A major theme for Nintendo's presentation was the arrival of classic franchises on new systems. This includes a new Kirby game for the Wii, entitled Kirby's Epic Yarn. It's a sidescrolling platformer with a new art style based on a yarn theme, and it's due out this fall. In sharp contrast to Kirby's cartoony graphics was Nintendo's next presentation on Metroid: Other M, which had visuals in the same vein as other popular shooters, showing Samus fighting her way through intricate 3D stages to fight some nasty-looking alien monsters. Other M was given a release date of August 31. Just in case that wasn't enough nostalgia for you, they next showed a new project from Retro Studios: Donkey Kong Country Returns. It's (another) platformer, but with its own unique style and feel, and it's planned for the holiday season.
From there, Nintendo shifted its focus to the upcoming revision to their portable console, the 3DS. Since it's impossible to show the 3D effect on stage, they contented themselves with showing off software and features, but they also brought a massive amount of test consoles, so you can expect to see hands-on reports coming out in a day or two. The 3DS has a slightly larger screen on top — 3.5" instead of 3" — and the bottom screen is a touchscreen. There's an analog nub, an internal gyro-sensor, and a 3D slider, which will control the level of depth you see on screen. You can turn it to maximum, turn it off, or anywhere moderate level of depth in between. There are two camera lenses on the back, which will allow you to take photos in 3D. In addition to the 3D effect, they've also made more standard improvements to the graphics hardware, which has apparently impressed some of the developers working on games for the 3DS. They also briefly touched on the 3DS's communications capabilities. Apparently it will silently look for updates, new maps, ghost data, rankings, and more regardless of what game you're playing, communicating over Wi-Fi or through connections with other nearby consoles.
Headlining the software side of the 3DS was the announcement of Kid Icarus: Uprising, another return to a very popular franchise of old. Granted, it's tough to judge a game by its trailer, but the graphics looked extremely good for a portable system. Nintendo said that in addition to games, the 3DS would play 3D movies as well, though details are sparse as to what will be available and how. But their real concern was the perception that the system would have too few games to interest customers, so they went out of their way to list a bunch of developers and game projects that are targeting the new system. The list is really, really impressive: Kingdom Hearts, Resident Evil, Assassin's Creed, Metal Gear Solid, DJ Hero, Saint's Row, Madden, FIFA Soccer, Nintendogs + Cats, Ridge Racer, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, Mario Kart, Star Fox, and more.