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E3 2005: Nintendo’s Pre-Show Conference

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Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, begins the show. He brags that he beat Reggie Fils-Aime in Smash Bros. in broken English. This is followed by a video montage covering DS and GameCube consoles. Aimes takes over when they come back, announcing Nintendo has sold two billion games since they entered the industry. Similar in tone to Microsoft, Aimes speaks on how they plan on targeting different demographics, other than the 18-34 year old male. He then proceeds to throw out some deceptive numbers, including the claim that the PSP had a worldwide launch before Christmas. He takes a cheap stab at Sony while spouting off these numbers.

David Hollands, a respected DJ talks about Electroplankton and its musical capabilities on the DS. He then meets Aimes out on stage to demonstrate what he accomplished with the title. They move on from that to discuss the online Gamespy deal and how the plainly named Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection will work. They have high expectations for the DS, planning on 90% of owners to use the system in this way. Other features are standard elsewhere, including matching services. This will be free all the time; there will never be added charges for first-party games. Mario Kart and Animal Crossing DS will be online by the end of the year. Grinders, online skateboarding developed by Tony Hawk developer Activision will also join the latter two titles.

Nintendogs is then discussed, along with the resounding success the title has had in Japan. Tina Wood from G4TV displays the game. Her little pug responded to voice command, just not accurately. She failed at getting one command to work at all. Miyamoto connects wirelessly to her DS, and the two dogs quickly became “good friends.”

Aime’s them proceeds to the Game Boy Micro, an insanely small Game Boy Advance. It’s a “hair bigger than I-Pod Mini.” He claims it is the best and brightest screen they’ve ever put into a handheld. Faceplates will release alongside it this fall. Another video montage, this time of GBA and DS games, follows. Some of the games announced are as follows:

Mega Man Battle Network DS
Splinter Cell DS
Goldeneye RA DS
Mario and Luigi 2
Advance Wars DS
New Super Mario DS
Viewtiful Joe

Iwata comes on stage with the much-anticipated Revolution. It will be even smaller when it’s released, as what he holds is only a prototype. The final designs will be three DVD cases thick. Twelve cm optical discs will be the consoles main format, along with backwards compatibility with Gamecube games. A small attachment will be required to play DVDs. Under the hook, it will contain 512 Megs of flash memory with an option for SD memory. It will be Wi-Fi capable out of the box. He briefly discussed (but did not show) the controllers; simply stating they will be unique, nothing more. Online titles are in the works for each franchise characters, and Smash Bros. was announced as an online title.

Iwata continued, stating a new Miyamoto title will be launched, but game no other information. “Third parties will appreciate their creative approach,” he claims. Square is on board with a new Final Fantasy Chronicles. It was not shown. He claimed development will be easier on Revolution than other systems and development will pose less of a risk with the lower developmental costs. “Big Ideas prevail over big budget.”

Twenty years of Nintendo content will be downloadable and playable on the Revolution. What price and what games will be available were not specifically announced, other than games from the NES to the N64. All-Access gaming is their buzzword, drawing in new gamers while keeping the casual and hardcore groups happy.

George Harrison, the marketing director, comes up next. He dives into the Gamecube numbers. He explains some of the new titles:

Battalion Wars, renamed from Advance Wars
Pokemon XD, a game taking a more serious tone than other games in the series and will be released in October
Killer 7
Mario Baseball
Mario Strikers

Mario Party 7, now 8-player compatible
Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix

This is followed again by another video montage of upcoming Gamecube software. These were mostly licensed and multi-platform games. The clips stop to introduce the new Zelda: Twilight Princess and it gets a much-deserved ovation. Aimes introduces Eiji Aonuma, Zelda creator who explains to the press that they’ll receive the trailer on DS card.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.