The mastermind behind Wii U is here with us at E3.
Join us again as Nintendo's Katsuya Eguchi discusses the Wii U.
5:57:44: The event starts soon, but we are still waiting outside.
6:01:13: Nintendo will make a recording available at 11:30PT tonight.
6:05:02: Headed in.
6:19:39: Hi everyone! Jonny here and I'm ready to live blog this thing. We're all here and waiting for it to start. Expecting Katsuya Eguchi and Miyamoto to talk about Wii U and Miiverse.
6:22:34: NOA's Kit Ellis introduces Katsuya Eguchi, Wii U Software Producer. (He also heads up the Animal Crossing franchise and helped design the 3DS hardware/interface as well.)
6:23:38: He hopes everyone got to try Takamaru's Ninja Castle in NintendoLand. Then he tosses out several toy shuriken to the crowd, much like how the game is played by flicking the stars towards the TV.
6:25:12: NintendoLand is a virtual theme park feat. attractions based on various Nintendo franchises. Zelda Battle Quest, Takamaru's Ninja Castle, Animal Crossing Sweet Land, Luigi's Ghost Mansion, and Donkey Kong's Crash Course.
6:26:19: These are just the five shown here at E3; they mentioned this morning there will be 12 in all. This is the game we expect to be packed in with the Wii U system. Eguchi is now showing a gameplay video of AC Sweet Land.
6:27:06: All the icons are now shown for NL. Samus, Mario hat, a Pikmin flower, a spaceship, a balloon, and a Yoshi egg are among the ones not seen before.
6:28:21: Now he's playing DK Crash Course, which is a single-player attraction also available on the E3 floor. He explains the motion controls but also notes that some elements in this attraction have you use the buttons and analog sticks too.
6:29:31: Eguchi: DK Crash Course seems simple but has surprising depth and appeal for experienced players. People within Nintendo say it's one of their favorites in NintendoLand.
6:31:38: So far, Miyamoto has not appeared, and I don't see him in the front rows. Could have missed him, though.
6:33:24: Eguchi: There are more than just two or three courses in Zelda: Battle Quest. This attraction also has a single-player mode. You play with the GamePad as an archer. (Ed: They are strongly implying that each attraction in NL has significant depth and content.)
6:35:01: Eguchi: We are building both single-player and multiplayer modes for many of these attractions in Nintendo Land. Some even have both competitive and cooperative versions of multiplayer.
6:36:28: Eguchi: Nintendo Land is meant to introduce a lot of ways to use the Wii U GamePad, but it's not a shallow mini-game collection like Wii Play. (Ed -- Did he just slam Nintendo's own game? Geez!)
6:38:25: Eguchi: We hope that even inexperienced players will be able to jump in and enjoy Nintendo Land. Now Bill Trinen is playing it live to show off the main hub area of NL.
6:39:31: Bill is controlling the camera by moving the GamePad around in space. He is directly controlling a Mii with the joystick. (Is this the first game to let you do that?)
6:40:17: There is a floating robot with a TV screen and smiley face that serves as your guide through the hub area. Its name is "Sign Girl" in Japanese but they haven't chosen an English name yet.
6:41:35: You earn coins in the game by meeting certain goals in the attractions and can use them to buy statues for the park. Miiverse will be integrated into this game through the central park area.
6:42:30: There is a train going in circles around the hub area -- you can walk onto it for quicker transport to different attraction gates.
6:43:35: The other Miis hanging around the park are your friends and online visitors from the Miiverse. Their locations and behaviors relate to things they have done in the game.
6:44:18: Eguchi is happy to integrate Miiverse into the Nintendo Land park because he wants people to make friends in this space. (But how will they protect the children??!?)
6:45:33: Eguchi: I know there are message boards on the Internet, but I hate when people go there to complain about games they haven't even played. I'd like Miiverse to provide some assurance that you are interacting with people who have played the same games as you.
6:47:05: Aaron: I'm posting some photos in the gallery below.
6:47:13: There's a system built into Miiverse to avoid giving or reading spoilers. It relies on self-flagging spoilers and also lets other users mark spoilers when they see one. (Note: Bill has made it up to a higher level of the hub world, standing on a transparent floor and looking at a giant version of Sign Girl.)
6:48:18: Many, if not all, the statues seem to be interactive, making little animations when you activate them. There seems to be quite a large number and variety to collect.
6:50:08: Eguchi is talking a lot about how the Miiverse would interact with Animal Crossing... but there is no such game announced for Wii U. So could you use this with the 3DS game or is he hinting at a Wii U version?
