Nintendo DS Euro Launch Details

Nintendo DS will change the way people play video games. Through a whole set of new features, such as touch screen, voice input and wireless communication, games can be controlled by touch or voice and it will have two screens, not one. Today at a press conference in Paris, Nintendo announced that this innovative new console will be available to buy in the UK on 11 March at the estimated retail price of around £99 and will be supported by a strong software line up. The Nintendo DS has been received exceptionally well in the US and Japan, having sold 2.8 million units by the end of 2004, and is expected to have the same response when it launches in the UK.

Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo Co., Ltd, comments on the new handheld console

Europe is an extremely important market for Nintendo, and we are pleased we can offer such a short period of time between the US and European launch. We believe that the Nintendo DS will change the way people play video games and our mission remains to expand the game play experience. Nintendo DS caters for the needs of all gamers whether for more dedicated gamers who want the real challenge they expect, or the more casual gamers who want quick, pick up and play fun.”

At launch in the UK, there will be a total of 15 games available for the Nintendo DS. The strong software launch line-up includes games such as Super Mario 64 DS, Polarium, WarioWare Touched! and Pokémon Dash from Nintendo, plus great titles from the world’s top Publishers such as Rayman DS (Ubisoft), Project Rub (SEGA), The URBZ Sims in the City (EA) and Spider-Man 2 (Activision). And with over 120 games being developed for the system, there will be plenty to keep gamers busy throughout 2005. With a battery life of up to 10-hours, there is ample time between recharges to enjoy these great titles.

Nintendo DS will come with a free software feature called PictoChat. This allows users to write text or even create their very own drawings to send to friends within a radius of up to 100ft. The Nintendo DS, when in sleep mode, will spring to life if it senses another DS transmitting in range, altering users that someone wants to chat or play games with them! The initial shipment of Nintendo DS for launch will also be bundled with a playable demo version of Metroid Prime Hunters First Hunt.

Once again Nintendo’s innovation will redefine video game play. The Nintendo DS incorporates advanced touch-screen technology, with breathtaking 3D graphics, all in a sleek silver design. The touch screen feature allows players to get closer to the games by giving them a far more direct, faster control. Upon opening the Nintendo DS, gamers are greeted by not one, but two three inch 260,000 colour TFT screens, the bottom of which is touch sensitive. Instead of having to use the buttons and d-pad to control games, players can use the stylus, thumb strap included with the console or finger, to rub and tap their way through games.

Games can easily be played with friends thanks to the revolutionary wireless functionality provided by the Nintendo DS. Up to 16 players can communicate using PictoChat, or play multiplayer games at distances of up to 100ft. Want to play multiplayer Mario but only have one copy? Don’t fear! The wireless connection even allows a group of gamers to play Nintendo DS with only one copy of a game by using the DS download play option.

The Nintendo DS comes complete with stereo speakers and an microphone built in, setting the mood and adding to the overall interactive experience. Launch titles such as Sega’s Project Rub already use this microphone in a variety of ways, for example with games that require players to blow at the screen in order to proceed.

The Nintendo DS features two separate game slots, one for Nintendo DS games and one for Game Boy Advance games. The Nintendo DS is fully backwards compatible with all Game Boy Advance titles, and with over 550 titles, it means you can play all of your old favourites. The new format for games also means that the Nintendo DS has no moving parts that can be misaligned if the unit is dropped.

The Nintendo DS will launch in the UK on 11 March 2005 at the estimated retail price of around £99. Software will be available at selected retailers at the estimated retail price of around £29 and £19, depending on the specific title.

The Lauch Games List

Super Mario 64 DS
Nintendo’s genre defining N64 classic Super Mario 64 is back and better than ever before. Taking advantage of the Nintendo DS’s unique features, gamers can control the game using the touch screen and enjoy wireless gameplay. Mario makes his Nintendo DS debut in this fast paced platform adventure and this time the fearless plumber has help in the form of Luigi, Yoshi and Wario. He must collect 150 Power Stars scattered in and around the grounds of Princess Peach’s castle with one quest; to save the princess from the clutches of Bowser. Super Mario 64 DS features glorious 3D worlds with complex puzzles and obstacles to overcome. This version features new levels, extra stars, 36 touch-screen minigames and 4 player wireless multiplayer. This enables four players to download and play the game from a single game card.

WarioWare Touched!
Wario and friends are back in the latest instalment of minigame madness, this time with a totally unique Nintendo DS twist. Over 180 all-new games await you inside! New characters and challenges are unlocked by successfully completing sets of games. Each game has its own unique control method making players draw, tap, rub and blow on their DS in order to win. With over 12 characters to unlock and a huge selection of souvenirs to collect this game will keep even the most hardcore gamer busy for hours.

Pokémon Dash
The world’s most famous and much loved character is back and this time it’s on the Nintendo DS. Pikachu and friends make their touch-screen debut in Nintendo’s innovative racing title Pokémon Dash. Players must race through over 25 courses with varying cups and difficulty levels, to be crowned as the champion. Pokémon Dash is controlled with the touch-screen, players rub in the direction they want Pikachu to run. As well as a six player wireless multiplayer mode and the first appearances of all new Pokémon, Game Boy Advance Pokémon games like Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon LeafGreen can be used to unlock over 380 extra courses.

