Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at the Kodak Theater will be forever marked as the day Nintendo took over Hollywood.
Nintendo held what I would like to call an inspiring news conference, impressing upon the hundreds of press attendees, the marvels of their Next-Gen platform, Revolution (or the newly coined, Wii).
Sparing no expense, they took full use of the big screen, gleefully showing off some of their hot upcoming titles. They pulled out all the big wigs from George Harrison, Sr. VP of Marketing and Corporate relations to Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo.
The show starts off with a bang with the first ever Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princes for the new Wii system. I can't wait to get my hands on this absolutely gorgeous looking title which we're told will be available on the show floor in the upcoming days. It will be one of the first games ever to feature free hand control of in-game characters. Nintendo plans on launching two versions of this title, one for the GameCube and the other for the Wii system utilizing the new control mechanics, on the same day as the Wii's debut. That is pretty impressive all things considered.
Among the other noted titles, will be Metroid Prime 3 Corruption, Excite Truck, and of course we can't have a new Nintendo system without Mario. The magic does not stop there. Satoru Iwata, describes his goals for bridging the gap between non gamers and experience gamers. The main goal of the company is the expansion of the total number of people that play games. According to Iwata, they are two types of consumers, those who once played games and have lost interest and those who have never played games before. The logical solution, according to Iwata, is to reinvent the relationship between the player and the game. The new Wii control system will be his first step in bridging that gap by offering a far less complex and more intuitive control system that a novice can easily user.
Another way to bridge that gap according to Iwata to provide a very powerful, yet intuitive console such that even in it's "off" state it will still perform basic functions. He describes it as like having a new system every day. Since the system will always remain connected to the net, it's quite conceivable that developers/programmers will be able to constantly push new content to Wii consumers. This is an innovation that Nintendo has never had before. Will they be able to pull it off? Only time will tell.
Now anyone that says playing games takes away from actual physical exercise might be proven wrong with the innovation of the Wii control system. As many of you know AOL and Nintendo teamed up in a sweepstakes to find the one person in the U.S that would be the first ever to play Wii system during this year's E3 proceedings. But nothing is done quite that simply. At the outset of the Nintendo briefing there were three finalists selected of which the one would be selected from.
Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and Zelda games alike, stepped on stage and attempts to play a tennis match using the new Wii controller. After loosing the first game, he announces that he could use some help and then announces the winner of the sweep stakes, Scott Diyar (not sure of the spelling here). With two other opposing members of Nintendo, the game began with Shigeru San serving first. If you've ever seen or played tennis and watched how they serve and volley, be prepared to perform the same motions. Use the Wii controller as a tennis racket. Every motion/movement with the controller results in a direct properly interpreted tennis movement of the racket. You'll be running, volleying, serving, adding top spin, etc.
So does Nintendo Wii have the magic formula in this Next-Gen battle? Is the future of the gaming experience, inclusion and not exclusion? Nintendo seems to think so, but it's you the consumer who will determine whether they are right or wrong.