Tuesday, June 2, 2009

E3: Nintendo press conference

Welcome back to E3, where we're getting set for Nintendo's press conference ... from the comfort of my home. Yes, just as I said yesterday, I'm not in Los Angeles where the action is. But, thanks to the magic of G4, I will be watching the press events live all day, and bringing them to you on this blog.

And after yesterday's bombshells, namely Microsoft's "Project Natal," the question today is whether Nintendo or Sony has anything up their sleeves to steal the show. Frankly, I'm shocked one company was able to keep the "Project Natal" technology under wraps before E3, so I doubt anyone else was developing something similar, but we'll see.

11 a.m.: And early on us TV viewers are already disappointed -- our hosts for the Nintendo event are Chris Hardwick, Blair Herter and that G4TV.com editor guy. Who needs any of these guys?

Speaking of which, what was up with Ubisoft last night hiring that guy from "The Soup" to be their host? The guy's not funny. And besides that, he spent the whole show distancing himself from us geeks by making it painfully obvious he didn't know what people on stage were talking about.

11:05: Steve Wiebe and WalterDay live from the G4 Studios! I just re-watching "The King of Kong" last night in preparation for today. Am I the only one hopeful for Steve? The man is sitting down at the machine... as G4 cuts away.

11:06: G4 takes a look at Nintendo's 2008-09 since last E3. Here's it in a nutshell: Lots of people are still buying Wiis. Lots of people are still buying DS. Lots of people inexplicablly bought the DSi. And because so many people own these systems, they're selling lots of games. Done!

11:09: Our hosts point out the obvious -- Last year Nintendo's big announcement was "Wii MotionPlus" ... and we're still waiting for it!

11:13: A demo of "DJ Hero" as we wait for Nintendo to step on stage. That's got to be the goofiest looking peripheral ever made.

11:18: Meanwhile, I am having a heck of a time trying to find where to watch Wiebe's streaming world record attempt online.

11:19: Nevermind, found it. They (finally) put a link on the main home page. Thank God, this "DJ Hero" stuff is putting me to sleep.

Wiebe is already over 100,000, by the way.

11:25: You know, watching Walter Day right now, and after watching his initial comments on Billy's importance to Twin Galaxies in the movie, I wonder how much of Walter's enthusiasm right now is genuine hope for Steve and how much of it is just him being backing the popular horse?

Still waiting for Nintendo to get going.

11:36: Meanwhile, Wiebe is incredible. He's like a machine. I never thought I would be so enthralled watching, essentially, the same levels over and over. The man's about to go over 200,000.

And on the big screen (my TV not computer), we're getting a hands on preview of "Silent Hill: Shattered Memories." Speaking of which, "Alan Wake" really looked awesome yesterday, huh?

11:46: Wieve just lost his first man after 257,000 points, victim of a bunch of fireballs holding him up too long.

Noon: I get the feeling G4 was not ready for Nintendo to take SOOOOO long to get going. For the last 20 minutes all we've talked about is how bad last year is and how we need some core-gamer games this year. We get it, change the record.

I would have fallen back to sleep if not for Wiebe's streaming game. He's over 366,000 right now after dying twice.

12:04: Finally, we're starting. Nintendo opens with another of those Godawful "look how happy all these people are while using our equipment" montages that filled last year's show.

Cabbie Dunaway opens the show. Remember her? The very soccer-mom looking woman that dominated last year's show with Reggie Fils-Aime taking a backseat? Well, it seems Nintendo is pandering to the soccer mom's again, at least to open.

12:07: Cabbie is saying Nintendo will be delivering tons of innovation today. More than Microsoft?

12:08: It's a Super Mario montage. How exciting.

12:09: "New Super Mario Bros." For Wii!

A-side-scrolling game in which you pay with friends on screen as a team. You can pickup and carry other players and throw them. As people die, they come back as you go, and there is a running number of lives for each player. You can play by yourself with drones. Plus, there are all new suits to help you explore.

As a retro-gaming lover, this is my bag. The graphics look a whole lot like "New Super Mario Bros." for DS.

That is the way to start off hot. Worldwide launch THIS Holiday season!

12:15: "WiiFit plus" ... which, right now just looks like it has more exercises and 15 new mini games. This doesn't exactly measure up to last night's Ubisoft "Your Shape," if that game's Webcam works properly. Still, the new mini games might make this more of a gamer-friendly title.

it will arrive this fall, as both a bundle and a separate game.

12:18: Hey, another "look how happy all these people are while using our equipment" montage!

12:19: Reggie!

