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Joystiq live from Nintendo's E3 2009 keynote


We're live! We're on the scene at the Nintendo keynote, getting ready to fire salvo after salvo of news at you, our readers. Get those bingo cards ready and make your own predictions of what the Big N's got planned in the comments section. (And no, "Cammie Dunaway does something embarrassing" doesn't count!)

Follow us live after the break. (Updates are in reverse and begin at the top.)

10:13AM PT ... And it's over! We're going to roll up into balls and exit the theater. Thanks for following along!

PT 2010: Metroid: Other M. Samus Aran, for the first time, speaks in the trailer. Footage includes first-person and third-person sequences.

The game will take you deeper into Samus's story, and further into the Metroid universe, according to Reggie. It appeared to show some kind of origin story, maybe.


PT Team Ninja and Nintendo collaborating on something. It's in space ... IT'S METROID!

PT Dead Space: Extraction got a pretty decent amount of applause! People here like monsters and stuff. All of these games will be on the show floor, Reggie says. Could a new, edgier game also be coming from Nintendo? "The answer is, absolutely." ... Team Ninja!

PT Dead Space: Extraction now. Maybe this is why EA didn't show it -- because Nintendo is.

PT These are titles we knew about, so far. The Conduit first, and now here's Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. Trailers for both. So he meant "more" than is currently out, not more than we knew about. For now, at least.

PT "I'll be honest. I read the blogs too," Reggie says. He knows that we want more. And that more, he says, is associated with third parties. So now he's introducing Wii exclusive titles with a "harder edge."

PT Super Mario Galaxy 2. That's the name. (Easily the biggest applause of the show. Perhaps because it's the biggest surprise? ... Besides the Vitality Sensor, of course.)

PT Yoshi can pick up power-ups that allow him to bloat up like a balloon. (We hope Wii Vitality can't sense our heart swelling three sizes when we see Mario riding Yoshi.) A big button will freeze large bodies of water so Mario can run on them. And now there's a little world that blooms with flowers whenever Mario runs over an area. 2D side-scrolling levels were showcased with the return of Bee Mario.

PT A second full 3D Mario title on a single Nintendo console for the first time! ... Looks like a sequel to Super Mario Galaxy. Mario's riding Yoshi on some spherical worlds. Can I call megaton?

PT Cammie's back to deliver some more "stimulation" after that "relaxation" from Iwata. How can you top the heartbeat thingy?

PT What's next for games after Wii Fit and Brain Age? The Wii Vitality Sensor. It's one of those biorhythm doodads you stick your finger in. Except it connects to the Wiimote. "For example, how nervous am I?" There's a slight chuckle in the audience ... (If we were wearing a Wii Vitality Sensor right now, would Nintendo sense that we'd fallen asleep?)

We just realized this is really close to that fake "Wii Relax" helmet that went around for a while. Good call, whoever did that. Nintendo liked your idea.

PT Games like Pong, Space Invaders, and Donkey Kong satisfied everyone. They were intuitive enough to be enjoyed by all. Nintendo, last year, addressed this idea with Mario Kart and the Wii Wheel. Further toward that goal: New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Wii Sports Resort, and Wii Fit Plus. "In a sense, each of these could be considered everyone's game." Iwata wants these to increase understanding of games, and then the social standing of gamers.

We always love Iwata's yearly update for those of you who've been in a coma for the past 12 months. Seriously, it's like he's talking to a bunch of recently unfrozen cavemen.

PT Next goal is to create individual titles that can satisfy every population of gaming at once. He describes this as a challenge. Traditionally, gamers have assumed the best games are the ones that are hardest to play. Nintendo disagrees with this.

"If we simply lower the bar, we won't satisfy highly skilled players. And I'm also troubled by the imaginary wall that is built ... between veteran players and new players."

PT "For every two people now playing, there's one more just waiting to jump into the game." Nobody tell him what Microsoft's Xbox marketing slogan is. He'll be mad. "Imagine if the number of players could grow by 50 percent."

