News Archives for: September 2003

Nintendo Asks, 'who are you?'
Posted on September 29, 2003 @ 2:26 PM EDT by: Hairball
New Multimillion-Dollar Campaign Helps Players Explore Their 'Inner Gamer'

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 29, 2003 – "Who are you?" is a question that Nintendo of America will be asking video game players of all ages in a new multimedia campaign beginning this fall.

The campaign showcases the ability of Nintendo games to let players explore a wide range of emotions and personalities through Nintendo's stable of the most popular and diverse video game characters in the world. Beginning today, Nintendo will introduce its new tagline, "who are you?" through various marketing channels. More than $50 million will be invested in launching the "who are you?" campaign, part of a total marketing push of $100 million through the end of the year. The new campaign was developed in conjunction with Leo Burnett USA in Chicago.

The "who are you?" idea will be introduced nationwide through cinema advertisements, print ads, out-of-home elements that include wall murals and 30-sheet billboards in major cities, transit ads, mall banners and dioramas, in-store merchandising and other elements. An online component features interactive ads and a "who are you?" Web site located at www.nintendo.com/whoareyou.

"Nintendo permanently established video games as a key element of popular culture, and 'who are you?' embodies the emotional connection players have with their favorite games and characters," says George Harrison, senior vice president, marketing and corporate communications, Nintendo of America Inc. "This campaign celebrates what makes Nintendo unique – the fact that we offer the widest range of personalities through which you can unleash your other self … your game self."

"Who are you?" is the first Nintendo campaign that ties together both the Nintendo GameCube console and hand-held Game Boy Advance products under a single theme. Moving forward, the "who are you?" tagline will be an integral part of all Nintendo's marketing efforts, including game-specific campaigns.

"This is not about changing who we are," says Harrison. "Nintendo has been and always will be about making great video games for all ages. This campaign simply enables us to speak with one unified voice."

The campaign features a cinema commercial that is one of the most ambitious commercials ever produced by Nintendo, featuring more than 500 extras and notable talent such as the stunt coordinator for Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and the editor of Amelie. Filmed in Asia, the ad pays homage to Nintendo's heritage. The 60-second spot will run on nearly 10,000 screens in movie theaters across the United States beginning Oct. 30, prior to movies ranging from The Matrix Revolutions to The Cat in the Hat in order to reach a diverse group of video game players. In addition, 30- and 15-second versions of the commercial will be used on television in October to promote Super Mario® Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. ® 3, one of the most anticipated new games for Game Boy Advance.

In the campaign's print ads, Nintendo characters will be "taped" onto well-known photographs and images, including the Mona Lisa and the Berlin Wall, among others. The ads illustrate the point that Nintendo games allow players to take on a wide range of imaginative roles and reinforce Nintendo's position as an innovator that shapes pop culture. Print ads will appear in nearly 20 different magazines, including Rolling Stone, Stuff, Spin and ESPN.

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, www.nintendo.com.

Nintendo to Sell Video Games in China
Posted on September 26, 2003 @ 11:17 PM EDT by: Hairball
Japan's Nintendo Co. said Thursday that it will enter China's home-use video game market next month, making it the first computer game console maker to move into the mainland market.

With competition in hand-held game machines intensifying at home, Nintendo wants to move ahead of its rivals into the Chinese market.

Competitors, including Sony Corp., which markets the PlayStation game console, and Microsoft Corp., which sells the Xbox, have also been considering entering the Chinese market, but have been delayed because of concerns about the risk of pirated game software in China.

Nintendo plans to market an inexpensive console that comes with a flash memory card specifically developed to prevent the widespread piracy problem in China.

The memory card, used to download game software, works only with the console sold with it, a step believed to effectively prevent illegal copying, Nintendo said.

The machine, iQue Player, will sell for 498 yuan ($60) including the memory card. Game data can be downloaded onto the card at 48 yuan ($5.80) per title at shops that register with Nintendo's local joint venture, iQue Ltd., which is responsible for planning and manufacturing game machines and software titles in China.

About 10 game titles, including Chinese-language versions of Nintendo's trademark "Super Mario Bros" series, are planned for initial release.

Sales will begin in mid-October in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

Nintendo expects several hundred retailers to sign up as software title vendors, and plans to expand its sales network nationwide beginning next spring.