12:21: "The Next advance in game control" is ...... "Wii MotionPlus." Umm... someone call Microsoft and ask them if that's true...

How pissed do you think Nintendo was yesterday, anyway?

And hey! It's another montage! This one shows people doing active things, only instead of shooting a bow or hitting a ball with a ping-pong paddle, they're using "Wii MotionPlus." Did they use the same one last year?

12:24: "WiiSports Resort" makes its return to E3, as our Miis go SkyDiving.

We also take a look at Archery and three-point shooting (which I've never been sooo nuts about basketball games on Wii)... both look like they work pretty well, though.

It launches on July 26. Even though EA will have the technology packaged together with games in a week.

12:33: "Red Steel 2" will be playable only with Wii MotionPlus ... which is good since the first one failed so hard.

12:34: A trailer is shown (Nintendo does that?) for "Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers." Reggie also shows an all-new trailer for DS's "Kingdom Hearts" game, out soon, "Kingdom Hearts: 358/2"

12:36: "Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story" is shown, in which the plumbers are ingested by the big man for a very "Inner-space" adventure.

Game is out this fall.

12:37: "Golden Sun DS" brings the old RPG franchise back. All-in-all these three RPGs should at least satiate hand-held RPG fans.

12:40: Cabbie is promoting "James Patterson's Women's Murder Club: Games of Passion" for DS. Soccer moms.

We're still waiting for more big news to pair with "New Super Mario Bros." and make this a successful presser, if you lost count.

12:41: "C.O.P.: The Recruit" is an open-world "gritty" game for the DS. Looks a whole lot like another "GTA" clone to me.

Wiebe is over 660,000 with no men to spare.

12:43: "Style Savvy" in which you run your own boutique on the DS. I know I'll be accessorizing at launch date!

I am hoping all this DS shovelware is just to throw us off the scent of the second huge Wii announcement still to come...

12:44: A DSi montage, showing what regular gamers on the street think! Surprise, surprise, they all love all the features!

12:47: "Flipnote Studio" DS animation game available this summer.

12:47: "Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again" is back, this time with the ability to create your own levels. Not too shabby. Available as a download for DSi through the online store on MONDAY.

12:49: "WarioWare DiY" for DS allows you to create "Microgames" and share them online.

12:50: Cabbie tells us you can upload DSi photos to Facebook this summer. I'm so sick of that site.

She sure is moving at a fast pace. Not really saying much, but moving fast.

12:51: "Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks" is mentioned. She says "Seeing is believing" ... Then they don't show off a new trailer or gameplay!!!

Instead, you guessed it, ANOTHER MONTAGE! What the hell Cabbie?

12:52: Satoru Iwata takes the stage. I love that guy. He should be in movies.

12:54: Iwata's long-winded introduction has my attention shifted back to Steve Wiebe, who is over 750,000.

1 p.m.: Iwata is finally getting somewhere... the "Wii Vitality Sensor."

The Wii can now take your pulse through a device you put on your finger. Yeah, this blows "Project Natal" away.

Iwata just said it's not long until there is a game to help us fall asleep. He just did that in the last 10 minutes. Man.

1:03: Cabbie's back and she's talking more Mario... ANOTHER 3D Mario Coming to Wii! And this time you can ride Yoshii!

A trailer is being shown for what seems to be "Super Mario Galaxy 2." We can only hope Wart is involved somehow.

Yup, that's the title. BANG.

1:05: Reggie seems to be wrapping things up... but its only been an hour...

Instead, Reggie is about to promote third-party games...

1:06: A trailer for Sega's "The Conduit." Looks like a fun little FPS, especially if it uses "MotionPlus."

1:07: A trailer for Capcom's "Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles."

1:08: "Dead Space Extraction" debuts a trailer. The game promises to give some answers "Exclusively on the Wii."

1:11: Nintendo is teaming with Team Ninja for a gorgeous looking new Wii game by the name of "Metroid: Other M." It will be out in 2010... which means either Holiday 2010 or pushed back to 2011, knowing Nintendo.

1:13: Reggie and company are all finished.

I've got to say, despite a couple of big games, that presentation was still a fail. "Metroid" is still a ways away, and so much time was spent on Wii MotionPlus, meaning that presentation came down to the two Mario games. I expected much more from Nintendo after such a lackluster 2008. Oh Well.

Meanwhile, Wiebe is up and over 910,000, the last 500,000 or so without dying. Check out the stream on G4TV.com if you haven't already, because the man is getting close. I'll be back here in a bit with the Sony press conference.

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