E3 2011: Nintendo Roundup

Nintendo’s Press Conference just ended and we are absolutely floored and confused.  First, let all question in your mind be washed away in the awesomeness that is Nintendo because they have hands down won this year at E3.  Here’s what we got:

  • Zelda 25 Year anniversary brings concerts, a free copy of 4 Swords on the DSi for everyone.
  • The 3DS now has HUGE momentum as it was announced that Mario Kart 3D, Star Fox 3D, Luigi’s Mansion 2, an all new Mario game designed from the ground up, and more would be coming to the system.  Kid Icarus will have 3v3 multiplayer support.  Mario Kart will have kart customization, underwater, and gliders.  Star Fox will put in pictures of you.  The third party 3DS support is growing and a dozen great games were shown.  For sure the 3DS has overshadowed the PS Vita.
  • Legend of Zelda and other games coming to the Nintendo eShop on the 3DS.
  • Wii U announced as the NEW CONSOLE.


Now, some notes on what we saw about the Wii U.  It was VERY confusing but we think we have it all sorted out for you guys.

  • Wii U is the name of the console that was previously codenamed Cafe.
  • We were shown the CONTROLLER for the Wii U and it was being demoed with games.
  • Wii U’s controller has a screen in the middle that can continue displaying the game that was on the TV via wireless streaming even when the TV is off.  It can also be used for drawing, additional items off the hud and on the controller (heartbeat sensor anyone?)
  • Nintendo was very cryptic about giving any details, unfortunately to their detriment as everyone walking out was like “WTF” is going on. Tech specs are still a mystery
  • Third Party support is going to be better than we have ever seen for Nintendo’s Wii U.  EA is bringing Frostbite 2, Darksiders 2 is coming, a Lego GTA style game, and more. Notably, Ghost Recon ONLINE. Notice the ONLINE? That’s the free to play Ghost Recon game. ONLINE on Nintendo.
  • The CONTROLLER was the focus since it is backwards compatible with the Wii and the CONTROLLER is the real focus of the Wii U since it’s what is innovative other than a new GPU/better specs in the console.
  • Nintendo has confirmed that this E3 was about revealing the controller and that we will NOT see Wii U this year.


Help us make sense of what is going on here.  Does this sound right with the Wii U?  We got no tech specs for the system other than 1080p.  We’ll continue to update this thread with what is sure to be a lot more information as Nintendo sheds some much needed light on the situation.

This actually is something quite remarkable. To have a controller like this that literally can continue to stream what you were doing on the TV blows my mind because it is exactly what we have wanted in our house for so many years. Having Nintendo actually move back into the spotlight as a respectable console for developers and not just a landfill for shovelware makes us really happy. The 3DS is worth owning now or will be when these titles come out so much so that I would own a 3DS over the Wii.

Nintendo left the Wii out this year. We saw a video clip of Skyward Sword but it wasn’t the focus. 3DS is the reason to play Nintendo games this year and Wii U will be the reason to play them in the coming years. Bravo, Nintendo. Now give us the specs on the console!

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  • While watching the conference I got really pumped up for the 3DS and wanted to go out and get one. I think though I’ll probably wait a few months for a few more games to come out. Also Gamestop said they’d only give me $15 for my DS Lite, so screw that.

    As for the Wii U, Reggie is on G4 right now talking to Adam Sessler. He says it’s a whole new console but they really focused on the controller. So what we saw was the controller and it is backwards compatable with the Wii.

  • On g4 someone from nintendo confirmed it is a new console they just focused on the controller. And it is 1080p.. Confirmed.

  • On g4 the nintendo guy said nintendo believes tech specs are not important enough to give out.

  • They are remaining tight lipped on any details about specs. They want people to get hyped about the idea of the controller and what it can do, along with the titles coming to the Nintendo, rather than give specs that honestly may change before they actually get the console out the door.

  • Can this new controller replace the existing controllers for the Wii, so we can play the Wii games in a more traditional way ?

  • That controller looks monstrous. How are you supposed to hold that up for hours at a time?

    Also, how helpful is the screen? How often do you watch your G15 screen over your monitor? Same deal for the TV. Why would I be looking at the controller over the TV?

  • The screen on the controller can be your TV. In our game room we have one tv that is often in a state of needing to be shared. Our consoles are hooked to it. Graev can be playing WiiU and I can come in and want to play and I can use the tv while he uses the screen on the controller.

    Additionally, in the promo videos they showed how you can interact with that screen and the game/tv. You can hold it up and see the scene but with a targeting reticule. Think of it like a scope on a gun. Additionally, things can be placed onto it such as a car rearview mirror or a sensor or additional controls. Think of flying a Space ship and having your instruments there so that the TV can have more on it. Stuff like that.

    It’s also a tablet to draw on.

  • In that zelda screenshot up there oh see the tv has the game and the controller screen is used as a inventory/menu screen.

  • I get when you would use the controller screen, no issue there.

    BUT, if you are using it often, how is the Wii U anything but a portable? Or rather, why would I get a Wii U if I know/predict that instead of using a huge TV, I’ll be staring at a small screen in the middle of the controller?

    And if you’re not using it often, is it worth the weight/size price for something you occasionally use when the TV is already in use? Would you even want to, considering the screen size/quality difference?

    I like Nintendo, I think the Wii was great, but I’m not seeing it here with this new focus on the controller with a screen for the Wii U. Nintendo has surprised before though, so maybe it will work out.

  • One more thing, while not totally the same thing, isn’t this kinda like the early Dreamcast controller? That… kinda failed.

  • I think the point is not to stare at the controller while playing games on the TV. The weight will be a factor. The size actually looks comfortable. The screen on the controller is HD.

    The additional features that the screen adds are the reason for the screen, not to take your focus from the tv to the controller.

