Live Nintendo E3 press conference Finished
So that's it then - Nintendo's 2011 E3 press conference is over. But you can still catch up by reading our live text coverage of the event.
The big headline, of course, was the unveiling of Wii U - the artist formerly known as Project Cafe. Is it a console? Is it a controller? Or is it an entirely new kind of gaming device - perhaps a consoller?
Read on for the full lowdown, and do have your say in the comments.
Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...
Welcome back! We're in the queue for the Nintendo conference at the Nokia Theee-ay-tur in Downtown Los Angeles, admiring the Gears of War 3 advert Microsoft has managed to sneak onto the front display of the building...
And we're in! The Nokia Theatre is basically a massive cinema with a big central screen and two smaller (but still massive) ones flanking it on the side walls. There are thousands of people here already.
And we're in! The Nokia Theatre is basically a massive cinema with a big central screen and two smaller (but still massive) ones flanking it on the side walls. There are thousands of people here already.
We're being (nominally) entertained by a series of Nintendo-related pub quiz questions on the big screen, about which academy Fox McCloud (Cornerian) went to and what Luigi used to investigate the rooms in Luigi's Mansion (the Game Boy Horror).
"Which signature object does Solid Snake hide beneath in the Metal Gear Solid series?" Er, mountains of despairingly self-indulgent dialogue?
There's nothing about the setup that offers clues to Project Cafe... or is there? Perhaps the two side screens, which are pretty hefty, will be used to show what appears on the controller's touch-screen while the main screen is the TV output. Just a guess, obviously.
We've spotted Yoshinori Ono from Capcom and Laurent Fischer - Ninendo's European marketing director / foremost George Clooney lookalike - wandering around outside among the ranks of developers and media attendees.
Nobody's given us a five-minute warning yet or anything, but we'll let you know if we're about to start.
Tum te tum. Come on Nintendo, time to blow our little minds.
Sound's gone down...
False alarm! They were segueing from Muse into something a bit more upbeat.
OK here we go.
Link's on screen. Mad cheering. Looks like a montage of existing Zelda games. There's an old NES one...
A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time... Wind Waker! Love that game. (That's an order.)
Twiglet Princess. Lest we forget.
There's a live orchestra playing along at the front of the stage. Beautiful.
Couldn't see them initially. I was like, "Man, these speakers are pretty dope." Then I spotted a man with a cello.
"The Legend of Zelda: 25th Anniversary" on screen. And here's Shigeru Miyamoto, played on by his orchestra and wearing a nice black suit.
(NB: I'm actually posting for Tom here - these are his words live from the conference, not mine live from my house. - Ellie)
Miyamoto begins in English by saying the music really brings back memories, but then brings on Bill Trinen to do his translation.
Last year it was Mario's 25th anniversary, he says, and this year it's Zelda's. He talks about how the gameplay and visuals and music have constantly evolved in that time.
The last song we heard - over footage of Skyward Sword - was the theme tune to the latest Zelda game.
We're going to hear the orchestra play some more Zelda sounds and songs. They do the chime for solving a puzzle first. Cute.
"Next, how about opening a treasure chest and getting an item." Miyamoto is quite energised on stage, conducting his pet orchestra. Ah, the fairy music next - Chris Donlan had this playing at his wedding.
Miyamoto thanks the orchestra and moves on. For the 25th anniversary, he says they've prepared a Zelda game for each of their hardware systems.
Starting today, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for GameBoy will be the first game available in the 3DS eStore. Should be available by day's end.
Starting next weekend, The Legend of Zelda 3D will launch for Nintendo 3DS around the world - that's the Ocarina of Time remake.
The frame-rate has been improved, the graphics revamped, and "there's a new sense of realism as you're riding your horse through the sweeping scenery of Hyrule". There are also hint movies for idiots/n00bs/lol.
There's a Master Quest mode and a Boss Challenge mode too.
