Nintendo’s E3 Press Conference Was Uncharacteristically Awesome

I’ll just come right out and say it. Nintendo kicked ass this year. Everyone’s ass. All over E3.

Nintendo’s E3 press conference yesterday was absolutely brilliant. And it’s about time. The last three years have been dire for the once-great company. Sure, sales have been through the roof, but the core gaming audience has just walked away disappointed again and again, trying to make a meal out of scraps. One strong title a year is not enough.

2010 marks a return to the Nintendo of old – the Nintendo that attracted mass audiences not because the games were geared towards grandma, but because they were so damn good.

Now before cries of fanboyism get started, let me mention that I don’t actually own a Wii. I own a DS, but I use it mainly for ‘Personal Trainer: Cooking’ and the occasional bout of old ‘Final Fantasy’ titles. I’ll take the SNES over almost any other console, but that hardly enters into the situation. Then again, based on Nintendo’s game lineup, it just might.

The press conference started out with the announcement of a new ‘Zelda’ game, which looks interesting, and will almost certainly sell like crazy. It finally does the whole motion sensing thing in the most intuitive way possible. The sword moves in the way you swing it. Normally, that would be it. One big announcement to make core gamers happy and then a bunch of stuff for mom and dad.

But not this year. It’s like Nintendo finally woke up and said, “Hey, let’s make our biggest fans happy.”

So we get ‘Donkey Kong Country Returns,’ which is a 2-D platformer in the style of the SNES ‘Donkey Kong Country.’ It looks amazing. It might be the reason (along with ‘New Super Mario Brothers’) that I finally shell out the cash for a Wii. It’s nice to see Nintendo going with its strengths.

Then the 3DS stole the show. It’s everything that we thought it would be and a bit more. The touch-sensitive bottom screen seems no different than usual, but the top screen adapts a wide aspect ratio, which should be a real benefit. There’s also a slider to adjust the depth of 3-D images from Off to Full. The key word here is depth. None of that popping out stuff – it’s all inward. At least for now.

The system wasn’t dated or priced. That will probably happen at the Tokyo Game Show. But we got to see a ton of games in development, and they weren’t just the kind of dreck that the DS launched with. There are revisits to classic titles like ‘PilotWings,’ ‘Mario Kart,’ ‘Star Fox 64,’ and even some exciting third party stuff.

And the game that’s been rumored for years now finally got announced. There’s a new ‘Kid Icarus’ on the way. Did I like the old ‘Kid Icarus’ game? No, I didn’t. But this is far different than the NES classic and I’m willing to embrace it.

Microsoft’s press event was geared much more to the family audience than usual, which let Nintendo come in and win the core audience back. It’s safe to say that Nintendo succeeded in getting people excited.


  1. Turd Furgeson

    You left out an enormously important piece of information about the 3DS.

    It’s glasses-free 3D. That’s huge.

  2. Eric

    Hahahaha. Nintendo kick everyone’s ass? Come on! With what? Zelda: now with 20% more motion controls. It looks exactly the same as the last one but with motion controls that they couldn’t even get to work right during the presentation.

    The Donkey Kong looked worse then most XBL games graphics wise. For some one who has played all the SNES ones this looks like just a minor upgrade from those early SNES 3Dish graphics.

    Kid Icarus…..zzzzzzz. Come on did anyone really like the original one. The graphics look really blocky even for a hand held game and it showed nothing really exciting gameplay wise.

    I was falling asleep during this whole press conference until….

    Now the 3DS was the only really exciting thing shown at this whole press conference. But it was a very early prototype. My best guess is that we don’t see it in stores until Holiday 2011. Being glasses free is really cool though. But this does not equal to all those cool games that Microsoft and Sony announced plus all the cool new motion controller games in HD! and 3D.

    After looking at everything they announced I just don’t see how an early prototype Handheld system and a 2D SD Donkey Kong could even come close to kicking Micosoft’s or Sony’s press conferences ass. I think someone might be drinking the Nintendo cool-aid a little.

    • Albert Hsiung

      First of all, the broken motion controls were no fault of the hardware or programming. It was because there were like, a million Ir devices there and that upset the motion plus calibration. Secondly, are you some kind of HD fanboy? The only reasons you provided that the games microsoft and sony presented were better was that they were Hd and 3d. That is severely inadequate, considering that most of nintendo’s games were 3d and that those are established franchises with histories of being amazing. Also, a good amount of the other companies’s content were minigame collections, things frequently complained about on the wii.

  3. AlbertX

    I also believe that the Nintendo Press Conference this year was MUCH better than years before, and much better than Microsoft and Sony, I will put them in this order:


    For me every year Microsoft wins, but this year was ABISMAL, the worst E3 conference EVER. boring really boring.

    I am really Excited about the 3DS, the Wii not so much, but that Donkey Kong I would like to check it.

    The Zelda looks REAAAALLYYYY GOOOD.

    Microsoft Didnt show absolutely anything, NOTHING, ZERO, Natal has yet to prove me is worth.

    Sony move I dont find it that great either, but I like the idea better, is basically a wii Rip Off, and I also find it too expensive, but lets see.

    At least Sony showed Twisted Metal (I dont like it but is something).

    Even so, I find this E3 in general really lacking.

    • I dig the Xbox Slim, but aside from that, MSoft was a letdown as far as surprises go.

      I found Sony to be just as bad up until Twisted Metal. Motion control and 3D? Wake me up when there’s something to care about.

      Exclusive DLC may be good for the companies, but it’s annoying for the fans. Exclusive games are a pain in the ass too, but I guess I get it.

      For what it’s worth the dancing game for Kinect looked cool for folks that are into dancing. I played a lot of DDR with my sister, and I think this is just an extension of that. I could see that being a hit.

  4. that1guypctures

    I thoght Goldeneye for Wii, and Epic Mickey were incredibly cool announcements as well! Plus, if you haven’t bought a Wii, you didn’t mention my favorite title…Super Mario Galaxy 2. The first one was great, but the second one…is fantastic!

  5. Jane Morgan

    The Nintendo 3DS makes me sad. I was excited for it until they revealed the specs.

    3DS = 3.5″ 400×240 display.
    iPhone4 = 3.5″ 960×640 display.
    I’ll take HD over 3D any day.

    Only one analogue stick. Really? N64, GC, Wii. They all use dual analogue because it’s necessary for full control in 3D worlds. To only include one stick is an insult.

    Does the 3D camera on the back or the front camera record video? If it records 3D video, I might pick one up for amateur pornography, for the husband. If it’s photos only, I’ll skip it.

    No way I’ll let my young kids use a 3DS until science can prove that daily extended use has no long term consequences.

    I love mario, I love zelda, no other nintendo software interests me. Maybe if Bioware made an origional 3DS game, I would buy it for that.

    I guess I’ll wait for 2016, for the 3DS2.

    • Where was the second analog stick on the N64 controller? And to that point, where’s the second analog stick on the Wii? 🙂

      Dual analog for shooters – necessary. That’s why it’s so important for the PSP to finally get it going. Dual analog for Nintendo games? We’ll see. If Nintendo loads me up with 2D platformers (which I sincerely hope they do) then it’ll be a moot point anyway.