Every June, gamers prepare for the biggest gaming event of the year: the E3 Expo. Whether you’re a Nintendo fanboy, Microsoft fangirl, or Sony fandog, you’ll always be impressed by what you see. In this respect, this year’s expo was no different. There may have been less to announce, but there was definitely never a dull moment.
This is a Zelda site, so Microsoft and Sony get to move out of the spotlight today. This here is a roundup of all the Nintendo E3 info that you might have missed during the event. Had to work? Had to go to school? Don’t worry, we have it all here for you.
Hit the jump for all the Nintendo E3 info you could wish for!
Nintendo’s newest console, the Wii U was announced at last year’s E3 expo, with minimal details. All we knew was that the controller had a screen, and that it was going to transmit an HD video signal. This year, however, Nintendo made sure we knew what we’d be buying.
Nintendo put out a list of specifications for their new console.
- Weight: Approximately 3.41 pounds (1.5 kg)
- Size: 1.8 inches high, 10.5 inches deep and 6.8 inches long
- Video Output: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i
- Supports HDMI, Wii D-Terminal, Wii Component Video, Wii RGB, Wii S-Video Stereo AV and Wii AV
- AMD Radeon™-based High Definition GPU.
- Supports internal flash memory (SD memory cards and external USB storage)
- Supports Wii U and Wii optical discs
- Four USB 2.0 connectors (two rear, two front/support Wii LAN Adapters)
- Access to internet via IEEE 802.11b/g/n wireless
- Audio output: six-channel PCM linear output via HDMI connector or analog output via the AV Multi Out connector
Wii U GamePad
- 6.2-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD touch screen
- Traditional button controls and two analog sticks (clickable)
- TV CONTROL button
- Accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor
- Front-facing camera
- Stereo speakers
- Headphone jack
- Accessory port
- Rumble features
- Sensor bar
- Included stylus
- Support for Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality
- Weight: 1.1 pounds (500 g)
- Runs on rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Battery Life: 5 hours max, 2.5 hours for full charge
Now that we’re past all of the boring specs, let’s look at new additions to the console itself. For instance, the controllers! The following information is from the Nintendo Direct pre-E3 conference.
On the left is the new Wii U tablet controller, now named the Wii U GamePad. You can see the visible changes, like the camera, placement of the +, -, and home buttons, and more. What you cannot see, however, are that the analog sticks are indeed clickable, and that there is an NFC trigger button.
The controller on the right is the new Wii U Pro Controller. It’s laid out in the same way as the GamePad, but without the screen in the middle. The design is comparable to an XBOX controller, with both bumpers and triggers, clickable analogs, and 3 middle buttons (not counting the power one). The controller is reportedly comfortable to hold and up to 4 can be synced to a console at a time, meaning that these may be very important–possibly even necessary at the Wii U’s launch. Time will tell, it seems.
Also revealed in the Nintendo Direct pre-E3 stream was that in addition to the new controllers, the Wii U functions as a TV remote, may come in black, has a new and interactive hub, contains in-game help, includes in-game chat, introduces Miiverse, and has an Internet browser which works on both tablet and TV.
During the expo, Nintendo put out even more information on their new console. Miiverse, a new Wii U social network is one of the most important. This is comparable to the XBOX avatar system, where you have an avatar and connect with friends with that single avatar. In the Miiverse, you use your personalized Mii to see games, applications, or entertainment content that you have either interacted with recently, expressed interest in, or that your friends have used. Similar to the SNS system featured in Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy XIII-2, you can seamlessly pause your game or application and post a message to the Miiverse sharing your achievement.
Some other bits of information include that the Wii U GamePad has the ability to communicate wirelessly with objects that are held above it, allowing for a variety of interesting new possibilities for games and activities; that the digital storefront for Wii U will be available at launch and offer a variety of content for people to download and enjoy, consumers will also be able to purchase and download select games that are also available at retail stores; and that using the built-in camera of the Wii U GamePad, people can communicate with other Wii U owners in real time.
The Wii U has a lengthy list of planned games. Many of them are obscure games made by 3rd party developers, while others are the big fat franchises we’ve all come to love. Although Zelda was left out of the list this year, maybe soon Link will join us in 1080p.
You can find the complete list here, direct from Nintendo. Here’s some of the major games planned for the Wii U (quoted directly from Nintendo):
Nintendo Land is a fun and lively theme park filled with 12 different attractions, each with its own take on a Nintendo franchise. Each attraction features unique and innovative game-play experiences made possible by the Wii U GamePad controller. Depending on the attraction, players can compete solo or against other players, or even team up to play cooperatively. Up to five players can participate in dynamic multiplayer modes in select attractions.* The experiences change every time, depending on whether players are using the GamePad, holding a Wii Remote or just watching others play on the TV screen.
Nintendo Land is also the only game in E3 to have anything to do with Zelda, as you can see from the picture below. Battle Quest is a minigame within Nintendo Land where you fight against enemies with friends. More will be revealed on the minigame as time goes on.
New Super Mario Bros. U:
New Super Mario Bros. U is a new, side-scrolling adventure featuring Mario, Luigi, Toad … and your Mii character! Now’s your chance to step inside the Mushroom Kingdom and explore new worlds, new power-ups and new ways to play.
Pikmin 3 is a fully reimagined, mass-action strategy title from the critically acclaimed Pikmin series. Players will discover a beautiful world filled with strange creatures and take command of a swarm of ant-like Pikmin trying to survive. The world is densely packed with treasures and enemies, which makes the game much more action focused and fills it with layers of potential strategies and paths, adding greater replayability to challenge modes.
