Nintendo’s press conference at this week’s E3 revealed some more details of their forthcoming
console, but the company didn’t offer the information that many gamers expected — price and a specific release date.
The Wii —
previously known as the Revolution
—is definitely coming in the fourth calendar quarter of 2006, according to Nintendo.
Nintendo showed off a slew of forthcoming games that are intended for the Wii, including The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the newest action role playing game featuring Link. Nintendo has previously stated that Twilight Princess will be available for the older GameCube system. That’s still the case, though Nintendo is also developing a version of the game specifically for the Wii, and will release it as a launch title.
The Wii will feature a game controller that more closely resembles a television remote control than a conventional gamepad. It contains motion sensing technology, so the controller can be wielded more naturally than a conventional controller. It also features built-in rumble support and an internal speaker.
The controller has two main parts — the freehand Wii Remote, and the Nunchuk — a reference to an Asian martial arts weapon. The Nunchuk plugs into the bottom and features a thumbstick and a trigger.
The innovation in gameplay presented by the Wii controller was central to Nintendo’s presentation: It was shown being used to swing virtual golf clubs and tennis rackets. Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto mugged for the crowd in a tuxedo, conducting a virtual orchestra using the controller.
The Wii controller also figures centrally to the new Zelda title: Users can wield the controller as a sword, slashing enemies, draw back a shot using a virtual bow, using the Nunchuk, and even fish.
Speaking to a packed audience, Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, said that Nintendo’s goal is “to challenge conventional thinking.” He added that the gaming industry is “filled with the gravestones” of me-too developers who are more concerned with hardware horsepower than innovative gameplay. Fils-Aime’s comment seems to be a pointed reference to Nintendo’s competition from Sony and Microsoft — the Wii doesn’t boast nearly the same level of performance as the Xbox 360 and forthcoming PlayStation 2.
Other titles showed off included Metroid Prime 3, the latest iteration of Nintendo’s popular first person shooter series, the strategy role playing game series Fire Emblem, Rayman, Madden NFL 07, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles and many others, including a new Mario game called Super Mario Galaxy, that puts Mario in outer space with the ability to defy gravity. Nintendo plans to show off more than two dozen playable Wii games at E3 this week.
provided information used in this article.