Sandwiched between the Monday’s Microsoft conference and the Sony conference on Tuesday evening. Last years Nintendo showing received a bit of stick for not being compelling enough, maybe things changed this year. Read on to find out…

Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of Americas Vice President of Sales and Marketing did the job of opening Nintendo’s conference. She began explaining how the market has changed, where once the gaming market was aimed solely at those who actively games, and now the focus has moved to everyone, including those who do not actively play games. This seems to be reflected in the current state of Nintendo in that it is a platform that welcomes casual gamers.

There will be a new Mario game with the number 4 being the ‘key to the next surprise’. New Super Mario Bothers Wii is the next major instalment for the franchise. The game allows for four player simultaneous co-op in the traditional side scrolling Mario style, the game will be available for ‘Holiday’ 2009.

Wii Fit has sold 15 million copies around the world and coming in Autumn this year is the follow-up is Wii Fit Plus. Offering six new strength and yoga activities, with the ability to focus on particular areas and track calories burnt. There are also 15 new balance games besides the basic fitness exercise modes.

Wii Motion Plus
Wii Motion Plus Attachment The Regginator (Reggie Fils-Aime) was on hand at E3 again and this time to announce the next iterative step for the Wii-mote that had been seen at E3 last year. A picture of the Wii0mote was shown which had a rectangular module attached to the bottom of it…the Wii Motion Plus. While the standard Wii-mote can account for movement along fixed axes, the Wii Motion Plus attachment will improve movement accuracy by tracking rotation/angle and combining that reading with those from the existing Wii-mote sensors.

Wii Motion Plus will have a game to accompany its release, Wii Sports Resort, so players can take advantage of the added functionality. A demonstration of the Wii Sports Resort was presented, showing the first few minutes of the game and Wii Sports Resorthow each player is introduced to the resort. Controlling a skydiving Mii, you can alter your fall by leaning in various directions by moving the Wii-mote accordingly, as if holding a toy plane; tilting the Wii-mote forward would take the in game character into a full dive. Another game on the ‘resort’ was archery, using the Nunchuck attachment as the bowstring. Incidentally, the Wii Motion Plus unit has a pass-through connector, allowing the Nunchuck or other attachments to be connected to the Wii-mote. Other games to support the Wii Motion Plus include: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 which can be purchased in a bundle with the attachment; Grand Slam Tennis; Virtua Tennis 2009 and Red Steel 2, which can only be played with the Wii Motion Plus. Wii Sports Resort will be available in the US on the 26th of July 2009.

The Games
NTR_MarioLuigi3_02ss03_E3 Regarding role playing games, Square Enix have another title on another platform, in the form of Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers for the Wii. An exclusive version of Kingdom Hearts for the Nintendo DS will be created by Square Enix, due September 29, 2009. If you have ever wanted to see inside Bowser’s body, check out Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story for the Nintendo DS. Mario and Luigi get shrunken down and are ingested by Bowser…hence the fruity storyline! Already out in Japan, expect the game in Autumn in the US and Europe. 2010 will see Golden Sun DS, coming back to a Nintendo portable platform and will be the third Golden Sun game.

Womens Murder Club James Patterson looks to be getting into games, October 13, 2009 is the date we can expect to see Women’s Murder Club for the Nintendo DS. Ubisoft are bring COP: The Recruit to the portable console, in what looks to be a GTA style sandbox game with an open world, driving and shooting. In Japan, Girl’s Mode has allowed players to run their own boutique, take part in fashion shows and trade their wares with other players. Girl’s Mode will be coming to the US and will be known as Style Savvy. This selection of games shows there is, as Cammie said, “…something for everyone.”

Specifically for the Nintendo DSi will be a flipbook game that lets the player create an animation and share it online, Flipnote Studio will be available during the summer this year. Continuing the theme of user customisation, Mario Vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! is announced. The player can set traps and create puzzles and create custom levels and then share their creations with friends; it will be available from the 8th of June 2009.

Warioware DIY is the peak of custom content on the Nintendo DS. This game will enable players to create their own games. This includes characters, the levels, actions and so on. The created content can then be shared with others.

Mario Galaxy 2 3D Mario is back, this time in Super Mario Galaxy 2 which is due for release in 2010 on the Wii.

Reggie Fils-Aime came back on the stage to present third party titles, aimed at the more serious gamer: The Conduit from Sega, and FPS created just for the Wii; Capcom’s Resident Evil – The Darkside Chronicles, another FPS for the Wii; and EA’s Dead Space – Extraction, also for the Wii. All these are games from other companies but Nintendo will also be bringing their own version of an, action packed story based game with the help of Team Ninja in the form of Metroid – Other M, due out in 2010.

Joining the social craze and bringing it to gamers, from Summer, users will be able to upload photos from the DSi to Facebook, no mention of access to Twitter or other social networks, though.

Gaming for All
Cammie Dunaway handed over to Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo who went on to talk about the gaming groups as revealed by their research: active gamers, maybe gamers and non-gamers. The point being made was that they wanted to get the maybe-gamers playing games by catering to their wants and abilities as a gamer. Rather than focusing on hardcore gamers with games that have a high skill threshold and excluding the newer gamers, there have to be ‘everyone games’ which are open to all, such as the Wii Sports Resort and Mario Kart Wii.

Satoru Iwata said that Nintendo had introduced two different types of game, Brain Age to train the brain, the Wii Fit board to work the body and then he introduced a third addition, the Wii Vitality Sensor, which takes your pulse via a sensor that you put your finger into. This could come into action in games where a player’s heart rate could trigger a set of events, for example nervousness or fear might result in an easing up of the action in a horror game, or even ramp it up! Just as you start to calm down walking down the corridors of a haunted mansion, the game could take this into account and spawn a ghoul to jump out on you when you least expect it.

The focus of Nintendo’s presentation was the inclusion of all people, gamers and non-gamers. It is clear that Nintendo is the casual games console with games such as Wii Fit Plus and Style Savvy but at the same time, not forgetting the gamer looking for a more traditional action packed game by announcing titles such as Dead Space  – Extraction.

Wii Vitality Sensor On the innovation front, the only thing new is the Wii Vitality Sensor which will probably have a release and working titles sometime next year if following the same schedule as the Wii Motion Plus, which was announced last year. Any more body based peripherals and your house may start to look like a hospital! Nintendo’s conference was laden with games, minimal on hardware and one addition to the service capabilities which was the ability to upload pictures from a DSi to Facebook. A good turnout for Nintendo enthusiasts looking for something new as well as a turnout from the traditional Mario crowd.

By Viran

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