    Dreamcast in general failed. We’ll have to see how the Wii U turns out.

  • i’m confused 🙁 i’ve never gotten into ds lite but i did LOVE nintindo back in the days. when does this 3ds come out?

  • The 3DS has been out since March. Kid Icarus gameplay was shown and it looked great. The 3v3 Multiplayer on the 3DS looks like it’ll be fun.

  • Keen, can this new controller be used to replace the previous controllers on the Wii ,like the Nun chuk etc…

  • I don’t think that was a clear win for Nintendo at all. Just as we knew everythign about the Vita we knew everything about the Wii U. And really if you didn’t expect 3DS versions of signature Nintendo games what were you smoking? 😛 Was it a good conference? Yes. Was it better than Sony’s? Debatable. Both beat out MS, but then they both had major console announcments to do. MS basically had to try and hype what they already have, which is not very exciting. Announcing a brand new piece of hardware brings it’s own excitement with it.

    Also no price announced for the new console, if it comes out at anything more than the current consoles I think it is going to be in trouble. Sony did everything exactly right with their console announcment, Nintendo did the exact opposite.

    Basically to “win” the conference wars it seems all Nintendo has to do is announce first party games with their characters, and the other two have to come with major hardware announcements, it’s a rather borked sense of grading.

  • My concern is with the pricing.

    The controller by itself has got to be far more expensive than the other Wii controllers, let alone the cost for the far more upgraded console system.

    Are we expected to have multiple of these controllers? If so, surely even 2 of these controllers will end up costing more than the Wii itself!

    Technology-wise, I think it looks great! It’s a shame they only focused on the controller, but I’d imagine we will see more info released in the coming months, but E3 really seems like the place to WOW everyone, instead I think most people were happily dazed.

  • @Rumbarr: That seems to be what they showed us.

    @Random Poster: When Sony titles looked “meh” and Microsoft was nothing but a dancing circus, it wasn’t hard for Nintendo to win. Creating a huge reason to have the 3DS vs. Sony’s reason to have a Vita and having a really cool controller announced that is unlike anything else out there for consoles is a pretty big reason.

    @Cam: Maybe Nintendo has something up their sleeve for the price of those Wii U controllers. I would expect $60 per controller. They don’t do anything other than display. There’s no processing power in them from what I saw.

  • Wow, Star Fox? My resistance against spending $250 on a handheld system might be breaking down.

  • My thoughts exactly SynCaine.

    I do not believe that more is necessarily better if the majority of people are charged more for features they don’t/rarely use; perhaps it will be an optional “uberl33t” controller for those to obsessed with their video game to go outside, read a book, or kiss a girl when someone else is on the big screen, but even in that case, I still think it would be preferable to set up a second older TV to switch onto than play on a small handheld unit.

    It would be different if one could play a game which was completely hosted at a remote site away from the house such as at internet cafes/wifi and during travels to pass the time, but although that maybe the trend of the future, people still buy disks in the land of today…

  • Yeah, it probably doesn’t get stated enough, …thanks for all the effort! Your website is one of the few that actually has made it to my Favorites Bar.

  • Hmmm, another thought. Have they said how many of these new controllers you can use at once?

    Lets say you had 4 people wanting to play a game, each using the new controller, can the WiiU handle streaming that much HD data to 4 separate controllers PLUS the TV?

    Kinda pointless if it can’t, yet kinda incredibly awesome if it can 😀

  • Oh ouch, hmmmm, not sure I like that, but probably due to technical limitations, understandable.

    What are your thoughts Keen?

  • I’m hoping it’s a rumor. It would be stupid to have it be just one, not to mention what happens if it breaks? How is it replaced?

  • A) That controller looks like it sucks just like the wii controllers in terms of having enough buttons to pull off things in a lot of the games out there now. I played so many dumbed down games on the wii.

    B) The fact that extra controllers are just wii controllers puts more of my controller concerns in light.

    C) Am I the only one that thinks that controller is ridiculous in terms of just wanting to play my game? I mean if nintendo was really going after the more “hardcore” gamers with that controller they should just fire everyone who helped make it.

    If these end up just being “rumors” then maybe it will be ok but otherwise it’s going to be a glorified wii with better graphics. Sure there will be some fun games but it won’t be capable of handling some of the things you can do on the xbox or ps3. Granted my biggest gripes were with sports games but I’m sure it will be an issue in others.

  • @Mark

    I generally agree with you here, I think the controller comes off as a ridiculous looking gimmick.

    I don’t think this latest gimmick from Nintedo will have the staying power that the Wii did.

    I can’t really think of anything I would want or need that screen for that I wouldn’t mind having on the main screen. Personally, I think the habit of having to shift focus from the back and forth from main screen to contoller will be distacting to the actual gameplay and ruin the immersion factor. I prefer not having to focus on the controller…at all…ever.

    And then there is the general size of the controller, I read that is not as heavy as one would assume, but it just looks uncomfortable to use and unwieldy.

    I doubt the motion control abilities of the controller is very impressive compared to the Move, Kinect and even the Wii. Seems like Nintendo traded an innovative and somewhat revolutionary gimmick for a more limited and lackluster gimmick.

    If Nintendo and third party developers can make good games for the WiiU (stupid name) that use the gimmick controller only to enhance the gameplay then the system might do better than I think it won’t.

    Well I am sure the system will sell like crazy in the beginning. Whether or not it has any lasting power compered to the Wii, the PS3 or Xbox 360 remains to be seen, but I am doubtful. The WiiU could be to Nintendo what FFXIV is to Square Enix.

    I do know one thing for certain, I won’t be wasting my money on the WiiU. I was looking forward to a next gen system from Nintendo, but once I saw the controller my interest died.