News Archives for: May 2004

Counterfeiters Pay Hefty Price
Posted on May 26, 2004 @ 7:06 PM EDT by: Hairball
Taiwan's Pan-Chiao District Court has rendered a judgment against Taiwan's Yudian Company, a major manufacturer and distributor of counterfeit Nintendo Game Boy® video game cartridges. Hwei-chu Chen, one of the principals of Yudian, was sentenced to six years in prison, while six other employees of Yudian received sentences of up to three years in prison.

The prosecution resulted from a raid on Yudian that was conducted by the Taipei County station of the Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice (IB) on May 21, 2001. Yudian Company was owned by Chen-chi Kuo and Hwei-chu Chen, and has been suspected of manufacturing and distributing Nintendo counterfeits for years. The IB seized from Yudian more than 1.5 million pieces of counterfeit Nintendo goods, including components used to assemble those counterfeit products. The case was one of the largest counterfeit cases in Taiwan in years and the goods were destined for global distribution.

The huge quantity of counterfeits caused the Pan-Chiao District Attorney to indict all major defendants, including Hwei-chu Chen and seven employees, although the president of Yudian, Mr. Kuo, has fled and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. The Pan-Chiao District Court rendered guilty judgments against all the defendants and issued its sentences after a review of the detained counterfeits that were seized from Yudian.

"Chen-chi Kuo, Hwei-chu Chen and the companies they control have sold millions of Nintendo counterfeits around the world," said Jean Lin, manager of anti-piracy for Nintendo of America Inc. "This judgment will deter others from manufacturing and distributing Nintendo counterfeits in the future. We applaud the Taiwan governmental and judicial efforts to put an end to this major counterfeiting operation."

Worldwide piracy is estimated to have cost the United States entertainment software industry more than $3 billion annually. In 2003, Nintendo, together with its publishers and developers, suffered nearly $720 million in lost sales as a result of illegal copying of Nintendo products.

E3 2004: Gaming Authorities to Speak at Smithsonian Associates Event
Posted on May 13, 2004 @ 1:56 PM EDT by: Hairball
Leading authorities on games bring their skills and knowledge to the Smithsonian to explore the art and science of modern electronic and non-electronic game design and development on Sun., May 16, 2 p.m. in a Smithsonian Associates program.

The program Games People Play will feature a panel of authorities who will discuss the creative process, marketing, and the cultural influences on games. The event is located in Baird Auditorium, Natural History Museum, 10th & Constitution, NW. Tickets cost $40 for general admission, and $35 for Resident Members. For tickets and information, call (202) 357-3030 or visit www.ResidentAssociates.org.

Speakers include: Doug Church, chief technology director, Eidos North America, and designer of the game Ultima Underworld (I & II), System Shock, and Thief: The Dark Project,; Richard Garfield, designer of the alpha version of Magic: The Gathering card game (Wizards); Shigeru Miyamoto, senior managing director, Entertainment Analysis and Development Division, Nintendo Co., Ltd., Kyoto, and the inventor of Donkey Kong. Moderator Bernard Yee, vice president of publishing, EnTranz Entertainment, teaches game design at Columbia University, and served as director of product development at Disney Interactive and director of creative development at Disney Online.

The Smithsonian Associates provides educational and cultural programs that highlight and complement the work of the Smithsonian through a wide variety of formats that range from lectures and courses on the National Mall to study tours around the world.

The Smithsonian Associates
Office of Public Affairs

Media only:
• Emily Bezek (202) 786-9038
• Marni Tamayo (202) 786-3249

E3 2004: Mario Kart DS and "New Super Mario Bros." for DS.
Posted on May 11, 2004 @ 6:56 PM EDT by: TW
On Nintendo's site there are images, which we will upload soon of a Mario Kart for the DS (similar to Mario Kart 64, but with real 3D characters a-la Double Dash) and a NEW MARIO BROTHERS with 2.5D sidescrolling, similar to DK's Jungle Beat! All playable at E3. What a day.

E3 2004: Donkey Kong: King of Swing Announced for GBA.
Posted on May 11, 2004 @ 6:53 PM EDT by: TW
There's trouble in the jungle, but Donkey Kong® is there to put a good spin on things. Take control of Donkey Kong and leap through the jungle, grabbing branches to swing around and fling yourself into the air!

