Nintendo Announces Star-Studded Lineup for First Half of 2010

Nintendo.jpg Nintendo isn’t waiting for the holiday season to brandish its big guns for 2010, today announcing its busy hardware and software launch plans for the first half of this year.

First off, the new larger-screened Nintendo DSi XL system will launch in North America on March 28 carrying a retail price of $189.99. The DSi XL will be available in two colors, Burgundy and Bronze, and will come pre-loaded with Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters, Brain Age Express: Math, Photo Clock, the Nintendo DSi Browser and Flipnote Studio.

Also on the DS front, Square Enix has entered into an agreement that puts Nintendo in charge of publishing duties for the long-awaited North American release of Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, which is currently slated to ship this summer.

The Wii is also poised for a huge early 2010, with two of the platform’s most anticipated titles — Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M — locked into launch dates before summer lets out. Super Mario Galaxy 2 will ship on May 23, with Metroid: Other M to follow just over a month later on June 27.

Before those two heavy hitters rock Wii owners’ worlds, Capcom’s Monster Hunter Tri will land on store shelves on April 20. For the North American release, online play will be free of charge (apparently the Japanese version requires a subscription fee, which I did not know) and the Wii Speak microphone will be supported for voice chat. Beginning March 8th, a playable demo will also be available for anyone to walk in and pick up for free at Gamestop stores, and if you want to pre-order while you’re there you can get an instant $5 discount and a bonus Wii Points card worth 500 points.

Those are only the headlines, too. Here is the complete lineup schedule per Nintendo’s press release.

* The new Nintendo DSi XL™ hand-held system launches March 28 at a suggested retail price of $189.99. The screens of the Nintendo DSi XL are 93 percent larger than those of the Nintendo DS™ Lite model, providing a more vivid and engaging play experience. The screens of the Nintendo DSi XL also feature a wider viewing angle, letting friends and family members join the fun. The new system launches in both Burgundy and Bronze colors, and comes loaded with pre-installed premium software Brain Age™ Express: Arts & Letters, Brain Age Express: Math and Photo Clock, as well as two free applications: the Nintendo DSi Browser and Flipnote Studio™. Nintendo DSi XL will also come with a larger pen-like stylus that allows for a more comfortable grip and enhanced ease of use when playing games that use the Nintendo DS touch screen. America’s Test Kitchen: Let’s Get Cooking and WarioWare™: D.I.Y. will also launch for the Nintendo DS family of products on March 28, providing consumers with new content that can be enjoyed on any Nintendo DS system. Games like these demonstrate the enhanced experience available with the Nintendo DSi XL.

* Super Mario Galaxy™ 2, the sequel to the smash-hit galaxy-hopping original game, launches May 23 for the Wii™ console. The game includes the amazing gravity-defying, physics-based exploration from the first game, but is loaded with entirely new galaxies and features to challenge and delight players. On some stages, Mario™ can pair up with his dinosaur buddy Yoshi™ and use his tongue to grab items and spit them back at enemies. Players can also have fun with new items such as a drill that lets our hero tunnel through solid rock.

* Metroid™: Other M, the incredible new Metroid game developed for Wii through a collaboration by Nintendo and the world-renowned Team Ninja, launches June 27. The game looks at the classic franchise from a new perspective: While much of the game is reminiscent of 2-D side-scrollers, players can switch the perspective into 3-D at any time as they explore the twisting passages of a derelict space station and delve deep into a cinematic, never-before-told story of bounty hunter Samus Aran’s past. This new approach uses a new control scheme in which players use the Wii Remote™ controller held sideways to battle enemies and navigate the expansive, gorgeous environments in classic Metroid fashion, then aim at the screen with the Wii Remote pointer to blast foes in first-person and hunt the world for clues and hidden passages.

* In a unique partnership with Square-Enix, Nintendo of America will publish Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies in the Americas when the game arrives in summer 2010. Dragon Quest IX has sold more than 4.15 million copies in the Japanese market. Nintendo and Square-Enix will now work together to bring this title to the Nintendo DS consumer base in the Americas.

* Capcom’s Monster Hunter® Tri, an epic action game for Wii, launches in the United States on April 20. The game lets players customize their character, armor and weapons in order to protect a town from majestic monsters as that town rebuilds following a devastating earthquake. Online play will be available for all players with broadband Internet access at no additional cost. Online text chat is fully functional and online voice chat is enabled using the Wii Speak™ microphone, which is sold separately. At a suggested retail price of $59.99, limited quantities of Monster Hunter Tri will include the new Black Classic Controller Pro™, while both Black and White versions of the controller will be available separately at a suggested retail price of $19.99. The game will also be available without a controller at a suggested retail price of $49.99.

* Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, the breakthrough shooter game for Wii from legendary developer Treasure, will launch across North America on June 7. The game features nonstop action with two playable characters and international online leaderboards to track high scores. Using the Wii Remote pointer functionality, the game offers unprecedented precision in the shooter genre.

