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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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By mfed3 on 6/15/2010 3:23:58 PM , Rating: -1
Yea, really a killer lineup...
Gears of War 3 and Crysis 2 are being shown off on the floor and then we see zelda and metroid with graphics that could run on phones these days... give me a fucking break. nintendo is resorting to selling games ONLY to little kids because they have nothing in the hardware department. im sorry, ive given up on nintendo and their dust collecting systems years ago.

By kd9280 on 6/15/2010 3:35:20 PM , Rating: 3
I'm 26... and I want to play Zelda and Kirby and Kid Icarus and Metroid and Mario.

I don't think Nintendo is selling to 'little kids' so much as they're selling to people who, now get this, like Nintendo games. I could care less about hardware and graphics. I play games because they're fun.

By Suntan on 6/15/2010 4:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, 32 here and I would still rather play a new iteration of Zelda than I would rather play *yet another* iteration of some army soldier shooting *yet another* iteration of a pimped up assault riffle at ____ (you fill in the blank: other humans/space aliens/zombies)

Heck, I’d rather replay OOT via emulation over a good number of the repetitive soldier FPS shooters out there.


By Runiteshark on 6/15/2010 6:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
Agree, I just replayed OOT and Majoras Mask recently.

I played about 5 minutes of the new FEAR and just quit.

By The0ne on 6/16/2010 12:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
No doubt. The classics are way fun :)

By Urbanmech on 6/15/2010 3:37:08 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I though we all played game because they were fun?

I will get hours if not days more fun and playtime out of Zelda then Gears of War 3.

Nintendo may not have the best graphics, but damn are some of their games fun.

By Hiawa23 on 6/15/2010 4:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I though we all played game because they were fun?

I am 36, I think most of us have been playing games since the 70s 80s & play games because they are fun, but I have found that I only have fun when I am playing many of my daughters casual games with her on her Wii, as it gives me a chnace to bond with her, but that's it, other than that, it has no appeal to me, motion controls have no appeal to me.

I hate the fact that many us long time Nintendo fans who don't like motion controls are forced to used em in almost all of the Nintendo main games except Punchout which is the only Wii disc game I like, plus the fact that I did not buy that 1080p TV not to enjoy my games & movies in HD, so I prefer the PS3/360, that's what make games fun to me, not only do I have to enjoy playing them but I must enjoy looking at them to. That's fun to me.

I mainly play sports, shooters, fighters, actions games, & online with a mic is a must so I am glad to see that Nintendo had a great showing, I may get Zelda & Metroid as long as you are not forced to use motion controls, then I am with it. It's a great time to be a multiconsole gamer.

By Nick5324 on 6/15/2010 5:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree about certain Nintendo games that are fun despite not having cutting edge graphics. I've always liked the first party stuff Nintendo puts out.

Metroid looked fine to me, and looked like fun. Both Mario Galaxy games look good and are a load of fun. That said, the graphics in the new Zelda game and the new Goldeneye game looked really dated. I'm ok with lesser graphics with superior gameplay, but the new Zelda and Goldeneye games are pushing "lesser".

By afkrotch on 6/16/2010 10:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
For me, if the game does exactly the same crap as other games, but looks worse, I start hating the game. Pretty much all 1st party Nintendo games play the same as other games, except use gay controllers.

By Iaiken on 6/15/2010 4:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
Own a PS3 and a Wii...

The only reason I don't own a 360 is that I sold it on Kijiji after my 4th time sending it back to Microshaft for repairs.

If you like formulaic pop culture games, sure, the 360 is great. However, there hasn't been a single groundbreaking game on exclusive to the 360 that made me go "HOLY $&^@ THAT WAS AWESOME!!!" or otherwise left me cheering.

The PC, PS3 and Wii lineups for the rest of the year are going to have me too busy to even worry about the 360 lineup.

If you like 360 better, fine, but I hold my own opinion on the matter so any descanting opinions are just preaching to the 360 fanboy nation because MS has lost me as an entertainment customer this round.

My favorite games (By Console):

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
RE4: Wii Edition (Wii)
Super Smash Brothers Brawl (Wii)
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii)
Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
Metroid Prime: Corruption (Wii)
Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
Little King's Story (Wii)
No More Heroes 2 (Wii)
God of War 3 (PS3)
Uncharted (PS3)
Uncharted 2 (PS3)
Little Big Planet (PS3)
GT5 Prologue (PS3)
Heavy Rain (PS3)

You guessed it, no 360 exclusive games have ingrained themselves into my list of games that I love to play. In any case where I could buy it for PC, I did so, if not then I bought it for PS3 and my 360 is now happily blanding it's new owner to death.

By adiposity on 6/15/2010 5:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much agree with you here, however for 360 I would add Gears 1&2. I thought they were fun for two player (with a buddy) in the same room.

I also played the GTA4 expansions on Xbox (when they came out as standalone) only to watch the PS3 versions show up a few months later. I prefer the PS3 controller, so any time I have a choice, I go with PS3.

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