Nintendo's press event today in Los Angeles felt like a return to an E3 conference past, with the company steering clear of stats about new gamers and the mainstream demographic, and instead talking up new games and new technology. It's been a while since a brand new hardware reveal at E3 and the crowd was pumped for it.
Reggie Fils-Aime was right to admit handheld 3D isn't something you can show of easily at a conference, so after poking fun at themselves with a trailer, the roll-out of 100-odd dolly birds holding the 3DS, and inviting the attending crowd to get face time with the tech, was a very smart move. There were digs at Sony's 3D plans and the uncomfortable idea of wearing glasses, but any cockiness was justified when Nintendo revealed the calibre of talent supporting the system, and the extra bonus of 3D movie support.
"The initial investment there is going to run into the thousands," said Fils-Aime of home 3D entertainment. "And there's nothing to watch in 3D. But most of all it's the glasses. Nobody said it was going to be easy, but we think there's a better way," he said, promising "ample game content" available on the 3DS launch day.
Kid Icarus was revealed as the first-party game built specifically for 3DS, but Nintendo went out its way to include third-party partners in a developer show reel. Kojima talked up the tech and is creating something Metal Gear Solid related, Inafune a Resident Evil game. Ubisoft, Activision, Keoi Tecmo, Warner Bros, Square Enix, THQ and Vicarious Visions all on board, as are others.
Nintendo wasn't shy when it came to new games either, with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the odd cross-stitch influenced Kirby's Epic Yarn, Activision's remake of GoldenEye, Mario Sports Mix, Wii Party and Donkey Kong Country Returns all receiving suitable amounts of whooping and hollering from the crowd.
Last year Nintendo had a muted E3 conference, with the Vitality Sensor being openly mocked (no sign of that today, interestingly) and an attitude from the core crowd that they had been abandoned by the company they've been so loyal to. Today's conference was very positive, and from my first day on the show floor, it's becoming clear that a lot of good will and love has returned for Nintendo.