Nintendo’s E3 2011 Press Conference

I couldn’t control my anxious fidgeting as I waited for the Nintendo’s E3 2011 Press Conference to begin. Like so many others, Nintendo has been a staple in my life, and never in a million years could I have imagined that I’d be witnessing, first hand, the unveiling of a Nintendo console. As I sat on the edge of my seat, flashbacks of my five-year-old self fumbling with a SNES controller were erratically surging through my head, and 18 years later, there I was. It’s hard to explain—but let me tell you, it was a surreal feeling.

And then the conference began with a beautiful tribute to Zelda, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the franchise. Guys, I got goose bumps. Maybe it was the combination of raw emotions, the live orchestra, the retro images of Zelda titles I grew up with …hell I admit, my eyes even swelled a bit. Either way, I was a bundle of emotions. I’m such a nerd.

I’m not going to recap the entire conference and every unveiling, but I’ll touch on the more important announcements.

Zelda 25th Anniversary

I was disappointed there wasn’t an announcement of a 25th anniversary 3DS bundle. In fact, there wasn’t much of anything announced for it. Yes, a few Zelda games will be making their way to the DS handhelds, and yes a symphony dedicated to the Zelda franchise will be coming to nearby cities and playing shows around the world, but honestly? I’d rather walk away knowing a Zelda branded 3DS, DS, game, bundle, etc would be hitting shelves. Miyamoto said there will be more to announce in the upcoming days, so I’ll bite my lip for now and hope some sort of awesomeness will be revealed.

Wii U

Oh boy.

I’ll start with the name. I see where Nintendo is going with this, and I’m not at all surprised the label “Wii” was brought back. It’s smart. Casual gamers will hear of the Wii U and blammo: “Oh, it’s an upgraded version of the Wii? OHHOWCOOLIMUSTBUY.” Personally? I think it’s stupid. Wii U? It almost sounds like a martial arts move or something. JUST SAYING.

Now, the concept of the controller is neat, I’ll give it that. Being able to play games on the touch screen is fun, and I like the idea of having certain interface elements displayed on the 6” screen. During the press conference we saw a woman holding a Wiimote as a golf club and a WiiU controller beneath her on the ground displaying the golf ball. And let’s say you’re playing Madden locally against a friend. Discreetly calling plays has never been so easy. Freakin’ cool.

On the flipside, if I’m playing an RPG of sorts, does this mean I’ll have to look away from my television screen and onto my controller every time I need access an item/equipment sub screen? I can’t help but wonder if that would become annoying, especially if the selection occurs during real time. What do you think?

I left the press conference feeling a little underwhelmed, probably due to my own expectations; I assumed we would be witnessing a full console unveil, not just that of a name and controller. But now that I’ve had a few hours to digest everything, I’m not surprised we were cock-teased. After all, the controller is going to be the Wii U’s greatest asset. And because this concept IS new, it only makes sense Nintendo would spend a bulk of time pimping it and its abilities. I have a feeling the console itself isn’t anything to write home about, after all, they never really are, are they? It’s the features of a console (as a whole) that makes it stand out amongst the others.

So, what do I think? Truthfully, I don’t know. We weren’t shown any footage (in case you haven’t heard, all of the “hardcore” trailers shown were nabbed from other platforms) and there isn’t much to go off on. Like I said before, cool concept, but until I see more I’m tentative. Of course, tentative means I’ll purchase Wii U day one, regardless of what I think.

Yes, that is how I roll.

Now please, give me Zelda; Skyward Sword. Right now would be nice. I don’t want to wait for the holidays.

Also:

Yeah, this guy came onstage. I didn’t snap a photo of it, and maybe, just MAYBE I’m reading too much into this, but his backdrop eventually changed to EA’s top franchises. Okay. One of them was….

DRAGON AGE II!!!

So, yeah. Is the day coming where I could play Dragon Age on a Nintendo console?!?!?!  Probably, but even so, all it means I’ll have to buy a copy for Nintendo’s platform. A copy I won’t play. Because my loyalty to the Dragon Age franchise is with the PC.

But, still. Eeee. You know how I am with Dragon Age.

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  • Boots_33

    Dear Britt,

    You don’t gave to play or own every version of every Dragon Age game.

    Your friend,

    -Rationality

  • Joe

    I want to make fun of the wii U name, but man..I tore up the ‘wii’ name from day one, and the console dominated and is so beloved that I have to give them the benefit of the doubt on it. I’ll still make fun of it though.

    I liked the browsing demo they gave…I have a hard time with the concept of a browser on a TV (too hard to navigate), and I have a hard time with a browser on a phone (too small of a screen). It looks like they have a solution where I can read Blondnderd.com without having to sit in front of a TV, and then quickly watch game trailers on the big screen. I like that idea, and might buy it if that alone works. The baseball stuff they showed was kinda cool as well…batting with the wiimote is great..but fielding was always kinda off…

    My fav quote: “Of course, tentative means I’ll purchase Wii U day one, regardless of what I think.” – Yer so awesome 🙂

    Thanks for the roundup! btw the sits looking pretty awesome!

    • Daw thank you! Yeah, the name is fun to make fun of. I need to go back and watch the demo again…I feel like I was too busy gawking during the conference to actually pay attention!

  • Hey Britt!
    My sentiments exactly on the new Nintendo console. I’m not sure what to think but I’m definitely not impressed. The tech is old and what I’ve seen so far seems gimmicky more than anything.

    It’s not to say someone like Miyamoto won’t do something awesome with it, which he probably will but who else will? Also when will they finally get this thing onto store shelves and how much is it going to cost? How much will consumers have to drop on a second controller?

    At the end of the day the system will be judged by the games it can run. The Nintendo hardcore will still be there to support it and new Nintendo customers that really loved their Wii will probably be interested in opting into this new system.

    Here’s to hoping it doesn’t just turn into an HD remake machine with a bunch of recycled first party titles with HD in the name, or maybe in this case… U.

    • Agreed. Actually, a Nintendo rep confirmed that you won’t be able to purchase a tablet controller seperately. From the sounds of it, the Wii U will only support one tablet controller at a time as well. So if you’re playing on the tablet controller (how many times am I going to write “tablet”?) everyone else will need to use a regular Wiimote. HMMMMMMM. Sounds hard to believe, we’ll see if something changes.

  • Patty

    Wasn’t “Wii U” what the lead female character kept saying in “Kung Pow”?

    • Britt

      Bahahaha. YES! And I kept thinking about that too, but I didn’t know if anyone would have understood it if I had made the reference!