Nintendo Proves Its Wii Promise, but Still Underdelivers

When you name a game conference in regard to your next in-home videogame console, everyone expects you to stick to that console as much as possible.

But that was not to be. In fact, we still don’t have a solid price or release date fort the Wii, which Nintendo believes will bring console gaming – and game design in particular – to a completely new level.

Yes, unfortunately, most of Nintendo’s Wednesday morning conference in Leipzig was about the DS, Nintendo’s double-screened handheld which is attracting a lot of gamers, 42% of which were new to handheld gaming, and an additional 18% previously were non-gamers. (The remaining 24% previously played games on personal computers.) The Wii portion of the presentation did not even begin until 111:10 CEST (4:10 CDT) and only lasted for the last 20 minutes or so.

Still, plenty of new stuff came out of the conference, including a new Mario Strikers game (to be named Mario Strikers Charged) seems to be coming as rumors predicted – however, Kid Icarus is still out of sight, deflating that rumor. And yes, Nintendo’s booth has Wii available for play – Nintendo did confirm this, contrary to belief, though it was not mentioned as to what extent of who would be able to play (rumors have circulated that this may be limited to the press, like it was at the final big E3, which as we know by now has largely undergone a major downsizing in the months since). A new Battilion Wars title also was announced, to be called Battalion Wars 2 (naturally).

On the DS front, Tenchu, Super Mini-Mario World, 42 All Time Classics, Starfox Command, Tomb Raider Legend (a side-scrolling adaptation of the similarly-named game on other platforms), Sudoku Master, Learn English (a non-English market game for teaching the language due in Europe on October 13), Actionloop (a Tetris-like puzzler slated for release in Japan this year) and a plethora of other titles are due out soon or in the future. A pink DS Lite is also in the cards to be released in Europe on October 27. Additionally, Phoenix Wright (the popular courtroom simulation title) is due in Europe sometime during the remainder of the fall season.

But we still have to wonder why Nintendo did not announce what everyone was expecting – a price and release date for the Wii. Perhaps they are still toying with us up to the launch? Or are they, perhaps, saving the best for their last big announcement?

Either way, Nintendo can’t afford to tease us forever – we all know they are hiding something (or perhaps their little game not too long ago with one of their DS game release lineups gave us a lint of an October launch), but rest assured that all will be revealed sometime in September, since we didn’t get it all this time.

Until then, let the rumors and the guessing begin anew.

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