Nintendo’s press conference started off with Shigeru Miyamoto walking on stage, in tuxedo, with a Wii controller, conducting a symphony playing the Legend of Zelda theme song, instantly showing off that Nintendo was indeed going to pull out some big guns. They then began a montage of actual gameplay for the Wii, complete with a racing title, being played by holding the controller sideways, and Red Steel, with swordsmanship on display. Miyamoto left and Reggie Fils Aime walked in, and discussed the future of games, and said that Nintendo wasn’t just bringing out a next-gen console, at which point he began a montage similar to the one at TGS 2005, showing off people playing the Wii, but in this video, they showed people playing a new Mario, as well as Metroid Prime, and Twilight Princess’ compatibility (regrettably, you don’t actually swing the sword as many speculated earlier, but you do aim the bow and hookshot).
After, Fils Aime came on and began talking more about the scope of willing gamers, and pointed out the four big questions about the Wii. Why make it so different? When is it coming out and how much will it cost? Why the name? And who is developing games?
He started off with the “different” question, comparing the jump from Gamecube to Wii to the jump from SNES to N64, and the jump from 2d games to 3d games. He went on to tell us the price and release date will be announced later, which nobody was pleased by. He then discussed the name, and compared the name Wii to Lexus and Google. He then rolled another montage of gameplay for some upcoming games like Super Mario Galaxy, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, and others.
He ended the montage, and jumped right onto Zelda: Twilight Princess, and said it was the best Zelda game, and the best-looking game, and introduced some Nintendo of America reps to show off Twilight Princess on the Wii. They discussed the basic controls, moving with the analog stick, slashing with B, etc. The first secret of the controller was unveiled, with a motion sensor and speaker built into the nunchaku controller He went on to show some more battling, and showed how Link can attack with the shield using the remote, and there are some other attacks that can be done with the Wii’s controller. The NOA reps wrapped up and brought back Reggie, and he began talking about Metroid Prime 3 and how it’s the “most intuitive FPS ever” and in regards to Mario Galaxy said “Miyamoto has given Mario moves never seen before” and a new game, Survivornaut. He then addressed third party games, like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Sonic Wildfire, and Rayman 4, and said there will be 27 games at launch (and 27 games on the show floor), and made sure to point out this didn’t include the Virtual Console. He introduced some Ubisoft reps to show off Red Steel’s gameplay, which looks absolutely stunning, and has some very impressive AI. He also showed how you could communicate with in-game characters using the controller, like swinging the controller down, telling people to get down. He then went on to the sword fighting, and showed how you would attack with the right hand and guard with the left.
Reggie came back, and introduced George Harrison to discuss the Nintendo DS. He started with stating that the DS has sold 16 million units, millions more than the PSP. He went on to discuss Nintendogs, which sold over 6 million units, and the DS Wi-Fi, which has had over 1.3 million users. He then discussed some future unique puzzle games like Big Brain and Sodoku Grid Master. He lightly discussed the DS Lite. Then came New Super Mario Bros., Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Star Fox DS, Yoshi’s Island 2, and many others. He pointed out DS will have over 100 new games released by the end of this year, and cued a montage showing off gameplay for many big games that are over-the-horizon like Phantom Hourglass and Mario Hoops. After this ended, Satoru Iwata came onstage, and discussed Nintendo’s new goal, to introduce more people to video games, and to bring back people who have lost interest in gameplay. His plan for this is to reinvent the connection between the gamer and the game. The DS was the first instance of this, and games like Nintendogs and Brain Age are revolutionizing games, and introducing more people to games, and that this sort of game is beginning to catch on this side of the Pacific. He then pulled out the Wii controller, and said it is breaking down barriers between potential gamers and games. Then came the Virtual Console, which just got a sort of mention in-passing. After, he pointed out the annoyance of load-times for games, and how the DS is spoiling him with the lack of load-times. Then he went on to talk about some more Wii functionality, including the web browser. He then talked about “Wii Connect 24.” This means the Wii will be on standby at all times, and allows broadband-style permanent connection to the net, and how networking software is built into the Wii. He went back to introducing games to people who are still resisting games, and talked about how software will be most important, and introduced a new launch title, Wii Sports, which is, once again, destroying the wall between non-gamers and games, and tearing down the gender and age barriers. He took a bow, and Fils-Aime came back.
He announced the winners of the recent AOL contest of who will be the first person to play the Wii, and reintroduced Miyamoto. He began playing tennis on Wii Sports, and began playing with the contest winner. They reintroduced Iwata and Fils-Aime, and all four of them began playing Wii Sports together. After Miyamoto won the match for his double, Reggie came back on, and made sure to point out how the games come first, looks come second. He said that the Wii and DS both are risky ventures for Nintendo, and that the changes brought by Nintendo are good. Expect more details on the Wii soon as gameplay data becomes available.