We were lucky enough to attend the Nintendo Press Conference. This was our first video game press conference and it was surreal to be apart of it. The first thing we witnessed was a full piece orchestra and choir playing Zelda music for the 25th Anniversary of the Legend of Zelda franchise. Even though it wasn’t related to anything video game wise, it was still awesome to see a full piece orchestra recreate old childhood memories by playing classical Zelda themes and in game scenarios.
The next item on the docket was the Nintendo 3DS. I’m going to be completely honest; I wasn’t really looking forward to the 3DS because I saw it last year. However, I was blown away with some of the 1st party games that are set to be released in the coming months. I will go into further details about the games in Day 3 where I actually got to play them first hand.
A cool feature that was just released for the DS is the new e-shop. The Nintendo e-shop is basically a virtual console like the Wii, only for the DS. The newest game that was announced at the press conference was none other than Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening. Also announced was an old school classic, Excitebike and if you have a 3DS go get it because it’s free for only 30 days after its release. You may be thinking to yourself why would I would to play a port of these older games? Well one: it’s portable, two: one of them is free and three: they are in 3D!
Next came, the big announcement. Nintendo released their new controller, the Wii U. Reggie Fils-Aime was stating how their new system will be tailor made toward the gamer, thus the U in the name. He used words such as “Unbelievable” “Unique” and I turned to ZeldaQueen and said “Unimaginable.” I mean come on Nintendo, the Wii U? Who is in charge of naming your new system? But, I digress.
The new controller has a 6.2 inch touch screen, two analog sticks that cannot be used as buttons, four shoulder keys and your typical four face buttons. By the looks of it, the controller looked HUGE. I guess this is to be expected since it is essentially a tablet. It’s an iPad for the Wii! Luckily, we got to handle the controller and it wasn’t as awkward to hold as it first looked. Another nice feature is that it doesn’t use Double A batteries, something the Wiimote could have benefited from.
One of the biggest advantages of the new system is the third party support. In fact, for the first time ever, the President of EA Sports was there in support of Nintendo’s new system. Never before had there been someone from EA at Nintendo’s Press Conference to support their new technology. It was cool to see a slideshow of other video game developers actually excited to expand their library to a Nintendo system. A few examples are: Darksiders II, Batman Arkham City and Ninja Gaiden 3 among others. These will all be in their full HD glory, something the Wii was severely lacking among hardcore gamers.
Some of the features this new Wii U controller can do is that if you are playing a game on your 50 inch television and someone else in your household needs the TV, you can pause the game and continue playing where you left off on your tablet controller. The controller can also portray mini-maps which can give you a tactical advantage while on a battlefield. When you are playing multiplayer games, some players will have the view of the big screen, while others will have different views via the controller’s 6.2 inch screen. An example would be someone in the air is dropping bombs on the enemies below using the controller. The player in the air looks down at the controller and sees a bird eyes view of the enemies of the ground.
After watching the demo for the new controller, I was skeptical. In fact, I am still skeptical about it. It’s not that I am a Nintendo hater; it’s just that it looks a lot like a gimmick. I don’t know if I want to use a controller and place it in front of my TV to use as a shield. It just seems kind of cheesy to me. I know a lot of players are saying how the new system is in full HD. Umm, this is nothing new. Last I check the XBOX 360 has been in HD for over five years now.
Others share the same skepticism as I do. After the announcement of Nintendo’s new system/controller, stocks for Nintendo fell 5% in Japan and day two after the announcement, stocks fell another 4.6%. I hope I can be a believer in this new controller, because we have seen in the past that both Microsoft and Sony copy what Nintendo does. I do have to give it to Nintendo though for being innovative; they are not scared to try new risks. We’ll just have to wait until next year to really see how this new controller will shape up.