The show started with a bang: a symphonic orchestra walked in front of the crowd, sat down, and started playing an immediately recognizable tune, just as a montage of footage from The Legend of Zelda series started showing on the big screen. From the original Legend of Zelda on the NES to the yet-to-be-released Skyward Sword, the final note from the orchestra played just as people started to cheer. But the surprises kept coming.
First came a bevy of Zelda-related announcements, all to celebrate the series' 25th anniversary: the announcement of a commemorative gold Wiimote, branded with the triforce; the appearance of Link's Awakening on the Nintendo's eStore; a free copy of Four Swords, Link's only multiplayer foray available for a limited time; the announcement of Legend of Zelda symphonies to be played around the world; and finally, the announcement that Skyward Sword will be available this holiday for purchase.
Oh, but there was more to come.
A montage began of various 3DS games, which was quickly elaborated on as Reggie Fils-Amie showed gameplay from each of them. Mario Kart was first, showcasing vehicles that transformed into hangliders and underwater vehicles on the fly. Due this holiday. Star Fox, showcasing the use of the 3DS's gyroscopes as well as the ability to transmit your face to your opponent in multiplayer combat (hopefully with the ability to turn it off). That's coming this September.
Then came Mario 3DS, with the first appearance of the Tanooki suit since its origin in Super Mario Bros 3. Cheers were heard throughout the audience; the game's release date was announced as sometime later this year. Then came Kid Icarus, with some new characters, the revelation of 3 vs 3 multiplayer, and the newly-announced existence of AR cards for the game. That's coming out later this year. The last game shown was a sequel to the Gamecube title of Luigi's Mansion, with all the ghost-suction you remembered from the game.
Then came a montage of 3rd party titles: Resident Evil Mercenaries, Mario and Sonic at the 2012 games, Ace Combat 3D, Tetris Online, Cave Story 3D, Pac Man & Galaga Dimensions, Tekken 3D, Metal Gear Solid 3D, as well as Animal Crossing.
There was another quick announcement about a copy of Excitebike available for everyone, for free, for a limited time. Then, after talking about a 'pokedex' application in the eShop that allows people to collect pokemon via spot pass, from friends, or other AR markers, the real news was announced: the WiiU (we-yoo).
This was the new Nintendo console, and though they didn't mention anything about the hardware itself (except for the fact that it will be in HD), they did go into a whole lot of detail about the controller. The controller, which features a 6.2-inch touch screen, inward-facing camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, and as many buttons as a PS3 or Xbox 360 controller, it was certainly a complicated-looking piece of hardware. Some conceptual demos were shown of the controller being used to augment a game such as being a sniper's scope or being an extension of the interface like an inventory screen in the palm of your hands or as a part of the game's controller like using the touch screen to flick shurikens at enemies on the screen. It can also be used, essentially, as a game screen itself, wirelessly transmitting the game's data from the console to the controller. Saturo Iwata stressed the fact, however, that this does not make the console a portable device, as it is simply receiving data from the console.
A series of developers were then shown on the big screen, promoting the heck out of the new device, and the games that are planned to be released on it: Darksiders II, Arkham City, Tekken, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Metro: Last Light, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge (working title, and quite gory). Then , some games from EA like Harry Potter, The Sims, and Army of Two were shown.
Reggie finished up the conference by stating that what the four consoles (Wii, WiiU, Nintendo DS and 3DS) have in common is the innovation used in them.