The fun officially starts at 9 a.m. Pacific. Check back for video, commentary, and chat with fellow NWR visitors!
6:55:34: Aaron: Here with Nathan way too early in an already significant line.
8:04:46: We're all here in Nokia theater waiting for the show to start!
8:12:32: Okay guys, chat is active.
8:29:31: Mentions of Luigi's Mansion, Tanooki Suit, Resident Evil, Metal Gear, FIFA, Zelda, Mario Kart, Kid Icarus, Donkey Kong, and more in the pre-show trivia. That will be some of what we see today!
8:38:13: There's a symphony pit set up with an actual symphony. Rumor is Skyward Sword song.
8:46:55: Another Luigi Q....
8:47:59: A Q about Uematsu and Brawl.... Hmmmmm....
9:05:07: Jonny here, I'll be running the liveblog from this point on. We are in the fifth row, center section. Prime spot for "Iwata holding things" photos.
9:06:23: And we've started. Zelda history video running while symphony and choir performs below.
9:07:27: Dark section of music representing the Ganondorf montage on screen.
9:08:08: Now a section devoted to Zelda herself. No one from NOA has spoken or appeared yet.
9:08:59: The conductor is female, with blond hair in a shiny ponytail holder. Could it be Princess Zelda?
9:09:18: The conductor is female, with blond hair in a shiny ponytail holder. Could it be Princess Zelda?
9:09:30: The conductor is female, with blond hair in a shiny ponytail holder. Could it be Princess Zelda?
9:10:20: Video ends with new footage from Skyward, showing flying gameplay on a bird and new female character (Zelda?). Miyamoto enters in a swanky business suit.
9:10:49: "Zelda, it sure brings back memories!" Here comes Bill Trinen to translate.
9:12:35: Miyamoto is asking the orchestra to play audio clips and sound effects from Zelda (like opening a chest).
9:13:10: Miyamoto is gesturing and swaying as the orchestra plays.
9:14:14: ITEM GET
9:14:20: Starting today, Link's Awakening is available on eShop!
9:14:35: Should be available worldwide by the end of today.
9:15:03: Starting next weekend, Ocarina of Time 3D will launch around the world.
9:15:58: In September, on DSi, Four Swords as free download!
9:16:25: In September, on DSi, Four Swords as free download!
9:17:00: And yes, Skyward Sword this holiday for Wii. A gold Triforce edition of Remote Plus will also be available.
9:17:47: Skyward Sword will be "...the most satisfying Zelda experience."
9:18:10: Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony -- concerts around the world.
9:19:36: Concerts will be this fall, dates and locations to come. Also two music CDs - OoT 3D official soundtrack, for early Club Nintendo registrants. The other CD is based on the concerts and will come out near Skyward Sword.
9:20:01: Over 200 people within Nintendo alone have worked on the Zelda series. Inviting several on the stage now.
9:20:33: Tezuka, Koizumi, and Aonuma are now on stage with Miyamoto and Trinen.
9:21:09: Miyamoto ends by thanking the fans; all on stage take a deep bow, and the symphony plays them out.
9:21:47: That may be the last we see of Zelda this morning -- they don't seem to be doing another live demo, no surprise after last year. The game is playable at E3, though.
9:22:01: Satoru Iwata enters the stage.
9:22:35: Wii and DS caused changes in who plays, how we play, and where we play.
9:23:13: Some hardware seems targeted to either most active or most casual players. New system is imminent.
9:23:37: "deeper and wider" are key words for the new home console.
9:23:58: deeper experiences, wider appeal (even more than Wii)
9:24:18: Full details coming a little later this morning... (audience groans)
9:24:51: New console is next year -- duh.
9:25:07: 3DS video reel
9:25:34: Mario Kart -- Mario drives into a hang glider and flies around for a few seconds.
9:25:47: Star Fox now. "Do a barrel roll!"
9:26:22: Super Mario jumping on note blocks and becomes Tanooki. These are not gameplay videos, more like sizzle/concept videos.
9:26:42: Kid Icarus, now Luigi's Mansion (new game announcement?)
