E3 2016: Nintendo press release roundup

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: E3 2016 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Pokemon Sun and Moon

As usual Nintendo eschewed a full press conference at today's E3 and instead went with a day-long livestream with their Treehouse localization team. They said earlier this year that E3 wouldn't have anything about the NX or other exciting developments and instead would focus on the new Zelda and Pokemon, and man they weren't kidding. The problem is that those two games were essentially all we got.

This is clearly a "cleaning out the fridge" year for Nintendo as they wrap up old projects and quietly move everything promising from the dying Wii U and 3DS over to their new platforms. We finally got the actual title for the new Zelda game--Breath of the Wild--and a positively massive amount of realt-time gameplay footage as the Treehouse staff were basically playing it all day long. It's nice to finally see a lot more of the game, especially with Aonuma and Miyamoto-san on hand to discuss development. That said, this is a game that has been delayed a total of two years now. My enthusiasm has long since dried up, so to me Breath of the Wild just looks like a Zelda-flavored mix of Far Cry and Skyrim. It's definitely the biggest Zelda in terms of sheer scope, but Nintendo has taken so long to catch up to industry trends in open world games that I have to wonder if there will be anything particularly special or compelling about this game.

Pokemon Sun and Moon is another title we've known about for ages. I'm showing my bias here but I've always had difficulty getting excited for any Pokemon game, and to me this looks like more of the same. The 4-player versus mode looks new but also pretty unbalanced; what's to stop 3 players from just ganging up on the 4th?

Outside of the two main showcase games we learned about Mario Party Star Rush for the 3DS, coming November 4th, and a handful of new Amiibo. Naturally the new Zelda game has 3 exclusive Amiibo but there are also new additions to the Super Mario line, specifically Princess Daisy and Waluigi. It's also about time that we got a regular Rosalina Amiibo, as the Smash Bros version was a Target exclusive that is still very difficult to find.

All-in-all this was a pretty lukewarm E3 from Nintendo. Not quite as bad as last year or the legendarily awful 2008 show, but anemic nonetheless. They just waited too long to show off Zelda and having very little else to show off made for a pretty flat presentation. I remember Nintendo's shows being like this toward the end of the GameCube's life and it's depressing to see it happening again. It's also the first year without the sadly departed Satoru Iwata's leadership, which must have been hard for the company. I hope NX really turns things around but at this point it looks like Nintendo is at a loss for direction.


June 14, 2016 18:00 UTC

Nintendo Gives Players Unprecedented Freedom of Adventure in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

E3 Also Marks the First Live Gameplay of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild represents the next great boundary-breaking adventure from Nintendo. The game marks a new pinnacle for the franchise, and today Nintendo gave the world its first look at the immense, living and breathing world of the Wii U version of the game at the E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles. The game challenges and surprises players at every turn, while giving them incredible freedom to explore the massive world found in this open-air adventure.

Nintendo's booth at E3 will immerse attendees in the world of the game. (Photo: Business Wire)

Nintendo's booth at E3 will immerse attendees in the world of the game. (Photo: Business Wire)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild breaks boundaries for the franchise and for games as a whole,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “Where you go, how you get there, the order in which you do it, and the items, weapons and approaches used to solve puzzles and defeat enemies are all up to you.”

Today Nintendo gave fans just a taste of how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes the franchise to new heights. Nintendo’s booth at E3 immerses attendees in the world of the game. As E3 attendees investigate Hyrule, they can explore the game any way they want because the world is so vast and players are not required to take a pre-determined path. This sense of freedom and vastness will truly come alive in the final game when the experience isn't limited by the restrictions of a show floor demo.

During a Nintendo Treehouse: Live demo, Nintendo showed that heroic Link needs to be resourceful as he explores his environment. It’s important for players to become familiar with their surroundings so they can find weapons or collect them from defeated enemies. Food helps Link sustain his hearts and can give him a temporary boost or ability that will sustain him.

The game breaks with some conventions from the series. For example, many of the minor enemies are no longer scattered randomly around the world, as many now live together in colonies.Link can climb towers and massive structures to get a bearing on his surroundings. He can even reach the top of mountains – any mountain he can see, he can climb. He can paraglide to lower areas or even use his shield to slide down a mountain. Link will travel across fields, through forests and to mountain peaks.

