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This makes me wish I still had IGNinsider. They always had sales figures from Japan when I was a member.

As for the downloadable game thing. I doubt there's going to be many games I'd even want to download. Barely have time for the games I have right now, let alone adding a hundred more games for me to worry about.

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E3 06: Wii to feature 27 playable games at E3, speaker in remote confirmed

Zelda: Twilight Princess to be released in Wii and GameCube versions at system launch; Super Mario Galaxy, other new games announced.

By Tim Surette, Dan Tochen, GameSpot

Posted May 9, 2006 9:09 am PT

LOS ANGELES--This year, Nintendo held its pre-E3 conference at the Kodak Theater, which many know as the current site of the Academy Awards. The red carpet analogy is appropriate as Nintendo is responsible for several of the industry's biggest stars.

However, the recent years haven't been as kind to the one-time gaming giant, as Sony and Microsoft have stolen a lot of Nintendo's crowd, particularly in North America. Nintendo always strives forward by continuing to innovate and living by the mantra that games are supposed to be one thing--fun.

With the Wii, formerly code-named Revolution, at the forefront of this year's pre-E3 conference, there promised to be plenty of new games and ideas presented at the event.

9:00am: A mass of industry media has assembled in the cylindrical multi-tiered lobby of the Kodak Theater, as they wait to file into their arranged seating. Things are moving slowly, but thankfully there hasn't been anything that resembles the hiccups that plagued Sony's conference.

9:25: The hall is filling up--it's about 80 percent full now, so it looks like the press conference will start close to its scheduled time of 9:30am.

9:28: The Kodak Theatre is a great venue for this event--a beautiful old Beaux Arts structure. Inside, the stage is dark except for a huge glowing Nintendo logo.

9:30: The attendees have repeatedly been told that the conference will begin promptly at 9:30. They've also been told to turn off their laptops, and cell phones. Neither side appears to be keeping its end of the bargain.

9:31: The MC has noted that the event will start promptly, an apparent dig at Sony, whose pre-show press conference yesterday started 50 minutes late. The announcement sparks a ripple of laughter from the attendees.

9:34: The conference did not start promptly. Laptops are still powered on throughout the theater. Stalemate?

9:35: The lights dim.

9:36: It's on. A giant screen rises behind the stage, and Miyamoto enters from the left, grinning like a little boy.

9:37: Mock symphony playing familiar Nintendo music as CG characters play the Legend of Zelda theme. Miyamoto is really hamming it up.

9:37: Thunderous applause. What looks like RC Pro Am is on the stage. Except this ain't your daddy's RC Pro Am. One player on an elevated stage is controlling the game using the Wii controller.

9:38: Red Steel is on now. Another player makes slashing motions with his controller. Miyamoto goes back to conducting to electronic orchestral music. Reggie welcomes the crowd with "If you're looking for the next genereation, you're in the wrong place. We're not just next, we're new. It's no longer confined to the few. It's about everyone. What you see is now always what you get. Playing is believing."

9:42: Video demo running now. Begins with Pixar rip-off Wii ad, with the bouncing lights. Hip kids and others use the controller to play drums, tennis, golf, play maestro, race cars, MARIO! Speaker in controller confirmed.

9:43: Mario fights a giant Octoboss in a pit of lava. A kid flies a biplane with the Wiimote. Metroid FPS shown.

9:43:: Table Tennis with wiimote - take that Rockstar. Now they're showing wacky Japanese party games include paper sredding, key unlocking, squats???

9:43: Two-player ping-pong, a track meet game, a range of mini-games incorporating the controller (hula hoop, broom balancing), baseball, more Red Steel...

9:44: ...and here's Link!

9:45: Link is fishing with nunchuku. Player nearly falls out of his chair as the crowd goes ballistic. Zelda is confirmed for 2006. Reggie back on stage.

9:46:"Today you will see, and tomorrow you will start to feel." He says that Nintendo will offer up "inspiration" rather than "information" this week.

9:47: Now Reggie is talking about the fact that many gamers know people who have "never played a video game." He says "this has to change."

