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Aug 23, 06 at 1:36pm ^re: Official News Posts Thread
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Source Link: http://wii.ign.com/articles/727/727276p1.html
Article: August 23, 2006 - In a stark white booth in the far hall at the Leipzig Convention Center, Nintendo opened Games Convention 2006 with an exciting press conference. As the launch of Wii is only a few months away now, we were expecting big news to come out of GC, but unfortunately we were somewhat disappointed with the lack of new information.
Doing a quick tour of the booth beforehand yielded little information about the Wii, and with absolutely no Wii presence on the floor, it appeared as if Nintendo was going to focus solely on the DS at this year's show. Even the conference pre-video only focused on the DS, with Germans of various ages in white rooms playing Nintendo DS systems. Although you couldn't see the screen, well recognized tunes from Super Mario, Zelda, Animal Crossing, and Metroid were playing as they laughed, touched the screen, and cheered one another on.
Then the countdown began...7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The conference started with a speech by Bernd Fakesch, General Manager of Nintendo Germany. The catchphrase of the Nintendo conference was "We prove our promise," and as Fakesch said while touting Nintendo's accomplishments over the past year, "we say what we do and we do what we say to extend videogaming." Fakesch said Nintendo was dedicated to reinventing videogames and introducing videogames to all new audiences, just it has been doing for the past 20 years.
Although he didn't give an exact release date early on in the conference, Fakesch said the Wii will be released at the end of this year and "will be the start of a new chapter of videogame history." Fakesch shied away from the Wii for a bit and went on to talk about the success of the DS, saying "with the Nintendo DS, we're extending the borders of gaming," and talked about trying to attract new audiences with the handheld. "We have a new brand label, 'Touch! Generation,'" Fakesch boasted, and said that Nintendo is going to reach all gamers, old and young.
A few days ago Nintendo exceeded the 1 million mark for DS users in Germany since its release in 2005. Fakesch said that 18% of DS users in Germany had never played a game before in their life, and 24% had only played PC games, proving that Nintendo is drawing new audiences into gaming. There have also been 600,000 copies of Nintendogs sold in Germany, which is the most popular title by far, and Fakesch sees this title as bringing more women and girls into gaming.
Fakesch then introduced Dr. Kawashimas' Brain Training (the German name for Brain Age) to the audience, which was just released in Germany, and showed a brief video of some German star playing Brain Training.
Fakesch and the German star then started talking about using the DS as a teaching and learning device, and introduced Learning English for Fun, which will be released in Germany on October 13, 2006. In the demo we saw for Learning English for Fun, the DS says a phrase in English and you have to write the phrase out in English using the stylus. After the demo, Fakesch did stress that Nintendo did not want the DS to become solely a learning console, but to be primarily a gaming machine with some educational software.
It then went on to show a few more of the games under the Touch! Generation brand label, including ActionLoop, which is a Japanese puzzle game (Magnetica in the US), and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, which has not yet been released in Germany.
Next, a model sporting a hot pink DS Lite sauntered onto the stage during a heavy beat breakdown to unveil the European premiere of the pink DS Lite, which will be available in Europe on October 27, 2006.
After a brief sizzle reel showing off a number of DS games, including Hotel Dusk (a film noir game that looks like Aha's music video for "Take on Me"), Tomb Raider, Soduko Master, New Super Mario, and a slew of other games mostly already out in the States, Fakesch introduced an "exclusive presentation" of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. The video was only a few seconds long, but we saw Link in a dungeon, disarming a fire trap, plotting a route across the sea using the stylus, getting shot by cannons, and attacking an octopus creature. The footage was previously displayed at GDC 2006.
Finally it was time to move on to Wii information. The Wii presentation started with a hip-hop dance troupe swatting away mock mosquitoes with the Wii controller while phat beats were being dropped. Yeah, we didn't really get it, either.
A seven-year-old girl took the stage to show how easy it was to play the Wii. After a brief audio outage during the conference, we were back up and running. Unfortunately, we lost our English feed, so we were on our own trying to translate what was happening. However, if anything comes close to a universal language, it's the simple controls of the Wii.
The young girl took the Wii-mote in her hands and started playing Tennis. To be completely honest, the folks on stage looked rather awkward playing Tennis, and most of the serves were missed completely, with several easy aces served up. Even a few serves were missed completely, with the ball falling at the player's feet. Finally the English language feed kicked back in, and we heard the people on stage saying "I don't know who I am," and asking "Did I win? Who am I?"