Strain your brain with the most addictive puzzle game released for years. Polarium (called Chokkan Hitofude in Japan) is a block based puzzle game where you use the stylus to draw a stroke, flipping black and white tiles to change and match their colours. Three game modes and scores of puzzles will put even the most talented gamers puzzle-solving abilities to the test. Two players can duel using the Nintendo DS wireless connection.

Project Rub
Welcome to the utterly weird world of Project Rub, the insanely addictive game where you’ll have to flick, blow, poke, stroke and rub your way into your girl’s affections. With 30 increasingly bizarre love matches, from poking balls to vomiting goldfish, you’ll have to use the power of touch, voice and even your breath to bring the game to its climax.

The URBZ Sims in the City
Welcome to Miniopolis! A bustling city filled with interesting characters and exciting locations. The Urbz lets you create your very own Urb and guide them through everyday life. Your decisions and the way you interact with other characters affects your Urb’s 2 life. Eat, sleep, work or go out. What you do in the Urbz is totally up to you, but remember it is like real life. Stuff doesn’t come for free and without rest your Urb will suffer. Exclusive DS mini-games added to help you earn extra cash and to fully utilise the touch screen.

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR
Tee off with the world’s number one selling golf franchise. Tiger Woods PGA TOUR lets you create your own unique golfer and take on golf’s premier tour. As well as custom characters Tiger Woods and seven other world famous PGA TOUR golfers such as Jack Nicklaus and Vijay Singh are selectable in stroke play. This game features eight courses and multiple game modes. The touch screen is fully utilised to select all options before taking a shot. Players then use the screen to control their characters stroke, giving this game an ultra realistic feel. Wireless multiplayer is available for up to four players.

Mr. DRILLER Drill Spirits
Puzzle fans of all ages are sure to dig Namco’s cute puzzle game. Travel the world in search of your fellow drillers as you scramble to reach air capsules, rush to avoid falling blocks and race to unlock extra characters in a pulse-pounding, puzzle-solving frenzy. Four different modes and dozens of stages are available to keep players coming back for more. Up to five players can compete in the wireless Driller Race mode, with both single-card and multi-card play.

Spider-Man 2
Based on last summer’s blockbuster feature film from Columbia Pictures and Marvel, Spider-Man 2 for the Nintendo DS leverages the new system’s processing power and dual-screens to deliver an entirely new game play experience. Players assume the role of the most celebrated super-hero of all time and re-live the movie experience through all new missions featuring unique enemies, objectives and combat maneuvers. Utilising the touch screen and new controller layout, players can quickly swing, run, jump, solve puzzles, engage in combat and switch to an arsenal of moves on the fly, while patrolling and protecting the city of Manhattan from the nefarious Doc Ock.

Rayman D
Hand-held platform adventures have never looked so good! Ubisoft’s hugely popular Rayman makes his Nintendo DS debut with a bang. The fearless Rayman must travel through gorgeous 3D worlds defeating the pirate terror and collecting Lums. This game features over 45 intricately designed areas including deep waterfalls, sea caves and pirate hideouts. Benefit fully from the Touch Screen by controlling Rayman with the stylus or your finger and challenge your friends in exclusive wireless multiplayer.

Asphalt Urban GT
Simulation and arcade racing come together in this fast paced racing title. Outstanding 3D graphics accentuated by realistic engine sounds and music make this one of the most exciting racers of the year. Use prize money to buy one of 20 officially licensed cars and then tweak them to your personal taste. Nine tracks inspired by real cities and five game play modes will keep you busy for weeks. Up to four players can wirelessly race against each other or team up to take on Championship mode.

SprungTM The Dating Game (Gameloft/Ubisoft)
Dating has never been so much fun! This dating game invites you to meet, flirt and date different characters dotted throughout the game. You choose the path your character takes by their behaviour towards people they meet. In Sprung you have total freedom to try and say anything you like, with funny dialogue, realistic characters and a broad range of adventures to experience. Two gender specific adventures allow for relevant experiences throughout more than 50 dating missions. Sprung The Dating Game will available from launch in the UK, The Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Zoo Keeper
Ignition Entertainment is giving their highly addictive puzzle game Zoo Keeper a touch-screen twist. Players use their stylus to match up groups of three or more animals in order to capture them. With five different play modes to choose from gamers will be happily tapping away for months to come. Nintendo DS download play even lets you share the fun with a friend for free.

Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios, makers of the hit animated feature Ice Age, have teamed up again to create another spectacular universe Robots. In the Robots video game, published by Vivendi Universal Games, players will be able to explore the Robots’ vast environment, playing as the film’s hero Rodney Copperbottom, a young genius inventor who dreams of making the world a better place. The innovative touchscreen feature of the Nintendo DS is essential to gameplay, allowing players to successfully navigate a mechanical metropolis of moving gears and winding parts, while trying to stop an evil tyrant from taking over the Robots’ world.

Ping Pals
Standing out from the crowd has never been so easy! Design and personalise your very own unique character by choosing from literally thousands of items. Ping Pals lets you buy items, play mini-games and trade with your friends in a quest to earn Coins and create the ultimate Ping Pal. Up to 8 players can simultaneously chat and play games with only a single copy of the game!