9:27:09: Reggie enters the stage. His body is ready.
9:27:52: "Look, we hear you." He says we want familiar experiences with new elements.
9:28:47: Reggie - focusing on 5 new games this week for 3DS (the ones just shown in those videos).
9:29:22: Mario Kart gameplay footage. Looks similar to MK DS but improved of course.
9:29:55: Gliding is definitely part of gameplay. Looks to be a temporary thing. Also underwater driving with turbines attached to rear of karts.
9:30:17: Kart customization returns (mix wheels, body, etc.)
9:30:44: Holiday 2011 -- title is simply "Mario Kart" for now.
9:32:17: Star Fox 64 3D - option for either button/joystick controls or tilt control. When playing multi, the camera shows each person's face (video, not stills) above the ship. Coming September.
9:34:00: Super Mario 3D - gameplay video. Looks like Galaxy (fixed camera). Tanooki Suit definitely in there. Mario seems to be slower than in Galaxy. Similar variety of environments, though. Many quasi-2D sections as in Galaxy 2.
9:34:13: Mario is coming "before the year is over".
9:35:02: Kid Icarus Uprising - new trailer. Lots of voice acting, sounds much better than in previous demos.
9:35:55: Multiplayer battles - different character models in addition to Pit. Online? Not clear.
9:36:18: Also supports some kind of A.R. card battling.
9:36:51: Reggie confirms 3-on-3 multiplayer action... online? We still don't know. Coming "later this year".
9:38:04: Luigi's Mansion 2 - Same cartoony, animated environments, vacuum gameplay. Seems to be less impressive lighting/transparency than on GameCube.
9:38:45: Luigi looks like a very faithful sequel. The diorama-style presentation should be good for 3D. Reggie says it has several new mansions.
9:40:10: Video reel of third-party 3DS games. RE Mercs, Mario & Sonic Olympics, Ace Combat 3D, Tetris, Cave Story 3D, RE Revelations, Driver Renegade, Pac-Man & Galaga, Tekken 3D (new), MGS Snake Eater 3D.
9:40:36: Cave Story got the biggest crowd reaction. Tekken 3D hadn't been announced before this, I think.
9:41:18: eShop has 10 3D game videos this week, and playable demos of both retail and download games are coming later this year.
9:42:41: Reggie talks up Virtual Console and 3D Classics (just Excitebike). Also Pokedex 3D. Based on crowd reaction, a lot of them didn't know this stuff launched last night.
9:43:47: Another note on Super Mario 3D -- the camera is zoomed in fairly close, diorama style. It definitely doesn't look to be built for world exploration like some of us were hoping. Should please Galaxy fans like Greg, though!
9:44:37: Reggie wraps up 3DS. Now time to introduce the new system.
9:44:59: Reggie: Remember how "Wii" made sense after you started playing it? Here comes the name.
9:45:34: Wii U is the name. Really?
9:46:00: WII U. THAT IS THE NAME.
9:46:34: CONTROLLER. Yes it looks like a small iPad, white with dual analog, D-pad, buttons, and a big ass screen in the middle.
9:47:21: Example video -- guy playing NSMB Wii, switches display from TV to the controller. Draw on the screen, too.
9:48:14: You can play only on the controller (showing Othello). It has motion, too. Point at screen or get new views like golf ball on the ground.
9:48:54: Looks like you can weigh in on Wii Fit without using a TV. There is a Zapper-style thing for it too, looks ridiculous.
9:49:23: You can make video calls, and use it as a magnifier for a TV web browser.
9:50:18: New Zelda footage shown on TV, with inventory displayed on controller. Could be from Skyward Sword, but it looked more like Twilight Princess style (with greater detail.)
9:51:09: Side view shows shoulder buttons, hump on the back (battery?), large stylus, 6.2 inch screen, backward-compatible with Wii and Wii controllers.
9:51:40: System looks like Wii but even smaller, with rounded edges. Still has a disc drive, of course.
9:52:33: Camera, microphone, speakers (stereo), motion controls, four shoulder buttons, touch screen.
9:53:13: They keep showing this ugly Wii U logo. Iwata says it's NOT a portable system. The images are generated by the console and transmitted to the controller.
