News Archives for: November 2004

Nintendo DS Puts New Experiences Only A Touch Away
Posted on November 18, 2004 @ 4:06 PM EST by: Hairball
If you've ever enjoyed video games, you've likely played Mario™, Madden or Metroid®, The Sims™ or Spider-Man™ - but you've never played them like this. The names and characters might be familiar, but now you can interact with them in completely new ways.

On Nov. 21, just in time for the holidays, gamers across North America will begin snapping up the most innovative game platform in a decade, the Nintendo DS™. Boasting dual screens, touch-screen and voice-recognition interfaces and two forms of wireless connection, the 1 million Nintendo DS units available in North America already are expected to be depleted by year's end.

"Retailers began calling for more Nintendo DS units even before the first ones arrived," explains Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "They're reflecting the demands of game players for entirely new ways to enjoy games - not just playing the same old games on a different platform. It really comes down to delivering a new experience and that's what we're doing."

Nintendo DS comes embedded with the PictoChat™ communication feature and bundled with a playable demo of the upcoming Metroid Prime® Hunters. In addition, the system will have a dozen titles available during its launch window, spanning every genre, including Super Mario 64 DS from Nintendo, Madden NFL 2005, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® Golf and The Urbz™: Sims in the City™ from EA, Spider-Man 2™ from Activision, Ping Pals™ from THQ, Feel the Magic™: XY/XX from SEGA, Rayman® DS and Asphalt Urban GT™ from Ubisoft and Ridge Racer® DS and Mr. DRILLER®: Drill Spirits™ from Namco.

By the end of March, the Nintendo DS game library will include 20 to 25 games. More than 125 games remain in development worldwide, from Nintendo as well as every major third-party developer. And because Nintendo DS is backward compatible with Game Boy® Advance SP games, it already has a library of more than 550 games.

"Interest in Nintendo DS is very high as we head into the holidays," says Jeff Griffiths, CEO and president of Electronics Boutique. "This is a must-have item for a wide variety of people, older and younger, this holiday season."

Nintendo DS will sell at an MSRP of $149.99. Its clamshell design protects both screens, and its rechargeable battery allows for six to 10 hours of play on a single charge. The launch is being supported by an aggressive, multifaceted marketing program, which includes the "touching is good" campaign that targets a hip, male demographic in lifestyle magazines and on hot broadcast and cable television programs. Additional information about Nintendo DS is available at www.nintendods.com.

Nintendo DS launches in Japan on Dec. 2. By the end of 2004, Nintendo will ship 2 million units worldwide and another 2 million by the end of March.

Habitat For Humanity And Nintendo Open 1,000 Doors To The Future
Posted on November 11, 2004 @ 10:54 PM EST by: Hairball
Habitat for Humanity International today announced that Nintendo of America has donated 1,000 doors to Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Florida to help the nonprofit homebuilding organization. Nintendo video game icon Mario™ joins Habitat for Humanity volunteers today at a build site in Pensacola, Fla., to deliver and help install the first of the 1,000 doors.

Nintendo made the donation in honor of Mario's new role-playing video game, Paper Mario™: The Thousand-Year Door. Habitat for Humanity affiliates will use the doors in home building projects across the state of Florida, working toward its goal to build a record 1,000 houses in the state this year. Lowe's Home Improvement, a national partner with Habitat for Humanity International, supported this donation by providing the doors to Nintendo at a discount.

"Nintendo's generosity reflects the spirit of the organization," said Dick Weber, regional director for Habitat for Humanity International's Southeast Regional Service Center, which includes Florida. "The gift of 1,000 doors will open new doors for families in need across Florida - families who have the same dreams as most Americans do, to someday have a simple, decent home to call their own."

"Nintendo is proud to be a part of this great rebuilding effort," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "We trust this contribution will open the door for hundreds of families to enjoy a better life."

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. For more information about Habitat for Humanity International, visit www.habitat.org.

About Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door stars Mario, who can alter his shape from a paper airplane for flight, to a tube of paper to roll, to a paper ship to float; thus creating a very unique way to progress through the game and battle a variety of enemies. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, exclusively for Nintendo GameCube™ is Rated E for Everyone and is available now at an MSRP of $49.99.

