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Nintendo Holds Hour-Long Press Conference to Announce Monster Hunter 4

Nintendo keeps the focus on Japan, worshipping at the altar of Monster Hunter. Also, that circle pad add-on will (probably) cost you $20.

Between Monster Hunter Tri 3G and Monster Hunter 4, Nintendo's made some key moves in Japan.

Tonight's press conference in Japan didn't really need Shigeru Miyamoto or Satoru Iwata, as it basically amounted to a slide show of game logos and release dates, mixed in with some video clips. If there was a theme around the conference, it was Iwata informing the world that games (specifically, sequels) are on the way.

Despite (legitimate) fears, Nintendo did not throw the original 3DS design under the bus...yet.

The biggest announcement came at the very end, following the proper unveiling of Monster Hunter Tri 3G, a 3DS-enhanced port of Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii with new content. The trailer showed a Monster Hunter game with larger, more open environments and even some...platforming? Wait, what?

There's a reason it's looking so different: it's Monster Hunter 4, a huge grab for Nintendo.

Sony may be getting a Monster Hunter for Vita, but so far, if you want the next major evolution in Japan's ongoing phenomenon, you'll have to have a 3DS. It's hard to understand how big that announcement is outside of Japan, where Monster Hunter hasn't resonated on the same scale, but Monster Hunter saved the PSP--period. If Monster Hunter becomes mostly a Nintendo joint, that's a huge blow against Sony.

Monster Hunter Tri 3G was dated for December 10. It's expected Sony will announce a December release date for Vita in Japan later this week at Tokyo Game Show, but has Nintendo already stolen Sony's holiday thunder? Much of Vita's lineup remains to be seen, but some big guns will have to come out at TGS. Dedicated handhelds may be on decline, but Sony and Nintendo are slugging it out. Can you imagine if Sony announces a December 10 date for Vita?

The craziest omission? The controversial second analog stick. It wasn't shown, mentioned, discussed, dated, priced--anything. I previously argued Nintendo's poor rollout of the accessory is what prompted all the doomsday talk, and besides Iwata not pulling a re-designed 3DS out of his pocket, the company did nothing to shush that talk. We still have no idea what the plan is, but perhaps Nintendo's lack of commentary says all we need to know: this is a Monster Hunter thing, chill out.

Then, after the conference, Nintendo spilled the details on its website. The accessory arrives alongside Monster Hunter Tri 3G on December 10 for 1,500 yen (roughly $20). While it may seem obvious, Nintendo made it clear games will need to specifically add support for the additional circle pad. Monster Hunter Tri 3G, Resident Evil: Revelations, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, Ace Combat 3D, Dynasty Warriors, and Kingdom Hearts 3: Dream Drop Distance will be the first to support it.

Weirdly, it also comes with more battery support. Sort of. The accessory requires a AAA battery. Basically, expect this to be part of the revision. This is a clumsy, short-term solution to the problem.

Nintendo catered to its Japanese audience. There was a reason foreign media wasn't invited, despite a number of writers being in Japan for TGS. Most of the games weren't aimed at a Western audience, such as a new Tomodatchi Collection, featuring some famous Japanese comedians, or yet another Dynasty Warriors game or SD Gundam G Generation 3D or one featuring singer Miku.

Paper Mario, aka the game with visuals that were born to exist on 3DS, is still alive and kicking.

We did see more of Paper Mario, so that game's still alive, and Nintendo confirmed a new Fire Emblem game featuring a 2D map but 3D battles. Animal Crossing is moving along and looks like how a new Animal Crossing would look if Nintendo decided to take zero risks with a new Animal Crossing. Kid Icarus: Uprising was briefly featured, but only to announce a delay to early next year. Mario Tennis is also coming to 3DS.

Oh, and Square Enix announced an RPG called Bravely Default: Flying Fairy. No, I'm not kidding. A pink 3DS is also coming.

