Nintendo President Satoru Iwata today challenged a crowd of game developers to think differently and take a fresh approach to the creation of video games. During his keynote address at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., Iwata said Nintendo will provide developers with the tools they need to disrupt the traditional methods of game creation, much as the company already has.
These tools include the controller for Nintendo’s next home console (code-named Revolution), which lets users control the action on their television screens through the motion of the controller itself. The controller lets game developers create new kinds of gaming experiences, ones that enhance the experience for hard-core gamers while making video games more accessible and less intimidating to novices. The new forms of innovative software that can be created by any size developer will be made available for download via Revolution’s Virtual Console service.
“This new approach is like stepping onto an unexplored continent for the first time, with all the potential for discovery that suggests,” Iwata said. “No one else can match the environment we’re creating for expanding the game experience to everyone. Our path is not linear, but dynamic.”
Iwata also announced partnerships with Sega and Hudson to offer downloadable access to their classic games via Revolution’s Virtual Console. Revolution owners will be able to relive their past gaming glories from the Sega Genesis console by playing a “best of” selection from more than 1,000 Genesis titles, as well as games sold for the TurboGrafx console (a system jointly developed by NEC and Hudson). These games join Revolution’s access to 20 years of fan-favorite Nintendo games from the NES, Super NES and Nintendo 64 eras.
Iwata also revealed for the first time that a new game called The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass would be released for Nintendo DS later this year.
Iwata, a game developer himself, revealed behind-the-scenes stories about the development of three key initiatives.
For the industry leading Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, internal engineers and developers overcame a series of hurdles to make the system seamless and flexible enough to allow players to choose to play wirelessly either with friends or against unknown opponents. The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection reached 1 million unique users in just 18 weeks – nearly five times the adoption rate
of the leading online game console network.
He described a pivotal meeting in coming to agreement on development of the incredibly popular “brain games” in Japan. A leading Japanese scientist attached a sci-fi-looking wired helmet to a Nintendo staffer and then visually demonstrated stimulation of brain activity as the staffer played prototype software.
Finally, he described the hundreds of sketches, dozens of prototypes and company-wide collaboration that led to the final form of the unique Revolution controller system, which resembles a traditional TV remote control. He called the related research and manufacturing costs of the new control system, “…our method to disrupt the market…realizing a new way to connect a player to his game.”
The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems. Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy Advance SP, Nintendo DS and Nintendo GameCube systems extend Nintendo’s vast game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 2 billion video games and more than 360 million hardware units globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario and Donkey Kong and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid, Zelda and Pokemon. 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.