PT "There are some now who believe the audience expansion movement is starting to fail." Describing three populations of people: people who play video games, people who NEVER play, and "maybes."

PT Cammie is now introducing Satoru Iwata. And the man himself comes out to some kind of guitar solo.

It's impressive Nintendo has made so many announcements without introducing Iwata. Regardless, the audience is quiet. No applause for any announcements so far.

PT This summer, you can automatically upload photos from DSi to Facebook. It's a Facebook-off!

PT WarioWare: DIY. This is the game released in Japan as "Made in Ore." It's a complete suite of tools to create your own WarioWare games -- draw the graphics, make the music, create the game logic, everything. For a five-second-long game. You can share your microgames as well.

PT Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again. It looks just like Mario vs. Donkey Kong, but now it has a full level editor with online level sharing! It's going to be DSiWare, available June 8. "That's right, this coming Monday."

PT Moving Memo is coming out, now called Flipnotes Studio, this summer! This is the DSi app that lets people draw animation and upload it.

PT Now it's a video that appears to be from the DSi launch, about how much people like the DSi. People in line to buy a DSi really love the DSi they're about to buy, apparently. Different features, different price points, and different audiences for the DS Lite and DSi. Total DSi sales in North America are over 1 million, with 400K Lites sold in the same period.

PT Finally! Have you been waiting for the North American release of Nintendo's fashion game "Girls Mode?" Because I have. No, I'm serious, actually. It was a really big hit, and I'm kind of curious! It's going to be called Style Savvy here. Features wireless connectivity, to shop in other players' boutiques.

PT Cop: The Recruit from Ubisoft. "More urban, open-world gaming," says Cammie. And now a trailer, which looks like Flash animation. This appears to be a RE4-style shooter. On DS.

PT Women's Murder Club: Games of Passion, based on James Patterson's work, for DS. "Why join a book club when you can join the Women's Murder Club?" the trailer says. Because I don't like ... murder?

PT 2D sprites on dynamic 3D environments, with 3D monsters. It was a quick look, but more of Golden Sun than we've seen in years. And that wraps it up for the RPG portion. They really aren't going to mention Dragon Quest IX ... ?

PT Golden Sun DS -- 2010. I totally thought he was hyping Dragon Quest, and then Reggie pulls this on us!

PT Mario & Luigi Bowser's Inside Story is launching this fall in North America and Europe.

PT This is the RPG segment of the presentation. Talking about Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, the new name for Mario & Luigi RPG 3. "Bowser really does suck ... and I mean that in a good way." The game is adorable, of course! Side-scrolling platforming combined with turn-based RPG mechanics. All inside a giant dinomonster's digestive system.

PT And now we're watching a trailer for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers. Reggie called it an "exclusive open world RPG." Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days now. We're watching a trailer for that. I hadn't heard any Utada yet today, so I'm glad Nintendo hooked me up.

PT Reggie moves on to Red Steel 2, which is MotionPlus exclusive. "These new titles begin to suggest how third party development is flowing to Nintendo." More third party games were sold for Wii and DS than any other platforms, he says.

PT Now Reggie is showing off Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 and talking about its bundle.

PT Reminder: Wii Sports Resort launches July 26.

PT It's a shooting contest. Two players grab a ball, shoot, then grab another one. It looks like each player is on his own screen. I don't want to speculate or anything, but how do most people play console games on two screens? It could be a demo, or it could be online.

When are people going to learn that watching people pretend to have fun is like watching paint dry on a chalkboard that the whole world is scratching its nails on?

PT You get three shots per target. The screen zooms in more as you pull back more, but it also gets shakier. He's showing one more sport, for which he's going to compete with Reggie ... It's basketball! Very friendly trash talk between Bill and Reggie. Friendly and ... really awkward. Reggie tries to lighten things up by making fun of Bill's height. (Now it's seriously awkward. Uncomfortable silence fills the room.)