Next up in September, a four-player co-operative Legend of Zelda: Four Swords for DSi as a free download on DSiWare.
Then finally, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Worldwide this holiday season for Wii.
"It's finally done," he jokes. Yeah but when's it actually out?
There's going to be a special gold Wii remote to be released as a promotion when the game comes out. It's got a Zelda logo on it and generally looks pretty badass.
Miyamoto's saying that developing Skyward Sword has been great exercise and he's getting fitter. He's certainly been working on it long enough.
In honour of the 25th anniversary, they're going to be holding 25th anniversary symphony concerts in honour of Zelda in many regions around the world.
"We'll be holding these concerts in each region. They'll be happening in the fall." More announcements about specific dates to come soon.
They're also preparing two music CDs. The first is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D official soundtrack. It'll be a gift for those who are among the first to register the game with Club Nintendo.
The other CD is based on the symphony concerts "and will be used in conjunction with the release of Skyward Sword".
And it's fair to say they'll be rinsing Zelda's anniversary in other ways too, which we'll be hearing about later in the year. Not surprising for a game that over 200 people within Nintendo have worked on over those 25 years, says Miyamoto.
Aw, he's inviting some of the staff who have worked on Zelda over the years onto the stage. Eiji Aonuma's up there as well.
Miyamoto ends this section by thanking the players, and the orchestra plays him out.
"Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Nintendo's global president Satoru Iwata."
History lesson time. We've seen changes in who plays and where they play since they launched DS and Wii, says Iwata.
The old boundaries are being erased, he says - even gender. Hopefully he means in gaming terms.
"As an industry, what we haven't achieved yet is a game platform that is equally satisfying for all players. Yet, this is exactly what we intend to create with our new home platform."
"How might that happen? I will suggest two words: deeper and wider."
"The new platform will provide deeper game experiences than what even the most passionate gamer has realised before."
"And it will offer wider appeal to gamers - wider even than for Wii."
"As you will begin to understand this week, it will let everyone see games in a different way."
"We are going to leave the full details for a little later this morning..." [laughter from the crowd]
"I believe our new platform presents a major step towards reaching our goal. However, our new home console is a product to look forward to next year. This year, there are bold new experiences coming for Nintendo 3DS and several of the franchises you know so well are moving into 3D." Cue video.
Doesn't look like game footage - we're seeing weird little snippets. Oh and here's Star Fox.
Super Mario Bros.
They're trying to illustrate neat 3D elements by having Mario move in and out of the screen a bit. We also saw him in the raccoon suit. Ah, and this looks like Kid Icarus.
OMG!!!! Luigi's Mansion!!!!!
MEGATOOOOON. Sorry, got a bit excited there.
(NB Once again, this is actually Ellie posting Tom's updates; I care not for Luigi, nor his "mansion".)
That's the end of that. (The video, I mean, but also my integrity.) And here comes Reggie Fils-Aime. Has he brought any graphs with him?
"Look. We hear you. You want what you've always wanted. But you also want something new. You want to play things and things to look like they always have. But you want the buzz of the new. You want comfortable and you want surprise. Contradictions? No problem, they come with the territory."
"But it is fair to ask, and is it even possible to deliver something for everyone?"
"Well, as Mr Iwata suggested... this is exactly what we're also aiming for with Nintendo 3DS."
We've got five key 3DS titles to see this week, and they'll be on the show floor in full 3D. "Here on stage of course we can only offer you 2D versions, so let's get going. First off the line is Mario Kart."
This is a "tricked-out version you haven't driven before". Video's up. Looks a lot like Mario Kart Wii - bounce pads, Bowser Castle, boosting... All the usual guys, and new power-ups like a hang glider.
Underwater bits! God I am so easy...
You can customise your kart using a sort of slot machine tumbler system - pick chassis, wheel types, etc.
Mario Kart. Holiday 2011.
Star Fox is back too. Star Fox 64 3D.
