"Games like Wii Sports and the original Brain Age proved anyone can pick up a video game system and immediately have fun," says Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "We're building on that foundation with games and accessories appealing to our current fan base and drawing in even more new players."
New games and accessories not only demonstrate that Nintendo is not going to coast on its momentum, but they also show how the power and versatility of Nintendo's systems have only just begun to be explored. What might the future bring? These are the kinds of "what-if" questions firing the imaginations of consumers when Nintendo dares to explore them. For now, the following is a roundup of Nintendo's major announcements.
- Wii Fit: The active-play phenomenon started by Wii Sports now spreads to your whole body thanks to the pressure-sensitive Wii Balance Board (name not final), which comes packed with Wii Fit. The board is used for an extensive array of fun and dynamic activities, including aerobics, yoga, muscle stretches and games. Many of these activities provide a "core" workout, a popular exercise method that emphasizes slower, controlled motions. Family members will have fun staying active and talking about and comparing their results and progress on a new channel on the Wii Menu.
- Mario Kart Wii (name not final): The new version of Mario Kart, due in early 2008, features new vehicles and lets players near and far compete using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo's wireless gaming service. Mario Kart launches with the Wii Wheel (name not final), a steering wheel housing for the Wii Remote that brings new controls and challenges for veteran gamers, while making getting into a race easy and intuitive for newcomers.
- Super Mario Galaxy: The latest masterpiece by legendary video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto puts a smile on the face of everyone who plays it. Until now, no game has matched the sheer fun and sense of delightful awe produced by the groundbreaking Super Mario 64. Using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, players navigate iconic hero Mario through a series of planets, each with its own gravity, chaotic challenges and power-ups. The game bursts through the screen in vivid artistic detail, and a second player can even provide some assistance along the way. It blasts off Nov. 12.
- Wii Zapper (name not final): This new accessory combines the accuracy of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in a single housing for a new experience for first-person shooters and targeting games. Players can hear the sounds of battle through the Wii Remote speaker when it is incorporated into the Wii Zapper. It arrives on store shelves later this year, packaged with Nintendo-developed software that shows off its versatility. The Wii Zapper also will be used with a host of third-party games, including Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles from Capcom, Ghost Squad from Sega and Medal of Honor from Electronic Arts.
- Check Mii Out Channel (name not final): Launching in 2007, this free new channel builds on the huge phenomenon of Wii owners creating fun caricatures of themselves, their friends and celebrities. The two main components of the free channel include an area where users can post Miis they have created to let others vote on their artistic abilities, and a competition element that lets users test their skills to create the most accurate likeness of individuals or other themes suggested by Nintendo. The Check Mii Out Channel joins the lineup of cool channels on the Wii Menu, which includes the Internet Channel, the Everybody Votes Channel and the Forecast Channel, among others.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Nintendo's all-out smash-or-be-smashed franchise remains one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. Its predecessor became the No. 1 selling game of all time on Nintendo's previous console. Super Smash Bros. Brawl ups the ante with new characters, new moves and new arenas. The game smashes into North American stores Dec. 3.
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: This final chapter of the Metroid Prime trilogy introduces unmatched first-person controls by letting players use the Wii Remote as an arm cannon for a feeling of complete immersion. Heroine Samus travels between planets to stop her nemesis, Dark Samus, from corrupting them. All the while Samus fights the spreading Phazon that is taking over her body while giving her incredible powers. It launches Aug. 27.
- Third-Party Support: Third-party publishers are racing to see who can put the most resources behind Wii. By the end of the year, about 100 new Wii games will hit stores. EA brings Boogie and EA Playground, as well as online action for its Madden NFL and FIFA Soccer franchises; Mario and Sonic team up for the first time ever in Sega's Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games; Sega shows off dreamy aerial acrobatics with NiGHTS Journey of Dreams; Activision jams with Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock; Namco Bandai puts the battle blade into players' hands with SoulCalibur Legends; Disney Interactive belts out High School Musical: Sing It!; Square Enix brings Dragon Quest Swords in early 2008 -- and that's just a taste of what's to come.
- More to Come: Other Nintendo titles launching this year for Wii include Mario Strikers Charged (July 30), Donkey Kong Barrel Blast (Oct. 8), Battalion Wars 2 (Oct. 29), Endless Ocean (Oct. 29) and Fire Emblem (Nov. 5).
- Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day!: The prefrontal cortices of gamers of all types will light up once they hear of the new ways to keep their brains active. On Aug. 20, Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day builds on the huge success of the original title while introducing more than a dozen new brain-stimulating activities that incorporate music, word and logic puzzles and voice recognition.
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: For the first time, players can control the action using only the Nintendo DS stylus. If you've never played a Zelda game, you'll learn the controls in a snap. And even if you are familiar with the franchise, you've never played a Zelda game like this before. On Oct. 1, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass launches hero Link on a wild new adventure and sets a new standard for graphics capabilities and game interaction on DS. In Japan, the game launched in late June and is selling well to both avid and casual gamers, including female players.
- Flash Focus: Vision Training in Minutes a Day is designed to help users sharpen their "Focus Power" with a series of fun tests of hand-eye coordination, eye agility, reaction time and peripheral vision. Top-rated athletes have long used computerized vision trainers to help them take better aim before they swing at the ball. Now Flash Focus: Vision Training in Minutes a Day puts this same technology into the palm of your hands. The title launches on Oct. 15.
- Third-Party Support: Third-party publishers continue to shift their resources behind Nintendo systems, with more than 140 titles on the way. EA has developed a stylized MySims; Ubisoft seeks to expand language abilities with My Word Coach, My French Coach and My Spanish Coach; Activision launches Call of Duty (name not final); Sega spins out Sonic Rush Adventure; and the Force is with LucasArts and its new LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga.
- More to Come: Other Nintendo games launching this year for DS include: Picross DS (July 30), DK Jungle Climber (Sept. 10), Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol (Oct. 2), Mario Party DS (Nov. 19), Nintendo Magic (Nov. 26) (name not final), Professor Layton and the Curious Village (Dec. 3) and Nintendo Crossword (name not final).