Mario, Madden NFL To Hit Nintendo DS

From the press release:

Imagine using the touch screen of Nintendo DS to call a secret audible at the line of scrimmage when your wireless opponent threatens a blitz. Is your Sim feeling blue? Redesign her apartment or create a pet with the touch of the screen. Can’t find that last star? Use the second screen to track down your nemesis in the vast worlds of Super Mario 64 DS.

From Mario to Madden and The Urbz(TM), familiar characters and dynamic franchises will dominate the launch season for Nintendo DS, while allowing fans to play their favorites in entirely new ways. In the first 30 days of system availability, thanks to unprecedented support from third-party publishers, players can enjoy 10 to 12 DS games covering all genres. By the end of the first quarter of 2005, the Nintendo DS library will grow to 20 to 25 games.

Nintendo DS will launch in the United States on Nov. 21 at an MSRP of $149.99.

“DS provides the road map to the future of video games,” says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales & marketing. “The overwhelming support of strong third-party titles, combined with Nintendo’s flagship franchise, makes this the strongest software support for any Nintendo system in more than a decade.”

As part of an incredibly strong launch offering, players will receive a free playable demo of Nintendo’s upcoming Metroid Prime Hunters game, titled Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt. Each system also offers a built-in PictoChat feature, which lets users type text or draw pictures and transmit them wirelessly to up to 15 other Nintendo DS users nearby.

In all, more than 120 games are currently in development for Nintendo DS around the world. Titles available in the launch window include Super Mario 64 DS from Nintendo, Madden NFL 2005, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Golf and The Urbz: Sims in the City from EA, and a major title from Activision. Other third-party titles available during the launch period include Ping Pals from THQ, Feel the Magic: XY/XX from SEGA, Rayman DS and Asphalt Urban GT from Ubisoft and Ridge Racer DS and Mr. DRILLER: Drill Spirits from Namco.

Players can expect Nintendo-published games to retail for as low as $29.99.

In the coming months, publishers will release a wide range of novel software. Nintendo’s list of DS-specific first-party franchises includes a multiplayer Mario Kart, as well as Metroid Prime Hunters, WarioWare, Inc. DS, Animal Crossing, Yoshi’s Touch & Go, Advance Wars DS and a new Super Mario Bros., among others.

Third-party publishers will add GoldenEye: Rogue Agent and Need for Speed Underground from EA, Viewtiful Joe from Capcom, Bomberman from Hudson Soft, Frogger from Konami, a Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles title from Square Enix, and many more.

The dual-screened Nintendo DS is a portable video game and communication system that opens up new possibilities for both software developers and game players. Each dual-screened unit, which features a sharp, angular, silver-and-black design, has a built-in stylus for use on the touch screen, a built-in microphone for voice recognition and wireless capabilities via both local area network and Wi-Fi connections. Nintendo DS represents a third, distinct hardware line for Nintendo, along with Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance SP.

Each title takes advantage of the unique Nintendo DS features. For example, in Madden NFL 2005, one screen will show all 22 players on the field, while the other will display the key action. Players also will be able to compete head-to-head wirelessly. In Super Mario 64 DS, players choose one of four characters as they experience the groundbreaking Mario game in completely news ways exclusive to Nintendo DS, such as head-to-head wireless battling, new touch-sensitive mini-games and innovative control options. In Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, up to four players can compete wirelessly. Multiple control schemes take full advantage of the touch screen, giving all gamers an ideal way to play.

In addition to these upcoming titles, Nintendo DS already features compatibility with more than 550 games. Its second game port allows users to play single-player modes of games made for Game Boy Advance SP.