I'd expect Nintendo will hold an event for press sometime this fall. The response to today's conference will be a combination of relief--"No new system, even though we all know it's coming but it's nice to pretend otherwise for a while!"--and disappointment--"Where are the games for everyone else?"--sure to come out of an event that appeared specifically designed to entice the Monster Hunter crowd to 3DS.

Nintendo of America's Twitter mentioned some of the announcements at the conference but not all--like the add-on. The account did confirm a firmware update in November with new Street Pass items and the ability to record 3D videos.

I could use more hats.

Nintendo does not participate at TGS, so Nintendo announcements are off the table for now, though we're sure to hear about some more third-party games over the course of the week.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
Between Monster Hunter Tri 3G and Monster Hunter 4, Nintendo's made some key moves in Japan.

Tonight's press conference in Japan didn't really need Shigeru Miyamoto or Satoru Iwata, as it basically amounted to a slide show of game logos and release dates, mixed in with some video clips. If there was a theme around the conference, it was Iwata informing the world that games (specifically, sequels) are on the way.

Despite (legitimate) fears, Nintendo did not throw the original 3DS design under the bus...yet.

The biggest announcement came at the very end, following the proper unveiling of Monster Hunter Tri 3G, a 3DS-enhanced port of Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii with new content. The trailer showed a Monster Hunter game with larger, more open environments and even some...platforming? Wait, what?

There's a reason it's looking so different: it's Monster Hunter 4, a huge grab for Nintendo.

Sony may be getting a Monster Hunter for Vita, but so far, if you want the next major evolution in Japan's ongoing phenomenon, you'll have to have a 3DS. It's hard to understand how big that announcement is outside of Japan, where Monster Hunter hasn't resonated on the same scale, but Monster Hunter saved the PSP--period. If Monster Hunter becomes mostly a Nintendo joint, that's a huge blow against Sony.

Monster Hunter Tri 3G was dated for December 10. It's expected Sony will announce a December release date for Vita in Japan later this week at Tokyo Game Show, but has Nintendo already stolen Sony's holiday thunder? Much of Vita's lineup remains to be seen, but some big guns will have to come out at TGS. Dedicated handhelds may be on decline, but Sony and Nintendo are slugging it out. Can you imagine if Sony announces a December 10 date for Vita?

The craziest omission? The controversial second analog stick. It wasn't shown, mentioned, discussed, dated, priced--anything. I previously argued Nintendo's poor rollout of the accessory is what prompted all the doomsday talk, and besides Iwata not pulling a re-designed 3DS out of his pocket, the company did nothing to shush that talk. We still have no idea what the plan is, but perhaps Nintendo's lack of commentary says all we need to know: this is a Monster Hunter thing, chill out.

Then, after the conference, Nintendo spilled the details on its website. The accessory arrives alongside Monster Hunter Tri 3G on December 10 for 1,500 yen (roughly $20). While it may seem obvious, Nintendo made it clear games will need to specifically add support for the additional circle pad. Monster Hunter Tri 3G, Resident Evil: Revelations, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, Ace Combat 3D, Dynasty Warriors, and Kingdom Hearts 3: Dream Drop Distance will be the first to support it.

Weirdly, it also comes with more battery support. Sort of. The accessory requires a AAA battery. Basically, expect this to be part of the revision. This is a clumsy, short-term solution to the problem.

Nintendo catered to its Japanese audience. There was a reason foreign media wasn't invited, despite a number of writers being in Japan for TGS. Most of the games weren't aimed at a Western audience, such as a new Tomodatchi Collection, featuring some famous Japanese comedians, or yet another Dynasty Warriors game or SD Gundam G Generation 3D or one featuring singer Miku.

Paper Mario, aka the game with visuals that were born to exist on 3DS, is still alive and kicking.

We did see more of Paper Mario, so that game's still alive, and Nintendo confirmed a new Fire Emblem game featuring a 2D map but 3D battles. Animal Crossing is moving along and looks like how a new Animal Crossing would look if Nintendo decided to take zero risks with a new Animal Crossing. Kid Icarus: Uprising was briefly featured, but only to announce a delay to early next year. Mario Tennis is also coming to 3DS.