A unique control system lets you swing through the trees and spin to build up momentum for a mighty leap! Use the L and R buttons to control each of Donkey Kong's hands, and lunge from branch to branch!

Innovative level design combines elements of platform and puzzle games: Grab onto gears and spin to crank doors open. Watch out for bolts that loosen as you spin, or you might find yourself falling flat. You'll need steady hands to make the leap of faith that takes you the treetops!
Game Storyline: The normally quiet jungle is abuzz with excitement today, because it's time for the ceremony to choose the king of the jungle! Or at least it would be if King K. Rool™ hadn't stolen the special medallion meant for the winner. Donkey Kong and his friends must swing their way through the jungle to get the medallion back and, along the way, rescue Diddy Kong®, Dixie Kong™ and Funky Kong™ from King K. Rool's minions!

Characters: Donkey Kong and other members of the DK family.

How to progress through the game: Players guide Donkey Kong through a number of puzzling stages, grabbing bananas along the way on their quest to reach the goal. Using just the L and R buttons to grab with Donkey Kong's left and right hands, players spin on the pegs and let go to launch up into the air to reach another peg. The game features many elements that take advantage of this unique game mechanic: Spinning left or right on a crank opens or closes doors, and spinning on bolts slowly loosens them until they pop out, making Donkey Kong lose his grip.

Special powers/weapons/moves/features: Using the L and R buttons, players swing from peg to peg and spin in the direction of the hand they're using to build up momentum for higher jumps. Donkey Kong also has a "charge tackle" (temporary name) that allows him to attack enemies by leaping and charging into them.

E3 2004: Super Mario 64x4 Announced for DS.
Posted on May 11, 2004 @ 6:51 PM EDT by: TW
Super Mario Advance 64? With A Twist. It now seems to be a co-operative 4 player game, with Bluetooth/Wi-Fi on the DS. Here's the official line from Ninty.

"The landscape and the characters all look familiar. This is the opening castle area of Super Mario 64™, only with a few DS twists thrown in. Up to four players can link up using the wireless capabilities. Players move familiar characters like Mario™, Luigi, Yoshi® and Wario™ around the 3-D landscape, exploring and looking for stars. While one screen shows the player's character position, the other provides an overall map of the area. Touch a spot on the screen to pop the camera over to another player's position, or to take a close-up look at the castle."

E3 2004: Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat on GameCube
Posted on May 11, 2004 @ 6:50 PM EDT by: TW
Nintendo officially announces two new Donkey Kong Games, in addition to the ones already at E3, for GC and GBA respectively. Firstly Donkey Kong's Jungle Beat, a 2.5D platformer using the Konga Drums

Feel the beat of a completely new gaming experience as you drum through an incredible jungle adventure with Donkey Kong!

A game like no other! Grab a set of DK Bongo controllers and use them to guide Donkey Kong through wild jungle environments brimming with ravenous enemies and challenging obstacles.

The control is in the bongos! Tap the bongos, do a drum roll or clap to control Donkey Kong on the screen!

This jungle's gone wild! Battle enormous beasts, collect bananas, get in boxing matches with rivals and even ride animals and vehicles!
Game Storyline: Donkey Kong has to brave the dangers of the jungle to rescue his simian pals!

Characters: Donkey Kong, other apes.

How to progress through the game: Run, jump, battle, swing on vines and collect bananas and baby apes as you explore beautiful side-scrolling environments. You'll also have to hitch rides on parrots and bounce off pinball-like obstacles.

Special powers/weapons/moves/features: Create sound waves that can stun enemies, jump off walls and even spar with other apes.

E3 2004: Nintendo DS Lets Players Touch the Future
Posted on May 11, 2004 @ 6:47 PM EDT by: TW
With Dual Screens, a Touch Screen, Voice Recognition, Wireless and Chat, Nintendo Redefines Game Play

LOS ANGELES, MAY 11, 2004 – Some look at video games and remain content with the way things are. Nintendo dreams of things and asks, "Why not?"

