The second day of news (but the first full day on the show floor) from the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has come and gone, so it's time once again to dole out a few awards. On Tuesday, Nintendo was the last of the big three publishers to host their annual E3 press conference, with all the stilted dialogue and scripted performances that you could hope for. So let's get down to business!
Nintendo Press Conference
Tagline: “So our Wii U is pretty awesome. Check our Facebook page for more!”
Nintendo is never an easy company to predict: while many of us watching online or at E3 tend to mock their continued reliance on showcasing “casual” games, they've always managed to have the last laugh when it comes to sales and public reception of their products. Such might be the case again with the Wii U: the big N started off their conference strong with introducing Pikmin 3, but it quickly became stale after devoting the rest of the time to laboriously explaining how everything on the Wii U works. And let's not even talk about Nintendo Land.
Best Self-Referential Quote: “Yes, my body was ready.” – Reggie Fils-Aime
President and COO of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime first uttered his now meme-worthy phrase in the company's 2007 E3 press conference. Since then, "My Body is Ready" has taken on a life of its own. And in what is perhaps the most devastating news to come out of E3, it appears that Reggie's body is no longer ready.
Best Way to Mess with Your Friends: Wii U game pad controller in Just Dance 4
On stage, Reggie also had the privilege of playing the "puppet master" in for the demonstration of Just Dance 4 on the Wii U, which allows non-dancing players to control what dance moves other players have to perform. I can't be the only one who imagined the griefing opportunities with this, right?
Best Roundabout Way of Explaining a Minigame Collection: Nintendo Land
Ok, so I couldn't resist: Nintendo spent a huge amount of time just showcasing the virtual themepark featured in the upcoming Nintendo Land for the Wii U — which for all intents and purposes, is just a fancy looking minigame collection. It appears to be the Wii Sports equivalent to the Wii U: Just simple games meant to show off what the new console can do. Not very exciting stuff, if you ask me.
Most Awkward Ending to a Press Conference: Nintendo Land fireworks
Reggie urged the audience to stick around for just one more small surprise before leaving the press conference: virtual fireworks. Because it wasn't enough that we had to sit through a 20 minute explanation of Nintendo Land the first time around.
But that's not all! If you took a shot everytime a company executive urged you to visit Nintendo's Facebook and social channels, you would've past out within 10 minutes of the conference opener. On the official Nintendo All-Access site, a post-press conference video was ready to go featuring their CEO, Satoru Iwata. However, rather than trying to explain the video to you, I'll leave you with this:
Additional non-Nintendo Awards
With the final conference out of the way, the E3 show floor was opened for attendees, ushering in even more gameplay previews, videos and interviews than you can shake a banana at. Here's the stuff I found worthy of an E3 trophy:
Craziest Controller for an Upcoming Game: Hawken
When Penny Arcade Report's Ben Kuchera first tweeted out this picture yesterday afternoon, I went nuts, remembering my fond times playing with a similarly-complicated controller for Steel Battalion on the original Xbox. Is it necessary for the free-to-play mech game? No, but I'm still willing to throw a lot of money just to have it.
Best Tech Demo: Agni's Philosophy, a Final Fantasy concept
With seemingly little buzz from the press, Square-Enix quietly showed off a very stunning tech demo for its Luminous Engine, which is being designed for next-generation consoles and PCs. The demo depicts a short story through the lens of a Final Fantasy universe, with the titular Agni running away from AK47-equipped pursuers. It's a little jarring to see a more realistic take of magic and guns, but it's beautiful to watch. And it really does run in real time.
What were your highlights from Tuesday's E3 activities? Stay tuned for more awards throughout the week!