The game’s wild world surrounds Link, and he must pay attention to changes in climate, as a shift in weather or temperature can affect the environment and his ability to survive in it. A sudden downpour might douse a roaring campfire or a lightning storm might be attracted to Link’s metallic weapons. Players might need to bundle up with warmer clothes or change into something better suited to the desert heat.

More than 100 Shrines of Trials dot the landscape, waiting for players to discover and explore them in any order they want. As players work their way through the traps and puzzles inside, they’ll earn special items and other rewards that will help them on their adventure. Puzzles in the game often have multiple answers, and secrets can be found everywhere. Exploration and discovery are a huge part of the fun.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is scheduled to launch simultaneously for both the Wii U console and Nintendo’s next system, code-named NX, in 2017. The game also includes compatibility with amiibo, which are sold separately. Nintendo announced a new series of amiibo figures specific to the game that includes Link with a bow (“Archer”), Link on horseback (“Rider”), and a “Guardian” that is the first amiibo with flexible parts. The existing Wolf Link amiibo works with the game as well: When players tap a Wolf Link amiibo to the Wii U GamePad controller, Wolf Link will attack enemies on his own and help players to hunt. He has three hearts, unless players carry over save data from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. Wolf Link disappears when his hearts run out. Details can be found at http://e3.nintendo.com/amiibo/.

While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is clearly the star of Nintendo’s presence at E3, Nintendo Treehouse: Live also gave Pokémon fans something to go wild about this morning: the world premiere of live gameplay from Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, the seventh, and newest, era of the core Pokémon series. The games*, made for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, include new Pokémon, a new Pokédex, a new region and a new battle format to enhance the Pokémon experience in almost every way.

In the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon games, players embark on a new adventure as a Pokémon Trainer. They catch, battle and trade new Pokémon characters on the tropical islands of the Alola Region, which is comprised of four islands rich in natural beauty and an artificial island.

Players can choose from one of three new Partner Pokémon (Rowlet, Litten and Popplio) and discover the mystery behind the Legendary Pokémon (Solgaleo and Lunala).

Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon launch Nov. 18. More information on the games can be found at Pokemon.com/SunMoon, and a video showing today’s reveal can be found at YouTube.com/Pokemon.

Anyone who wants to keep tabs on Nintendo’s activities at E3 from afar can keep an eye on Nintendo Treehouse: Live at http://e3.nintendo.com, or on Nintendo’s YouTube or Twitch channels. The remainder of today’s show will be dedicated to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The final day of Nintendo Treehouse: Live begins at 10 a.m. PT on Wednesday, June 15, and will primarily offer a showcase of previously announced Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games, including Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (June 24), Monster Hunter Generations from Capcom (July 15), Paper Mario: Color Splash (Oct. 7) and Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (2016). Additionally, viewers will get their first look at a new Mario Party game for Nintendo 3DS that includes additions and changes to make it much more fast-paced and portable-friendly – players no longer have to wait for their turn, as everyone moves at once. Mario Party Star Rush launches Nov. 4.

Also on Nov. 4, Nintendo will launch new amiibo in the Super Mario series. The collection will feature the debut of amiibo figures for Daisy, Waluigi and Boo – and the Boo amiibo figure glows in the dark! The collection also introduces new poses for Wario, Rosalina, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong.

As a special treat for fans, Nintendo eShop is offering discounts of up to 40 percent for some of its most popular games between 11 a.m. PT on June 14 and 8:59 a.m. PT on June 21. Even better, My Nintendo members who have signed in, linked their Nintendo Network IDsand visited Nintendo eShop at least once before purchase get an extra 10 percent off the already-discounted price on select titles. Discounts have been applied to dozens of games, including multiple games in The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon series, as well as a number of Virtual Console games. For a full list of games, more information about the sale and the ability to purchase the games directly from the website, please visit http://e3.nintendo.com/sale.

My Nintendo members will find some new website missions related to The Legend of Zelda at https://my.nintendo.com/missions. For a limited time, My Nintendo members who sign in are challenged to explore Nintendo’s E3 website to find items that will earn them My Nintendo points.

To see details about all of Nintendo’s activities at E3, visit http://e3.nintendo.com.

Remember that Wii U and Nintendo 3DS feature parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu or http://www.nintendo.com/3ds.

*Games in 2D. Some areas also playable in 3D.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii U and Wiihome consoles, and Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS families of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo has sold more than 4.4 billion video games and more than 693 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, as well as the Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube and Wii systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at http://www.nintendo.com.

About Pokémon

The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible for brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 and today is one of the most popular children’s entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.