E3 2012: Nintendo press conference recap.

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After unveiling the protoype of the Wii U, Nintendo was faced with meeting some lofty expectations at this year’s E3. Luckily, they didn’t disappoint, as their annual press conference was filled with plenty of announcements and gameplay demonstrations. We’ve got the breakdown for you, including plenty of video footage thanks to IGN.

First up, Shigeru Miyamoto took to the stage to announce that Pikmin 3 would be coming to the Wii U, complete with a new multiplayer mode and new functionality thanks to the Wii U GamePad.

 

Speaking of the GamePad, Nintendo announced that each Wii U console will support two of the fancy peripherals. Unfortunately, the publisher remained tight-lipped about details, so we don’t know if GamePads can be purchased separately, or if gamers will need to bring their own GamePad when they visit a friend’s house. We still haven’t even been given a release date or price point for the new hardware.

A Nintendo press conference wouldn’t be complete without some sort of Mario-related news, and it’s no big shock that New Super Mario Bros. U was announced, featuring the same 4-player co-op from the previous iteration on Wii, but adding support for a 5th player via the Wii U GamePad, which allows blocks and platforms to be strategically dropped onto the screen.

In third-party news, Warner Bros. announced that they’re bringing Batman to the Wii U with Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, featuring a new B.A.T. power that builds up as you successfully complete combos, allowing the player to unleash even more pain and ass-kickery on the thugs and lowlifes that would dare stand in your way. The Wii U GamePad will also feature a weapon-selection screen, and will allow for batarangs to be steered using the built-in accelerometer.

Plenty of other third-party titles are heading to the Wii U, and Nintendo unveiled a short sizzle reel with a few of the heavy hitters, including Darksiders II, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, and Mass Effect 3.

3DS news was scarce, but fans should be happy to hear that New Super Mario Bros. 2 is headed to the handheld on August 19, and that Paper Mario: Sticker Star will be following soon after. The latter features the same tried-and-true gameplay formula of previous Paper Mario titles, but adds the ability to collect stickers and unleash special attacks.

Ubisoft’s survival horror title ZombiU seemed to have some interesting gameplay applications, as players can use the Wii U GamePad to scroll through their inventory, scan areas for clues, or snipe enemies with precision.

And of course, every Nintendo platform needs a collection of minigames, so the publisher closed out the event with a look at NintendoLand, which features levels based on classic Nintendo franchises such as Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda. If you’re interested in seeing more of Nintendo, the Wii U, or the 3DS, check out this video of the entire press conference.

Everything we’ve seen from the Wii U indicates that Nintendo is doing a good job of catering to their built-in fanbase while also attracting more of the hardcore crowd. A slew of high-profile third-party titles should help with early adoption rates, but the biggest questions that remain after their presentation are when gamers can expect the Wii U to be on shelves, and how much they’ll have to shell out to take one home. Hopefully we’ll have the answer soon.

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