9:47: Reggie notes there are some questions that people probably want to ask: pricing/availability, why the name, why so different? Reggie pooh-poohs incremental improvements. "That strategy works, but ultimately it's fatal."

9:49: "In the same way that Mario 64 changed everything, we ask, how can we make games feel new again?" Reggie says there won't be a price announced today.

9:50: "As for date and price, we think its best to keep those details quiet a little longer. You will play Wii in the fourth quarter of 2006." That was met with tepid applause; the crowd wanted more details.

9:50: About the name: "We want to thank all the people that wrote good things about it the first time they heard it...both of you." Audience laughs. Name chosen to stress inclusiveness--all of us, all gamers, around the world. Promises more news on third-party partners later in this event and on the E3 show floor.

9:51: A video is shown: Metroid again, then Dragon Ball, Dragon Quest (Sword game announced ysterday by Square Enix), Fire Emblem, here's Mario again in a platformer. A Tony Hawk game, Sengoku Action from Koei.

9:54: Disaster Day of Crisis. SongeBob. Cars. Super Mario Galaxy. SD Gundam Breaker. Tony Hawk Downhill Jam. Excite Truck (RC Pro Am look-alike) Red Steel. Rayman 4. Super Swing Golf Pangya. Sonic Wild Fire. Project Hammer. One Piece Limited Adventure. Madden. Just Madden. No 07. FF Crystal Chronicles.

9:56: Twilight Princess--"It is by far the best Zelda game we have ever made, also the most beautiful." Zelda will launch alongside Wii. First look coming right now. Nate and Bill from NOA going to play Zelda on the Wii. Movement on Nunchuk. Weapons, items are mapped to d-pad on remote.

9:57: When you shoot an arrow, you'll hear the bowstring twang at your ear from the speaker in the remote. Other developers also have a lot of ideas for how to use this speaker. There's a built-in rumble feature. Sony gave this up for their six-axis motion detection.

9:59: Link's iron boots return too, this time used in combination with magnets. They show Link using the iron boots and a magnetic ceiling to travel around a room.

10:02: Reggie back on stage on elevated platform. Nintendo will launch two different versions of Zelda - one for Wii, one for GC. The game will come out for both GC and Wii on the same day: the Wii launch day.

10:03: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption clip shown, it's dubbed the "most intuitive FPS ever." Then it's more Super Mario Galaxy.

10:04: "But can the system truly be new if all the names are the same? That's why we're working on new franchises," he says. ExciteTruck, Project H.A.M.M.E.R. (a beat-'em up), and Disaster, which looks like an action game.

10:05 Now Reggie seques into 3rd-party efforts, saying he'll introduce just a few of the games in development for Wii. Sonic! Gameplay footage of the hedgehog's Wii game. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, as announced by Square Enix yesterday, is coming to Wii.

10:06: And Madden 07 is coming to Wii, as is Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam from Activision. And Rayman from Ubisoft. A Wii SpongeBob game is coming from THQ. 27 Wii games are playable on the show floor. Of course, that doesn't include the games available for Virtual Console. Reggie introduces two Ubisoft executives, who will talk about Red Steel.

10:08 They are Xavier Poix and Roman Campos. The stage has now taken a nice red color. Player is doing something on screen, but we can't see the game footage. Ah there it is finally. They describe Red Steel as a "first-person action game set in both the US and Japan." It takes "full advantage of the Wii controller."

10:10: They're showing actual gameplay, though it's not clear what the game is running on--an actual console or development hardware. AI on enemies seems a bit dim. Player flicks nunchuck to reload. Levels incliude city streets full of neon and a pachinko arcade.

10:13: Z-button on Wiimote fires gun. "Freestyle mode" allows player to target enemies in slow motion, opting to shoot them fatally or disable them.

10:14: Now they're showing some swordplay. They describe swordfighting as "intuitive." You block with your left hand and slash with the right. In the game, the player is fighting a tatooed Yakuza member on a rooftop. Now Reggie is back. He wants to turn the focus to the DS, and introduces George Harrison.

