Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Nintendo's pre-E3 news

It was a busy news day for Nintendo today, as the company geared up for its pre-E3 Press Event. I took couple of quick shots on the phone to post here, and I have more from the digital camera which I'll post when I get back to Jax this weekend.

Before the herds of press Posted by Hello

Nintendo pre-E3 crowd Posted by Hello

Before the show, a bunch of us in the press were playing around on our DS systems in the PictoChat when we got an interesting surprise. Shigeru Miyamoto (the creator of a host of great Nintendo games and characters, including Mario) popped into the chats for a quick "Hello" ... along w/ a quick Mario sketch. I'll post the pic once I get back to Jax.

Moving right along, it was a busy day for Nintendo in terms of news. I'll try to fill you in as best as I can:

  • Nintendo DS goes online
    Okay, so this has already been announced unofficially, but Nintendo finally detailed the new upcoming Wi-Fi gaming options for the Nintendo DS. The new software is a collaboration with GameSpy and will allow DS owners around the world to compete against each other. Matchmaking services will also allow players to play against only people in their friends lists, or against unknown players of comparable skill worldwide. Among the initial games supporting the new online play are Mario Kart DS and Animal Crossing DS.

  • Nintendogs
    G4's Tina Wood was on stage to play around with this title, which allows players to raise their own virtual dogs, similar to the virtual pets of a few years ago. I've got to admit that the more I see on this game, the more I want it. One interesting feature in the game is the use of the Wi-Fi connection to locate other nearby dogs to play with. During the presentation, Tina's dog was visited by another dog named Mario, complete with a Mario Hat for an accessory. Who else would have a dog like that? None other than legendary game designer, creator of Mario, and designer of Nintendogs ... Shigeru Miyamoto. In one of the funniest moments in gaming, while Tina and Miyamoto were talking on stage, their two dogs were apparently getting a little "friendly" on the big screen. This got a huge laugh out of the crowd. Anyway, this is definitely a game to watch for.

  • New Game Boy system
    Rumors were flying all over the place about Nintendo showing off a new Game Boy device, but no one seemed to know what was in store. Nintendo finally put the rumors to rest by unveiling the new Game Boy Micro. This device will be released later this year and plays all of the current GBA titles on the market, yet weighs in at about the size of an iPod Mini. The device will not replace the current GBA, but will give gamers on the go a new option in handhelds. It looks EXTREMELY cool, and I'll end up having to get one as soon as they come out. I've got a couple of pics from the presentation I'll post after I get back to Jax, and I'll take some better ones if I can from the show floor.

  • Say you want a Revolution?
    Nintendo finally showed off a prototype design for its upcoming next-gen game system, the Nintendo Revolution. The system looked pretty sleek in design. Nintendo still wants to keep most of the specs under wraps, but it did confirm a couple of things. First, the system WILL have Wi-Fi online capabilities built in. Also, with a small attachment, the system will be capable of playing standard DVD movies. And finally, the new system will be backwards compatible. However, Nintendo has decided to take "backwards compatibility" to a whole new level with the Revolution. Besides being able to play current Gamecube games, Nintendo is billing the Revolution as a "virtual console" and will allow gamers to download TWENTY YEARS worth of Nintendo titles from the NES, SNES, and N64 ... all playable on the Revolution game system.

  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
    Nintendo showed off a brand new trailer for the game, which still looks like it's going to be pretty damned good. Apparently, Link gets turned into a wolf for at least part of the game as well. There's not much for me to say about this right now, as I have a hands-on preview going up on GameSpy tomorrow (though there was no "Link-wolf" in my demo). Anyway, the trailer looked really cool, and hey ... whadda ya know? The folks at Nintendo decided to give everyone in attendance a special Nintendo DS cartridge containing the new E3 trailer. Guess what's going in the swag bag?

There was a lot of quick trailers showing off some upcoming titles for all of the Nintendo systems, but I'm skipping that right now as I'll probably have more on those during the show. Anyway, as always, keep checking out the blog and let me know what you think.

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