News Archives for: July 2004

Nintendo Announces Official Name and New Design for Nintendo DS
Posted on July 28, 2004 @ 4:12 PM EDT by: Hairball
In preparation for the launch of Nintendo DS™ in North America and Japan later this year, Nintendo today announces major global developments for the innovative dual-screen, wireless, hand-held video game system.

Nintendo DS, originally chosen as the code name, has been selected as the official product name. The Nintendo DS name evokes the idea of a portable system with "dual screens," providing the rationale for the final name. The hardware also has been redesigned to sport a slimmer, sharper look. The retooled Nintendo DS features a thinner, black base and an angular platinum flip-top cover. The face buttons and shoulder buttons are larger, and some have been reconfigured for optimum use. The unit includes a new storage slot for the touch screen's stylus, and the speakers now broadcast in stereo sound, with or without headphones.

"The Nintendo DS will change the future of hand-held gaming," says Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo Co., Ltd. "Dual screens, chat functions, a touch screen, wireless capabilities, voice recognition – these abilities surpass anything attempted before, and consumers will benefit from the creativity and innovation the new features bring to the world of video games."

Software companies worldwide have more than 120 Nintendo DS games in development. Nintendo alone is developing more than 20 titles, and in excess of 100 companies have signed on to create games for the new system.

"The innovative functions make Nintendo DS a superior game device, while the chat feature and ability to detect other DS units make it a social device as well," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing. "We've figured out the magic of what makes portable game play so attractive to consumers. We've defeated nine challengers and once again we're prepared to win."

Nintendo will announce the launch date, price and game lineup for Nintendo DS at a later date.

Source: Nintendo Press Release


'Users Don't Want Online Games': Nintendo
Posted on July 6, 2004 @ 11:20 PM EDT by: Hairball
According to an interview with the Japan Economic Foundation's Japan Spotlight Bimonthly publication, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has stated that online games aren't in demand.
Comparing the Minna no Golf Online (Hot Shot Golf) to its offline counterpart, Minna no Golf 4, Satoru noted that sales were less, offering it as "proof that users don't want online games." The president added that "most users don't want a monthly subscription system," and that "procedures [to play online games] are not easy."

However, the "procedures" that "are not easy" may only be a reference to Japan--it is important to note that online transactions are more difficult in Japan, as there are more stringent restrictions on paying by credit card. Also, Japanese online services, especially mobile phones, are a lot more fee-based, making them more of a hassle than in the States, where more and more services are offered for free (content downloads, add-ons, plugins, etc).

Although the company launched a modem and broadband adapter for its GameCube console, it has not developed any of its own online titles, with Phantasy Star Online being the only notable third-party online game for the console.

It is still unclear how online connectivity will play into Nintendo's next-generation console, code-named "Revolution," though it will likely support broadband as does the GameCube.

Iwata also addressed concerns that Nintendo gears games toward kids, saying that "game software should neither be exclusively be targeted at children nor adults," and that the company "develops software that anyone can enjoy."