9:53:50: High quality, "up to date" HD images from the console. Shown with that same Zelda demo from before, so it's definitely new and in HD.
9:54:44: This controller is going to be very expensive, clearly.
9:55:33: Iwata introducing Miyamoto. Taped interview "Iwata Asks" style, with Trinen's voice dubbed over.
9:55:55: Miyamoto - "There won't be a shortage of ideas."
9:56:24: Full text of this Iwata Asks at e3.nintendo.com
9:56:58: I'm concerned about the ergonomics of this controller -- it seems a far cry from that GameCube pad that melts into your hands.
9:57:17: Sakura wants to make Smash Brothers for BOTH Wii U and 3DS.
9:58:04: Sorry, I meant Sakurai. Both versions will work together, somehow. Sakurai is still in Japan finishing Kid Icarus. Reggie returns.
9:58:38: 8 different demos at E3, not actual games.
9:59:07: Video of a bird flying from verdant rooftap over foggy lake, Japanese music, this is extremely HD and very beautiful.
9:59:37: This doesn't appear to be related to any existing franchise, it's just a graphics demonstration.
10:00:10: When the camera zooms in on the bird, you can see that it's not pre-rendered, but it is extremely detailed.
10:00:56: New Super Mario Bros. Mii -- game concept with your Mii playing next to Mario. Can be played on TV or controller screen.
10:01:21: Shield Pose is a demo in which you move the controller around to block arrows from a pirate.
10:01:53: Chase Mii can be played with Wii Remote or new controller -- latter gives you more visual info, an advantage.
10:02:30: Some kind of Metroid/Mii shooting demo, also can be played with either kind of controller.
10:03:12: Reggie announces a game for Wii U -- Lego City Stories from TT Games (open world game, city full of Lego people and videos). Also coming to 3DS.
10:05:14: Developer commentary reel. Peter Moore, Karthik Bala, Danny Bilson of THQ, Yves Guillemot, Martin Tremblay (WB), Ken Levine, Warren Spector, Frank Gibeau (EA), some others I missed. Darksiders II and Tekken confirmed. Batman Arkham City, Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon Online all confirmed, some for launch.
10:06:42: Wii U video reel - Darksiders II, DIRT, Aliens: Colonial Marines -- I doubt these are really footage from Wii U. All multiplatform games.
10:07:50: Video reel continues - Ghost Recon Online, Metro: Last Light (wow mega hardcore, audience gasps), Tekken -- this is actually new footage, shows drawing on character's face to give him tattoos, also on clothing. It's just called Tekken.
10:08:17: Ninja Gaiden 3: Raiden's Edge (working title). This **** is really bloody!
10:09:03: Iwata and Reggie come out together now. Reggie says all of this is "first pass", clearly we should expect final graphics and gameplay concepts to be more advanced.
10:09:32: EA's Riccitiello is now on stage.
10:11:16: Riccitiello - Madden, Battlefield (footage of Battlefield 3, though he wasn't that specific). FIFA and Need for Speed also shown. Harry Potter, too. These are now just still images.
10:11:41: Stills from Sims, Army of Two (that's still a thing?).
10:12:32: Reggie's back to conclude. Lists off Nintendo's four current platforms, says they are all linked by innovation.
10:14:48: Hands-on for us with new 3DS games on the way out. 8 Wii U demos at the show this afternoon. For those watching online, Nintendo Network returns with lots of coverage. e3.nintendo.com
10:15:45: Skyward Sword only Wii game shown this morning. Rhythm Heaven logo is on the final screen, plus Kirby Mass Attack and Kirby Wii.
10:16:11: To be clear, not a word on Xenoblade, Last Story, or any other sign of life for Wii aside from Zelda.
10:16:52: Nothing on Pikmin, either. That's the kind of thing that could be held for one of the developer roundtables. (One today, another tomorrow.)
10:17:28: But there is a logo for Mario Party 9! Okay, liveblog is ending. We have to eat and get ready for E3 in about 90 minutes. Check back soon for Wii U and 3DS game impressions!