Source: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030925/ap_en_ot/nintendo_china_4

Nintendo Announces Wireless GBA Link
Posted on September 26, 2003 @ 11:16 PM EDT by: Hairball
Nintendo recently announced at the Tokyo Game Show a wireless link adapter for the Game Boy Advance and GBA SP. The device will allow players to link up just as if they are using a standard link cable, only without the wires involved. The adapter's signal can reach several meters, but no specific distance is known yet. It was developed in conjunction with Motorola.

Iwata also mentioned that events or stores can have special base stations installed and connected to the Internet for players to transfer data from distant locations.

Furthermore, this new wireless link adapter will come bundled with the upcoming Pokèmon Fire Red and Leaf Green games coming out in Japan next spring. The price for the bundle is set at 4,800 Yen (approx. $40 USD).

Source: http://www.planetgamecube.com/news.cfm?action=item&id=4726

Nintendo GameCube Price Drops to $99!
Posted on September 24, 2003 @ 12:00 AM EDT by: Hairball
New Hardware Price Spearheads Aggressive Holiday Campaign

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 24, 2003 – Just in time for the biggest video game thrills of the fall, Nintendo of America Inc. today announced a new MSRP of $99.99 for its Nintendo GameCube™ home game console, effective tomorrow, Sept. 25. This great new price opens an $80 price advantage over its two console competitors.

While the price of Nintendo GameCube hardware is falling, the variety and affordability of great software is soaring. Coupled with expansion of the Nintendo GameCube library to more than 320 games by the end of the year, the new MSRP of $99.99 and added exclusive offers will further boost momentum for the console throughout the holidays.

Mario Kart®: Double Dash!!™, available Nov. 17 exclusively for Nintendo GameCube, is the most-anticipated game of the season. Nintendo has announced that customers who reserve a copy of the game in advance will receive a free bonus disc, loaded with game footage and gameplay previews for a wide array of upcoming hits.

In addition, Nintendo recently expanded the Player's Choice library offering discounted prices for a half dozen award winning games including Super Mario Sunshine™, Animal Crossing™ and Metroid® Prime.

"So far in 2003, Nintendo GameCube is the only home console showing an increase in unit sales compared to 2002," says George Harrison, senior vice president, marketing and corporate communications, Nintendo of America. "Every time a generation of technology has moved into the true mass market, Nintendo has prospered. This incredible new price and our great software offers are designed to accelerate that trend like never before."

"This is not only good for Nintendo, but great for consumers," says Lucky Evani, Toys 'R Us representative. "For $99, you can now buy video game technology that you couldn’t have purchased for $99,000 just a few years ago."

The hot holiday titles from Nintendo will include Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (Nov. 17), Kirby™ Air Ride (Oct. 13), Mario Party® 5 (Nov. 11), 1080º™ Avalanche (Dec. 1), and Pokémon Channel™ (Dec.1), as well as the highly anticipated Final Fantasy®: Crystal Chronicles™ and Pokémon Colosseum™ in the first quarter of 2004. In addition, the Nintendo GameCube fall lineup is replete with top quality interactive thrills provided by independent publishers that appeal to every game taste, ranging from sports to action to role-playing titles.

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, please visit www.nintendo.com.

New Lower Prices for Player's Choice Games
Posted on September 10, 2003 @ 5:38 PM EDT by: Hairball
Expect heavy traffic around video game retailers this month, as congestion is expected to peak around some of the hottest titles for the Nintendo GameCube™ following the announcement of two special offers for some of its most popular video games.

The first offer gives customers who reserve an advanced copy of Mario Kart: Double Dash!!® for the Nintendo GameCube a chance to test drive a bonus preview disc loaded with movies and demos of upcoming Nintendo GameCube titles. The special offer is effective immediately at selected retailers. More details about the disc will be revealed in the coming weeks.

With Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, players can choose their karts, their drivers and even a back-seat driver to help hurl weapons or steal them from other karts while zooming around multiple raceways at high speeds.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for Nintendo GameCube launches on Nov. 17 at a suggested retail price of $49.99.

The second deal involves discounts on select award-winning games found in the Nintendo GameCube Player’s Choice library. Starting Sept. 25, Nintendo will drive six popular games onto shelves with new, lower prices:

Now at $19.99 each:
Star Fox® Adventures
Pikmin™
Luigi’s Mansion™

Now at $29.99 each:
Metroid® Prime
Animal Crossing™
Super Mario Sunshine™

Player’s Choice titles are clearly marked with a distinct yellow order to help increase visibility as you navigate through the aisles. Note that Super Smash Bros. ® Melee already is available at the special reduced price of $29.99.

Source: Nintendo Press Release