The Nintendo E3 2012 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) press conference mostly highlighted Nintendo's upcoming games in a painfully scripted presentation. Mostly. Somewhat. Nintendo's Satoru Iwata had already detailed the next generation Wii U, accessories and Miiverse with a pre-E3 reveal on Sunday.
HuffPost Tech's Jason Gilbert believes that Microsoft still owns the livingroom with the Xbox360 and Kinect, but Nintendo would like a larger chunk of your living room attention, and they illustrated some of the ways they plan to get it during their E3 press conference.
Legendary game designer Shigero Miyamoto of Mario, Donky Kong, Zelda, Star Fox and Pikmin fame said of the new Wii, "In order for it to be a complete entertainment device, central to the living room, it had to be independent of the television." Miyamoto continued, "We wanted to make that (GamePad screen) the first thing people come to when they go into the living room."
How Nintendo intends to go about doing that is with the variety of functions, actions, social networking and multiplayer gameplay for Wii U, which is confirmed to release this holiday season. Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Amazon were also mentioned as attractions for the platform during the Nintendo press conference, but only as suggestions of what's to come until more details are released after E3.
Nintendo also announced the Wii U hardware will support two separate GamePads at the same time and will access Nintendo Land, a virtual Theme Park that a Wii U's player "Mii" avatar can visit and that features a variety of multiplayer mini-game type experiences to play with other Miis in Nintendo's cloud-based Miiverse network.
Wii Fit U will also be fighting for your living room attention, as announced in a video featuring two actors straight out of a stock image photo shoot or a Microsoft Kinect commercial. The Wii Fit U included a "Fit Meter" and "off TV play."
So what of the games? For better or worse, here's what was featured:
Pikmin 3 A notable feature of the latest Pikmin game is that a map of a Pikmin level is displayed on the GamePad screen to help plan out strategies and tap on various parts of the map. The last Pikmin game was released 10 years ago.
Super Mario Bros U
Super Mario Bros U is a return to the sidescrolling platform tradition that Mario practically invented.
LEGO: City Undercover
Basically GTA for the younger crowd or LEGO lovers. Free roaming around LEGO City solving crimes with the help of the GamePad.
A karaoke style singing game by the developers of DJ Hero.
A number of third-party Wii U titles also made an appearance during Tuesday's event, including the following:
Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition
The gameplay will be expanded with new features designed specifically for Wii U. Unlike other versions of this title, both Batman and Catwoman are fully playable characters.
Based on the popular mobile game Scribblenauts, the game lets you create just about anything you can think of and write as a word. You can also share your creations with other players and participate in a new multiplayer mode.
Ubisoft also stands to be a big player in the Wii U game library, as demonstrated by these new titles:
Just Dance 4
A dance crew took the stage with Wii Remotes while a "puppet master" used the GamePad to dictate what the dancers had to do in the new motion dance game Just Dance 4. We like the idea of a puppet master telling people to do The Chicken Dance.
Zombie U Zombie U probably got the biggest cheer of the crowd aside from LEGO City Undercover. In Zombie U it will "zombify" the player with the camera. The interactivity also looks pretty
More Ubisoft games announced for Wii U were Rabbids Land, Yourshape Fitness, Assassins Creed III, Rayman Legends, Sports Connection and The Avengers Battle For Earth.
3DS got a few mentions including a 2D Super Mario Bros to release on August 19. Paper Mario also comes to the 3DS with Paper Mario Sticker Star arriving this holiday season. Luigi's Mansion is back as well. There will be more on the 3DS this week, but still, many are wondering what the future holds for the troubled device.
Nintendo E3 Press Conference Verdict
Nintendo wants to focus on games. But wait! It also wants to be your all-in-one living room entertainment device. No, hold up! Wii U will also be your fitness center. Stop, stop, stop! It will actually be for hardcore gamers because it has a Pro Controller. Or more for those that like to play games on tablets because of the new GamePad controller. But it's also about the games. And, sure, there was a small showing of Nintendo originals that fans will undoubtably get excited about, but that leaves others to wonder what, exactly, the new Wii will be truly great at.
Correction Notice: In an earlier version of this article Shigero Miyamoto's name was misspelled. This has been corrected.
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