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Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry

8th July 2021

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Nintendo Press Conference: Highlights

Product announcements and hardware reveals from the Wii and DS manufacturer's showcase event

It's a bit odd nowadays to see Nintendo's E3 press conference as sandwiched between Microsoft and Sony, because its market position and philosophy is anything but... However, the company still has things to say to its hardcore consumers, and the presence on-stage of Cammie Dunaway, Reggie Fils-Aime and Satoru Iwata brought a smattering of new announcements - and some philosophy on the next steps for the company too.

Games - Wii

NSMB

New Super Mario Bros Wii will feature 4-player co-op

The main headline news, of course, revolved around the reveal of not one, but two Mario titles for the Wii. The first, New Super Mario Bros Wii is a remake of the hugely popular DS title, but introducing four-player co-op and compatibility with the Wiimote.

That game will be out in time for Christmas, while the second title - which was unexpected - was Super Mario Galaxy 2, also for the Wii.

The mention of a new Metroid game was also a surprise for most, as was the idea that Nintendo would itself be working on a "mature" title. Called Metroid: Other M, it will be a collaboration with Team Ninja, and is set for release some time in 2010.

The next edition of Wii Fit was also shown - Wii Fit Plus will allow users to choose from six different activities, covering strength, tone and conditioning, and you'll be able to mix up things up at will. That will be released towards the end of this year, both as a standalone disc and bundled with the Balance Board.

Other products also mentioned in the stage show included Final Fantasy: Crystal Bearers, The Conduit, Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles and Dead Space Extraction.

Hardware - Wii Motion Plus

While the Motion Plus is hardly a revelation in itself (after all, it's released this month), there was a little more light shed on its capabilities, with a stage show demonstration of a couple of games from forthcoming Wii Sports Resort.

Shooting hoops in basketball and an archery demo both displayed the improved accuracy of the Motion Plus over the original Wiimote, while Red Steel 2 was announced as only being compatible with the new controller technology.

Games - DS

mario

Mario and Luigi battle it out, inside Bowser...

There were a number of new titles announced for the DS during the press conference, although none of them hit quite the same highs as the Mario or Metroid Wii reveals.

Mario did make another appearance, however, this time in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, while new Golden Sun and Kingdom Hearts titles were also announced.

One of the new games that saw gameplay presented was Cop: The Recruit from Ubisoft - a sort of Pheonix Wright-meets-Chinatown Wars, with combat, racing and a bit of puzzling by the looks of things.

A link up with best-selling author James Patterson was discussed, alongside the forthcoming title Women's Murder Club: Games of Passion, while Style Savvy is a fashion game aimed squarely at the girls' market that's been popular in Japan already.

Games - DSi

After the revelation that the DSi has now sold 1 million units in the US, to go alongside a virtually identical announcement for Europe from earlier in the day, a few DSi-specific pieces of software were unveiled.

dsi

Who doubted it would sell well? Honestly?

Flip Notes Studio, the movie-making application, will be available in the US in the summer - although no word of a European release as yet - while Nintendo's attempt at providing tools for user-gen content were also revealed.

Mario vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again will feature a level builder, while WarioWare DIY goes one step further, and will allow users to create entire games from scratch.

Elsewhere the handheld is going to allow the upload of photos, taken with the DSi's camera, to be uploaded to Facebook - along with the option of a little bit of graffiti on them as well.

Hardware - Wii Vitality Sensor

Company president and fans' favourite Satoru Iwata took to the stage halfway through proceedings to talk a bit of philosophy about where Nintendo is looking for its next step in complete world domination, before unveiling a curious piece of kit - the Wii Vitality Sensor.

He began by talking about the global population, and how the company splits it into three sections: those who actively play games, those who say they will never play and those who say they might some day - with the 'maybe' group the most likely to grow the gaming audience (as, you'd argue, they did with the Wii).

wvs2

The Vitality Sensor, to measure... vitality?

He estimated that while there are currently about 295 million people playing games today, there are 149 million more people to mine: "We have been able to erase the viewpoint that those who never played games in the past will never play them in the future," he explained. "Our next goal is to create individual titles which satisfy every type of game player."

So while Brain Training was about the brain and Wii Fit about the body, the previously unannounced Wii Vitality Sensor was presented, looking a lot like the little white box that they clip onto your finger in hospital to measure your blood pressure, pulse, and so on.

In fact, it looks a lot like one of those, because that's what it seems to actually be - Iwata-san explains: "The WVS intends to help you see the information relating to the inner world of your body. People would be able to use the product we are developing with this to aid greater relaxation. Maybe everyone under pressure could use this as a way to relax with a videogame."

He ended by noting that while games have traditionally been developed to excite and stimulate, "in the future they may be used to make you relax and even fall asleep." Once, the world might have scoffed at such a notion, but post Wii Sports, Wii Fit and Brain Training, nobody would be quite so brave just yet.

Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry

8th July 2021

Submit your company

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