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Samus is back and looking good in 3D  (Source: ArsTechnica)

Solid Snake in 3D? Nintendo's keynote felt like Christmas.  (Source: Spill)

The Nintendo 3DS looks sweet -- there's an impressive array of launch titles in the works -- and it comes with gorgeous graphics, network-connected gameplay, and a 3D camera module.  (Source: ArsTechnica)

Kid Icarus 3D is another Nintendo 3DS title to lust after.  (Source: ArsTechnica)

Nintendo's star video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario and Zelda, was on hand to show off a new Wii Zelda title.  (Source: Giant Bomb)

Zelda: Skyward Sword adds freeform combat.  (Source: Giant Bomb)
Nintendo silences the competition with a killer lineup

Nintendo's rise to the top in the latest round of console wars was nothing sort of shocking.  When the brand suffered through the Gamecube era, many people wrote the company off.  However, with the launch of the Wii and Nintendo DS, Nintendo flattened the competition in terms of profitability and console sales.

Now, at Nintendo's annual E3 keynote, the company has unveiled an upcoming lineup that's nothing short of stunning.  Leading the way is the Nintendo 3DS.  The 3DS reinvents the handheld.  Why has 3D TVs and gaming failed to catch on?  "It's the glasses, " complains Reggie Fils-Aime.

There are no glasses to be seen with the 3DS.  Gorgeous visuals for a handheld, falling between the PS2 and PS1 in quality (plus 3D added on top), greeted viewers of the keynote.  The top screen is 3.5-inch display, while a smaller bottom screen does touch input.  There's new sensors including a gyroscope and a side slider to adjust the depth of the 3D effect.  The unit supports Wi-Fi (according to Nintendo it communicates "without you evening know it") for internet-enabled gameplay.

Nintendo has assembled an arsenal of A-list launch titles and upcoming games.  Leading the way are Kingdom Hearts 3D, Resident Evil Revelations, Assassins creed, Metal Gear Solid.  And Nintendo is chipping in Kid Icarus 3D and Nintendogs 3D (which will also feature kittens!).

The handheld even comes with a 3D camera, which uses two lenses on the back of the unit.  That means that the device may even see use beyond the regular gaming workload.

Meanwhile, the company plans to continue its campaign of dominance on the Wii by expanding its list of titles.  The keynote kicked off with the introduction Zelda Skyward Sword.  This title allows you to utilize the nunchuk as a shield and the Wii Motion Plus as a sword for freeform combat.  It brings back popular Zelda weapons -- the slingshot and bow -- and introduces new ones, like a whip.  It will air early next year.

Also coming up is Goldeneye 007 -- the long awaited successor to the best-selling Nintendo 64 title.  The game will feature 16 gaming modes for multiplayer mayhem and eight Bond characters -- just in case you find Daniel Craig annoying and want to get you Connery groove on.  The game will launch in November.

Other top titles include Metroid: Other M, starring everyone's favorite Nintendo vixen Samus, and Donkey Kong.  The new Metroid launches August 31.  The new Donkey Kong title, complete with Diddy and Donkey Kong playable, will launch during the holiday season.

Other announced titles include Wii Party, an NBA JAM exclusive version for Wii, Madden, MLB 2K, mario Volleyball, Hockey, Mario Sports Mix 2011, Just Dance 2, Disney: Epic Mickey and Dragon Quest 9.

Even the old homely DS -- the best selling console of all time -- received some love, with the gorgeously animated Kirby's Epic Yarn.  Also upcoming for the DS is Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the latest in a line of popular mobile RPGs.  The title will feature real time combat and dual screen boss battles.

Nintendo boasted some impressive numbers -- 22 million copies of Mario Kart for Wii sold internationally, a vast lead in global console sales, and, according to NPD, the distinction of being the console most desired to be purchased.  Also according to the recent NPD study people spend more time playing their Wiis than any other console.

Maintaining a sufficient volume of quality game titles has been Nintendo's weak point in recent years.  High profile titles have pleased, but have been far too infrequent.  If E3 is any indication, that should soon change.  And even with Microsoft's motion sensing Kinect (Project Natal)Xbox 360 Slim, and $149 Xbox 360 Arcade edition -- plus whatever Sony pulls out later today -- it looks to be the star of E3 2010's console war.  We're guessing that within a year or so they're going to be trying to cook up 3D handhelds of their own, but for now Nintendo is yet again placing itself on the bleeding edge of gaming.

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RE: Star of E3?
By Freezebyte on 6/15/2010 3:01:01 PM , Rating: 1
Haven't played/cared about Zelda since Ocarina of time.

RE: Star of E3?
By B3an on 6/15/2010 4:17:09 PM , Rating: 1
Screw Zelda, it will be about the 50th version. I'm amazed that so many nintards dont get sick of all this old Nintendo crud being recycled constantly. It's all the same.

RE: Star of E3?
By chmilz on 6/15/2010 5:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
I personally agree. I found Twilight Princess and Spirit Tracks to be a little painful to play through out of sheer boredom. Phantom Hourglass was ok, but Spirit Tracks felt like a weak expansion as opposed to a new game, with more time spent sitting in the stupid train than having fun.

Anyone else miss the atmosphere from Link to the Past?

RE: Star of E3?
By Icon0clast on 6/15/2010 6:18:50 PM , Rating: 3
I miss Link to the Past period.

RE: Star of E3?
By Hydrofirex on 6/15/2010 7:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
This was definitely the definitive Legend Of Zelda. Everything else is just a rehash...

Thank the internet for emulators!

RE: Star of E3?
By tedrodai on 6/16/2010 8:53:02 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I enjoyed Ocarina of Time a lot when it was released. Age could have been a factor--not sure, because I only ever played through it once. I've played through Link to the Past many times though. And while many people have loved the Metroid games on the Wii, they've lost their magic to me. While novel, the motion controls don't seem to add much to games like these, and actually seem to detract from the game's appeal in some cases.

I'll probably try them both eventually, since Nintedno is great at surprising you with fun games, but I definitely won't be rushing to buy them at release like I used to for these loved Nintendo franchises.

There's no way they can be as bad as the latest Final Fantasy game, right?

RE: Star of E3?
By EricMartello on 6/17/2010 9:22:11 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I gotta say that "A Link to the Past" was the best Zelda game in the series. I have a lot of fond memories playing it, and I still have my old nintendo power game guide.

I miss the "atmosphere" of the for game it probably has the best library in terms of diversity and quality of any console before or after.

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