From the very start, Nintendo DS broke the existing rules of video game play. Two screens, not one. Wireless connection for game play and personal communication for the sheer entertainment of it. Flexible game control by voice and touch, not just with buttons.
"Nintendo's mission remains unchanged: expand the game experience," says Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo Co., Ltd. "Nintendo DS is the road map to the future of video games, and most clearly demonstrates the type of innovation that players demand."
Nintendo DS is the dual-screened, hand-held video game system redefining the idea of interactive entertainment. One screen allows for touch input using a stylus, while the unit includes both voice recognition and multiplayer wireless features. The sleek silver-and-black system sports a sharp, angular design.
Consumers immediately will be able to pick up and play the new system, as it comes with a free software feature, PictoChat, embedded in the system hardware. PictoChat allows DS owners to write messages with an on-screen keyboard or the stylus and send them wirelessly to other DS users nearby. Users can text chat, draw artistic messages or share secrets, all without saying a word. And a Nintendo DS in sleep mode will spring to life if it senses another DS in transmitting range, alerting users to each other's presence and setting the stage for an impromptu conversation or game session.
More than 100 companies have signed on to create games for Nintendo DS, while Nintendo itself is already developing its first 20 titles. Electronic Arts, the world's largest independent software developer and publisher, already has announced that its powerhouse franchises of Madden NFL, The URBZ: Sims in the City, Need for Speed Underground, Tiger Woods and GoldenEye will support Nintendo DS.
"Each time Nintendo creates a hand-held, it introduces new elements of play and sets a new standard for mobile gaming," says Larry Probst, EA's chairman and CEO. "The DS is no exception - Nintendo has another big winner with the DS."
The complete lineup of games planned for the launch of Nintendo DS will be announced in the near future. In effect, Nintendo DS already boasts a library of more than 550 games because it is compatible with single-player modes of games made for the world's best-selling video game system, Game Boy Advance SP.
Nintendo chose the United States to lead the worldwide launch of Nintendo DS because of overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic reaction from consumers and to take advantage of the holiday sales season. After the subsequent launch in Japan, the system will be available in Europe and Australia in the first quarter of 2005.
Nintendo DS has a flip-top cover that protects both screens. Two speakers on the unit's face let users hear virtual surround sound, while its dual screens open games to a multitude of possibilities. Nintendo DS sits 5.85 inches wide, 3.33 inches long and 1.13 inches tall with the cover closed. The new media format for games means that Nintendo DS has no moving parts that could be misaligned if the unit is dropped or jarred.
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, 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 1.9 billion video games and more than 170 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.