E3 2012: Nintendo Conference Liveblog

All eyes on Nintendo as the platform holder looks to use its time in the spotlight to talk exclusively about games for the Wii U. No 3DS. No Vitality Sensors. Just videogames. 

18:22 - Nintendo have done the unthinkable and out-fucked even themselves. That was worse than the Vitality Sensor, worse than Wii Music, worse than last year. 23 games, Reggie boasted when the sky was blue and the sun was shining. 23 games fist-fucked into a 20 minute slot bookended by meaningless waffle and NINTENDO LAND. Mario, Mario, Mario, Luigi, Pikmin, previously seen third party titles and NINTENDO LAND. Soul destroying. 

18:17 – I’m reeling. Two “New Super Mario Bros.” games. 15 minutes dedicated to a thing called Nintendo Land. A bunch of games currently available on Xbox 360 and PS3. No mention of release dates. No mention of price. Some montages.

18:15 - Reggie leaves the stage to a whisper of applause. Hundreds of journalists leave in tears. Others were merely anticipating this and leave under a blanket of silence.

18:13 - Jesus Christ. They’re ending with another video of Nintendo Land. No time for 3DS but hey, let’s take another look at the entrance to Peado Island!

18:11 – Reggie’s back. “Nintendo Land will launch at the same time as the Wii U hardware this holiday.” Of bloody course it will, who’s going to buy that toss? Oh wait, Wii Sports Resort sold in its millions. Reggie’s blathering about “togetherness” and why the Wii U is so great. Remember when Reggie said there’d be 23 games today? Oh dear.

18:10 - There’s whimsical magical footage of Nintendo Land.

18:09 - This is still happening. Wii Tennis certainly didn’t take this long to explain.

18:05 – “Have you ever walked nervously down the corridors of a haunted house?” Hmm. Sorry guys, ghosts aren’t real. Neither is Father Christmas. They’re demoing the Luigi’s Mansion mini-game. You get an overview of some mansion rooms. It looks like an ugly Pacman. People playing on the TV can’t see th  ghost – played by whoever’s clutching the Wii U controller -but the person with the Wii U controller can see everybody. Wii remotes rumble when the ghost is nearby. Players have to shine their flashlights on the ghost while the ghost has to, I don’t know, rip their faces off? 

18:02 - Katsuya Eguchi rocks up on stage to talk about whatever the fuck Nintendo Land is. I mean, who called it that? It features mini-games like The Legend of Zela Battle Quest, Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, an Animal Crossing themed number, Donkey Kong’s Crash Course and something to do with ninjas. They’re demoing the latter one, incredibly, using the Wii U controller to toss throwing stars at cardboard cutouts. So we’re using franchise characters to hawk crappy mini-games now, great.

18:00 - Um. Reggie is talking about something called Nintendo Land. It’s the Wii U’s Wii Sports.

17:59 - Montage! Footage of Assassin’s Creed 3, Rabbids Land, Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013, Rayman Legends, Sports Connection, Avengers Battle for Earth. No Far Cry 3. No Splinter Cell. No Watch Dogs. 

17:58 - You can use the Wii U controller to zombify your face. Reggie does it. It looks terrible.

17:56 - “One bite and you’re dead” in Zombi U, apparently. The Wii U is your “all in one survival kit”. It’s an inventory, a scanner (you know, for holding up to the screen and scanning and things), it’s a “sniper” (aka you use motion control to align the scope). Shake it to break free from a zombie! Hack doors by pushing the buttons! Oh dear.

17:54 - Xavier Poix is up to talk about some Ubisoft games. Oh. It’s Just Dance 4. Some dancers emerge from backstage. At least two of them are dudes, although they’re not wearing hot pants like their female counterparts. And it’s that fucking Maroon Five song again. Reggie’s using the Wii U controller to choose the moves, which seems REALLY BORING.

17:53 - Guillemot almost forgets his lines/gets screwed over by the teleprompter.

17:52 - Alright Yves Guillemot is up, Ubisoft have been on fire this E3 so my interested is piqued. Guillemot has been paid to talk about how great Nintendo and the Nintendo Wii U is.

17:51 - “Our goal with Wii U is to provide new and engrossing game experiences for every type of player.” As epitomised by this presentation. Guffaw. 

17:50 - Lego City is being peddled on stage now. Fortunately we’ve managed to refrain from using the word “Legos” thus far. It’s open world, there’s some helicopter flying, you can play as the po-po, platforming, kinda crappy draw distances.

17:47 – We’re watching another montage of third party games coming to 3DS. I spy Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, Scribblenauts Unlimited (I’VE SEEN THAT), Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. And that’s your lot from the ‘longest, most annoying names possible category’.

17:45 - We’ve moved on to Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. Footage on screen. Spiders! Ghosts! 3D! Multiple mansions! Gold coins! “Even eerier in 3D”. Launches this holiday season.

17:45 -  Out this holiday season. Book your suicide now.

17:44 – Yet more Mario! Paper Mario is coming to 3DS. All new features! “Stickers”. What. The. Fuck. Is. This.

17:43 - They’ve announced New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS. This is a joke, right guys? It has to be. Two “New Super Mario Bros.” games? They look the same.

17:41 - Nintendo are getting greedy now. They’re having another E3 conference tomorrow, online, all about the 3DS. Which they’re talking about now. Despite confirming that they would only be talking about WiiU games here.

17:40 - Something called SiNG has been announced. You sing and the Wii U controller displays the lyrics. Wow. It’s a £50 lyric sheet. Rock Band has managed without that for years. Footage of attractive 20-somethings paid to look like they’re having fun. PAID-BY-THE-SMILE ACTORS, HOORAY.

