Going into the Nintendo press conference I really didn’t know what to expect. Would we the rumored Nintendo hard drive? Would Nintendo introduce some new games that might make me want to dust off my Wii (outside of Mario and Metroid?). I got the chance to sit next to Cyril for the press conference and it was nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and have a running commentary for the show (John was busy talking to Square Enix and Codemasters)
The press conference started with Nintendo doing a great job of patting themselves on the back about the success of the Wii and the DS. Intermixed with shots of local news reports, Youtube videos, were screenshots from various blogs about how awesome the Wii is. I’m not sure that Wiifanboy is a source of objective perspective on the Wii but it was nice to see the Destructoid guys getting some love.
After the montage of self gratification Reggie came out and walked through some fun statistics about Nintendo’s impact on the market and to talk about how happy he is. To sum it up Nintendo is pretty much kicking market share ass in a number of ways. They are growing the gamer market by appealing to and older demographic and to female gamers (1/3 of all DS’s are bought by women).
After going through the stats Reggie whipped out the new Nintendo Zapper which will be a great tool for those who love first person shooters. Nintendo priced it right at $19.99 but the value will depend on what game they ship with the controller. The design of the zapper is pretty cool with the Wii remote sitting on top of the controller and the nunchuk sitting in the handle. It looks like you route the nunchuck wire through the handle but I’m not 100% sure on that. Nintendo will be shipping something with the Zapper but were kind of vague on what will ship with it. They did announce that Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles, Medal of Honor: Airborne will support the zapper as well as the upcoming ports of some old Sega Light games. I’m not sure if this means we are going to see a huge run of rail shooters or not but the controller does look pretty cool.
Reggie then showed off Soul Calibur: Legends which is a new take on franchise and then Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword for the DS as well as the new Dragon Quest game for the DS. We also got a final date on Super Smash Bros Brawl which will be out on December 3rd.
Up next was a demonstration of Legend of Zelda:Phantom Hour Glass and Metroid 3: Corruption both of which looked good. No dates for either title but the games should be worth the wait.
After sitting through some more DS fun we got an update on the whole Nintendo internet thing and it turns out that players will finally be able to play to head against each other in both Madden 08 and FIFA 08 which is nice. Also supporting multiplayer is Mario Kart Wii which will ship at some point in the future with the upcoming Wii Wheel. The wheel looks cool but it’s something that’s already been done in the market. No information was unveiled about the number of players the game will support online at one time but the game does look like fun.
Miyamoto was up next and he demonstrated WiiFit a new fitness game for the Wii. The game will utilize a new controller that you stand on. The balance board measures where you are leaning on the board and has some other senses. The collection of mini-games has a lot of potential and should make losing weight a little more enjoyable. They showed off a DDR like mini-game, a soccer mini-game where you have to try and head balls as they are fired at your head (there’s a Paris Hilton joke here but I’m not going to take it) as well as some general exercise games. The game is based around your BMI indicator which isn’t exactly the best way to see if a person has a healthy weight or not. Hopefully there will be other alternatives by the time the game ships.
Despite the few major announcements I had kind of a “meh” reaction to the Nintendo press conference. I had heard that Reggie was a great speaker but for the most part he read from a script that was comprised of PR catch phrases. The over reliance on stat laden slides was also a bit annoying and it would have been nice to have seen more game play footage. We get that Nintendo is doing well but we don’t need 45 minutes of pie charts to prove it.