Nintendo’s E3 2009 Press Conference Wrap Up

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We just emerged from a colorful light storm at the cavernous Club Nokia, where Nintendo has lifted the veil on not just new games, but new hardware as well. Here’s a rundown of what the company revealed:

While Microsoft hopes to eventually steamroll the Wii remote with Project Natal, Nintendo doesn’t plan to go quietly. The company revealed more details on its Wii MotionPlus controllers, which originally debuted at last year’s E3 but are now ready for production. The subtle expansion will add more precise motion to the controllers for an upcoming crop of games that will take advantage of the tech, from shooting arrows in Wii Sports Resort to slashing baddies in Red Steel 2. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 will also take advantage of the new tech, as will Grand Slam Tennis and Sega’s Virtua Tennis 2009.

Nintendo’s global president Satoru Iwata also took the floor to explain another Nintendo innovation coming down the pipe – the Wii Vitality Sensor, which reads a gamer’s pulse. Iwata explained that it was for visualizing previous invisible life signs, like nervousness, and might someday be used for games that would induce relaxation or sleepiness, rather than excitement. Nintendo offered no demo or timeline for the device, however.

In the games department, Nintendo lifted the lid on New Super Mario Bros. for Wii, a throwback side-scroller that revisits the gameplay of Mario on the NES, but with cooperative multiplayer, allowing up to four players to occupy the same game screen, racing to collect the most coins and squash the most baddies for a high score.  Another Mario title, Super Mario Galaxy 2, debuted in a trailer at the end of the conference.

Also tapping into some classic Nintendo nostalgia, the company announced that it had partnered with Team Ninja to produce a more mature title: Project Metroid The Other M, which it showed in a trailer, promising it would delve even further into the Metroid story and universe.

The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks, which was announced earlier this year, will be playable on the show floor later on, meaning we hope to be able to offer hands-on experiences with it shortly!

New third-party titles exclusively for the Wii will include The Conduit, from Sega, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, from Capcom, and Dead Space Extraction, all of which appeared in trailers at the press conference and will be playable on the E3 show floor.

In a move toward user-generated content, Nintendo has turned a prior flipbook demo for the DS called Moving Memo into a real game, FlipNotes Studio, which will be available this summer. A new Mario title for DS, Mario vs. Donkey Kong Minis March Again, will allow players to construct their own maps, and WarioWare DIY will break open customization even further, effectively allowing players to construct their own microgames and share them with others.

A laundry list of other titles we hope to find out about throughout the show include Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, Golden Sun for DS, James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club, Cop: The Recruit, and Style Savvy, which will make it over from Japan shortly.