Nintendo's GDC 2011 conference has just wrapped in sunny San Francisco, headed up by CEO Satoru Iwata. With the 3DS already available in Japan and due for release in Europe this month, exciting things were expected from Nintendo, and once Iwata had finished a rather lengthy look back at all that his company and the industry has achieved in the past quarter of a century, he let slip with some rather tasty announcements. Like...
New Super Mario! Ocarina of Time In June!
Oh. Snap! A new Super Mario is in development for the 3DS, with development headed up by none other than the Mario Galaxy team! No gameplay was shown or much in the way of details revealed, but the logo, which Nintendo claimed was 'temporary', featured a tail curling from the 'O', which Iwata teasing "You may wonder what this indicates", before finally stating "we will reveal this at E3 this year".
He moved on to Zelda next, which just celebrated it's 25th anniversary. Fittingly, Nintendo announced the 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time, which features brand new visuals and content, would be launching in June this year. That's less than three months! Iwata debuted some footage from Skyward Sword next, although no new info was revealed.
Netflix In 3D!
Wow. Wasn't expecting that. Online film streaming service Netflix has partnered with Nintendo to deliver content on the 3DS. So that means downloading a film while on the go and watching it in - the rather astounding - 3D. That's a pretty huge announcement, rivaling any of the major partnerships Microsoft and Sony have championed. And while both offer a Netflix service, the added plus of downloading films while out and about and then watching them in 3D is a pretty major differentiator.
You can download 3D movie trailers, too, with surprise guest Reggie Fils-Aime showing off the - ergh - Green Lantern trailer. He then announced Nintendo would be delivering an exclusive channel for fans, promising comedy and music videos for us to download. So far, so good, but what else does Nintendo have up their sizable sleeve? Despite wads of cash, of course.
10, 000 Wi-Fi Hot Spots...In America
In addition to streaming Netflix to your 3DS, Nintendo announced AT&T would be installing 10, 000 new wi-fi hot spots for 3DS users. Like the Netflix agreement, however, this seems restricted to users in America, leaving us Brits to only dream about the deliciously glorious internet our cousins across the pond are eating up. However...
Following on from the hot spots announcement, Nintendo revealed their new eShop, which includes the DSiWare service featuring old Gameboy classics and whatnot, but now Turbo Grafx and Game Gear titles. Nintendo will also be bringing back classic games in 3D form, not to mention the ability to look up trailers, background info and even websites.
Reggie did stop for a moment to remind fans not all features like this will be present on day one. It'll stagger the release of certain content as it works on more new and exciting stuff, but all in all it proves Nintendo's continued support of building up the 3DS' multimedia approach.
Overall, Nintendo's conference was a treat, especially for potential owners in America, where services like Netflix and the ten thousand new hot spots should make life as a 3DS owner very special, indeed. However, a little more of an emphasis on a worldwide approach would have been nice, although you can't get angry with Nintendo when they announce a new Super Mario game from the developers of one of the finest platform games or the last few years, can you?