You can use buttons for traditional control, or turn the hardware itself into the control wheel by turning and tilting it to control your arwing.
The Nintendo 3DS cameras record and project your and your friends' faces and project them into the game too for multiplayer.
Star Fox 64 3D will be in US stores this September.
Mario is next. "This is the first 3D Mario adventure created from scratch for a portable system."
It's a proper 3D Mario, not just a side-scroller. Reminiscent of Super Mario 64. Raccoon suit!
Fire Mario spotted too. All of these level designs look pretty wicked. He just danced on the keys of a piano and is now leaping over interconnecting cogs. Lots of Galaxy-style changes of perspective too, although more rooted in the N64 origins of 3D Mario, I'd say.
It's just called Super Mario. Out before the year is over.
And don't forget Kid Icarus Uprising, smashing things up and flying about.
Ooh, multiplayer Kid Icarus.
"Choose your weapon and defeat the opposing team's angel."
Heh, there's some augmented reality shizzle going on too, with cards you can put on the table which the 3DS pulls little avatars out of. Or something.
Kid Icarus has "three-on-three multiplayer action" which will be playable on the show floor.
The augmented reality cards will be for conducting battles, says Reggie. And it'll all be out later this year.
Luigi's Mansion 2! "The first brother of video games is back and he's got his vacuum." Shot from the same perspectives as the first - third-person in corridors and sort of 2D-with-depth in the rooms he's investigating.
Luigi's toying with objects to uncover ghosts, who he then sucks up using his Poltergust 3000. There are mummies and sarcophagi in there too.
"Luigi's Mansion 2 is not a simple revision. It's an entirely new game making an extraordinary use of 3D and featuring not just one but several new mansions." SUCK IT TO MY VEINS REGGIE.
Now he's moving on to third party stuff. Montage time! Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Ace Combat 3D...
Good news! It's not really me, I'm just pasting in Tom's updates for him!
Tetris, Cave Story 3D (some whooping), Resident Evil: Revelations, Driver Renegade, Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions...
Tekken 3D, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D. That's it.
Apparently the library of games coming for 3DS is "unprecedented", says Reggie as a montage of sequels finishes.
Moving on, he says this week's system update is also the key to unlocking ten different game trailers. Demos will also be available later this year for downloadable and retail games.
Now he's going on about Virtual Console, including the Game Boy stuff and classic console titles "some dating even before the NES days", some with a 3D makeover.
For a limited time, we also get a free version of 3D Classics Excitebike, which is now 27 years old. "It doesn't get much more retro than that."
Pokemon is also coming. "Owners of Pokemon Black and White are familiar with the Pokedex... With Nintendo 3DS, an enhanced Pokedex has arrived on the platform. When you first start Pokedex 3D, there will be 16 Pokemon registered. In order to complete your Pokedex, you'll need to complete the data... via SpotPass, receiving them from friends or finding special AR markers."
The AR marker lets you superimpose them on real life backgrounds.
It'll be available exclusively through the eShop. Pokedex 3D is free and comes through after the system update, apparently.
"Of course, there is one more order of business left for us today - to make a proper introduction to a new gaming companion." New console stuff.
He's talking about how the Wii name made sense after "we all started playing together".
I bet it's going to be called You or something...
It's called Wii U. "It's a system we will all enjoy together but also one that's tailor-made for you. The other word associations are easy. It is U-nique, u-nifying, maybe even u-topian." Ha.
Here's the new controller on screen. Looks like a tablet PC but a bit chunkier. Big screen in centre and expansive areas around it for two analogue sticks, d-pad, face buttons, home, -/+, start etc. Thought I saw shoulder buttons.
In the video they're showing, a kid is playing Mario and his dad walks in and says he wants to watch baseball, so the kid keeps playing his game on the controller's screen instead.
Now there's a bit with a stylus drawing pictures. Someone's sketching an image of Link. Actions on the touch pad go to the TV screen too.
