Nintendo Co. announced new wireless features for its DS portable video game player Thursday, including a free service that will let consumers beam game demos and other content directly to the device.No Revolution news at all, it seems. This should reveal a whole number of fakers, I guess.
Beginning in late March, the company plans to deploy electronic kiosks at thousands of U.S. retailers including Best Buy Co. Inc. and GameStop Corp.
Owners of the dual-screen DS who go near the kiosks will automatically receive a notice on their devices offering game demos, movie trailers and other content for temporary download. The information will be erased from the DS once it's turned off.
The service uses the DS's local-area wireless networking capabilities, which until now had been used just to facilitate head-to-head play by gamers near each other.
Nintendo also said it was adding voice chat to the sci-fi action game "Metroid Prime: Hunters," available March 20. Players who join up for multiplayer battles over Nintendo's wireless Internet service will be able to talk to each other through the system's built-in microphone before and after games, but not during, said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America Inc.'s executive vice president of sales and marketing.
At least one game for rival Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news).'s PlayStation Portable offers a more robust feature. Teammates in "SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo" can talk to each other wirelessly during battles.
Fils-Aime added that a slimmed down, all-white Nintendo DS Lite would go on sale in Japan next month.
Handheld video games and hardware helped buoy the industry to record sales of $10.5 billion in 2005, according to the NPD Group research firm.
Nintendo said it has sold about 4 million DS systems in North America since it was launched in late 2004. Another 4 million PlayStation Portables have been sold in North America since the unit went on sale last March, according to Sony.
EDIT Next Generation was the next news site to post. They quote Fils-Aime in more detail:
He said that Nintendo would be using new marketing channels, such as daytime television shows, Oprah and Ellen. Fils-Aime talked about a "blue ocean of opportunity through new types of gameplay.So there was a little Revolution info, but nothing substantial.
In what has become something of a Nintendo mantra, he said Nintendo was seeking to attract female gamers and older gamers. He also warned that the number of teenage males is declining in North America, and high school students are saying their interest in games is declining.
However, he pointed out the the success of Nintendogs in North America with its 1 million unit sales and Brain Training in Japan with 2.5 million sales show that new demographics are willing to embrace games.
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day will be launched in NA on April 17.
"We have been able to drive the appeal of games to a whole new segment who typically would not pick up a game," Fils-Aime said during his speech. "Imagine a games company targeting 50 and 60 year olds. Imagine games as a treadmill for the mind instead of a playground for violence."
Fils-aime once again referenced proven business book strategies which focus on expanding markets. He said, "It's not about what is, but what can be." He pointed out to the audience that hardcore gamers make up only 20 percent of the entire gaming market, saying "You and your teams can capitalize on that 80 percent."
During his speech, Fils-Aime focused on the success of the handheld games market over the last year compared to the decline of consoles. He drew broad comparison with "disrutptive technologies" such as Apple iPod, which took Sony and its music business by surprise.
At the end of the speech, he finally turned to Revolution, and offered little new details. However, he said that the machine would "create a democracy of ideas. It's not going to be about those with the biggest production budget."
He also indicated that publishers and developers could create "simple games" so that they could sell them at "more affordable prices if you want."
EDIT I have not yet seen a full transcript of the speech. But I recommend Gamasutra and IGN for in-depth coverage.
Source: Associated Press (through Yahoo), Next Generation
Thanks to: Product_Number_18