Mario Strikers Charged, the Wii sequel to Super Mario Strikes, was shown next, with Donkey Kong, Bowser, and Mario powering up and kicking wild soccer balls across a dry, rocky field. It looked like the goalie controls brought up a pair of hands to block the ball as it sped toward the goal. Someone onstage then challenged one of the audience members to a 1-on-1 game with Mario and Bowser. The same dry, cracked field from the trailer we saw was the live field they were playing on. Huge leaves were blowing overhead, while lightning stuck the field at various times. As we had guessed from the demo trailer, when you make a kick on goal, a pair of gloved goalie hands pop up on-screen and you have to block the incoming balls with the Wii-mote in a mini-game. Depending on your success, you're treated to a cutscene of the action that mimics what happened in the mini-game.
Next they noted that Battalion Wars 2, the Wii sequel to Battalion Wars, was at GC, and although Nintendo didn't show it onstage, it noted it would be playable after the press conference.
It did show an extended Wii trailer which featured a lot of the games, but it's the same trailer we've seen before and didn't show any new gameplay.
That pretty much concluded the press conference. We'll bring you more hands-on reports of the Wii as soon as we have a chance to play some of the games.
GC 2006: Nintendo Announces Mario Strikers Charged
Source Link: http://wii.ign.com/articles/727/727449p1.html
Article: August 23, 2006 - August 23: At the "Wii Prove Our Promise" keynote, Nintendo revealed a new title for Wii. Mario Strikers Charged is, in spirit, a sequel to the smash hit Super Mario Strikers for GameCube, developed by Next Level Games. In the demo shown on stage, players selected one of four captains for the game, choosing from Mario, Bowser, Peach, and Donkey Kong. The gameplay was very similar to the Cube version, with motion sensing for goalie moves and precision shots.
In addition, players can expect the same over-the-top super attacks as Super Mario Strikers. As a quick demo, players were shown using Mario to do a gigantic fireball attack, reminiscent of the previous version of the game. This could lend to the idea of more GameCube games getting Wii updates, and when it comes to innovative gameplay, we'll take what we can get.
In a fact sheet supplied by Nintendo of Europe, the company states that Strikers Charged will feature a plethora of new gameplay elements as well, including the ability to select one of 12 different team captains, and plug in popular characters into the other slots. Each team can also use three of a total eight "sidekicks" that are less skilled, but still more powerful than the basic teammates from the GameCube version.
The amount of powerful offense has also been increased, as players can now pull off a "Mega Strike", splitting the ball into up to five balls, each seeking the opposing goal. On defense, players will have to then target the balls with the Wiimote, blasting away potential tide-turners before they cascade into the net. For an even more devastating edge, the ball can be charged, adding a homing ability to the projectile (much like soccer's own version of a heat-seeking missile).
As yet another added bonus, Mario Strikers Charged can be played both locally and on the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, allowing players to compete in matches or even set up tournaments with other Strikers players across the globe. Strikers offers anywhere from one to four players.
We'll have more on Mario Strikers Charged as news breaks, as well as continued coverage of GC 2006. Nintendo has announced that Strikers will be playable on the floor tomorrow, so we'll have a hands-on play through on the way. In the meantime, we'll have the trailer up shortly so stay tuned.
GC 2006: Battalion Wars 2 Official
Source Link: http://wii.ign.com/articles/727/727452p1.html
August 23, 2006 - At the Electronics Entertainment Expo 2005, development studio Kuju Entertainment told IGN that it was very interested in making a Wii sequel to its then-unreleased GameCube title Battalion Wars. Today, Nintendo of Europe made it official: Battalion Wars 2 was announced at the company's "Wii prove our promise" conference, which took place prior to the Games Convention 2006 in Leipzig, Germany.
Nintendo showed a Battalion Wars 2 logo, which read: "BWii," which cleverly links the franchise with the name of the company's new console.
Battalion Wars 2 will be playable for the first time on the GC 2006 show floor.
Here's what Nintendo has to say about the game:
Tricked into believing that the Solar Empire is developing a devastating super-weapon, Commander Pierce and Colonel Windsor of the Anglo Isles launch a pre-emptive strike on the Coral Atolls. The world is once again at war.