Oh, and Square Enix announced an RPG called Bravely Default: Flying Fairy. No, I'm not kidding. A pink 3DS is also coming.

I'd expect Nintendo will hold an event for press sometime this fall. The response to today's conference will be a combination of relief--"No new system, even though we all know it's coming but it's nice to pretend otherwise for a while!"--and disappointment--"Where are the games for everyone else?"--sure to come out of an event that appeared specifically designed to entice the Monster Hunter crowd to 3DS.

Nintendo of America's Twitter mentioned some of the announcements at the conference but not all--like the add-on. The account did confirm a firmware update in November with new Street Pass items and the ability to record 3D videos.

I could use more hats.

Nintendo does not participate at TGS, so Nintendo announcements are off the table for now, though we're sure to hear about some more third-party games over the course of the week.

Staff
Edited by Hector

I was expecting the dual analoge 3DS announcement. Well Fire Emblem looked pretty cool along with Bravely Default, that game has an amazing art style to it.

Posted by TheHakku

Eh... oh well. At least it'll keep their cash flowing.

Posted by Chris2KLee

And like that, Nintendo saved the 3DS. Also, Capcom again gets away with using a last gen engine to fuel arguably their biggest franchise.

Posted by EchoForge

Phew! I think?

Posted by zipperface

No Mario Paint 3DS? Bah!

Posted by Sparklykiss

I'm so glad I have a 3DS and really hope at least a small percent of those more obscure/insane titles make it here.

Moderator
Edited by MisterMouse

that add-on looks absolutely hideous... and I feel if you need an extra piece of hardware specifically for a game... something is wrong. I mean I guess that is assuming you can't play Monster Hunter Tri 3G with one analog stick... they did it with the PSP so I mean they could technically do it for this as well.

Posted by Hailinel

Monster Hunter 3G and especially Monster Hunter 4 really were all that Nintendo needed to capture the attention of the Japanese audience.

Online
Edited by RecSpec

Monster Hunter 4 looks great, looks like they are borrowing some ideas from Dragon's Dogma.

Edit edit: Didn't see that the AAA battery thing was in the article, still crazy as hell!

Posted by InsidiousTuna

Bravely Default, in addition to stealing a great band name, looks Goddamn gorgeous. It looks like if Studio Ghibli animated Final Fantasy 3.

Posted by chickdigger802

psst. pink '3ds' Klepek ;)

Posted by Zabant

Any excuse not to bring monster hunter into the world of non flat textures and more than a handful of polygons. Well done capcom.

Ahh who am I kidding, I couldn't care less about monster hunter.

Posted by GioVANNI

Wait, so not only does the second analog cost 20 dollars and split the developer and user base, it also requires batteries? Nintendo has taught me an important lesson to never buy their products until there's a damn hardware revision.

Posted by BradGrenz

If Nintendo is going to double down on the hardcore with things like Monster Hunter, they need to stop pussy-footing around any planned hardware revision with dual analog controls. The longer they remain silent, the more people will buy the original and feel betrayed. It will be painful to admit the change is needed, but the sooner they commit, the sooner the mistakes will be in the past.

Posted by infestedandy

DREAM DROP DISTANCE!? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Sorry, the Kingdom Hearts series has the worst and I mean WORST subtitles of all-time. Just take a look at the franchise list. rofl.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: D3. So stupid.

Posted by dvdhaus

The more I see of Kid Icarus the less I want it, and announcing a delay doesn't help. Although a new Fire Emblem has me back on board.

Posted by Addfwyn

@Sparklykiss: Well, the plus of most handhelds is the lack of region coding, so you can always import. I have to import a lot of my games from the US myself

Posted by Hailinel

@BradGrenz said:

If Nintendo is going to double down on the hardcore with things like Monster Hunter, they need to stop pussy-footing around any planned hardware revision with dual analog controls. The longer they remain silent, the more people will buy the original and feel betrayed. It will be painful to admit the change is needed, but the sooner they commit, the sooner the mistakes will be in the past.