For 15 years Nintendo's Game Boy® line has dominated the hand-held video game market. But today at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), the new Nintendo DS creates a whole new category by radically altering the way people will play games. Nintendo DS remains on track to launch in Japan and North America before the end of the year, and in Europe the system will launch during the first quarter of 2005.

With its two screens, Nintendo DS instantly shows its innovative face. But capabilities like a touch-screen input, voice recognition and wireless communication set it apart from every other game device, and again demonstrate Nintendo's passion for groundbreaking originality.

"When Nintendo came down and presented the DS platform to us, I think everyone was in shock," says Will Kassoy, Activision's vice president of global brand management. "It was amazing. Our technical guys were drooling at the abilities and wanting so much to dive into programming for the system."

Aptly code-named Nintendo DS, this "Developers' System" provides developers a newfound canvas not only to create new games today, but also shape the future of the entire industry. Developers – and the public – need only use their imagination to see how the DS promises to transform the portable game industry by changing the way gamers relate to their games – and each other. Two screens offer two perspectives on the action at once. The touch screen could make accessing items, moving characters or navigating menus as easy as a tap or drag on the screen. Voice recognition could let players simply tell the game what they want it to do. Chat software will let users transmit text messages, handwriting and even drawings to one another. And wireless functions could link players in the same room – or across the country.

"This has a huge potential," says Yoichi Haraguchi, Namco's vice president and executive officer. "It is very nice that we can create games using DS that were not even possible before."

Nintendo DS also will include two processors, 3-D capabilities on both screens, 16-channel sound and a rechargeable battery that features a low-energy-consumption design. One media bay handles new DS game cartridges that hold one gigabit of information and more. The second media port allows for compatibility with Game Boy® Advance games, as well as a host of possible future accessories.

"While others plan to let you go a little faster down the same roads you have always traveled, Nintendo plans to take you down incredible avenues you've never seen before," explains Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president, sales and marketing. "We understand the hand-held market better than anyone else, and Nintendo DS paves a new path of originality and success."

Indeed, Nintendo invented and perfected the hand-held video game market with its unrivaled Game Boy line. And Nintendo has always been known for introducing innovations that radically reinvent the industry. It was the first company to install ports for four controllers, the first to create a rumble pack, the first to move from joysticks to modern controllers and the first to enable characters to roam freely in true 3-D environments. The unique features of the Nintendo DS build on that tradition and hold a wellspring of potential for the future. Game players will be wowed.

"Once again Nintendo is taking another leap by providing totally new game-play experiences," says Jay Cohen, Ubisoft's vice president of publishing. "Very characteristic of a Nintendo maneuver."

More than 100 companies worldwide have received software development kits and are planning games for Nintendo DS. Games in development by Nintendo include a new Super Mario game, a Metroid® game, a WarioWare game and PictoChat, software that lets players send instant text and picture messages. Third-party publishers also have announced games in development, including a Spider-Man™ 2 title from Activision, a Rayman® game from Ubisoft, a SpongeBob SquarePants™ title from THQ, a Yu-Gi-Oh!™ game from Konami, a Sonic title from Sega, a Bomberman game from Hudson Soft, a Need for Speed™ game from Electronic Arts and a Pac-Man™ title from Namco.

"THQ has been a strong supporter of Nintendo's hand-held systems over the years, and with great success," said Peter Dille, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, THQ. "We look forward to the many innovations they are planning for the DS."

The system's official name, price and launch lineup will be announced at a later date.

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® Advance and Nintendo GameCube™ 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 1.8 billion video games globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario™ and Donkey Kong® and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid®, Zelda™ and Pokémon®. 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.

E3 2004: Pre-show Rumblings
Posted on May 11, 2004 @ 4:53 AM EDT by: TW
Its the day of the E3 Conferences, and you can be sure at Nintendo's conference (when the West Coast wakes up) will have all new surprises. Right now though floating around the internet are images of the show floor taken by people who have managed to enter, somehow. One previously un-announced new game is Donkey Kong's Jungle Beat which is a new 2D platformer in the vein of Viewtiful Joe In which you use the Donkey Konga Drums to move DK and attack! More as it develops.

Other Images of the show floor on the web show a 'normal' (not Paper) Mario standing.. a New Mario Title?

