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Nintendo to Launch Subscription Free Gaming Service for DS

Nintendo to Launch Subscription Free Gaming Service for DS

Thursday - March 10, 2005
While we're still waiting on details, the early word from Satoru Iwata's keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference is that Nintendo will "launch a subscription-free Internet gaming service for its new DS dual-screen hand held gaming device this year. Nintendo's first game for that service will be a version of the hit "'Animal Crossing.'" Iwata also informed the eager audience that the Revolution, Nintendo's next generation console, "will be ready for wireless Internet gaming and be backwards-compatible with the current generation GameCube". We'll post whatever press releases Nintendo issues as soon as they issue them.
[update]The official Nintendo Press Release.

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Nintendo Press Release

Nintendo President Outlines Bold Vision to Attract New Audiences to Video Games

Game Developers Conference Attendees Hear First Details about
'Revolution,' Upcoming Wi-Fi Service for Nintendo DS

SAN FRANCISCO--March 10, 2005--Thousands of video game developers
in a standing-room-only crowd today heard Nintendo President Satoru
Iwata outline the company's bold vision for the future. Iwata, a
veteran video game designer and player himself, made several major
announcements during his Game Developers Conference keynote speech,
"The Heart of the Gamer," including such highlights as:

  • Nintendo's next game console, code-named "Revolution," is
    proceeding on schedule and will include both backward
    compatibility and Wi-Fi features.

  • Nintendo soon will offer a free Wi-Fi connection service to
    Nintendo DS(TM) owners.

  • Iwata demonstrated several new software titles using the
    innovative features of the Nintendo DS, including voice
    recognition, touch-screen control and wireless connectivity.

  • Iwata unveiled new images from the highly anticipated Legend
    of Zelda(R) adventure coming this year for Nintendo

    "This is Nintendo's plan: make our existing game world better,"
    Iwata said. "For us, this is a passion. This is a mission of
    Revolution: Iwata announced that Revolution will feature built-in
    Wi-Fi protocols, which will allow users around the world to connect
    with one another wirelessly. Revolution's technological heart, a
    processing chip developed with IBM and code-named "Broadway," and a
    graphics chip set from ATI code-named "Hollywood," are being designed
    to deliver game experiences not possible to date.
    "We're excited to be developing the graphics chip set for
    Revolution, which continues our longstanding relationship with
    Nintendo," says Dave Orton, ATI Technologies Inc.'s president and
    chief executive officer. "As the leading graphics provider, ATI is
    committed to delivering exceptional visual performance that enables
    consumers to interact with new and visually compelling digital worlds.
    ATI is proud to support Nintendo's innovative contributions to
    Nintendo DS: Iwata announced that the Wi-Fi protocol for Nintendo
    DS will provide users with a link to other players across the country
    or around the world. Once the service begins later this year, Nintendo
    DS users will be able to connect to the service wirelessly at Wi-Fi
    hot spots, whether they're at home, in a hotel or at a coffee shop. As
    one of several Wi-Fi games, Nintendo's in-house development team is
    creating a new Animal Crossing(TM) game for global Wi-Fi play.
    On the keynote stage, Iwata also took part in a spontaneous
    eight-player wireless contest of Mario Kart(R) DS to demonstrate the
    local area network capabilities of Nintendo DS. He added that
    shipments of the DS game system have now surpassed 4 million units to
    North America and Japan in the 16 weeks since launch. With the system
    set to debut in thousands of stores across Europe within hours of his
    address, that number will approach 6 million units shipped by the end
    of March.
    DS software: The speech featured a live demonstration of two
    Nintendo DS software titles that Iwata said represented types of
    entertainment that go beyond the traditionally accepted definitions of
    "video games." One, Nintendogs, asks owners to nurture and interact
    with a variety of breeds of digital puppies. Puppy owners can issue
    voice commands, play games and train their puppies while developing
    real emotional bonds with them. Nintendogs is set to launch later this
    year in North America. The second title, Electroplankton, offers an
    otherworldly array of sights and sounds aimed to soothe or stimulate
    players with the innovative use of both the touch screen and voice
    interaction. "This is designed to produce harmony, not adrenaline,"
    Iwata said.
    Zelda: Iwata wowed the crowd by showing previously unreleased
    footage of the stunning Legend of Zelda adventure for Nintendo
    GameCube. The game will launch later this year, and is expected to be
    the most sought-after game of 2005 on any console.
    Nintendo will announce more information about both Revolution and
    the Nintendo DS Wi-Fi service at the Electronics Entertainment Expo in
    Los Angeles in May. To hear the full audio podcast of Iwata's speech,
    visit www.nintendo.com.
    The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive
    entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and
    markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video
    game systems. Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the
    best-selling Game Boy(R) Advance SP, Nintendo DS(TM) and Nintendo
    GameCube(TM) systems extend Nintendo's vast game library and continue
    the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games
    for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video
    game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.9 billion video
    games and more than 336 million hardware units globally, creating
    enduring industry icons such as Mario(TM) and Donkey Kong(R) and
    launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid(R),
    Zelda(TM) and Pokemon(R). A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of
    America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for
    Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.
    For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site
    at www.nintendo.com.

    Posted by Allison at 11:56 AM |

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