Or...people will either:

  1. Buy the slide pad accessory with the knowledge that an eventual revision is almost a certainty.
  2. Avoid buying the slide pad accessory and wait for the revision.
Online
Posted by chickdigger802

@Zabant said:

Any excuse not to bring monster hunter into the world of non flat textures and more than a handful of polygons. Well done capcom.

Ahh who am I kidding, I couldn't care less about monster hunter.

That costs more to make.

Dragon Dogma is your 'hd mon hun' for now...

Posted by RecSpec

@BradGrenz: Seeing as MH 3GS will be out before MH4, it gives Nintendo the chance to release 3GS, then come out with a Bundle for MH4.

Posted by TadThuggish

Lazy, lazy, lazy.

Posted by sungahymn

Uh... Klepek, it's Kingdom Hearts 3D, not Kingdom Hearts 3.

Posted by TheMasterDS

Paper Mario still being alive is great. I love Paper Mario. I bought a 3DS largely for Paper Mario and Luigi's Mansion 2. If those two games stopped being things, well, I'd be very sad.

What I really want for 3DS is a good 2D Metroid game. That'd be one of the few things I'd want more than Luigi's Mansion 2.

Posted by Hailinel

@TadThuggish said:

Lazy, lazy, lazy.

What is?

Online
Posted by MormonWarrior

"Animal Crossing is moving along and looks like how a new Animal Crossing would look if Nintendo decided to take zero risks with a new Animal Crossing."

Gosh dang it, I loved that first Animal Crossing game, but Nintendo seems content to just keep releasing the same game over and over again, only slightly worse each time. You know, there's a lot of neat things that could be done with that franchise. Heck, that would be an interesting foray into free-to-play for Nintendo even.

Posted by mrangryface

"Weirdly, it also comes with more battery support. Sort of. The accessory requires a AAA battery. Basically, expect this to be part of the revision. This is a clumsy, short-term solution to the problem."

oh the lolz

Posted by Levio

So they avoided mentioning the ugly 3DS addon in their 3DS conference, even though it seems to be required for 5 big games? That is seriously shady for Nintendo.

Posted by Blubba

@MormonWarrior said:

"Animal Crossing is moving along and looks like how a new Animal Crossing would look if Nintendo decided to take zero risks with a new Animal Crossing."

Gosh dang it, I loved that first Animal Crossing game, but Nintendo seems content to just keep releasing the same game over and over again, only slightly worse each time. You know, there's a lot of neat things that could be done with that franchise. Heck, that would be an interesting foray into free-to-play for Nintendo even.

I know, huge bummer. I was one of the weirdos that actually played Animal Crossing every day for a year. Never got into Wild World and City Folk because the writing was somehow not as good and more repetitive. Oh, and it was the exact same game except on a different platform. Lazy.

Posted by mazik765

God dammit...now I am going to have to get one to play Fire Emblem.

Posted by Hailinel

@Levio said:

So they avoided mentioning the ugly 3DS addon in their 3DS conference, even though it seems to be required for 5 big games? That is seriously shady for Nintendo.

It's not required. It's optional.

Online
Posted by Crushed

@Levio said:

So they avoided mentioning the ugly 3DS addon in their 3DS conference, even though it seems to be required for 5 big games? That is seriously shady for Nintendo.

It's not required by those games, it's an optional add-on.

Posted by Whizbang

Japan is a dead culture, Nintendo is a creatively dead company.

Posted by norfair187

You should've mentioned the absolutely gorgeous Skyward Sword trailer.

Also, they talked about the free Zelda: Four Swords game, which will not only include retro style levels but is also to feature a single player mode (not available in the GBA version!).

In summary, it's a great time to be a Zelda fan. :)

Edited by Crushed

@Whizbang said:

Japan is a dead culture, Nintendo is a creatively dead company.

Their culture isn't American, so it's dead?

