News Archives for: March 2005

Video Game Hero Mario Petitions For New Hollywood Walk Of Fame Category
Posted on March 30, 2005 @ 5:32 PM EST by: Hairball
He starred in dozens of video games. He proved himself a more bankable celebrity than either Harrison Ford or Tom Cruise. Now Mario™, the biggest star in video game history, moves to his next challenge: requesting that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce create a new Interactive Entertainment category for its world-famous Walk of Fame. The category would honor video game characters and their creators, who provided millions of fans with billions of hours of immersive entertainment.

"Video games are a huge part of the entertainment industry," explains George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Revenues from the video game industry routinely equal or top revenues from the film industry's U.S. box office. That's how big we are."

With an impressive flourish and an entourage befitting a star of his stature, Mario today delivered a proposal to honorary Hollywood Mayor Johnny Grant asking the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to consider adding a video game category. As part of the campaign, fans carried signs of support while their hero arrived in a convertible. Ads in support of the worldwide movement also ran today in Hollywood trade magazines.

"I spent my whole life chasing stars," says Mario. "And now my fans want to give me one? Woo-hoo!"

More than 3,300 video game fans from all over the world so far have signed an online petition at www.petitionspot.com/petitions/walkoffame to support the new category. Fans left comments in several languages, including English, Spanish, Polish, French and Portuguese, demonstrating the broad, worldwide appeal of video games.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame now honors entertainment legends from areas as diverse as Film, Recording, Radio, Television and Stage. A new Interactive Entertainment category would recognize the enormous contributions of video games to the entertainment world and make the Hollywood Walk of Fame accessible to new generations of fans.

While films, TV shows and music provide experiences that last a specified amount of time, video games provide open-ended, interactive experiences, and often let players determine the outcome. For many years, all forms of entertainment, video games included, have seen a convergence. Top TV shows and video games feature hot music by top artists. Video game stars get their own movies, and film stars voice video game characters. And these days no major animated or action film debuts without an accompanying video game counterpart.

Source: Nintendo Press Release

Nintendo President Outlines Bold Vision To Attract New Audiences To Video Games
Posted on March 11, 2005 @ 10:54 AM EST by: Hairball
Thousands of video game developers in a standing-room-only crowd today heard Nintendo President Satoru Iwata outline the company's bold vision for the future. Iwata, a veteran video game designer and player himself, made several major announcements during his Game Developers Conference keynote speech, "The Heart of the Gamer," including such highlights as:

* Nintendo's next game console, code-named "Revolution," is proceeding on schedule and will include both backward compatibility and Wi-Fi features.

* Nintendo soon will offer a free Wi-Fi connection service to Nintendo DS™ owners.

* Iwata demonstrated several new software titles using the innovative features of the Nintendo DS, including voice recognition, touch-screen control and wireless connectivity.

* Iwata unveiled new images from the highly anticipated Legend of Zelda® adventure coming this year for Nintendo GameCube™.

"This is Nintendo's plan: make our existing game world better," Iwata said. "For us, this is a passion. This is a mission of adventure."

Revolution: Iwata announced that Revolution will feature built-in Wi-Fi protocols, which will allow users around the world to connect with one another wirelessly. Revolution's technological heart, a processing chip developed with IBM and code-named "Broadway," and a graphics chip set from ATI code-named "Hollywood," are being designed to deliver game experiences not possible to date.

"We're excited to be developing the graphics chip set for Revolution, which continues our longstanding relationship with Nintendo," says Dave Orton, ATI Technologies Inc.'s president and chief executive officer. "As the leading graphics provider, ATI is committed to delivering exceptional visual performance that enables consumers to interact with new and visually compelling digital worlds. ATI is proud to support Nintendo's innovative contributions to gaming."

Nintendo DS: Iwata announced that the Wi-Fi protocol for Nintendo DS will provide users with a link to other players across the country or around the world. Once the service begins later this year, Nintendo DS users will be able to connect to the service wirelessly at Wi-Fi hot spots, whether they're at home, in a hotel or at a coffee shop. As one of several Wi-Fi games, Nintendo's in-house development team is creating a new Animal Crossing™ game for global Wi-Fi play.

On the keynote stage, Iwata also took part in a spontaneous eight-player wireless contest of Mario Kart® DS to demonstrate the local area network capabilities of Nintendo DS. He added that shipments of the DS game system have now surpassed 4 million units to North America and Japan in the 16 weeks since launch. With the system set to debut in thousands of stores across Europe within hours of his address, that number will approach 6 million units shipped by the end of March.

DS software: The speech featured a live demonstration of two Nintendo DS software titles that Iwata said represented types of entertainment that go beyond the traditionally accepted definitions of "video games." One, Nintendogs, asks owners to nurture and interact with a variety of breeds of digital puppies. Puppy owners can issue voice commands, play games and train their puppies while developing real emotional bonds with them. Nintendogs is set to launch later this year in North America. The second title, Electroplankton, offers an otherworldly array of sights and sounds aimed to soothe or stimulate players with the innovative use of both the touch screen and voice interaction. "This is designed to produce harmony, not adrenaline," Iwata said.

Zelda: Iwata wowed the crowd by showing previously unreleased footage of the stunning Legend of Zelda adventure for Nintendo GameCube. The game will launch later this year, and is expected to be the most sought-after game of 2005 on any console.

Nintendo will announce more information about both Revolution and the Nintendo DS Wi-Fi service at the Electronics Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in May. To hear the full audio podcast of Iwata's speech, visit www.nintendo.com.

Source: Nintendo