Drive tanks, command ships, pilot planes and direct your troops into the heart of the action in the return of the popular tactical action game for Wii.
Three Online Multiplayer Modes
Assault: Instant Combat
Skirmish: Tactical depth
Co-op: Work with friends
Three Theatres of War
Combine land, sea and air combat
Five New Naval Units
Six Different Races, Five Different Environments; and new vehicles for each side.
The Wii-mote provides "intuitive, all-action gameplay."
Greater tactical depth
Capture facility buildings to re-spawn units (HQ, Barracks, Factories, Airfield, Docks)
Use Map Screen Commanding to order from afar
Bigger and Better
20+ single player missions AND 15+ mp missions Increased replay value
IGN rated Battalion Wars for GameCube an 8.8 and selected the game as one of the 2005's stand-out products. We can't wait to see what Kuju does with the sequel.
Bring It On!
Source Link: http://blogs.ign.com/matt-ign
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Aug 24, 06 at 1:53pm ^re: Official News Posts Thread
Wii Less Than 250 Euros
August 23, 2006 - Though Nintendo has yet to announce final pricing or release timing for its Wii console, the company has at least committed to an upper limit: Nintendo has said its new system will cost less than $250 in North America and no more than 25,000 yen ($215) in Japan.
While many expected Nintendo to use this week's German Games Convention to announce a final price, the company remained coy. One tidbit did surface, however: according to Reuters, Bernd Fakesch, head of Nintendo's German operations, said he expects the Wii will sell in Europe for less than 250 euros (about $320).
Converted to dollars, the price looks steep, though consoles in Europe are typically more expensive, partly due to taxes. For instance, the Xbox 360 Core System retails for 299 euros, or about $385 - whereas the system is $299 in the States.
Interestingly, Fakesch said that Nintendo had not decided the exact date for the Wii launch, though that would come "in due course." The company hopes to sell 4 million units by the end of the year, and 6 million by March 2007.
LucasArts, Free Radical Creating Next-Gen Title
August 23, 2006 - Today LucasArts announced an agreement with Free Radical Design to develop a new game for next-generation consoles. Who/what/when/where/why/how will be unveiled at a later date.
"Free Radical has always been about titles with great gameplay and innovative design," said Peter Hirschmann, VP of Product Development at LucasArts. "In the battle for videogame quality, these guys are at the front of the line. This team's pedigree is one of the best in the business."
Stay tuned for more details on this mysterious collaboration.
EA Acquires SpellForce Creator
August 23, 2006 - Today Electronic Arts announced the acquisition of Phenomic Game Development, makers of strategy game franchises SpellForce and The Settlers. EA Phenomic, based in Ingelheim, Germany, will be dedicated to developing real-time strategy games for the PC, console and online.
"The team at Phenomic is an outstanding group of developers," said Paul Lee, President of EA's Worldwide Studios. "Their track record for building quality RTS games and creating original IP is impressive, and we share a strong common vision for the future of the strategy gaming market. We're looking forward to working with them on a new project that will be announced at a later date, and are delighted to welcome them to the EA family."
Phenomic's long-standing management team will continue in their current roles, including Boris Kunkel, Dirk Ringe, and Volker Wertich, creator of the Settlers series and Creative Director of the studio. The studio will remain in its current location in Ingelheim and work within the management structure of EA's studios in Europe.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. EA does not expect the acquisition to impact the company's second fiscal quarter or fiscal year 2007 financial guidance.
Dragon Ball Misses Japanese Launch
August 23, 2006 - Dragon Ball Z! Budokai Tenkaichi 2 will be hitting the Japanese Wii a bit later than expected. While the title, known in Japan as Dragon Ball Z! Sparking, was originally flagged with a Fall 2006 date, suggesting that it would launch with the system, the latest issue of Famitsu has it set for January 2007.
The PS2 version is still on track for Japanese release on 10/5.
There's no word yet on how this Japanese delay will affect the US version of the game. As far as we know, the US version is still on track for the system's launch. It's not unprecedented for a Dragon Ball Z game to hit America first, so keep your Wiimotes crossed!
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Jan 5, 07 at 2:17am ^re: Official News Posts Thread
IGNWii's RSS Feed
Unless it's just me, there RSS feed has been gone for quite a while and now it's back up.
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