* FlingSmash™ for Wii will test players’ Wii Remote skills as they bounce a ball-like hero through countless side-scrolling stages, combining the precision of racket sports with the unpredictable fun of pinball. Playable only with the Wii MotionPlus™ accessory, the game will launch this summer.

* Picross 3D is poised to become a puzzle game phenomenon when it launches for the Nintendo DS family of products on May 3. In Picross 3D, players start with a cube and smash away smaller blocks to reveal an object, shape or symbol. Delivering more than 350 unique puzzles and more made available for download on a regular basis after launch via the Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection service (broadband Internet access required), the game takes the mind-bending fun of Picross into the next dimension.

* 100 Classic Books transforms the Nintendo DS family of products into a library of timeless literature when it launches on June 14 at a suggested retail price of $19.99, highlighted by 100 works from authors such as William Shakespeare, Jules Verne, Jane Austen, Mark Twain and more. Readers can adjust the size of text, place bookmarks and even download new content via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service (broadband Internet connection required).

* Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands™ from Ubisoft will launch May 18 on both the Wii and Nintendo DS platforms. Boasting amazing graphics with fantastic action and puzzle-solving game play, the Wii version will be the first in franchise history to feature a two-player cooperative experience. As an added bonus, the Wii version of the game will exclusively include the 1992 Super NES™ version of the original Prince of Persia game.

* Disney Guilty Party is the official title of the highly anticipated first collaboration between Disney Interactive Studios and its recently acquired studio, Wideload Games. The fun and hilarious mystery party game is set for release in the second half of 2010, exclusively for Wii.

* Majesco’s Nintendo DSi exclusive Ghostwire: Link to the Paranormal uses incredible augmented reality technology through the Nintendo DSi Camera. Launching this October, the game lets players become a ghost hunter as they interact with the paranormal.

Nintendo also announced a variety of games available to download directly to the Wii console from the Wii Shop Channel via the WiiWare™ service, and directly to the Nintendo DS via the DSi Shop and DSiWare™ services.

For WiiWare:

* Launching on March 1, Capcom’s Mega Man™ 10 builds upon the huge impact of Mega Man 9, a completely new adventure rendered in classic 8-bit style. This new game looks and sounds as awesomely retro as its predecessor.

* Launching on March 8, Max & the Magic Marker from Press Play turns the Wii Remote into an orange magic marker that’s literally magic. Players draw lines and objects to help Max reach objects and his ultimate goal.

* The long-awaited indie cult classic Cave Story comes to WiiWare with new game play, artwork and music enhancements on March 22. It’s classic gaming reborn for 2010.

* Launching on March 29, WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase is a standalone product exclusive to the WiiWare service and available only from the Wii Shop Channel. The game contains more than 70 new microgames and features interoperability with the WarioWare: D.I.Y. game for the Nintendo DS family of products. Players that own both games can transfer content between the two via a local wireless connection, and can even play user-created microgames on their television using WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase.

* As the techno music pulses, Nintendo’s Art Style™: light trax™ puts players in charge of a white beam of light as it engages in a surreal race against other beams across a dark track. Players must keep away from obstacles, use items and look for power boosts if they want to finish first. Art Style: light trax launches this spring.

* Swim and spin through the primordial ooze in Nintendo’s Art Style: Rotozoa™ as you absorb tiny organisms that match the colors of your tentacles. As you absorb more organisms, your tentacles grow. The challenge increases as additional tentacles are gained, but power-ups can help you survive and thrive. Art Style: Rotozoa launches this spring.

* Launching this spring, Rage of the Gladiator from Ghostfire Games is an intense fighting game that asks players to perfect their well-timed moves against an array of opponents. The game is compatible with the Wii MotionPlus accessory.

* Launching this spring, And Yet It Moves from Broken Rules requires players to rotate the world to help their line-drawn protagonist progress. Walls become floors and floors become ceilings in this surreal twist on the platformer genre.

* Launching this summer, Independent Games Festival Seumas McNally Grand Prize Finalist Super Meat Boy from Team Meat sets a cube of meat off on an adventure to save Princess Bandage. This off-the-wall game is not for the faint of heart.

For Nintendo DSiWare:

* Nintendo’s Photo Dojo™ is poised to be the cult hit of 2010 when it launches this spring. The game first asks players to pose for 13 pictures and input 10 sound effects. Once that’s done, the player becomes the main character in a hilarious side-scrolling fighting game. Create up to eight characters and do battle alone or against a friend on a single Nintendo DSi or Nintendo DSi XL system.

* Launching this spring, Nintendo’s Metal Torrent™ delivers a frantic barrage of gunfire that fills the screen. Players try to convert opponents’ bullets into cubes that, when collected, increase their score and fill an energy meter that powers special weapons. Online Leaderboards record scores and movies of top games.

* Launching this spring, X-Scape™ from Nintendo immerses players in an exploratory adventure involving more than 20 planets. Players will pilot their tank through 3-D tunnels, fire at enemies and even battle ancient weapons that resemble giant robots.

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