10:14: Harrison describes the DS as a disruptive device that shook up dominant thinking with "a different approach to portable play." Harrison says that despite claims from detractors, it wasn't just the early adopters that came to the DS--the games brought a much broader slice of users to the handheld. Claims 16 million DSs sold worldwide since launch, a number that's "millions more" than PSPs sold since launch.

10:16: 1.3 million people have participated in WiFi gaming over DS. Harrison speaks on Brain Age: 120,000 units sold in North America in the three week since it launched here. Says this compares favorably to Japan sales when it launched there.

10:18: And now Harrison is talking about the DS Lite, set to come to the US soon. Gives some love to New Super Mario Brothers, which he notes will be on shelves soon. Other upcoming games: Starfox DS, Diddy Kong Racing and Yoshi's Island 2.

10:19: Final Fantasy III is coming to US on DS with improved 3D graphics. No release dates on any of these. Downhill Jam will feature VOIP. Zelda DS clip shown. 100 new DS games expected between now and end of year.

10:20:Mario Hoops 3 on 3 named. Star Fox DS clip shown. A pink DS lite is on the video. A game called Elite Beat Agents. Clips of Yoshi's Island show baby Nintendo charcters.

10:23: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Diddy Kong Racing, Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Big Brain Academy and Mario vs. DK: March of the Minis finish up the clips. Now Satoru Iwata has appeared on stage. He's greeted by enthusiastic applause.

10:23: Iwata says his main goal when he took over the helm of Nintendo was to expand the number of people who play games. To do this, he needed to attract both those who used to play but then quit as well as those who have never gamed.

10:23: To get both types of non-gamers to play his games, the usual model of producing increasingly more complex, more graphically detailed games won't work; these gamers are put off by increased complexity. Instead, he decided to reinvent games. The DS and especially the Brain Age games are one example of how they've reinvented games. The Wii controller is another example. "In addition, most lapsed gamers have wonderful memories of the games they used to play." Hence, the Virtual console."

10:28: The Wii console uses the Opera browser!

10:28: "I have always been develpoing and playing games. But these days I am busier and busier. When I have to wait for a loading screen I get frustrated. Maybe this has happened to you, too. If serious gamers find this frustrating, how can we expect the mass market to show more patience? The Wii console can power up and load virtual console games almost as fast as a telephone, in a few seconds."

10:29: Now he's talking about something called WiiConnect24. The console can be connected 24/7, allowing developers to push content to consoles even "while you are sleeping." Networking software is included in the hardware.

10:30: We're aiming for a system that is "new everyday."

10:30: Finally, we wanted to reach people who had never played games. The new console and controllers are very important, but most important is the software. We needed games that allow core gamers and non-gamers to "happily and immediately compete with each other."

10:31: One package addressing that need is WiiSports, a game including tennis, golf, and baseball, that will be be a launch title. He promises to "help destroy the wall" between gamers and non-gamers. "Wii can provide everyone with fresh new experiences."

10:33: Iwata exits to more applause and Reggie returns. Reggie says "We'd like to invite all of you up on stage to play." That can't happen, but they do have three people selected through Nintendo's promotion with AOL.

10:33: Miyamoto will select one final grand prize winner to play the Wii onstage. Miyamoto comes to the stage, says that the game to be played is tennis. He gives a demonstration, holding the remote like a racket. Twisting the remote while swinging yields topspin.

10:35: Miyamoto pulls an envelope from his jacket and reads the name..."The winner is...Scott Dyer." Scott comes up from the audience, all smiles. He's going to play doubles with Miyamoto. They're going to play doubles against Reggie and Iwata.

10:36: The game features avatars of Reggie, Iwata, and Miyamoto, with a big question mark on a body for the contest winner. When the audience sees the personalized avatars, there's general laughter.

10:37: They're only playing three points. Dyer burns Reggie with a cross court shot. Another one. His angles are Wimbledon-worthy. It looks like the Miyamoto/Dyer team won, and they decide on a rematch. The second game is tied...no, Miyamoto takes game point for his second win. Tennis will be playable on show floor.

