Feature: The Best Moments of E3 2011

It was a very good year

We're seven days away from E3 2012. That's seven days until we see Nintendo's full vision for Wii U, the next round of 3DS games and how our next year of Nintendo gaming is going to look. It's the most exciting time of the year, and it's nearly upon us.

Last year was pretty exciting too. We saw Wii U for the first time, got our first looks at a range of new 3DS games and welcomed the eShop into our lives. Let's take a look back over some of the best moments of 2011's E3 conference.

Miyamoto's Musical Interlude

Shigeru Miyamoto loves his music: he created Wii Music and plays the banjo, so no wonder he was so excited to be put on stage in front of an orchestra at the start of E3 2011.

The show opened with a medley of music from The Legend of Zelda over the years, but it was Miyamoto's joyful play with the orchestra that we'll always remember. Just look how happy he is when he "gets an item". We'll never know that kind of happiness.

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Iwata's Big Promise

What's better than a new Super Smash Bros. game? Two new Super Smash Bros. games that link together, of course.

Satoru Iwata got the biggest cheer of the day when he told the audience that Masahiro Sakurai had the idea for Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS. Iwata might have jumped the gun a little bit — Sakurai still put in another eight months of work on Kid Icarus: Uprising — who can blame him for getting the fans onside right from the start?

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The Stage of History

Not so much a moment as an impressive demonstration of technology. Faced with the issue of translating 3DS's stereoscopic screens and Wii U's two-screen approach, Nintendo went with a multi-layered stage that came alive during a demonstration of its upcoming 3DS games.

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What Wii U Can Do

We'd heard plenty of rumours about Wii U's new controller in the run-up to E3, and while its design was a surprise, perhaps its concept wasn't.

One thing that did definitely surprise was the following tech demo, which like the GameCube's excellent Rebirth demo had an organic atmosphere, following a bird through a peaceful Japanese garden.

As a demonstration of Wii U's technical power it probably didn't have the "wow" factor of other Nintendo tech demos — particularly considering there was no Link — but it definitely delivered in the class department.

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Bricking Ass and Talking Games

When it came to deciding who'd announce Smash Bros. Wii U, we bet Iwata pulled rank on Reggie, leaving the Regginator to lift the lid on the Nintendo-published LEGO City Stories. While we all thought "LEGO GTA", Reggie's pause for applause was met with silence. Still, we expect this to be a big seller on Wii U: it is LEGO GTA, after all.

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That Wii U Concept

Of course, we all remember our first look at Wii U and that tantalising new controller. The concept video revealed all-new functionality: streaming from the console to the touch screen, video chat and genuinely new ways to play. It may not have been communicated perfectly — confusion mounted over whether it was a new console or just a new controller for Wii — but it left us eager to know more.

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Nintendo's E3 2012 press conference is on Tuesday 5th June. We'll be covering it all live — come join us.

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