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Nintendo E3 Press Conference Highlights Wii U Software

Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, Scribblenauts and more shown.

 

Wii U was in the spotlight at Nintendo's E3 press conference earlier today. The upcoming console and some 23 of its games took up most of the one hour press conference time.

Shigeru Miyamoto opened up the conference with a demonstration of the Wii U Pikmin game, confirmed to be Pikmin 3.

The basic controls for Pikmin 3 use Wii Motion Plus and the Nunchuck, allowing for precise aiming. You can easily throw Pikmin at enemy eyes, for instance. The Wii U GamePad will always show a full map.

Alternatively, you can play the game exclusively with the Wii U GamePad. This will give you greater control over the full map, something that could come in handy, as the game has you switch off between four leaders.

In Pikmin 3, Pikmin will find materials that they can use to build bridges. The game also has "Rock Pikmin," which can be used to break hard objects.

Following the Pikmin 3 demonstration, Nintendo America CEO Reginald "Reggie" Fils-Aime took the stage and teased some of the upcoming multimedia capabilities of the system, including support for Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Instant Video. He also announced that the Wii U hardware will support two separate Wii U GamePads (it had previously announced for just one).

Moving on to a general introduction to the system, Reggie recapped some of the announcements made during Sunday's Nintendo Direct broadcast, including a close look at the final GamePad, and a look at some of the features of the Miiverse system. He confirmed that Miiverse will be available on 3DS and other network-enabled devices, but not at launch.

Miiverse is put to use in New Super Mario Bros. U.. The game has "Boost Mode," where four players use a Wiimote while another player uses the Wii U GamePad to place blocks strategically.

Following the brief Mario introduction, Reggie and Warner Bros. Interactive President Martin Tremblay introduced Batman Arkham City Armored Edition for Wii U, showing how the Wii U GamePad is used for direct control over Batman's gadgets. Jeremiah Slaczka, CEO and Creative Director of 5th Cell, took the stage to announce Scribblenauts Unlimited, a new Wii U entry in the award-winning word-based game.

Other titles shown in a video reel included Mass Effect 3, a home conversion of Namco Bandai's arcade title Tank! Tank! Tank!, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Trine 2: Director's Cut, Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor's Edge, and Aliens Colonial Marines.

Reggie proceeded to announce Wii Fit U, the next entry in the Wii Fit series. The video demonstrated how one can continue with the workout on the Wii U GamePad with off-TV-play.

Next up was the tentatively titled Sing, a singing program from FreeStyleGames. The Wii U GamePad shows the lyrics, allowing you to face your friends and not the TV.

NOA executive vice president of sales and marketing Scott Moffitt ran a brief introduction to the 3DS lineup, focusing on three games: New Super Mario Bros. 2, Paper Mario and Luigi's Mansion.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is all about collecting gold coins. Everything you do turns things into gold coins. The game will be released on August 19 in the US.

Moffitt next unveiled Paper Mario Sticker Star. The game uses a new "sticker" element. The game world is plastered with stickers. You pull them off the scenery to turn them into your battle commands. A shoe sticker can be used to stomp on your enemies, for instance. The stickers can also be used to reveal hidden items and passages. Paper Mario Sticker Star sees physical and digital release this holiday season.

Finally, a look at Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon. For Luigi's latest haunted mansion adventure, you'll need to travel through multiple mansions, each with mission-based challenges. You'll find new types of ghosts, requiring unique capture strategies. Luigi arrives this holiday season.

A video reel showed Castlevania Lords of Shadows Mirrors of Fate, Disney Epic Mickey Power of Illusion, a 3DS version of Scribblenauts Unlimited, and Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance (which has not yet been released outside of Japan).

Moffitt will host a one hour event exclusively focused on 3DS tomorrow.

The conference turned back to Wii U, first with Lego City Undercover. This is also coming to 3DS.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot took the stage to lead into Ubisoft's lineup, most of which had been introduced at Ubisoft's own press conference the previous day. Just Dance 4 uses the Wii U GamePad to allow one player to serve as a "puppet master," specifying moves for the other players. Zombi U lets you use the Wii U GamePad camera to convert your face into zombie form.

Other Ubisoft games include YourShape Fitness Evolved 2013, Rayman Legends, Sports Connection, Avengers Battle for Earth, Assassin's Creed III and Rabbids Land.

Reggie and Wii U Software Producer Katsuya Eguchi (Animal Crossing, Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort) closed off the conference with a demonstration of Nintendo Land, a new mini game collection that offers 12 attractions. The attractions are based off classic Nintendo franchises. Examples include Animal Crossing Sweet Day, Legend of Zelda Battle Quest, Donkey Kong's Crash Course and Takamaru's Ninja Castle. These games are meant to demonstrate the capabilities of the Wii U GamePad. The game will also have Miiverse functionality.

Reggie likened Nintendo Land to Wii Sports Tennis in that it will allow players to understand the point of the Wii U GamePad just as Wii Sports Tennis let them understand the point of the Wiimote. Nintendo Land launches opposite the Wii U hardware.

You can see additional videos at Nintendo's E3 site, e3.nintendo.com.

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