| |

Nintendo E3 2006 Press Conference

Sony unveiled the PlayStation 3’s launch plans last night and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 press conference will be in little over an hour. Nintendo used today’s press conference to answer some questions. They left a few loose ends open last fall at the TGS and many remain open after today’s press conference. No date or price were given to the media other than to say that the Wii will be released in the fourth quarter of 2006, something we all already knew.

The press event started with Miyamoto coming out on-stage wearing a tux, orchestrating Zelda music with the Revolution controller. As Reggie let slip out a few days before E3, Nintendo has a new racing game prepared to launch with the Revolution controller. They used it playing sideways and control drifting/landing with the unique nature of the Revolution motion-sensing technology. Wii Connect 24 allows updates to be received in “standby” while you’re away from the console without using much power. Also worth mentioning is the Wii is the final name, despite persistent rumors that it may change at E3.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

Many games were put on display, including Wii Sports (golf, tennis, baseball), Excite Truck (the racing game I mentioned), Disaster, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Super Mario Galaxy, table tennis, Wario Ware, Red Steel, Zelda Twilight Princess (fishing, shooting using the Revolution controller), Fire Emblem, SD Gundam, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, Super Swing Golf, Sonic, Project Hammer, Madden and Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. They showed a demo of the tennis game with Reggie, Iwata, Miyamoto and the winner of the contest playing each other on-stage.

One development that Nintendo fans will be pleased to learn is that Zelda: Twilight Princess will be available on launch day for the Wii. Zelda: Twilight Princess will come in two versions: one for Wii and the other for GameCube. A speaker is built into the Wii controller, allowing for sound feedback, such as pulling an arrow back and releasing. The nunchuck controller allows for independent motion-sensing capabilities of the Wii remote.

Another game of high importance to Nintendo is Ubisoft’s Red Steel. Red Steel is a FPS that takes place in America and Japan, being developed in Paris. You can hold your gun any way you want, regular or ganster-style. The gun and katana are controlled by the Wii controller’s motion-sensing. AI in the game will respond to the situation, acting differently if one of their comrades is killed and they may submit to you and take commands.

On the DS front, over 16 million Nintendo DS units have been sold worldwide to date. Sony announced at last night’s press conference that 17 million PSP’s have been shipped worldwide (not sold) and Nintendo claims that, according to independent sources, the PSP has sold millions fewer than the DS. 6 million Nintendogs copies have sold worldwide and over 1.3 million users so far have logged on to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for their DS. Yoshi’s Island 2, Diddy Kong Racing (multi-player Wi-Fi), Star Fox, Final Fantasy 3 coming to DS with 3D graphics, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam (WiFi Connect; VoiP support), Mario Hoops 3-on-3 and Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.