In a continuing trend for Nintendo's E3 strategy, Miyamoto has stealth-announced another project: Star Fox Wii U! In a video from the E3 show floor about upcoming GamePad-specific games that he's developing, he mentions that a new Star Fox game (presumably making significant use of the GamePad) is in development!
The other games he's showing look much smaller in scope, so I'll be curious to see how Nintendo actually releases these. They look, to be honest, like smaller games that could be part of a sequel to Nintendo Land, the Wii U launch game that boasted 12 smaller "attractions" in a virtual Nintendo theme park. Alternatively, it would be entirely possible for Nintendo to release each of these as smaller eShop titles, eschewing a retail release altogether.
PROJECT GIANT ROBOT
The first GamePad title shown, Project Giant Robot, lets players use the GamePad's motion sensors in an unusual way, riffing off of the way in which you would naturally hold the device: two arms outstretched in front of you. This allows players to control the arms of their on-screen robot avatar for maximum destruction.
This looks like a single-player affair, especially since Nintendo seems to have completely dropped their plans to release standalone GamePads for any kind of two-player action. I'm totally fine with that, as this seems perfectly suited for "pass the GamePad" multiplayer at parties or just a fun diversion for a lone player. Miyamoto mentions that these GamePad games are supposed to be fun to play and watch, and that seems true of this game; however, I have to wonder at how much depth this particular game will have. Will he be able to jam enough into this project to go beyond a novelty or quick gimmick?
The second demo shown, Project Guard, puts the player in "prison"-like (?) control room controlling 12 cameras to take down invading enemies. Although the TV will show all camera feeds simultaneously, there is always one camera highlighted in the center of the screen. It looks like you switch the focus by tapping on the location of any the cameras 1-12 on the map displayed on the GamePad.
The video shows the cameras shooting at enemies, so there is presumably some way to control a defense turret at each camera, but the video doesn't go into a lot of detail regarding the exact mechanics. I suspect articles or videos will pop up over the next week with more details, since both of these projects are playable on the show floor. We do see, though, that Nintendo is again using the multi-colored quadrant approach from Nintendo Land (originally from Mario Kart battle mode), but this also appears to be a single-player game.
The video closes with Miyamoto announcing a new Star Fox game for Wii U! I have to be honest, I wondered if we might hear news on this franchise when I saw Fox McCloud in the background of the Nintendo Digital Event opening scene, sitting on a couch behind an angry Mario.
It seemed like a strange inclusion for him to be so prominent, so it appears that it was, indeed, a bit of a tease. I suspect that Miyamoto is exploring a tilt-based control scheme with the GamePad acting as a cockpit view and the TV showing a more traditional third-person, behind-the-ship view. This could add some depth or complexity with additional controls being handled by on-screen touch controls via the GamePad from within the cockpit, which could advance the game a little beyond the arcade-style action of past games.
However, that's all speculation; the screens were blurred out, so we really don't know what this game will be. I just know that it's pretty exciting to be getting a new game in this franchise that hasn't had a universally-loved game since the Nintendo 64's Star Fox 64. Hopefully they'll bring back that awesome battle mode!
So which of these has you most excited? Leave your comments and thoughts on these three announcements in the comments below.