6:51:40: Now we're looking at a video of an F-Zero attraction or bonus game in Nintendo Land. It looks a bit like slot car racing from the normal F-Zero perspective, but with your Mii in a toy Blue Falcon sliding around the track. (Not very fast, but a nice nod to fans.)
6:52:41: Eguchi introduces Tezuka-san, producer of New Super Mario Bros. U to talk about how Miiverse integrates with that game.
6:54:04: Tezuka is talking about the different kinds of Mario games -- 3D Land, Paper Mario, and the recent series of New Super Mario Bros games.
6:55:05: Tezuka: Miiverse is not actually a social network. It changes depending on which game you're playing. There are two ways it works into NSMBU.
6:56:42: If you keep falling into the same pit over and over, the game will ask how you feel about that situation. Also, if you make a "super play" (really excellent run through a level), you'll get a chance to express your feelings with Miiverse.
6:57:05: If you keep falling into the same pit over and over, the game will ask how you feel about that situation. Also, if you make a "super play" (really excellent run through a level), you'll get a chance to express your feelings with Miiverse.
6:57:55: You can view these messages in the system Miiverse interface, but in NSMBU, you can also see them in the game itself. Miiverse will be different for every game.
6:58:39: In NSMB Wii, a lot of people enjoyed the multiplayer experience. With Boost Mode in NSMBU, even more people can play together.
6:59:36: Even people who have never played Mario can join with Boost Mode because the interface is very simple -- just touch the screen to add a Boost Block that lets other players get to new places.
7:01:27: Bill Trinen returns with JC Rodrigo from Treehouse to demo this mode for us. They seem to be playing the same demo that's on the show floor. They skip to the third level, set in a snow world with giant rotating stars.
7:02:35: Tezuka likens Boost Mode to the Japanese activity of making rice cakes -- they taste better if every person does his job well.
7:05:34: He talks about how the Boost Mode player can be helpful, or in a larger group of players, can set up things to make everyone compete for coins. You can also just use the blocks as obstacles, as we're seeing on the screen.
7:06:37: Now Tezuka is playing as Mario and Eguchi is on the GamePad making blocks. Tezuka says players can sometimes be "less than helpful". (Ed -- He knows people will just troll each other with this, right?)
7:07:28: Tezuka also mentions that you can play by yourself directly on the GamePad screen. This feature is also on the show floor.
7:08:15: Time for Q&A -- I'll be paraphrasing quite a lot here. First one: What's the chance that Nintendo Land will be in the box when Wii U launches?
7:09:28: Eguchi: Honestly, I don't know. But if you think Nintendo Land is like Wii Sports, the concepts are similar. But remember that Wii Sports was pack-in for America and not Japan.
7:10:33: Q: Will Miiverse also censor posts for bad language or rude comments, in addition to spoilers?
7:11:29: Eguchi: We want Miiverse to be a pleasant environment and will aggressively pursue that.
7:11:57: Q: Do you feel the Wii U target audience is the same for the original Wii?
7:13:58: Eguchi: Of course I would say yes. But I also want to note that we are "powering up" with Wii U. There's an attitude that Nintendo is targeting casual users, but actually we're more interested in making games for people who really love games.
7:16:24: For third-parties, we want to enable them to put out the games they want to make. There are third-party developers more than happy to utilize this GamePad.
7:17:08: Q: What are the difficulties and consequences of using two GamePads at once with Wii U?
7:18:15: Eguchi: The reality is that drawing to a second screen requires resources from the hardware. Tezuka notes it could add even more fun ideas for gameplay.
7:19:58: Eguchi: Displaying images on three different screens does significantly affect the performance. But the fun is not necessarily limited by what those images look like. What's important is how the roles of the screens are divided.
7:21:40: Eguchi: Raising performance increases cost of the hardware -- ultimately you have to achieve a fine balance with the experiences you can create. So again, this is my frank opinion.
7:22:17: Q: Will Wii players be able to transfer game saves, Virtual Console games, etc. to Wii U?
7:22:52: Eguchi: We are writing the system to enable those transfers. (!!!!!!)
7:24:54: Q: HOw will you use NFC? Eguchi: Better leave that as a surprise for now. Use your imagination. Perhaps it will enable easier purchases in the eShop.
7:25:52: MY QUESTION!!! Q: How can you create enough ideas for two different New Super ario games nar each other, what are the diferences, and how will they connect to each other?
7:26:35: Tezuka: They are made by different teams. We have made one side scrolling Mario game for each system so far. We try to make it tailored for each system's strenghs.
7:28:23: Tezuka: While we are making two Mario games in parallel, we have no plans to connect or link them. That's because we believe each title has its own strengths. We're not talking about NSMB 2 (3DS) but will show it tomorrow night -- maybe you should ask the same question then!