Saw a version of Go there, and baseball. There's clearly a camera on the back - when you hold the Wii U controller up you can sort of look through it and see what's on the TV.
For golf, a girl laid the Wii U on the ground and did a golf swing over the top of it and it read her actions. There's a black bar above the screen when it's in landscape mode which looks a bit like a combined camera/Wii sensor bar.
Now someone's using it to flick shurikens onto the screen - the idea is clearly that the controller can complement full-screen experiences as well as be used to mirror them or independently.
There's a tech demo of a Zelda sequence where Link's fighting a giant spider and on the touch-screen he's navigating the inventory.
Due out in 2012. Mad cheers from the crowd. Lots of people enjoyed that demo, and I have to confess I was one of them. Iwata's back. "I agree this video may have answered some questions, but it probably raised several others too..."
Wii U has a 6.2-inch screen built in, he says.
It's backward-compatible with all Wii games.
And controllers and other accessories, including the Balance Board, which also featured in the demo reel video they just showed. You
You'll be able to weigh yourself with Wii Fit without using a TV.
It has two analogue circle pads, d-pad, Z-L and Z-R buttons, and shoulder buttons. It also has rumble. The Wii U controller also has touch-screen, microphone, speakers, accelerometer, gyroscope and an inward-facing camera.
He says they've thrown in all those buttons so that Wii U can handle more traditional types of games. "However, please understand that it was not designed to be a portable video game machine, even though it shares some characteristics."
"The images on the new controller are generated only by Wii U. They are wirelessly transmitted [from the base unit?] without latency issues."
"The most up to date high-quality HD images." Can't remember Nintendo ever talking about resolution before. He confirms games can be structured to use two screens at the same time in different ways.
"We decided on this new structure for Wii U because we want to create a strong bond between games, your TV and the internet." Woo internet! Plus blah blah friends and family.
Miyamoto's on screen now explaining how Wii U gives designers loads of options. "More than anything, I'm looking forward to new styles of play in ways we haven't thought of yet... I think there won't be a shortage of ideas."
"For more, please look for the full Iwata Asks interview in text format at e3.nintendo.com," says a returning Iwata. Satoru trying to run us out of a job again.
"A few months ago I explained the concept of Wii U to Mr Sakurai who was developing Kid Icarus. We were discussing which platform his next game should be developed for... What Mr Sakurai suggested then was an idea to make Smash Bros. for both Nintendo 3DS and Wii U." The crowd goes wild.
"...together on both platforms." He's not going to go into any details today, but Smash Bros. will come to 3DS and Wii U and the software "will work together in some fashion".
There is Wii U software to play this week in LA, too, so Reggie's coming back out to explain. "Stating that Wii U will change the way you play games is a pretty bold assertion, so this week we're providing tangible proof. In the convention centre, you're going to find eight different interactive experiences." Not prototypes of games, just demonstrations.
Here's another video demo. There's a sparrow flying around ancient Japan, over a steaming lake past some trees and houses. Cheery blossom bursts out onto the tree it lands on and it nibbles at it, then swoops off again.
Sorry it's a robin. I don't know what f***ing birds look like - I live in a cave of spreadsheets and games.
Now there's a fish or something in a lake. Video over. Everyone looks a bit confused.
That was kind of the Nintendo equivalent of a rickroll if you ask me.
Now we're seeing a conceptual thing called New Super Mario Bros. Mii, where your Mii plays alongside Mario and you can play along on either of the Wii U screens.
There's something called Shield Pose too. You need to lift the controller up and use it as a shield to deflect pirate arrows being fired at you out of your TV.
Chase Me, next, is set in a traditional world, "but that world looks different if you're holding a Wii remote or a Wii U controller". Wii U gives you a birds-eye view of people chasing you in this split-screen demo.
The next thing has two fighters shooting up at a spaceship and the pilot is blasting down from his viewpoint on the Wii U touch-screen.
