Nintendo E3 2009 Press Conference

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Nintendo’s E3 press conference was held on Monday, June 1, 2009. While it has taken a week to get around to writing about it (I was extremely busy all week), we finally have an in-depth recap of what happened at the show. The theme of Nintendo’s press conference was “Everyone’s Game”. It featured Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime and Nintendo of America Executive VP of Sales and Marketing Cammie Dunaway.

The first game shown was New Super Mario Bros. Wii. It is launching in holiday 2009 and will feature up to 4 players for cooperative/competitive play. It will be the first such multi-player game in the franchise’s history. Read our full preview of New Super Mario Bros. Wii at this link.

Wii Fit has sold 15 million in the past 14 months. Nintendo announced that Wii Fit Plus will be released this year. The game will feature six new strength and yoga training modes, as well as 15 new balance games including juggling and skateboarding. Wii Fit Plus allows you to target specific body areas and keeps track of total calories that you burn. It will be available in fall 2009 as standalone software and a bundle with the balance board.

Wii MotionPlus was a major focus of the press conference. Clearly the company is pushing the add-on peripheral that connects to the bottom of a Wii Remote for $25. Several weeks ago it was announced that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 would launch with a Wii MotionPlus bundle for $60. Also shown were EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis and Virtua Tennis 2009, which are both launching with Wii MotionPlus support. Nintendo announced that Red Steel 2 would be playable only with Wii MotionPlus control.

Wii Sports Resort launches on July 26, 2009. It detects the position and angle of your Wii Remote. The demo of the game was a skydiving mini-game that uses the Wii Remote and tilting to control formation. Another mini-game was archery, which uses the Wii MotionPlus to aim with a bow and arrow. They also demoed a three point shot basketball mini-game.

The company announced that the Nintendo DS install base has exceeded 100 million units. Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story will be available this fall for Nintendo DS. Golden Sun will be coming in 2010 for the Nintendo DS. Ubisoft is also bringing a GTA-like open world shooter to DS known as Cop: The Recruit.

Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo, took the stage near the end of the show. Nintendo breaks gamers into three groups: Active/Never/Maybe. According to Iwata, Nintendo took a survey to find that there are 295 million people in Japan, U.S. and Europe that actively play games. 149 million people “might” get involved in gaming – or 1 player for every 2 gamers. Nintendo is still focused on bringing in new gamers, although Iwata says that he wants to satisfy the hardcore gamer.

In order to do that Nintendo announced Super Mario Galaxy 2, a new Metroid and Zelda for Wii. Team Ninja is teaming up with Nintendo to bring a new Metroid game to Wii titled Metroid: Other M. It mixes 3rd person with 1st person and will be released in 2010. From third parties The Conduit is coming to Wii in June, Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles in 2010 and
Dead Space Extraction will answer questions left unanswered in the first game this fall on Wii.