EDIT: Further leaked images show a new DK GBA title... "Donkey Kong: King of Swing"

Source: http://games.kikizo.com/news/200405/030.asp

New Nintendo DS Attracts Worldwide Developer Interest
Posted on May 6, 2004 @ 5:37 PM EDT by: Hairball
The video game industry's biggest and best game developers are lining up to be the first to create innovative content for Nintendo's upcoming dual-screen hand-held innovation, code-named Nintendo DS.

"Nintendo DS is going to push hand-held technology to uncharted territories," says Yves Blehaut, senior vice president of Atari. "It's going to energize both developers and consumers with amazing new game mechanics and new game design. Once more, Nintendo leads the way with something unexpected and totally innovative."

To date, more than 100 companies worldwide have received software development kits and are planning games for Nintendo DS, which for the first time offers gamers two separate perspectives on the action. Companies include THQ, Electronic Arts, Activision, Atari, Ubisoft, Majesco, Capcom, Sega, Konami, Hudson Soft, Namco, Bandai, Koei and Square Enix, to name a few.

"The Nintendo dual screen is something that we're really excited about developing for," says Nick Earl, vice president and general manager of Electronic Arts. "It's very innovative, which is classic Nintendo."

Nintendo DS will revolutionize how people approach, perceive and enjoy video games, while including additional options that enhance the game-play experience.

"It's exciting to see so many publishers are as inspired about the Nintendo DS as we are," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "The creative contributions of the publishers will reinforce Nintendo's reputation as the industry's leader in innovation."

In effect, thanks to the success of the wildly popular Game Boy® franchise, Nintendo owns the current hand-held video game market: The Game Boy line has sold more than 168 million units worldwide during the past 15 years. And with the introduction of the revolutionary Nintendo DS, Nintendo's dominance is certain to continue in the future.

The Nintendo DS will be unveiled at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), May 12 to May 14 in Los Angeles. The Nintendo DS remains on track to launch before the end of the year.

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® Advance and Nintendo GameCube™ 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 1.8 billion video games globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario™ and Donkey Kong® and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid®, Zelda™ and Pokémon®. 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.

This Summer: Get Paid To Play Video Games
Posted on May 6, 2004 @ 5:37 PM EDT by: Hairball
You know you're going to spend your whole summer sitting around playing video games anyway, so why not get paid for it? With the worst summer job market for teens since the end of World War II*, Nintendo is looking to recruit 48 people for the Ultimate Summer Job: showcasing Nintendo video games at music, sporting and lifestyle events in six major markets throughout the summer. In addition to their salary of $100 per day for a three-day workweek, the lucky few who are selected will join one of six Nintendo Street Teams competing for a $40,000 team bonus. One consumer following the teams' activities via www.nintendostreetteam.com also will have a chance to win a cash prize of $5,000.

"The video game industry is one of the fastest-growing in the world," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "You can spend your summer learning valuable skills and becoming an expert in video games – all without wearing a hairnet."

Anyone 18 years of age or older interested in Nintendo's Ultimate Summer Job can get more information, including a casting sheet and requirements, at www.nintendostreetteam.com. Eight people will be selected from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle on July 5. GameStop video game stores in each city will host live auditions at select locations (check Web site as dates and locations are announced). People in those cities also can submit two-minute VHS audition tapes explaining why they would make the best Nintendo Street Team members.

Nintendo Street Team members will spend July 7 and July 8 attending boot camp to learn as much as possible about Nintendo. They will cram information about Nintendo systems, all upcoming Nintendo GameCube™ and Game Boy® Advance games, company history and how to assemble a Nintendo GameCube while blindfolded (just kidding).

As additional motivation, the six Nintendo Street Teams will compete throughout the summer for the $40,000 ultimate team bonus. Each of the eight winning team members will receive a $5,000 bonus for seven weeks of playing video games. Nintendo will issue teams a new challenge each week and judge them on how well they meet their objectives. The results will be posted online, along with team member bios, diaries, video clips and message boards. People who follow the teams' progress on www.nintendostreetteam.com can vote for their favorite and earn the chance to win $5,000.

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® Advance and Nintendo GameCube™ 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 1.8 billion video games globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario™ and Donkey Kong® and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid®, Zelda™ and Pokémon®. 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.