So when is Reggie going to pound this joker into the ground? Or maybe they need to kiss. Someone cut the tension!

9:26AM PT
Next up, archery. Hold the Wiimote vertically like a bow, then push A to grip. "It feels great." Hold Z, pull Nunchuk back to pull string. Let go of Z to shoot at the target. There's a wind gauge to help compensate for wind. There must not be too much archery practice over at NOA. Just sayin'.

9:25AM PT
"You, and everyone else who plays the game, will start by jumping out of an airplane." Seriously. You hold the Wiimote as if it were your falling body. Spin it around, position it to grab other Mii skydivers. Speed up by diving downward. He's made a formation of five people now. Now there's a giant Busby Berkeley-style formation. Music swells, then everyone's chutes open. "Welcome to Wii Sports Resort."

So far, this presentation feels so much like last year's that we're checking our calendars to make sure we haven't fallen through a wormhole.

9:23AM PT
Bill Trinen back out to demonstrate MotionPlus. He's going to show us more Wii Sports Resort things. He's talking about the added precision in gameplay.

9:22AM PT
Now they're showing us a MotionPlus demo video that happens to feature new Wii Sports Resort stuff. Archery, kayaking...

9:19AM PT
Reggie is out now. He's talking about the Wii interface -- first the Wiimote, the Nunchuk, the Balance Board. What's next? Oh, right, the MotionPlus.

9:18AM PT
Wii Fit Plus will be out fall 2009 in both Balance Board bundle and standalone versions.

9:17AM PT
In addition, fifteen new balance games: skateboarding, juggling, a math game in which you bump numbers with your hips to add up to ten. There's even a sort of Mario-esque platformer, though it scrolls toward you and not from left to right.

9:16AM PT
Six new strength and yoga training activity. You can now set up playlists of exercises, it sounds like -- continuous strings of exercises. Wii Fit Plus will keep track of total calories burned.

9:15AM PT
Introducing Wii Fit Plus now. "This next version moves in an added direction -- helping find a specific workout routine" for you.

9:14AM PT
Cammie just referred to Wii Fit as a "gaming platform." I see what she did there.

9:13AM PT
At the end, the players are ranked based on points, coins, lives, and enemies killed. Cammie came in fourth. The game will launch this holiday 2009 and is playable at the show floor.

9:12AM PT
The screen pans out when players spread apart. Hidden areas appear behind walls, and the player sees a cutaway through the walls as he approaches.

9:11AM PT
You can play the main mode in single player or in co-op. You can switch at any time. There's a propeller suit that allows Mario to fly upward when you shake the Wiimote. It looks like jammies with a propeller on top.

9:10AM PT
The game is classic Mario, in New Super Mario Bros. style 3D. Four players play at the same time, competing for coins. When you die, you pop back up onscreen in a bubble.

9:09AM PT
Bill Trinen from Treehouse is out. Treehouse people are coming out to play simultaneous multiplayer Mario: one Mario, one Luigi, two Toads, in side-scrolling 3D.

9:08AM PT
Four is the key to Mario's surprise. Miyamoto has been thinking of doing a new way playing Mario ... New Super Mario Bros. for Wii!!! (Wow, a new Mario game? That was fast!)

9:07AM PT
"Innovation in the form of the next leap forward in game control. And surprises in places you might not have thought there'd be any left."

9:05AM PT
Cammie Dunaway comes out first, to polite applause. "One thing we all have in common: we're all professionally involved in video games." She's comparing video game sales to other media. Surprise: favorably.

9:04AM PT
"Everyone's GAME" -- a montage of Wii game videos up now.

9:03AM PT
The music just stopped. We're starting!

8:33AM PT Club Nokia is an interesting place to hold the Nintendo conference. It's very sleek, with some nice lounge and club music palying in the background. On the screen, Nintendo showcases various trivia questions. How much of a Nintendo nerd are you?

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