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E3 2011: The Wii U: Nintendo's Press Conference impressions
Posted on June 07, 2011 by

Nintendo said a lot of things during their press conference. Many of them left me scratching my head, but others gave me a sense of relief for Nintendo's future. And the biggest question was answered: the successor to the Wii will be called Wii U.

Nintendo started things off with a Zelda overload. Link's Awakening and a free version of the Four Swords are coming to the 3DS shop, Ocarina of Time 3D will be dropping next week, and Skyward Sword will be coming out in Holiday 2011. I kinda rolled my eyes at more remakes, but it's one of the three big franchises Nintendo has, so it's to be expected.

Keeping us teased about the new Wii, Nintendo moved on to the 3DS, showing off awesome titles like Mario Kart, Starfox 64 3DS, Luigi's Mansion 2, Kid Icarus Uprising, and Super Mario. Mario Kart now features gliders, underwater racing, and new cart customization. Kid Icarus Uprising is now shown to be a fully realized action adventure game, complete with multiplayer. This puts aside any fear of it being only on rails as some thought before.

Finally, we learn about the Wii U. Just like 2006, the name makes us all scratch our heads. Basically, Nintendo is shooting to not just make a console "not just for everyone, but for you." Confirming early rumors, the new console makes use of a controller with a touchscreen and motion controls. Think of it as an Ipad with a dpad, two analog sticks, along with face buttons and triggers.

Nintendo has confirmed that all the Wii accesories, like Nunchuks and Wiimotes will be compatible with the new system, which will save a lot of gamers heavily invested in the Wii a good chunk of money. No word on whether the software would be backwards compatible though.

For games, nothing has been confirmed, and the only things on the show floor today will be concepts. However, and the biggest news to me, was the revelation that a new Smash Bros is in development not only on the Wii U, but the 3DS as well.

It's the one thing that was on mind since the Wii U was rumored: "When's Smash 4 coming?" Melee was an amazing game that I love very much, and I was, or I guess still am, a tournament level player. Brawl was a huge disappointment in my eyes, so who knows if I can look forward to a new installment (I'll rant about my distaste for Brawl another day).

Finally, Nintendo finished off by showing off it's strong 3rd party support, one area Nintendo is famous for lacking in. Big titles like Arkham City, Ghost Recon, Assassin's Creed, along with developers like EA and Ubisoft all on board. They even got little bits of the CEOs of those big companies to speak their minds on what they thought of the Wii U.

All in all, a very strong show for Nintendo, especially with the new console on the way. While questions were answer, many new ones were raised, and I aim to find a few answers before E3 2011 is over.

-Kyle McClusky

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