Nintendo seems to have won the PR battle at E3 2010, if the chatter amongst the games industry execs and journalists on the show-floor at this year’s event is anything to go by. The Japanese gaming giant’s conference was immense, a ‘megaton’ of massive game reveals and new console hardware announcements.
While Microsoft heavily pushed its Kinect motion-controller tech and Sony emphasised the high-def 3D experiences of PS3 gaming on the latest 3D-ready televisions, Nintendo chose to play to its strengths, revealing all the latest demos and news on its key franchises such as Zelda, Mario, Metroid and more.
Nintendo has been a leading innovator in the handheld gaming business ever since the launch of Gunpei Yokoi’s original Game Boy console way back in 1989. And with the newly-revealed Nintendo 3DS, the company continues to push the sector forward.
Here are our top ten Nintendo games and tech news announcements from E3 2010:
1/ The Nintendo 3DS
Megaton! While we knew that it was coming, we never knew that it was going to be this good. The new 3D-capable handheld lets you play Nintendo games in 3D without having to wear glasses. And from our first hands on reports from those at Nintendo’s E3 2010 conference, the experience works really well.
CVG's Tim Ingham summed up his thoughts on the new handheld, telling us how he feels: “Nintendo may have just created the most important piece of entertainment technology in decades."
You can see more on the first play with the Nintendo 3DS here.
2/ The 3DS 3D camera
The new Nintendo handheld is not only a very cool games machine, but you can also take 3D pictures of you and your mates on it. And then view them on it too.
"Two cameras on the back of the device take a snap of your mug, which is then displayed in super-blurry mode on the 3DS's top screen," said CVG editor, Tim Ingham.
"Using the analogue control, you then slide the images together until you hit the sweet spot; that perfect blend that shows off the differentiation between you and your background."
Check out our Nintendo 3DS pictures to see what the thing actually looks like.
3/ New Zelda for Wii
Nintendo’s creative powerhouse Shigeru Miyamoto revealed to the E3 faithful that the new Zelda game, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is set to be released on the Wii at some point in 2011.
Miyamoto gave a demo of the new Zelda title at this year’s E3 conference, showing off new gameplay mechanics such as the ability to charge up your sword's power by raising the Wii Remote to the sky. Hardcore Nintendo fanboys in the audience were heard audibly to swoon at this point in proceedings.
Twilight Princess was a superb game back at the Wii’s launch, but it was still based on outmoded GameCube graphics tech. This new Zelda title promises a lot more. In Skyward Swordthere is also another new control mechanism that requires you to hold the Wii Remote and Nunchuk as if it were a sword and shield.
4/ Metroid dated, Kirby's Epic Yarn and new Donkey Kong announced
While Nintendo has focused heavily on Mario and Zelda franchises in recent years, both on the Wii home console and on the DS handheld, it continues to give its loyal fanbase all of the other iconic character-based games that it is so well known for. This is why the announcement of a 31 August 2010 release date for the new Metroid Other M was so well received at its E3 conference.
It is also why the reveal of a new Kirby game called Kirby's Epic Yarn receives whoops of appreciation from the E3 crowd. Ninty followed this up with a quick announce of a new Donkey Kong title, called Donkey Kong Country Returns.
A hatrick of superb new game announcements in swift succession! E3 was putty in their hands after this. And we are sure to hear lots more about all of these new games from Nintendo over the coming months.
5/ Proper games for 3DS from proper developers
Nintendo 3DS games were heavily promoted at the Nintendo E3 show-and-tell – and not only the well-expected first party iconic titles, but also some genuinely exciting big-name franchises from third party publishers.
Nintendo has always struggled to maintain a good support for its consoles amongst third party games companies, with many often complaining that the only decent games for the Wii for the past few years have been Nintendo-produced ones.
However, Nintendo 3DS games Konami promised a 3DS-specifi Metal Gear Solid, and, if that wasn’t proof enough of decent industry support for the platform, Capcom also revealed that it has a Resident Evil3DS title in development.
6/ A new Mario game
Okay, so it’s Super Mario Galaxy 3. But come on! We’ve only just got the second game in that series on the shelves. However, the newly-announced Mario Sports Mix is the name of the next Mario game from Nintendo.
Mario Sports Mix is set to be released at some point in 2011. Nintendo US boss Reggie Fils-Aime showed off the new game at the company’s E3 conference which features Mario playing a range of different sports, including volleyball, hockey, handball, basketball, and more.
7/ A new Wii Party game
While the hardcore elements in the E3 audience groaned a little, the announcement of a new Wii title called Wii Party, set to follow in the footsteps of Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, according to the console manufacturer, made us smile inside.
Why? Because whatever you say to your mates down the pub about ‘casual’ or ‘family’ gaming and how it has ruined the purity of Nintendo’s approach to videogames and so on and blah blah blah… You have to admit that Wii Sports is a genuinely superb game and one which really does get pulled out every Christmas to get everybody jumping around in front of the telly with their Nan over the odd festive tipple or three.
And for that, we utterly *heart* Nintendo. And look forward to doing the same with Wii Party in many Christmases to come.
8/ 3D movies on the go
Few of us saw this one coming! The Nintendo 3DS is clearly going to be the next major technological leap forward in handheld gaming. But it is also going to be used as a portable 3D movie viewer, if Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime is to be believed.
Fils-Aime criticised the idea of having to use 3D glasses for playing 3D games at E3. And after showing off a few of the games for the new console, he also noted how it is also perfect for watching 3D movies then.
So in what was the most surprising and astounding announcement made by Nintendo at E3 2010, Disney, DreamWorks and Warner Bros have all been lined up to deliver 3D movies to your Nintendo 3DS. Crikey!
9/ Epic Mickey for Wii
Following the well-received major first party announcements of new Zelda and Mario titles Nintendo then invited lauded games developer Warren Spector on stage to show off the latest on his next title, calledEpic Mickey for Wii, featuring 2D levels based on classic cartoons.
Following the announcements of 3D movies deals with Disney and others and the demo of Spector’s new game, Nintendo also showed off its latest version of the classic GoldenEye, much to the delight of gamers in the audience.
10/ The promise of a new Wii with 3D
While this one is only a very flimsy ‘promise’ of something that may or may not arrive in the next few years, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has hinted to journalists at E3 that the company's next console may have 3D capabilities.
Iwata told an interviewer: "If you display a 3D image, the image quality becomes extremely bad, so we'd probably do it with the next system.
"We're thinking that the timing should be once the 3D television adoption rates cross the 30 per cent mark. We're looking at the adoption trends."