Nintendo’s E3 2012 Press Conference Summary. All The Announcements, Trailers And Details Here!
E3 2012 was Nintendo’s time to finally show us what the Wii U was all about. Considering that last year was more or less a tech-demo event focused on establishing the concept behind the system, it was about time for us to see some games, though of course not forgetting the 3DS.
To kick things off, Miyamoto starred in a very memorable opening video, which resulted with a Pikmin ending up in his top jacket pocket as he took to the stage. With the aid of his translator Bill Trinen, Miyamoto went on to discuss that it’s been six years since the Wii launched. The year after its release, Nintendo started thinking about what was next, and they came to the conclusion that in order for their next system to be a complete entertainment device, it couldn’t be dependant on the TV, and the controller needed to take on a more important role, addressing the issue of what happens if someone is watching TV if you want to play a game. It was this that sparked the concept of the controller having its own screen, and the possibilities that this would open.
Kicking off with a big announcement, Miyamoto revealed Pikmin 3 for the Wii U. The unique real-time action strategy title is a welcome return, as it’s been ten years since the original title launched on the GameCube. In this sequel, you’ll be able to control 100 Pikmin, including the familiar Aquatic, Flame resistant and Electric resistant Pikmin, though new tougher Rock Pikmin have been added to the team. They’ll be more intelligent this time around, opening up new gameplay scenarios, with the footage showing them building bridges, carrying objects, attacking enemies and breaking hard objects. You’ll be able to play with either the Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuck or the Wii U GamePad, with the latter showing a map for easier navigation and situational awareness. This time, you’ll be helped along the way by four leaders who will help with tasks, though not much was revealed about this aspect. As expected, it’s much prettier than before, but still maintains the same art style and colourful charm.
Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage to discuss what they’d be showing that morning. Twenty-three Wii U games would be on the stage within the hour, though he mentioned that it’s only a small selection of the Wii U and 3DS games at E3. He went on to talk about how the Wii U does three things; changes gaming, changes how you interact with gaming friends, and changes how you enjoy your TV. The Wii U aims to to be intuitive, accessable and revolutionise the living room. It’ll have familiar applications such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Video. He stated that the conference would primarily focus on gaming, as the previous Nintendo Direct event went into more details on the system and the newly revealed Miiverse. Head on over to e3.nintendo.com for more details, follow them on Facebook at /Nintendo /Wii U /3DS, on YouTube at /Nintendo, or on Twitter @NintendoAmerica.
The Wii U is all about asymmetric gaming, providing new and innovative multiplayer experiences where the player with the GamePad has a different responsibility to those with the more traditional controller, and he followed this with the announcement that the Wii U will support two GamePads, though what’s on show this week focuses on single GamePad experiences. Later details also emerged that when two GamePads are used, the framerate would drop to 30 frames per second. The informative video that followed discussed all the features of the GamePad, listing the Touch Screen (finger or stylus), control pad, A B X Y Buttons, dual clickable analog sticks, back triggers (XL ZR), L R shoulder buttons, infrared, accelerometer, gyroscope, rumble, camera, microphone, stereo speakers, headphone jack, volume contol and home button. Using said button you can suspend your game, allowing you to check for updates or connect with friends.
Iwata discussed the Miiverse, the social interaction hub for your Wii U experience. As these aspects were discussed via the previous Nintendo Direct video, you can read coverage on that here, or more specifically the Miiverse here. He did elaborate a little further on the new Mario title New Super Mario Bros. U, showcasing the new boost speedrun mode where the GamePad holder has the ability to place blocks to help the other characters.
Starting with third party partners, Martin Trembley took the stage to discuss Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition through both a trailer and stage demo. It’ll arrive for the launch of the system, and as well as giving you extra outfits, the core gameplay will be altered as you can use the GamePad to control your various gadgets including the Batarang, scanning and the inventory, aiding in the puzzles. A Bat Meter was also discussed, powering up as you play, and allows you to become more powerful in short bursts. Using the touch-screen, you’ll be able to set off individual explosive gel placements also.
Jeremiah Slackza was up next to reveal Scribblenauts Unlimited for both the Wii U and 3DS. The Scribblenauts series is all about writing anything and letting your imagination run wild. The Wii U version will be the definitive edition, allowing you to create, explore and share in HD. A trailer showcased more advanced creations such as Automutt. It will feature multiplayer, as well as a deeper story about Maxwell.
A short show-reel then highlighted a number of other titles heading to the platform;
Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3, Tank Tank Tank, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Trine 2: Director’s Cut, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, Aliens Colonial Marines.
