E3 2008: Nintendo Media Briefing Liveblog

Nintendo’s E3 Media Briefing is scheduled to kick off today at 9:00 AM PST. We’re live in Hollywood’s Kodak Theater, live-blogging the whole thing. Check below for the coverage, including our photos and text updates straight from the conference.

10:11 AM: Here’s one last pic – it’s of Ken, completely underwhelmed. Doesn’t his face just say, “WTF?”

10:10 AM: And that’s it. Pretty underwhelming, overall. We’re gonna head on over to the Sony Media Briefing.

11:08 AM: Reggie is telling us that Wii and DS are not fads. Fads are “no longer optimal.”

11:08 AM: Right now, just recapping everything we just saw.

“Nintendo simply brings more smiles to more faces.”

10:07 AM: Reggie and Cammie are talking again. Wrapping up the conference, it looks like.

10:06 AM: A bunch of Nintendo employees are on stage playing Mario music together.

10:05 AM: The game records videos of you playing.

10:01 AM: 50 different instruments. Piano. Violin. Saxophone. Drums.

9:56 AM: Wii Music is designed for everyone, designed for people who can play music in real life, but will be able to using Wii Music.

9:55 AM: Shigeru Miyamoto is on stage. Saxophone time!

9:54 AM: Wii Music is being shown. Coming this fall. Showing drum set.

9:52 AM: Reggie just destroyed Cammie. “That’s why they call me the Reggenator!”

9:51 AM: Fencing mini-game game being shown now.

9:50 AM: Showing Jet Ski game now. You hold both the Wii-mote and nunchuck to control it. Reggie’s playing it.

9:50 AM: It detects real-time movement of what you’re doing with the Wii-mote. It looks 1:1. She’s doing a Frisbee-throwing mini-game. There’s a cute dog on screen, and it’s going after the Frisbee.

9:49 AM: Demo time. Wii Motion Plus comes packaged with each copy of Wii Sports Resort.

9:48 AM: Wii Sports Resort announced. Takes place at the beach.

9:47 AM: Talking about Wii Motion Plus device. Makes Wii-mote more precise. It renders every slight shift of your wrist and arm into the game.

9:46 AM: Now she’s talking about the DS being used in the kitchen, as a cookbook. The software is coming this November.

9:45 AM: Talking about airports and DS. She’s always playing her DS at airports. But can the DS be used at an airport in other ways? Such as checking your flights, where your luggage is and checking ATMs/places to eat. Nintendo is experimenting with all this.

9:43 AM: GTA: China Town Wars coming to DS this winter. Set in modern-day Liberty City. Same free-ranging gameplay fans expect. Lots of clapping. Did someone just scream?

9:43 AM: The next Pokemon game announced. Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia coming November 10th.

9:40 AM: Another big game coming is Spore from EA. Video reel showing Guitar Hero and Spore Creatures is running now.

9:41 AM: Guitar Hero On Tour Decades announced.

9:40 AM: Cammie is back now. Talking about how popular handheld games have become. Says 30% of gamers in 2005 playing DS were female. In 2006, that number was 46%. This year, it’s at 48%, so far.

9:39 AM: Call of Duty supports the Wii Zapper. Lots of focus on the co-op element of the game in the trailer being shown.

9:38 AM: The third game is Call of Duty: World at War.

9:36 AM: There are lots of Wii games on the way, Reggie says, but Nintendo will be showing just 3 games for Wii this E3 conference, so it can focus on the variety of ways software is using the Wii’s special controller.

First game is Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Second game is Rayman: Raving Rabbids TV Party

9:35 AM: Reggie says that using key franchises and characters (like Metroid and Mario) and also using new series (like Wii Sports and Wii Fit) helped accomplish this.

Now, we’re seeing more third parties have success on Wii. 19 third-party Wii games have sold over 400,000 units in America alone.

9:33 AM: No system has sold as many games in its first 19 months as Wii has.

