A flashy video opener starts the show. Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fil-Aimes takes the stage and trumpets the huge success of the Wii in Japan and the US, calling the console a victory for all of gaming.
Reggie calls the DS Lite the "beacon" for all of gaming, given its success among females and older games. As Reggie says, "that's a lot of soccer moms." Booyah!
Reggie lashes out at those competitors who call the Wii a "fad," saying, that if he were in their shoes, he'd say the exact same thing. He also says that the Wii is on track to be the leader in the "current" console generation -- something Microsoft also said in their briefing last night.
Fil-Aimes announces what we've all guessed at: The Wii Zapper. The Zapper will be packaged with games such as Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles. It'll cost $19.99 on its own, apparently; it's just a plastic frame for your existing Wii Remote.
Super Smash Brothers Brawl has officially been slated for a December 3rd release in North America. w00t!
Some guys show off Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on the DS. One demonstrator says it's his favorite Zelda game. Looks pretty good, with plenty of touch-sensitive controls and slick 3D graphics.
Some new footage of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Sounds like a sales pitch; presenters praise the simplicity of the controls (lock-on targeting but you can still look anywhere). They say it'll be the best first-person shooter this fall. Better than Halo 3? We shall see, Reggie...
Reggie: What if Nintendo was an online game leader and nobody knew it? He goes on to talk about the 5 million+ players using online DS gameplay. Hmmm... Reggie also talks up WiiWare, Nintendo's downloadable content that small developers can use to easily create games.
New Mii feature: "Check Mii Out." You can search through the most popular Miis online, contests based on making accurate celebrity re-creations, and take home your favorite Miis.
Wait! Reggie: "Will Nintendo ever get serious about REAL online gaming?" I don't know, Reggie, why don't you explain more? Oh, wait -- he's talking about Pokemon. And Mario Strikers Charged for Wii (a great game, btw) that will have online play. So far, between Pokemon and Strikers Charged, Wii has just two online titles. That could change if Nintendo drops the bomb...
Observation: Reggie is a relatively stiff public speaker.
Oh, wait! Reggie says that Mario Kart Wii will be an online game in "first quarter 2008." That's good! New steering wheel attachment, which you snap the Wii Remote into. Not a big deal, really.
Saturo Iwata, Nintendo's president, takes the stage.
Nothing important yet...but Iwata just said Miyamoto will be out shortly to show off something NEW. What could it be?
Oh great -- more folksy testimonials from real-life Wii owners. Business folks eat this stuff up, but gamers...not so much. Mario Kart Wii looks cool, but let's hope Nintendo shows off some cool new games today and doesn't just fire off a relentless barrage of marketing spin. So far, not so good...of course, Nintendo can rest on their laurels all they want -- they've got a huge lead.
OOH: Super Mario Galaxy. Reggie says it's the "first worthy successor to Mario 64." But what about Mario Sunshine, Reggie?!? They show off a new BUMBLEBEE SUIT for Mario. Cool! Hold the phone: NOVEMBER 12th RELEASE FOR SUPER MARIO GALAXY.
High School Musical is coming to the Wii. Yeah, we know you're stoked. Something about EA's My Sims as well, coming to DS and Wii. Raving Rabbids 2...yeah, yeah, we know all of this already. Drop us a bomb, Nintendo!
The consensus among the GamePro editors is that Nintendo can't possibly end this briefing on such an anticlimactic note. Something big must be coming for the end...right?
Hmmm...Wii Fit is announced, and includes a new peripheral: a pressure pad you stand on and interact with. Looks like an excercise game for Wii. I see pushups, jogging...yoga??? Hoola hoops (multi-hoops!), soccer goalie practice (move your head to deflect the ball), casual dancing (simple on-screen prompts). Yoga looks interesting...
Miyamoto takes the stage to predictably thunderous applause. He's got something new...oh, it's Wii Fit. Well, it'll play well in Middle America. Looks kind of cool, actually -- could be a good way to attract fitness-conscious types (your mom) and folks who are scared of gaming (um, your mom). Girlfriends and the elderly will also apply here. But it could be a good way for any gamer to shed a few pounds, and Vicious Sid will attest that yoga is an excellent way to reduce stress. Still, Wii Fit ain't the earthshaker we'd hoped for. Nintendo's still got time to blow everyone away, though...
So that Wii Fit pad you stand on: it's called the "Wii Balance Board." Okay...Reggie's up their demonstrating it. Looks like it doubles as a scale, too, for weight measurement. It also shows your center of gravity in real time. Apparently it will track your various data and create graphs and charts for your reference. Seems like it could be a good weight-loss/fitness tool...but how much will it cost?