Source: Nintendo

The Mario Party is Just Getting Started
Posted on November 9, 2004 @ 12:21 PM EST by: Hairball
Despite recent events in Ohio, video game icon and presidential candidate Mario™ is refusing to concede victory. The leader of the Mario Party vowed to continue his campaign through Dec. 6, when his new game, Mario Party® 6, launches.

Mario launched his campaign a year ago, and early exit polls indicate he did especially well among princesses, apes and residents of the Mushroom Kingdom.

"After a long political season, people need a party that offers something really unique," explains Mario. "Mario Party 6 meets the global test for fun."

Mario Party 6, made exclusively for Nintendo GameCube™, plays like a board game on a television. The boards change as the clock shifts from day to night. The game also includes more than 80 new mini-games, sure to delight players from all corners of the political spectrum.

Mario Party 6, Rated E for Everyone, will sell at an MSRP of $49.99.

Source: Nintendo

Did You Know? Mario Power Tennis Teaches the Basics, Then Hammers All the Rules
Posted on November 8, 2004 @ 5:02 PM EST by: Hairball
The keys to winning a tennis match in the real world are fast footwork, consistency and a wicked backhand. Enter the realm of Mario Power Tennis™, exclusively for Nintendo GameCube™, and the secret to winning includes Power Shots like Mario's Iron Hammer, Luigi's Squeaky Mallet and Peach's Super Peach Spin.

Thrills abound in the new Mario Power Tennis video game, launching today. Up to four players can compete on a single screen as they show off thunderous backhands or return soaring lobs. From Mario™ to Bowser, each character has unique offensive and defensive Power Shots that turn a friendly game of tennis into mania on the court.

Tennis purists can play a standard game without fancy trick moves, a feature that also lets novices learn the basics before moving on to more advanced action. A series of mini-games and special modes let players hone their tennis skills while competing in a variety of crazy challenges.

Mario Power Tennis, Rated E for Everyone, sells at an MSRP of $49.99.

Source: Nintendo

Nintendo Cracks Down On Major U.S. Piracy Operation
Posted on November 1, 2004 @ 3:08 PM EST by: Hairball
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has issued a temporary restraining order against the import and sale of video game systems containing counterfeit versions of Nintendo games being sold at numerous shopping malls.

In a major first step in its efforts to stop the sale of infringing products throughout the United States, Nintendo of America Inc. filed the action against two companies, its officers and employees after receiving tips from more than 400 of its loyal fans. In response to the specific court order, U.S. marshals will seize the counterfeit systems at shopping mall kiosks in the western Washington area. In addition, Nintendo is supporting numerous federal criminal investigations and U.S. Customs has seized tens of thousands of the infringing devices upon their entry into the country, all of which are assumed to be headed to malls across the United States for illegal sale.

The hundreds of thousands of products in question look identical to Nintendo® 64 controllers and plug directly into televisions, allowing users to play dozens of illegally pirated Nintendo games from the original Nintendo Entertainment System®, such as Donkey Kong® and Mario Bros.® Nintendo re-released many of these popular games, currently being pirated, as part of its Classic NES® Series, which allows its fans to play their favorite classic games on their Game Boy® Advance SP units. The bootleg products sell under the names "Power Player," "Super Joystick," "Superjoy" and "Powerjoy." As a result of the federal court order, Nintendo is urging all mall management companies around the country to immediately close the kiosks selling the illegal products.

"This action is one of many steps Nintendo is taking to protect its creative rights and to combat the growing international problem of product piracy," explains Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo of America's director of anti-piracy. "Nintendo won't tolerate these illegal products, and is grateful to its devoted customers. We'll aggressively protect the quality and integrity of the video game products our fans are so loyal to."

Daugherty added, "We're confident that mall management companies around the nation will provide their complete cooperation upon being informed of the court's decision."

Nintendo has information identifying kiosks distributing the illegal devices in malls in more than 40 states. They are often set up outside of Nintendo's legitimate retailers' stores. This is the largest piracy problem Nintendo has faced in the United States. Nintendo is still calculating the extent of its losses, but expects it to be in the millions of dollars, once the damage to both its reputation and the harm to relationships with its established business partners have been quantified.

Source: Nintendo Press Release