Nintendo's media briefings usually include quite a bit of sales numbers and statistics. While this one didn't have as much of this somewhat boring topic, there were still a few numbers to be heard. However, most of the event was about showing all the upcoming goodies that fall into Nintendo's concept of "something for everyone".
Regis Fils-Aimee began by noting that Nintendo is raising the bar on gaming experience, which lead to a demo of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Taking the mechanics from Twilight Princess, where we could swing the WiiMote as if it were a sword, Skyward Sword also has us using the Nunchuk as a shield, to block and reflect attacks by simply raising your arm as if you really were wielding a shield.
Aside from sword and shield, Link can also use the whip, bow and arrow and a new flying beetle item that you can use to collect items.
New experiences for everyone is this year's main goal, and with that, a parade of titles were announced. NBA Jam gets and exclusive Wii version. Mario returns in 2011 in a series of activities he has never competed in before (volleyball, hockey, dodgeball, basketball) with Mario Sports Mix. Wii Party, a collection of 70 mini-games for the entire family arrives this holiday season, starring your Miis.
For third-party games, Ubisoft will have Just Dance 2 this Fall, containing 40 tracks, dancing duets, Just Sweat mode and dance crew face-offs for up to 8 players.
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn was announced for the Nintendo DS, followed by GoldenEye 007 (starring Daniel Craig) for the Wii, both coming this holiday season.
Disney Epic Mickey for the Wii was next, featuring a "wasteland" of retired characters, rides and sets. The game is a mix of action, adventure and platform, where you use your paint and thinner to respectively create or destroy/remove things around the game world. The 2D side-scrolling stages are based on cartoons, such as the 1928 black and white classic Steamboat Willie.
Also for the Wii, and also "epic" in title, Kirby's Epic Yarn is coming this Fall, with a unique artwork style resembling yarn, fabric, patchwork, felt and stitches. Parts of the background can be sewn, unzipped or ripped apart to create new passages in the fabric.
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies is coming July 10 to the Nintendo DS, with a 4 player tag mode that lets you seek nearby players while your DS is on standby, as well as download new maps and quests.
The games showcasing session wasn't over yet, and Metroid: Other M for the Wii followed, with a release date aiming at August 31. Donkey Kong Country Returns is also announced for the Wii, coming this holiday season.
Nintendo is not just raising the bar, but extending it into the distance with the announcement of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS handheld, which brings 3D gameplay to the system without the need for 3D glasses. Much like the DSi, the system has two cameras that take individual pictures in several layers and put them together, creating a 3D image on the top screen. A slider on the right side can adjust the depth and is actually able to turn it 2D.
The 3DS also has a reinvented standby mode , always wirelessly enabled with automatic communication regardless of the software that's being played. This lets your DS constantly search for other users in the vicinity to find and download content such as new stages and quests. All this with no monthly fee!
The first trailer shown belonged to Kid Icarus Uprising, a long overdue return for a fan favourite, who will be appearing in 3D, even if the trailer was shown in 2D only. Nintendogs + Cats was also announced (finally, cats! Yay!), and many other third-party titles are being released in 3D as well. Some of them include DJ Hero 3D, Professor Layton, Saints Row, Samurai Warriors 3, Resident Evil, Batman, Assassin's Creed, Metal Gear Solid, Ridge Racer, Madden and Kingdom Hearts.
With these final announcements, Mr. Fils-Aimee again stressed the "something for everyone" goal, and hopes that we have all found something that we are looking forward to. I know I am, and for a few things!