17:40 - Oh no. It’s about to get worse.

17:37 - Here’s a trailer of some attractive, healthy 20-somethings in Utopia doing fitness things with the Wii Fit Board and Wii U controller. YOUR LIFE COULD BE THIS GOOD IF YOU JUST BUY A WII FIT BOARD TODAY. So… the Wii U controller adds nothing.

17:36 - We’re talking about Wii Fit now. Are Nintendo actually going to screw this up? 

17:34 - Montage time. Generic could-be-any-old-console footage of Darksiders 2, Mass Effect 3, Tank! Tank! Tank! (what’s that one about?), Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Trine 2: Director’s Cut, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge (LOL), Aliens Colonial Marines. No mention of how any of them make use of the Wii U controller.

17:32 - It looks like Scribblenauts. Maxwell is bounding about in HD. Looks pretty. The chap in the trailer creates “Auto Mutt”, it’s a dog with wheels! He shares it with a friends who gives Auto Mutt a mohawk. Multiplayer confirmed with two people using Wii U tablets. 

17:30 - Mr. Warner Bros. has moved the chat onto Scribblenauts Unlimited from 5th Cell. Scribblenauts was very cool.

17:29 – We’re talking about features unique to the Wii U version which, considering it’ll be over a year old by the time it launches on Wii U, ought to be bloody good. Again, we’re guiding the baterang with the Wii U motion controller and placing explosive gel by holding the Wii U controller up to the screen. You can set explosives off one at a time by tapping the controller. Um.

17:27 – Batman Arkham City: Armoured Edition announced for Wii U. Trailer time. Use the Wii U controller in gimmicky ways! Control the baterang with motion control!

17:25 - The Batman Arkham City logo is splashed up on screen. Harley Quinn is addressing the audience. Now she’s introducing Martin Tremblay from Rocksteady. Oh dear. We’re leading the third party announcements with a game that has been available for 7 months. “Experience Arkham City in a special new way.”

17:24 - It’s New Super Mario Bros in HD. Oh dear.

17:23 - We’ve moved onto some new IP! Oh no, wait, it’s Mario. New Super Mario Bros. U. You’ll be able to connect to people within the game. Wow ghee, it’s like internet-enabled gaming.

17:20 - Reggie’s moved on to talking about the Miiverse feature unveiled during Sunday’s youtube broadcast. It allows Miis to congregate in areas in the Miiverse and communicate, which is cool and everything, but we’re 22 minutes in and we’ve seen just one game. You’ll be able to join the Miiverse from smartphones, PCs and the 3DS. Not the Vita though. 

17:19 - THIS ISN’T “JUST GAMES” REGGIE. We’re getting a guided tour of the Wii U gamepad on screen. Left and right analogue sticks! Triggers! Buttons! Rumble! Built in camera and microphone! Stereo speakers! Headphone jack! Motion control.

17:18 - Confirmed: Wii U hardware will support two separate Wii U gamepads.

17:18 - Now he’s talking about the Wii U’s “Unique social window [...] unlocked by the Wii U gamepad.” 

17:17 - Reggie’s plugging the Nintendo Facebook and Twitter pages. Boring.

17:16 - The Wii U does three core things: “It changes your gaming. It changes how you interact with your gaming friends. It changes the way you enjoy your TV.” Confirmed Netflix, Hulu, youtube, Amazon Video for the Wii U. Black console and controller shown on screen.

17:15 - “We started by showing you a game because that’s what most important.” 23 Wii U titles on stage today he confirms. Better get on with it then, unless he means 3 games and some soulless montages.

17:14 - Reggie Fils-Aime takes to the stage. Stat time?

17:13 - Miyamoto hurls a plushy Pikmin into the crowd.

17:09 - We’ve moved on to Pikmin 3. Destructible environments! Sort of. It looks good in HD. Lots of footage of Pikmin breaking things. The Wii U controller is used to get an overhead view of the map, although you can solely use it to control Pikmin supposedly. Control up to four leaders. Miyamoto’s playing up the HD and the new controls.

17:08 - Looks snazzy in black.

17:07 - Miyamoto’s holding a black Wii U tablet controller. He’s playing up the importance of the second screen.

17:05 - “Today I intend to talk about Pikmin, but lately I’ve had this strange sense that maybe Pikin are all around.” They’re interspersing Pikmin into live footage on the screens around. Tehe. Games please.

17:04 - And we’re off. Pikmin are teaching Sam Fisher a thing or two about being surreptitious by sneaking into Miyamoto’s dressing room. And here he comes on stage. Wild cheers.

17:03 - Geoff Keighley just said Nintendo changed the way we play games with the Wii. Speak for yourself buddy.

17:01 - We’ll also no doubt be subjected to insipid waffle about how great the Wii was, how much money Nintendo has etcetera etcetera. 

16:58 - Nintendo, of course, have already spoken at some length about the Wii U, bucking E3 trends and getting in the PrE3 spirit by broadcasting a 30-minute youtube video on Sunday in which Iwata delved into the hardware side of things. Tad dreary, mind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AkPdAWfFjI

16:56 - We’ll surely be seeing some games that demonstrate the Wii U’s ability to render grey and black, as well as primary colours. Reckon Aliens: Colonial Marines is a certainty. Perhaps Batman: Arkham City (but I hope not, rather Nintendo were looking to the future.)

16:54 - No talk of price either, apparently.

16:52 - So no 3DS announcements, no talk of hardware, just Wii U games from Nintendo; the only company here with a confirmed next-gen console. 

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