Wii Fit U:
Discover fun, new ways to get up and get moving as the Wii Fitseries comes to the Wii U home console. The game features favorite exercises from Wii Fit Plus as well as new exercises that incorporate the Wii U GamePad controller in select activities. The game also comes packaged with a small peripheral device called the Fit Meter, which is designed to track your daily activity.
Assassin’s Creed III:
Experience the hidden truth behind one of history’s most influential wars: the American Revolution. Unleash lethal new skills and weapons, and experience a stunningly realistic world created by Anvil Next, a new engine that redefines gaming. Welcome to an entirely new chapter in the Assassin’s unforgettable saga! (viewer discretion is advised for video trailer)
Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition:
Developed by WB Games Montreal, Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition is the enhanced version of the award-winning blockbuster videogame created by Rocksteady Studios. The Wii U version delivers the same impactful story and gameplay as the original title, this time with enhanced gameplay mechanics and features made possible with the Wii U and the new controller. (viewer discretion is advised for video trailer)
Rayman, Globox, and the Teensies are off wandering through an enchanted forest when they discover a mysterious tent filled with a series of captivating paintings. As they look more closely, they notice each painting seems to tell the story of a mythical world. While focusing on a painting that shows a medieval land, they are suddenly sucked into the painting, entering the world, and the adventure begins. The gang must run, jump and fight their way through each world to save the day and discover the secrets of every legendary painting.
The Nintendo 3DS has been around for a little over a year now, so no new models and such were announced at this year’s expo. There were a few rumors of a new model floating around after the Japanese Amazon store removed the 3DS from it’s stock, planning to restock only a day before E3, but they proved to be false after the event came to a close.
So what was there of the 3DS to even see? Games, of course–and lots of ‘em!
New Super Mario Bros. 2:
Bowser has once again kidnapped Princess Peach, but this time, Mario has another objective. The Mushroom Kingdom is bursting with more gold coins than before. Each level is littered with gold as coins rain down from overhead pipes, trails of coins are left behind special gold enemies and gold pipes transport Mario into coin-filled caverns. It’s up to players to collect as many coins as possible throughout their adventure.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
The new Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon gives players multiple mansions to explore, a variety of puzzles to solve and new ghosts to capture. Armed with the Poltergust 5000, a ghost-sucking, vacuum-like invention, Luigi must complete a number of missions assigned to him by Professor E. Gadd.
Heroes of Ruin:
War raged for over a hundred years until strong, powerful Lords emerged from the fighting to bring a fragile peace to the land. This peace is threatened when one of the Lords, Ataraxis, ruler of the city of Nexus, is taken ill by a deadly curse. A call is sent out, promising rewards beyond measure for anyone who finds a cure.
Four mercenaries, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and motivations answer the call. One uses forbidden spells to rain death on her foes, one has guns and bombs to blast his way through, another has a mighty sword capable of slicing through entire packs of enemies, and one other gains strength from savagely tearing through anything that stands in his way with brutal, bladed fists.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star:
On the day of the annual Sticker Fest, Bowser decides to pull a prank and scatters six Royal Stickers across the land. To retrieve these mysterious, magical stickers, which are now stuck onto Bowser and his underlings, Mario sets off on an adventure with Kersti, a sticker fairy, visiting prairies, deserts, forests, snowy mountains and volcanoes around the world.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Mirror of Fate:
Initially set 25 years after the events of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Mirror of Fate will reveal the story of Gabriel’s descendants, as they battle their own destiny in each era only to discover their true, shocking fate.
Trevor Belmont, a knight of the Brotherhood of Light sets out to avenge the death of his mother, at the hands of his own father, who has now returned from years of exile to take up residence in a mysterious castle. What was once Gabriel Belmont now stands a powerful vampire called Dracula. Dracula has declared war upon the Brotherhood and thus the scene is set for a cataclysmic showdown between Father and Son!
Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]:
In preparation for an impending threat, Sora and Riku enter the Sleeping Worlds to take the Mark of Mastery exam. They will face new enemies and make new friends in worlds they’ve never set foot in. If they can successfully unlock seven Sleeping Keyholes and return to their world, they will retrieve a great power and be deemed true Keyblade Masters.
Transformers Prime – The Game:
Scribblenauts, the best-selling, award-winning puzzle game franchise that challenged players to imagine anything and bring it to life, is back with Scribblenauts Unlimited for the Nintendo 3DS, featuring more expansive gameplay and setting no limits on how the player uses his or her imagination within the game.
Created and developed by 5TH Cell, Scribblenauts Unlimited features a huge side-scrolling open world with new, high-definition hand-drawn scenery and objects where players can help the game’s hero, Maxwell, solve robust puzzles and challenges by summoning any object they can imagine. Players can leverage the Nintendo 3DS’ Street Pass functionality to see all of the creative puzzle solutions by other players in the area. And for the first time, learn the backstory about Maxwell’s parents, his twin sister Lily, and how he got his magical notepad.
ZU was at E3 once again, this time making video blogs to watch. We’ve got all of them so far posted below, and will continue to add them as they are posted on the ZU YouTube channel.
This concludes this year’s E3 roundup here on ZU. Feel we missed anything? Please, tell us in the comments or email caleb [at] zeldauniverse [dot] net and we’ll be sure to add it!
Check back next June for 2013′s E3 roundup!