E3 2011: 5 cool things I learned at Nintendo’s developer roundtable

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Nintendo held a developer's roundtable toward the end of the first day of E3, featuring the legendary and infinitely charming Shigeru Miyamoto. Many anecdotes and fascinating insights were shared, but here are five of the coolest things I learned during the event.

1) Pikmin is coming to the Wii U.

After showing off Luigi’s Mansion 2, Miyamoto said that some may ask why they would make a sequel to Luigi’s Mansion and not Pikmin. He quickly answered his own theoretical question by simply stating, “Because I wanted to.”

He clarified that he was working on a Pikmin game for the Wii, but he decided to switch development to the Wii U after seeing the “beautiful HD graphics.” This makes Pikmin one of the few Nintendo games announced for their new system beside Super Smash Bros.


2) The Wii Vitality Sensor is still around.

Announced during Nintendo’s pre-E3 press conference 2009, the Wii Vitality Sensor was supposed to read its wearer’s pulse, allowing the Wii to…well, I don’t actually know. The whole thing was pretty dumb, and everyone seemed pretty happy when Nintendo acted like the peripheral never existed.

During the Q&A session of the roundtable, however, someone asked about the status of the ill-fated device. After all of the laughter died down, Miyamoto confirmed that work on the Vitality Sensor continues, though consistency problems have kept it from reaching the market.


3) Miyamoto wants gyroscope controls to bring the world together.

When talking about Star Fox 64 3D, Miyamoto asked everyone in the audience to raise their hands if they thought that pushing up on a controller should make an airplane go down. Many people raised their hands. Then he asked those who expect the plane to go up to raise their hands. Less people did. He quipped that those people probably grew up with Sega games.

“This is my chance to bring the world together!” he excitedly proclaimed. He hopes that the gyroscope controls in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D will be a more intuitive solution that should come naturally to everyone. Of course, this horribly compromises the 3D effect, but he was just so darn happy about bringing us world peace that no one had the heart to tell him.

Star Fox 64 3D

4) Retro is helping to develop Mario Kart 3DS.

Retro previously worked on the Metroid Prime series and Donkey Kong Country Returns for Nintendo. Now they’re lending a hand in bringing Mario Kart to the 3DS. Now, this may be a stretch, but it sure would be cool to see some Metroid-inspired characters and tracks in the game.


5) You can bowl with bombs in Skyward Sword.

There’s a cave entrance at the bottom of a hill. Alas, the entrance is blocked with rubble. But lo! A bomb plant is conveniently placed at the top of the hill! Sadly, throwing the bomb down the hill is not an option thanks to an overhanging cliff. The bomb would simply bounce back. What is Link to do? Ladies and gentlemen…Link is going to bowl that bomb.

Yep, if you make the underhand bowling motion with the controller while holding a bomb, Link will roll that explosive plant. Finally, all those years of practice in Wii Sports will finally have a practical use in a real game!

Bomb Bowling!

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