Gaming in Japan is treated totally different than in the West, it's either a time-waster for commutes or a hobby for children or weirdo shut-ins. They either cater to their own culture to find some success, or they fail in the West because the way gaming developed over the last 20 years in Japan caused them to becine somewhat isolated from Western ideas and tastes. Nintendo actually managed to change some of that with the casual stuff, but they can't work miracles.

Posted by Hailinel

@Whizbang said:

Japan is a dead culture, Nintendo is a creatively dead company.

Ignorant, or racist? You decide!

Online
Edited by Doctorchimp

@chickdigger802 said:

@Zabant said:

Any excuse not to bring monster hunter into the world of non flat textures and more than a handful of polygons. Well done capcom.

Ahh who am I kidding, I couldn't care less about monster hunter.

That costs more to make.

Dragon Dogma is your 'hd mon hun' for now...

Dragon Dogma?

Why wait for that when Demon's Souls is already out and Dark Souls is coming.

Posted by TheHBK

I will say this as nicely as I can. Monster Hunter is fucking retarded.

Posted by FacestabMan

Lol'd at the people who went "that thing is gonna cost 40 bucks".

And no, it's not gonna cost "probably" 20 bucks. It is gonna cost that most definitely. The AC adaptor costs 1500 yen, and the cradle costs 1200. In europe at least, they are being sold bundled, for the price of 24 euros.

Posted by Scrumdidlyumptious

Hooray for Japan I guess

Posted by Suigyoken

Lack of a foreign audience probably means that Nintendo would rather show a revision to the western audience than another accessory, since the idea of it will piss off enough normal consumers.

Posted by Eribuster

@Crushed said:

Their culture isn't American, so it's dead?

Gaming in Japan is treated totally different than in the West, it's either a time-waster for commutes or a hobby for children or weirdo shut-ins. They either cater to their own culture to find some success, or they fail in the West because the way gaming developed over the last 20 years in Japan caused them to becine somewhat isolated from Western ideas and tastes. Nintendo actually managed to change some of that with the casual stuff, but they can't work miracles.

Hey, I'm sure there's a middle ground between the children and the shut-ins.

Posted by ProfessorK

I like MH alot, but there's no way I'd buy a Japanese 3DS as it is now for it. Now if it came bundled with whatever the next revision of the system is, then I would consider it. Make it happen Nintendo!

Posted by damswedon

@Whizbang said:

Japan is a dead culture, Nintendo is a creatively dead company.

Wow. That takes ignorance to a whole new level.

Posted by Tredik

I guess they kinda had to do a battery solution, lest the system's battery life drop down to something like 20 minutes a charge. I kid, but damn it, I'll still wait for 3DS: Now with dual analog and better battery life I guess™ and/or Majora's Mask 3D.

Posted by biospank

@Doctorchimp said:

@chickdigger802 said:

@Zabant said:

Any excuse not to bring monster hunter into the world of non flat textures and more than a handful of polygons. Well done capcom.

Ahh who am I kidding, I couldn't care less about monster hunter.

That costs more to make.

Dragon Dogma is your 'hd mon hun' for now...

Dragon Dogma?

Why wait for that when Demon's Souls is already out and Dark Souls is coming.

Don't compare the awesomeness of Demon's souls and dark souls to monster hunter.

Because A) demon dark souls has magic. B) the bosses in the demon dark souls are more creative then muddafudgeing dargons, even if there where 2 dargon bosses in demon's souls.c) better combat in dd souls.

Yes, I am an angry fanboy of the soul series or what ever you are going to call em.

Posted by Natedogg2
I could use more hats.
 
That must be why the 3DS isn't doing very well. Not enough hats. They obviously need to learn a lesson from Valve.
Posted by hagridore

Japan, you are so wrong for liking Monster Hunter as much as you do.

Posted by Contro

Some great looking games, oh, and The Legend of Zelda Sykward Sword looked fucking amazing.

Posted by DrKunze

Why Capcom, WHY?

Isn't MH big enough to warrant a nice shiny PS3 release? Or even a new MMO? You greedy bastards!

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