Nintendo held its annual pre-E3 event today, and some of the veil of mystery surrounding its new console, the Wii (formerly known as the code-named Revolution), was finally lifted. With it, new details about the Wii's hardware and its games were offered.
The Wii will be launching in the fourth quarter of this year, but no specific date was announced. Likewise, no price for the console was given during the conference. But there were plenty of details for the console itself. The Wii's controller has an internal speaker, to allow gamers to experience something Nintendo called "depth of sound" – close effects can be heard through the remote's speaker, and then can be heard through the speakers of your television. One example offered was the firing of an arrow from a bow: the "twang" of the bowstring would be heard on the remote's speaker, and the sound of the arrow hitting an enemy would be heard on the TV. The remote also has a built-in rumble feature, and the so-called "nunchaku" attachment will include motion sensing also.
President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, discussed the frustration of load times on game consoles, and that he wants to get rid of that with the Wii. How he – or Nintendo – intends to do this is unknown.
On the subject of online gaming, a new feature offered will be WiiConnect24. The power consumption for the system will be so low that it can always be connected to the internet, which will allow gamers to boot up the system and play games on the Virtual Console, or open the Opera web browser in mere moments. The Virtual Console will offer both old school games, and also a "laboratory" for smaller, simpler games played with the remote. Iwata said that with it, Nintendo could "build a game like the next Tetris."
Games featured during the conference ranged from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption to Super Mario Galaxy to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and a total of 27 games will be playable on the Wii tomorrow on the show floor. Whether those games will launch with the system is still a mystery, but RPGamer will be sure to report on more Wii news as it becomes available. Many thanks to correspondent Bryan Boulette for on-scene reporting.