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Wii and More: Nintendo at E3 2006
posted by: George Holomshek
publisher: Nintendo
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date posted: 10:31 AM Sat May 13th, 2006
last revision: 10:30 AM Sat May 13th, 2006

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Click to read.Ever since Nintendo showed off their next-gen console at E3 2005, now known as the Wii, fans and the game community in general have been left in what seemed to be an eternal drought without information. While the unveiling of the extremely unique freehand controller at the Tokyo Game Show 8 months ago gave us all a taste of what was coming, Nintendo held its cards close and refused to let anything in the way of games surface. At least, that is, \"until E3.\"

The three big focuses for Nintendo this time around were to finally show off some Wii software, to a lesser extent talk about a couple secret features of the Wii, and to finally reveal what in the world is going on with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Playing = Believing was the theme for this E3. While this is a slightly crooked theme to use, considering the difficulty of getting any time with the Wii thanks to a walled-off Wii area with three hour lines, the message should be clear that if you want to really understand what the deal is with the Wii, you need to go hands on with it.

I will leave details to more specific coverage, but as a whole the games looked just like anyone could have realistically expected them to. Yes, they look better than GameCube software, but no they aren\'t going to blow your mind with mega-amazing graphics. Think of the less radical, but still noticeable, improvements we see within each console\'s lifetime. This is how Wii games look in relation to the Cube. Simply more polished with more particle effects, but no definitive visual jump from one to another.

But enough about the graphics, what about the actual games? Simply put, Nintendo fans are going to be spoiled silly when the Wii hits the market in the fourth quarter of this year. While no exact date or price was announced, there is plenty to talk about. The Wii will be featuring three huge franchises early in its life with a brand new Mario game in Super Mario Galaxy (tentative title), Metroid Prime: Corruption, and a special version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess which makes use of the Wii Remote. I know that many gamers, myself included, were very disappointed that the next iteration of Super Smash Bros. was nowhere to be seen, there will be plenty of stuff to keep us entertained while we wait for our next chance to beat the tar out of our friends.

Third party games also made a good showing at the Expo, perhaps to the extent that Nintendo\'s heavy hitters started to feel downplayed, with Red Steel, Tony Hawk\'s Downhill Jam, Sonic, Codename: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers, a unique Madden NFL game, and Wario Ware: Smooth Moves all being presented.

Nintendo also revealed two more secrets about the Wii hardware: There is a speaker on the controller and that the console will remain connected to your internet connection 24 hours a day. A surprise announcement of a next-gen Smash Bros. on Day One of the Expo sated some fan\'s curiousity, but we still have questions: What is going on with the Virtual Console and the Wii\'s online interface? And why not try to deal a death blow to Sony by unveiling their price point, which is guaranteed to be lower? Only time will tell.

The Expo wasn\'t all about the Wii, however. Nintendo is also proud of how much ass the Nintendo DS has been kicking and what titles we can expect to see. Of course The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass was mentioned. But other new titles that garnered serious attention were Yoshi\'s Island 2, Diddy Kong Racing DS, and Star Fox DS.

Finally, Twilight Princess was a major attraction. First it was revealed that the new Zelda title would be released on the same day as the Wii later this year. Also, both GameCube and Wii versions will be available in order to not shaft Cube owners and reward them for their saint-like patience while waiting for this game. The new Wii-specific control scheme appears to be fairly intuitive and fun to use, but consult other GF! coverage for more in-depth, hands-on discussion of this and other Wii games.

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