Nintendo has given a first look at Pikmin 3 on Wii U, as well as confirming a unique Batman: Arkham City version and a version of Mass Effect 3.
Wii U E3 2012 – at a glance
Nintendo didn’t date or price Wii U, but a “holiday” release was reaffirmed.
Pikmin 3 announced. Gameplay was shown, but there was no date.
Super Mario Bros U announced. It’s HD, 2D and supports four players. Again, there was no date.
Batman Arkham City Armored Edition announced. This has unique features via the GamePad. No date.
Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, a director’s cut of Trine 3, Ninja Gaiden 3 and Aliens: Colonial Marines all confirmed for Wii U.
Ubisoft confirmed support with ZombiU, Assassin’s Creed III, a Rabbids game, Rayman Legends, Sports Connection, Avengers and fitness game YourShape.
SiNG a karaoke game, is coming to Wii U from UK dev FreeStyle.
Wii Fit U was announced and shown.
Nintendo’s main Wii U software conference opened with a video including a crowd pikmin in Miyamoto’s dressing room. He walked straight out on stage to say he was going to talk about the game. In Pikmin 3, you have to manage a swarm of 100 pikmin. The spaceman from the previous games was included in gameplay, and the HD graphics packed depth of field and plenty of detail.
Rock pikmin, a new type, were shown. Motion controls will be involved in aiming. An overall map will be shown on Wii U’s GamePad while play is happening on the screen. A Challenge mode, where you need to collect fruit within a specific timeframe, will be on display at E3 this week.
NoA head Reggie Fils-Aime walked out to raucous cheers. He said Nintendo opened with Pikmin because Wii U is “all about the games”. He said 23 games would be shown in the presentation, and mentioned the concept of “asymmetric gameplay,” with multiple players on various screens in the same game consuming different content.
Wii U does three things, he said: it changes your gaming, the way you interact with your gaming friends, and it changes the way it interact with your TV. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Video logos were all shown on the screen, but he said they just wanted to talk about games today.
He confirmed that Wii U will support two separate pads. There won’t be any dual-pad games on display at E3 this week, however.
The GamePad can be used with either a finger or its stylus. It has rumble, as well as stereo speakers, a headphone jack, a home button, a camera, triggers and more.
Social system Miiverse was next. Reggie said to think of the system as “Main Street,” where Miis congregate to “cause a commotion”. Miis flooded onto the screen and crowded around tiles, such as those for Mario and Donkey Kong.
You can interact between Miis on the screen using speech bubbles and drawn pictures from the pad. Miiverse will be accessible across other devices, such as mobile and PC, at a later date.
New Super Mario Bros U was announced. Reggie talked up how Miiverse will work with the game, showing a map dotted with friends’ messages.
The game itself is a four-player, 2D Mario in HD. It can be played either on your TV or GamePad. There was no date.
Batman Arkham City Armored Edition was announced. Martin Tremblay from Warner Bros. said the game will deliver content in a “new special way”. The game was shown, with features specific to the GamePad. You can guide projectiles with the screen, and other exclusive content was promised.
B-A-T mode was confirmed, which provides power-ups through the GamePad screen. The screen is also used as an inventory select system. Explosives were set off via the Pad screen. Warner described it as “the most immersive Batman experience”.
Scribblenauts is coming to Wii U in the form of Scribblenauts Unlimited. It’s in HD and features free-roaming in 2D. You create objects on the screen and are able to drop them into the game, share them with friends and more. It has a multiplayer mode.
A sizzle reel was shown, confirming Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3, Namco’s Tank Tank Tank, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, a director’s cut of Trine 3, Ninja Gaiden 3 and Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Reggie moved on to Wii Fit. More than 43 million copies have been sold, he said, before confirming Wii Fit U.
The game was shown, a woman doing activities on the Balance Board with the GamePad on the floor in front of her. She also used a handheld device – a “Fit Meter” – to upload a run she did that morning to the GamePad.
Reggie announced SiNG from UK dev FreeStyle. The GamePad displays lyrics so you can face your friends while performing and everyone can dance along.
3DS came next. Nintendo’s Scott Moffitt announced a 3DS conference tomorrow night at 6.00pm PST. It’s an hour long and completely dedicated to the handheld. It’ll be at e3.nintendo.com.
Super Mario Bros. 2 for 3DS was shown, however. Gold plays a key role in the game, which even includes a gold Mario. It out in the US on August 19.
Paper Mario Sticker Star was seen. You collect stickers and they become battle commands, such as shoes for stomping and hammers for bashing. It’s out this holiday.
Luigi’s Mansion 2 was the last 3DS title to be shown. Again, it’s out this holiday, new ghosts and all. You’ll see more tomorrow night.
A third-party 3DS sizzle reel showed Castlevania, Epic Mickey, Scribblenauts and Kingdom Hearts 3D.
Reggie came back on to talk about Wii U’s Lego City. Gameplay showed crimes being fought using the GamePad, with the screen showing enemies through walls when pointed at the TV. It’s being made by TellTale. A portable version is in the works for 3DS.
Wii U, Reggie said, needs to provide something from the “hardest of the core to the newest of the newbies,” before Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft president, came out on stage. He said he thought Wii U is a “revolution”. Just Dance 4 was the first Ubi game shown, with Reggie directing four dancers with the GamePad.
ZombiU was next. The screen acted as a radar, inventory, X-ray vision, a sniper scope, a waggle device for breaking free from enemies and a hacking device. You can even put your own face onto zombies in the game.
Assassin’s Creed III was shown in a sizzle reel, as was a Rabbids game, Rayman Legends, Sports Connection, Avengers and fitness game YourShape.
Reggie wrapped it up with something called Nintendo Land, which is designed to help people “get” the console. Katsuya Eguchi, Wii U software producer, came out to explain how Nintendo has put beloved Nintendo franchises into a theme park, which is a game including 12 games. Five are at the show. Zelda, Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, Donkey Kong and Takamaru will be at E3 this week.
Nintendo Land will launch alongside the hardware this Christmas.
You can get full coverage on the Sony, Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft conferences here.