"To repeat, what I've just described are prototypes, not actual games, but I can announce one title that is in development for Wii U. Nintendo will publish the Lego City Stories in partnership with TT Games."
Looks quite cute. "A new openworld game packed with action, humour and a whole city full of Lego vehicles is coming exclusively to both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS."
Next up is the obligatory video of developer talking heads banging on about the Wii U potential. Peter Moore says "my mind immediately started racing to what we could do with this in the world of sports".
Danny Bilson calls it "the Swiss Army Knife of controllers". Yves Guillemot likes it too.
A 5th Cell chap whose name I missed applauds asymmetrical gameplay possibilities, i.e. someone doing something different on the TV to the touch-screen. Ken Levine likes this too - calls it "revolutionary".
Frank Gibeau says it "will really revolutionise what's happening in console". Danny Bilson says Darksiders 2 will be on it at launch.
"Batman Arkham City is going to be on the new console." Assassin's Creed and Ghost Recon Online too.
"It seems like Nintendo kind of heard the voices of the hardcore gamer," says Levine. "It's not just more of the same," says Warren Spector. "This is exactly what it takes to shape the future," says the boss of Warner Bros.
Darksiders II video pops up. The footage looks pretty much as good as Xbox 360 would. Dirt is shown next - again, very swish.
Aliens Colonial Marines. How odd to see a proper, dark, detailed FPS running on a Nintendo format. Ghost Recon Online has top-down elements - perhaps those are on the touch-screen as you play on the TV.
Metro Last Light for Wii U too. Nice frame-rate. And of course Tekken. Heh, you can doodle eyebrows and tattoos on your character.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge also heading to Wii U. Lots of hacking and slashing in a street. End of trailer reel.
Iwata and Reggie Fils-Aime now both on stage. "Remember," says Reggie, "everything you see this week is just the first pass." "I'm very happy that so many developers are already responding to the potential," says Iwata. "It can satisfy all tastes with deeper gameplay action and wider."
"To lend one final perspective, we have invited Electronic Arts... to join us on stage." It's the silver-haired fox John Riccitiello! Coming on to Arcade Fire too, which I respect.
"Over the years I've made E3 appearances with several console partners, but never before with Nintendo." He says this is a "breakthrough in our relationship based on a stunning breakthrough in technology". It "speaks directly" to EA customers
"Imagine playing football with an innovative new controller that takes all that data, all that play-calling off the big screen," he says. NFL innit.
"Imagine a shooter like Battlefield... brought to you on a Nintendo system with that breakthrough controller. Now imagine those games with an open online functionality that lets you download [etc]."
He's also excited about how the experiences can be expanded out to social media and other outlets online via internet integration. "Nintendo's new console is truly transformational as well - a better platform than we've ever been offered by Nintendo." He says "we can't wait to see EA games on this new system" and walks off.
Reggie: "I want to conclude this morning by asking you to consider four platforms - DS, Wii, 3DS and Wii U. Think bout what they represent together. Each of these platforms is unique... But they share a common pedigree. It's called innovation."
"The two screens and touch screen of Nintendo DS changed gaming. The motion control of Wii changed gaming. Last year in this theatre you found out that glasses-free 3D could change gaming. And now there is Wii U."
"This week, you'll have the chance to hold Wii U's new controller in your hands and find out what happens when a second window opens to your game world. Our presentation this morning is just the beginning."
The experience continues right now, he says, whether you're here on site or watching online. There are some new 3DS games to play outside where we checked in. And at the Convention Center there's also hands-on with eight Wii U experiences and some 25th anniversary Zelda goodness.
"And for all of you have been watching online... consider this... This year the Nintendo Network is back at E3 and it's even better. Our crews will be waiting in line so you won't have to." Daily updates etc on their website then.
"On behalf of all of us, thanks for your attention today and let the exploration begin." That's it! Time for E3 proper. Thanks for tuning in everyone and thanks to Ellie for helping me out today. Love, Brammers.