E3 2010: Nintendo Press Conference
Reggie Fils-Aime was in typically boisterous form at Nintendo's E3 press conference, the executive striking a note of extreme optimism - batting away the suggestion that Wii's are being stowed away in cupboards or left to collect dust under televisions.
Instead, this year's briefing saw the platform holder mount a rearguard action, dismissing rumours of falling sales and consumer apathy - Shigeru Miyamoto introducing the impressive-looking Zelda: Skyward Sword. While question marks still hang over the control scheme (a couple of glitches were noticeable in the presentation), the ambition of the sword and shield dynamic, and the stylised visuals, is without doubt impressive.
A new Zelda for the Wii was just the tip of the iceberg however, Nintendo giving their console a much needed boost with a whole raft of first-party titles.
Mario Sports Mix introduces a range of sport events, based around the familiar gesture-based control scheme of Wii Sports, with volleyball, ice hockey, basketball and dodgeball all represented. A release in 2011 is planned, Fils-Aime understandably keen to talk up this new Mario title.
Goldeneye 007 is also returning to a Nintendo platform, the Wii getting an exclusive update of the Rare classic, complete with Daniel Craig voice work and a raft of multiplayer modes. Perhaps more exciting still is word of a brand new Kirby title, a visually stunning side-scroller on the cards - in which Kirby transforms depending on the needs of the level in question.
Nintendo weren't even finished at this point - Retro studios' Metroid: Other M dated for August 31st before it was confirmed that the developer are bringing back another retrograde favourite in the shape of Donkey Kong Country Returns. Excitingly, this revival is due out in time for Christmas - mine karts included.
The Wii is booming, was very much Fils-Aime's point, and with an upcoming schedule like this we were certainly inclined not to argue.
If all of the above only had ninety percent of the room in raptures, what followed was perhaps enough to give Nintendo's E3 conference the edge over both platform rivals: the 3DS. Pricing and dating was non-existent, but the specification of the device was flesh out.
The 3DS will deliver 3D visuals without the need for glasses, via two differently sized screens (the larger one being 3.5 inches across). Two cameras sit on the front of the handheld, allowing users to take real 3D picture, and we're promised a WiFi connection that will automatically download updates and software, in the background.
A brand Kid Icarus, dubbed Uprising, will serve as a flagship for the handheld and it'll even support playback of 3D movies a la Avatar. Motion sensing is baked in, as is somewhat heftier processing power, making for games that look as good as anything on the Wii (we're told).
If all this were not enthralling enough, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Saints Row, DJ Hero 3D, Ninja Gaiden, Street Fighter IV, Professor Layton, Ridge Racer and Metal Gear Solid will also make to the 3DS in due course. A raft of big name publishers are also lined-up, and Fils-Aime could barely contain his excitement as real 3DS handhelds were dished to conference attendees; Nintendo rapping up proceedings with a little hands-on time. We're eager to see more of the 3DS, certainly, while the Wii's festive line-up suddenly got interesting. More from E3, live from the show floor in LA, as we get it.