles a gaming tablet with a 6.2" OLED screen that has touch capabilities, two analog sticks, a directional pad, the A and B buttons, the L + R bumpers, and the L + R triggers with a C-pad.
It was touted as being able to stream game content to the controller without using the television. A video was shown featuring a Mario title being played on the television then a person walks in and turns the TV to a live baseball game. The game was then sent to the controller's screen so the user could continue to play the game without the television.
Wii U will sport 1080p graphics via an HDMI signal as will the screen on the tablet controller. The Wii U will have four 2.0 USB connection ports and will play propriety discs of "large capacity" (much like Sony's Blu-ray discs). It will also be backwards compatible with Wii discs.
The Wii U also supports up to four Wiimotes connected at once along with the Wii U controller. The console will also support all original Wii peripherals.
A couple of tech demos were shown showcasing the Wii U's power, one particular demo showed a bird flying and landing on a cherry blossom tree, picking a flower, flying off, dropping the flower in water, and a fish leaping out of the water to swallow the flower. It was a pretty amazing demo for a console branded by Nintendo. The colors were vivid, the graphics were sharp, and the sound playing was fantastic.
I'm anxious to see how Nintendo incorporates this tech into their future games on the Wii U.
It was then announced that Nintendo was developing a Super Smash Brothers title that will be cross playable between the 3DS and the Wii U.
A montage video was then shown featuring some the video game's biggest third party developers and showing some of the third-party titles that will be coming to the console. Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Batman: Arkham City, Darksiders II to name a few.
The Wii U will be releasing between April 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.