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E3 2006: Nintendo Succeeds in Debuting the Wii, Makes up for Sony Keynote

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After last years keynote that barely qualified as a sneak peek, Nintendo brought everything out this year. It was apparent from the start that they were out to push the proper inviting mood. Having Shigeru Miyamoto open their session while conducting a virtual orchestra with the Wii controller was a brilliant move, setting up everything that was to come.

There was no flash, no unnecessary numbers, and no demos that went on well past their prime. Nintendo’s ’06 press event was about the games and details. The excitement couldn’t stop with their brisk pacing, and well spread out news. Videos were cut short so that everyone can make their own judgment on the show floor.

Even the little pieces of information, like the speaker lodged inside the Wii remote, were all part of a plainly laid out sales pitch. Regardless of whether or not the Wii’s name is a disaster (Reggie’s explanation for it offered little new), the console itself will obviously deliver. The four-player demonstration of a generic tennis game showed that this controller is the right way to go, making a game that would be deemed far too simplistic for other systems into a wildly fun showcase piece that will probably be as much fun to play as it was to watch.

Also, unlike Sony, it was apparent that this technology wasn’t rushed. Every game they played worked flawlessly, especially Twilight Princess. The announcement of two different Zelda versions, one on the GameCube and another on the Wii, is ingenious from a marketing perspective. If that’s not a way to recoup development costs, it’s hard to imagine what is. The addition of a new Mario game alongside a DS StarFox title only added to the experience.

The only thing missing was pricing. We know of the general date, and it’s not even so much the pricing of the Wii that felt absent. It’s the Virtual Console they seemed to skip completely over on a few occasions, not mentioning any titles, an interface, or what type of pricing structure would be in place for this classic gamer’s dream feature.

Aside from that missed opportunity, Nintendo put on a press conference that could only be considered epic. Their plan to introduce gaming to a broad user base makes sense, aside from the naming of the Wii. Whether you’re an Xbox or PlayStation fanboy, what Nintendo is doing is critical to the success and future of the industry. This short event proved why.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • http://kingkrool.thenoodleman.com/ Kevin Cortez

    Heh, looking forward to that Mario Hoops.

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