9:33 AM: Nintendo expects that when the NPD numbers for last month are released, it will reveal that Wii is the best-selling next-gen console, worldwide.

9:32 AM: He’s talking about how Nintendo is now targeting females with its marketing. Within weeks of beginning its new campaign, sales doubled for New Super Mario Bros., Brain Age and Nintendogs.

9:31 AM: Says the new Pokemon: Mystery Dungeon series was a big seller this spring.

9:30 AM: Nintendo expects the total, worldwide DS sales will hit over 100 million by next March.

9:29 AM: But, despite all this, Reggie says Nintendo is not satisfied because there are still millions of people that do not play games.

9:27 AM: Reggie Fils-Aime is coming on stage now.

Lifetime sales for Wii hardware = 10 million.
DS = 20 million.

9:26 AM: The game will support “WiiSpeak,” a microphone that allows players to communicate online. It sits on a flat surface and picks up audio throughout your room.

9:25 AM: You can use a mask to look like your Mii.

9:24 AM: Animal Crossing: City Folk coming this fall. And it’s online.

9:23 AM: Animal Crossing confirmed.

9:22 AM: Talk about user-created content. “We’re not the only ones thinking along these lines.”

9:21 AM: So, the question is what’s next, say Iwata? Eventually people will get tired of a new product. This happens with others try to reproduce that product. Iwata says that there is danger is standing still.

“We must find more ways for players to feel engaged. Different ways for them to be enriched. Even with interactions that are not games. The overall experience must be increased enthusiasm. Unfortunately, all these things are easier said than done. We at Nintendo always change our selves to be pioneers. We seek fresh surprises. I hope you enjoy the ones we have for you today.”

9:20 AM: An example of this is Guitar Hero. He notes that although it’s on multiple platforms, the Wii version is selling the best.

9:20 AM: Iwata wants to destroy the barrier between gamers and non-gamers.

9:19 AM: Years ago, games were purchased seasonally — as a gift for someone else. However, now, players are buying games for themselves.

9:18 AM: But games like Wii Sports, with small budgets, can capture a worldwide audience. As long as it starts with a good idea.

Also, another thing that has changed is that the userbase has expanded. Photos of old people are on screen. I think you know where he’s going with this.

9:17 AM: Says that the teams responsible for both Mario and Zelda are “hard at work.”

9:16 AM: Games can now sell for a very long time. Games like Brain Age and Nintendogs are “Evergreens,” continuing to sell year after year. Iwata thinks that it is no longer true that players only seek new games with more sophisticated graphics.

9:15 AM: Satoru Iwata is now on stage. He’s talking about how when he firs started at Nintendo, there was such a pessimistic view of the company. Today, he wants to discuss what has really changed since then.

9:13 AM: The game’s coming this year to Wii, “exclusively, she says. I thought the game was also for 360?

9:12 AM: Shaun is teaching her how to play Shaun White Snowboarding with the Wii Balance Board. She’s doing the half pipe right now. Ouch, just slammed into the ground. She definitely needs Shaun’s help.

9:09 AM: Shaun White Snowboarding being shown, and it’s Shaun White playing the game.

9:08 AM: Talking about family trip when she went snowboarding. She fell, and she says that she needs someone to help her get better at snowboarding.

9:08 AM: Talking about her family. Says that playing video games is probably the safest way to try and impress your kids.

9:07 AM: Cammie Dunaway is on stage. “My name is not Reggie,” she says. But she has a lot in common with Reggie. “We’re both having a lot of fun.” “I can’t stop smiling.”

9:06 AM: It’s starting. There’s a montage playing of people playing their DS and Wiis, smiling and having fun. Yay! Everyone’s so happy!

9:01 AM: The show should be starting any minute now. We’re all playing with our iPhones (custom apps FTW) while we wait.

8:45 AM: The theater is filling up, and we’re just waiting for this thing to start.

8:36 AM: We just sat down. Got pretty decent seats. About 6 rows back. Feels like E3 2006 again, being back in the Kodak Theater. Let’s hope it’s a good show.