Friday, June 10, 2011

Number 1 Son Reports on the Electronic Entertainment Expo

Well, this week brought some very big news for hardcore Nintendo fans (like myself). Just to give some background, every year around the first or second week of June, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (better known as E3 to gamers) is held in Los Angeles. Basically, it's a large video game convention where major video game makers and press (well, mostly nerdy press, websites like IGN and other gaming websites) come together and the game makers reveal new games, systems, and generally discuss their plans for the rest of the year and into the next. Nintendo has a big press conference every year, and does a very good job of keeping everything secret until the news is said onstage. Last year's conference brought news of the Nintendo 3DS and Legend of Zelda: the Skyward Sword, a title for the Wii. And, believe it or not, this year was actually better. A LOT better. I obviously didn't go to E3, so most of my information is gained from other sources (i.e., articles written by people who actually went), but I'll report as best as I can the announcements that were biggest for me.

First up: the Wii U.
Well, this was by far the biggest revelation of the conference, probably the biggest in all of E3. The Wii U is Nintendo's successor to the Wii. We actually did know this was coming, as Nintendo told us ahead of time, but few people were actually prepared. The controller strongly resembles a cross between a Game Boy and an iPad. From what I've read, the screen is very good (one site said it was on par with the iPad2). Apparently this will allow games to be played on the controller, although not at a long distance and it's still preferable to play on the TV. There are few specifics known about the system, but here is what is known. It is in fact a new system, not just an upgrade to the Wii. The graphics and other hardware are definitely different (the one clip I saw of the graphics it was capable of producing was incredible; this system will definitely produce the graphics that many criticize the Wii for not having). The small screen on the controller will interact with the console and TV in a manner similar to the Wii remote, but also in many new ways (one example I saw was to aim a gun, somewhat like a scope). No games were announced (a couple of third-party games were mentioned in one video but I can't find them anywhere else so I'm assuming that they were hinted at) except for a new Super Smash Bros for both this system and the 3DS, with the potential to interact. This is news that will have Nintendo fans geeked out for months to come. No release date was given, although most sources indicate that the system is planned for sometime next year. Here's hoping.

Next up: a bunch of games announced for the 3DS. This was welcome news to me. The 3DS was released back in March, but I haven't gotten one yet since there were no good games out for it. Fortunately, Nintendo plans to remedy that. Here's a list of some of the big games announced for the handheld. (I'm assuming that all of these titles are tentative, but who knows):

Super Mario 3D
Yep, a Mario game for the 3DS. With graphics at least on par with the Gamecube, this game will certainly look good. It also features the Tanooki suit: the iconic racoon-esque outfit from Super Mario Bros 3 on the NES. Definitely looking forward to this one, which is apparently slated for release this year.

Mario Kart 3D
This great racing series will apparently get its introduction onto the 3DS sometime this year. Apparently this game will feature the ability to drive underwater, and put a hang glider on your car.

Luigi's Mansion 2
For those of you unfamiliar with the original game, it was a launch title for the Gamecube. It was sort of a cross between Mario and Ghost Busters. Luigi wandered around a haunted mansion fighting ghosts with a vacuum cleaner. It's been a while, but apparently the game will get a sequel sometime next year. Don't know much about it, but one article I read mentioned mansions (as in plural).

Other games mentioned were Kid Icarus a reboot of an NES series, and Star Fox 64 3D a remake of a really popular Nintendo 64 game (for anyone who has heard of the phrase "Do a barrel roll" in the context of video games, the original is where it came from). But these aren't games I'm particularly interested it.

There was also some news involving the Wii. Apparently we have a Kirby game to look forward to on the system this fall, which will be a bit more like a traditional Kirby games (unlike Kirby's Epic Yarn, which had an unconventional control and appearance). Also, the aforementioned Skyward Sword was confirmed for a Holiday release as a nod to nervous fans who were worried the game would not be released anytime soon.

Well, that's all of the news from E3 regarding Nintendo. Pretty big news for longtime fans, and I'm very very excited. They definitely topped last year's presentation, and I am eagerly looking forward to what was announced.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Number1Son. I always enjoy these reports.

    I have an honest question for you. With your understanding of the current and emerging video-game landscape and given your observation of NumberXSiblings' maturation, what would be your highest-level recommendations to parents with regard to video games and young children? For example, do you have thoughts about, how soon is too soon? Or maybe even, how late is too late?

    I would appreciate hearing however much or however little you have to say about this, whenever you feel like saying it.