10:39 Reggie: "The bottom line of every E3 is what's hot and what's not. Here's our take. What's hot is what you can feel... It's about the heat of emotion, not the chill of technology... We were the disruptor 20 years ago and we still are today. DS was only the first example. Wii will come next." He says Nintendo knows that "seeing is just an impression. Playing is believing" and tells the audience he hopes he will see them all on the show floor tomorrow.

10:42: He walks off the stage and the stage lights go down--the press conference is over. As attendees leave, they are being given DS-themed travel bags with the press kit.

Source: Gamespot

Thank God for including a normal controller. I knew that the tv remote wouldn't be the only controller, but it's good to see a normal one. As good as this news is, I'm still on the fence with this system, I'm still waiting for more game news. The 360 and Ps3 were showing off games well before thier respective release dates, yet Nintendo is only slowly letting game info out.

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Japanese games giant Nintendo has confirmed that the price of its new Wii console will be much lower than its rivals.

The Wii will cost 25,000 yen or lower in Japan and $250 (£133) or less in the US, said Nintendo as it revealed its financial results.

The company added it aims to sell six million machines by March 2007.

The Wii is due out towards the end of the year, competing with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5016838.stm

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Take this with a whole shaker of salt, but there's a rumor going around that Nintendo has been deliberately underpowering it's Wii demos so they can announce a huge leap in expected performance of the system shortly before launch. (Link)

Honestly, I wouldn't be that surprised if this were the case. Given all the information about the Wii that has been leaked from ATI and other hardware sources, it should be a much better performer than Nintendo's let on so far (though they themselves haven't made any concrete statements). ATI officials have hinted at a PPU (Physics Processing Unit, think Ageia's PhysX), which would be a huge boon as neither the XBox 360 nor PS3 will have a dedicated PPU.

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The announcement for Japan is over. The US announcement is tommorrow. Things that you can do with the Wii:

Read the news

surf the web with the Opera browser

check the weather anywhere in the world using what looks like a cartoon version of Google Earth

http://www.nintendo.co.jp/wii/topics/wii_p...ntation/08.html

Everything is set up on channels. There is a shopping channel, pictures channel, ect. You can buy new channels.

Go here to find out more. The english version won't be up until later today though.

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This is probably a stupid question, but are stores like Target, Best Buy and Wal-Mart going to have Wiis for sale to the general public at the time of release? Or did they reserve their entire future inventory on the release date? I ask because I've never been at a store at O-dark-thirty to be first in line to buy something and this might be the system that changes that trend for me.

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They will have units for sale, but, yeah, you're going to have to get there early and stand in a stupidly long line.

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Actually, it really depends. I worked at the customer service desk at Circuit City the morning of the Xbox / Gamecube release (they were out on the same day) and we sold out of Xboxes almost immediately, but Gamecubes were still there at about 5:00 that evening, when I left. It may be a different story this generation, since the Wii is launching unopposed, but from my experience, Nintendo products aren't really that in-demand.

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Wrote this on the Oratory, so I figured I'd post it here also.

Went to EB today and found a Nintendo Wii on display. Got try out Excite Truck and was getting my ass absolutely owned. Probably would've been good idea for me to look up the controls a little more, cause I had no idea what I was doing till someone eventually showed me how to work the thing. Even then, I was still getting my ass kicked all over the place. It was fun, but I think it was the wrong title to put on display for the Wii. You just don't have enough time to get the use to the game in such a short amount of time.

Or maybe I just flat out suck. That could be it.

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I can understand why a racing game was chosen as the demo but, especially with the one they chose, I lost interest in even trying out Wii when I saw what I would have been playing. A racing game is much more controled than, say, swinging the stick in public with tennis in Wiisports but I'm sure they had to have had something more appealing ready that wouldn't be a danger to passers-by.

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I'm looking forward to Wii Sports and Trauma Centre right off the bat. Will be reviewing (probably)

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