Wii Will Offer Unprecedented Video Game Experiences for Everyone
LOS ANGELES, May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than 20 years, video game players have used body language to "help" them play. With Nintendo's upcoming Wii(TM) console, those movements become a real part of the play. After grabbing the Wii Remote for the first time, hesitation gives way to concentration. Confidence builds. Excitement morphs into pure delight. And everyone watching says the same thing: "Hey -- let me try!"
What drives this phenomenon? A remarkable controller and games that enhance the experience ... realizing that the swing of your arm -- not the movement of your thumb -- causes a baseball to leave the park or a sword to find its mark. The Wii console introduces the next leap in gaming, one where players not only control their characters on the screen, but they also become them.
"The Wii console gives every game developer a tool to create new experiences, not just linear advancement," said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "It will attract all kinds of new players, and thoroughly satisfy the hard-core gamers."
One of Wii's launch titles will be Wii Sports, a new type of product designed to expand the video game experience to everyone, regardless of age, gender or gaming experience. These games will form the bridge that connects current gamers to newcomers. Wii Sports will include a tennis game that lets up to four players swing at, hear and feel the ball. Anyone can pick up the Wii Remote and start hitting straight shots and lobs, with top spin or a slice, using their forehand or backhand, simply by simulating the arm and wrist movements of a real tennis game. In the baseball game, players can hit or pitch a baseball using the Wii Remote as the characters on the screen mimic their movements. And in the golf game, players can drive the fairways or putt for the cup simply by swinging the Wii Remote as if they were swinging a real golf club. Games can be played with small, precise hand movements, but it's likely people will want to immerse themselves physically in the reality of the experience.
The Legend of Zelda(R): Twilight Princess also will launch at the same time as Wii. It will thrill gamers with its captivating storyline, stunning game play and gorgeous look. The game makes use of the unique Wii Remote and Nunchuk controller for elements like fishing and special sword attacks.
Other Wii games in development include Metroid(R) Prime 3: Corruption, which redefines how first-person shooters look and feel. Players use the Wii Remote as their pinpoint-accurate arm cannon, while the Nunchuk attachment can be used to deploy a variety of functions, such as the Grapple Beam. The amazing Super Mario(R) Galaxy represents a crowning achievement for legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and his team. Mario(TM) floats from planet to planet while performing massive zero-gravity jumps in an environment new to gaming fans.
Excite Truck(TM) builds on a classic Nintendo franchise, but features a radical play mechanic in which players hold the Wii Remote sideways like a steering wheel. On jumps, they must balance it to make sure their vehicle lands squarely and earns a turbo boost. Many games make racing look real, but Nintendo also makes it feel real. WarioWare(TM): Smooth Moves contains about 200 microgames that will have players holding the Wii Remote to their hips to do a hula-hoop motion, curling it like a barbell or putting it on their head and doing squats.
The Wii console already enjoys strong third-party support. Nintendo is working with every major publisher worldwide to create fresh intellectual properties and host strong, classic franchises on the console. Gamers can look forward to multiple offerings, including:
* Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam(TM), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Call of Duty(R) 3 from Activision
* Sonic and Super Monkey Ball games from SEGA
* DRAGON QUEST SWORDS(TM): The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors(TM) and CODENAME: FINAL FANTASY(R) CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: Crystal Bearers(TM) from SQUARE ENIX
* Madden NFL from Electronic Arts
* Rayman Raving Rabbids(TM) and Red Steel(TM), the only original first-person game built from the ground up exclusively for the Wii launch, from Ubisoft
* and a SpongeBob SquarePants title from THQ.
Gamers also can expect ground-breaking offerings from Atari, Buena Vista Games, Eidos, Konami Digital Entertainment, Majesco, Mastiff, Midway Games, NAMCO BANDAI Games, Atlus and SNK. Nintendo and publishers large and small worldwide will introduce original franchises of all kinds, aimed both at pleasing the hard-core crowd and encouraging new generations and demographics of people to play.
"Once again Nintendo has challenged the status quo and opened new creative landscapes for us," says John Schappert, EA Canada's senior vice president and group studio general manager. "We look forward to creating original experiences for the Wii console while seeing how some of our best sellers play using the extraordinary controllers."
In addition to a healthy selection of new games, Wii will enjoy one of the largest launch libraries in video game history thanks to its built-in Virtual Console and backward compatibility with Nintendo GameCube(TM). The Virtual Console provides downloadable access to Nintendo games from the NES(R), Super NES(R) and Nintendo(R) 64. The Virtual Console also will feature a "best of" selection from Sega Genesis titles and games from the TurboGrafx console (a system jointly developed by NEC and Hudson).
Wii will launch worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2006. Prices and other launch details will be announced at a later date.
The worldwide innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo DS(TM), Game Boy(R) Advance and Nintendo GameCube(TM) systems, and upcoming Wii(TM) console. Since 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 2 billion video games and more than 360 million hardware units globally, and has created industry icons like Mario(TM), Donkey Kong(R), Metroid(R), Zelda(TM) and Pokemon(R). 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.