Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's Global President, was up next. He claimed victory in Nintendo's mission to expand the gaming population. Definitions of gamers based on age, personality, or gender are disappearing, he says. There are still distinctions between the consoles, however, and Nintendo hopes to help erase those boundaries as well. How? Two words: Deeper and wider. Hardcore gamers will want depth, casual gamers will want breadth. He teased the audience, saying that full details would be coming a little later this morning.
Nintendo's mission, "to serve every player," has directed the development not only of the new console, but also the existing franchises and platforms. As montage of clips from Mario Kart, Star Fox, Super Mario (complete with Raccoon suit), Kid Icarus, and Luigi's Mansion showed what's in store for the 3DS.
Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, was up next to discuss the contradictions in the gaming market. New but familiar. Challenging but comfortable. Those contradictions are being embraced by the 3DS. Reggie showed all five of the new 3DS games. We'll have more on these direct from the show floor later this week, but I can tell you based on what we saw that fans are going to feel right at home.
The move to 3D seems perfectly natural for Star Fox, and the idea of using the hardware itself to control the fighter seems like a great fit. Whether or not moving the system so much will impact the 3D remains to be seen. One cool new feature is that the portraits of your enemies have been replaced by pics of your gaming friends. Star Fox will be out this September.
Mario is Nintendo's biggest hero, and Super Mario 3D is the first handheld version of the character designed completely from the ground up to work in 3D. It will be out before the year's end.
Kid Icarus: Uprising is next. The graphics are much busier and more realistic than the other games in the lineup, and the game seems to suffer because of it. Since it's still a work in progress, there's a chance Nintendo will smooth things out a bit. The end of the demo featured what looked like card-based battles using the 3DS camera in augmented reality. Again, this one will be out this year.
Luigi's Mansion 2 rounds out the lineup, as everyone's favorite brother uses his flashlight and vacuum to explore a variety of haunted mansions. It's an entirely new game, according to Reggie, but no release date was offered.
Reggie loaded up a montage of third party games: Mario and Sonic at the Olympics, Ace Combat, two Resident Evils, Tetris, Cave Story, Driver Renegade, PacMan and Galaga, Tekken and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater. There are also a number of classic downloads coming, including Excite Bike.