Wii Fit U was then announced, continuing Nintendo’s huge fitness franchise that has now sold over 43 million copies. The Balance Board will still be utilised, though the GamePad will offer new activities and actions, providing a better experience by allowing for new gameplay, as well as allowing you to play even with the TV is being used for something else. The trailer showed a watergun and sledding mode, before revealing a new fitness dongle that you’ll be able to use to upload your exercise that you’ve done away from the system.
The next trailer revealed Sing [title tbc] from FreestyleGames (DJ Hero), and showcased a lively multiplayer experience where one player would have lyrics displayed on the GamePad, and everyone else would be dancing and joining in via other methods.
Scott Moffitt from Nintendo of America took the stage for a short time to discuss that while there wouldn’t be a huge 3DS presence at the conference, there would be a separate event the following night, providing a full hour for just 3DS content, both first and third party.
Before he left, he gave updates on a few upcoming 3DS titles –
New Super Mario Bros. 2 was showcased, and it’s all about the gold this time. You’ll also be able to play the entire game with a friend in the Co-Op mode. It will arrive August 19th.
Paper Mario Sticker Star, the new RPG in the series will utilise a new sticker system. You’ll be able to pull them off scenery before using them in battle, allowing everything from stomp to hammer attacks, adding new depth to the gameplay. It will arrive both physically and digitally this holiday season.
Luigi’s Mansion 2, now given the subtitle of Dark Moon, will also arrive this holiday (digital and physical), and provide a much deeper experience than the original, as Luigi will be travelling through multiple mansions facing tougher enemies and new puzzles. There will be a heavier emphasis on ghost capturing, as well as new ghosts and capture strategies.
A montage trailer then showcased several other 3DS titles including Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror Of Fate, Disney’s Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, Srcibblenauts Unlimited and Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance.
What came next was something surprising, a huge trailer for Lego City Undercover! While the concept and title (then as Lego City Stories) had been previously announced, this was the first time that we got a proper look at the game in action, and it looks fantastic. Coming from the ‘Lego team’ Traveller’s Tales, this latest title is something completely different, offering an open world experience where you can drive, explore, jump and climb through a Lego city as you fight crime, all whilst utilising the GamePad as a map, scan for criminals and call dispatch among other uses. There will also be a unique 3DS version that will feature a different story, though still be part of the same universe.
Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemont took to the stage to discuss their comprehensive support of the Wii U, with a broad selection of titles that will be available at launch and early on in the lifecycle. Offering something new with Zombi U, and Rayman Legends will also use the GamePad in interesting ways.
Just Dance 4, while certainly very familiar, is sure to be a big hit for the system, and will feature the ability for the GamePad user to pick moves and poses for the players with the Wii Remotes to perform.
Zombi U, a new survival horror FPS will use the GamePad as an inventory, scanner, door hacking as well as let you snipe and break free from the zombie hordes. A fun little application where it would zombify your own face using the forward facing camera was also shown.
A trailer showcased their other titles such as Assassin’s Creed 3, Rabbids Land, Your Shape, Sports Connection and Avengers: Battle for Earth.
To wrap up the conference, Nintendo unveiled a new title for the Wii U, Nintendo Land. The concept behind the title is similar what Wii Sports was to the Wii, a game that shows people how the system works with simple, fun and addictive games for all ages. It’ll feature a virtual theme park full of classic Nintendo franchises. Gathering a number of attractions and characters to showcase new gameplay experiences, you will adventure with your Mii in both single and multiplayer modes. There will be twelve attractions in the final version, including mini-games based on the Zelda, Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion and Donkey Kong franchises, and there’ll be a chance we’ll see the games in the Mario and Metroid worlds too if the trailer is anything to go by. They’re aiming to create new forms of multiplayer gameplay, providing different perspectives on said gameplay depending on whether you’re using the GamePad or the Wii Remote/Wii U Pro Controller. The Luigi’s Ghost Mansion game was further detailed, working as a top down game where there are four ghost hunters versus a single ghost. The GamePad player will control the ghost, and be invisible to the other players. They’ll need to surprise and scare the ghost hunters, though other gameplay mechanics were discussed such as how the hunters can help revive each other and how they’ll need to communicate as to where they think the ghost is since their controllers will vibrate when near. Nintendo Land will be available at the launch of the Wii U, though it’s unconfirmed whether the title will be a pack-in, ala. Wii Sports.
Wrapping up by emphasising the concept of ‘Together Better’, Nintendo discussed how the Wii U GamePad will be a portal to new types of gaming experiences, bringing people closer together and getting everyone involved in the game.
A Nintendo Land fireworks celebration closed the conference.
What did you think of Nintendo’s E3 2012 Press Conference? Let us know in the comments or over on Twitter @PushStartMedia