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February, 2003

 

Nintendo Improves Wind Waker for North America

02.28.03

Nintendo has apparently taken note of user feedback following the release of The Legend: The Wind Waker in Japan. According to Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, "After people had played Wind Waker, [Nintendo] had a lot of feedback that the collection of Triforce pieces in the game was kind of difficult or tedious so we actually made some changes to that part of the spec for the [North American] version and that will be reflected in the first build of that, which will be coming out next month. It's just little changes, but hopefully that will improve some of the feedback that we get."

Nintendo Talks GCN-GBA with Electronic Arts

02.28.03

During a roundtable event at this year's D.I.C.E. Summit in Los Angeles, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto disclosed that Nintendo has been working with Electronic Arts to find new ways to "bring more connectivity to their [GameCube] games and add some new gameplay style that way." Madden 2004 team outfits designed with the GBA anyone?

Metal Gear Solid Confirmed for GameCube

02.28.03

Konami Corp. today confirmed that a game in the Metal Gear Solid series is under development for Nintendo GameCube. In an interview with Bloomberg, Konami representative Scott Dolph stated that no release date for the title had been set...

Nintendo Wins Interactive Achievement Awards

02.28.03

Nintendo walked away with seven major awards from the 2003 Interactive Achievement Awards by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS). The Interactive Achievement Awards recognize and honor outstanding interactive content and creative...

GameCube to Launch in China in 2003?

02.26.03

Despite significant concerns over piracy, Nintendo Co. Ltd. is set to enter the Chinese game market in late 2003. Earlier this year, Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata, told the Japanese business newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun, "We want to sell hardware and...

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Screens

02.26.03

Nintendo today released new screens of Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles for GameCube. The screens display the game's four-player cooperative gameplay mode as well as the game's usage of GCN-GBA connectivity. Click here to view out the latest media.

Kirby's Air Ride and Pikmin 2 Screens

02.24.03

During a February 21st visit to London, Nintendo executives Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma unveiled for the first time Kirby's Air Ride and Pikmin 2 for Nintendo GameCube. View the first ever images of both titles within. Pikmin 2 looks to have split-screen...

Nintendo Invests in Matrix Semiconductor

02.24.03

Matrix Semiconductor, a developer of high-density 3D integrated circuits, today announced that Nintendo Co. Ltd. has invested $15 million in the company. Dan Steere, VP of Marketing for Matrix Semiconductor commented, "We recognize Nintendo's...

Metroid Prime Bundle for Europe

02.24.03

To celebrate the return of gaming icon Samus, Nintendo will a launch a limited edition Metroid Pak priced 199 ($215), available from launch day on March 21st. The bundle contains Metroid Prime, a black Nintendo GameCube, and an exclusive Metroid Prime...

Ubi Soft Launches Rayman 3 Web Site

02.24.03

"Today, Rayman gets a Web site that matches his personality - friendly and fun, with lots of action, edge, humor. The site, like Rayman's tripped-out universe, boasts a rollicking soundtrack, intense visuals, and plenty of detail," said Mona Hamilton, group brand manager for Ubi Soft. "Fans have been clamoring for the full story on the new game, and now they can find all of the best stuff in one place." Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is scheduled to release on Nintendo GameCube in March 2003.

The Legend Continues on GBA

02.24.03

In a recent interview with gaming magazine Power Unlimited, Nintendo executives Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma revealed that development of an entirely new Zelda game for Game Boy Advance is well under way. The game is being developed by Capcom under the supervision of Nintendo EAD. Capcom was responsible for the development of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages for the GBC and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords for GBA.

Miyamoto Visits London

02.20.03

February 21st was a day that will be long remembered by gaming fans from all over the UK and Europe. Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo's gaming godfather and the man behind some of the most successful video games characters in history, including Super Mario...

F-ZERO AC Cabinet Unveiled

02.20.03

Sega Corp. today unveiled the extremely sharp looking arcade cabinet for F-Zero AC that the AOU 2003 exhibition in Tokyo, Japan.  Players of F-Zero AC will be able to exchange data with F-Zero GC via a GameCube memory card. A magnetic-stripe card...

F-ZERO: Absolutely Stunning

02.20.03

F-Zero's official game site was updated today with completely new game media. The game looks absolutely incredible. F-Zero AC (Arcade) and F-Zero GC (GameCube) are being jointly developed by Sega's Amusement Vision and Nintendo's EAD. While AV...

THQ Cancels GameCube Games

02.19.03

THQ Inc. today reported Q4 net income of $3.1 million, an 89% decline over the same period last year. Not surprisingly, GameCube was brought up a number of times in a conference call by the company. CEO Brian Farrell commented, "GameCube was a negative not just for us but the overall industry, Nintendo specifically. Our GameCube portfolio did not perform up to expectations as Nintendo failed to reach its base... In response to this we have reduced the number of products in development for the GameCube environment." As part of THQ's new effort to focus on producing only the highest quality products, twenty titles in development were cancelled, a third being for Nintendo GameCube. Despite the pessimistic statements, THQ's development development schedule still very much includes GameCube. Of the 76 titles currently in development by THQ, the platform breakdown is as follows: PlayStation 2, 17; Xbox, 13; GameCube, 10; Game Boy Advance, 22; PC Computer, 14.

Sphinx to GameCube

02.19.03

THQ today unveiled Sphinx (working title) - an original interactive adventure game currently under development for Nintendo GameCube by game design veterans Eurocom Entertainment Software. Sphinx takes the character-based, action-adventure genre...

EA's F1 Career Challenge to GameCube 

02.18.03

Electronic Arts today officially announced F1 Career Challenge (working title) for Nintendo GameCube. F1 Career Challenge is officially licensed and positions the player as a rookie who must prove their worth by passing a range of super license tests where upon they can take their rightful place amongst the elite drivers competing in the world's fastest and most glamorous motor sport. Reputation will determine how far your career can take you and with which team. Develop and hone your car during test days where improvements will start to show over the 4 successive seasons on the Formula One circuit. The game is scheduled to be released in April.

New Product Number 03 Video

02.14.03

Capcom today released a new video of Shinji Mikami's highly anticipated GameCube exclusive, P.N. 03. The latest video shows the game's very unique style as freelance mercenary Vanessa Schneider dodges munitions and kills robots in a futuristic compound.

Soul Calibur 2 Arcade Stick for GameCube

02.14.03

Third-party accessory manufacturer, Hori, today announced that it will release a Nintendo GameCube customized Soul Calibur 2 arcade stick in Japan on March 27th. The arcade stick will be priced at 3,990 ($33).

Fire Tunic Link in Soul Calibur 2

02.13.03

Last month, Namco revealed that Link would be a special character in Soul Calibur 2 for Nintendo GameCube. Equipped with his master sword, bow and arrow, boomerang, and bombs, Link looked more realistic than ever. We can now add one more item to the list...

250,000 Copies of Wind Waker Pre-Ordered

02.13.03

Though the The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker pre-sell campaign has yet to officially begin, Nintendo of America today announced that more than 250,000 gamers have already reserved their copy of the game. Through the promotion, gamers who pre-order The Wind Waker at participating retailers will receive a limited-edition disc including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Master Quest. "What better way to celebrate the forthcoming release of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker than to give Zelda fans a collectors item that will provide a nostalgic or for some, a classic introduction to the series," commented George Harrison, Senior VP of Marketing and Corporate Communications, Nintendo of America.

Nintendo GameCube Bundle Advertisements

02.11.03

Alongside the start of the free game promotion, Nintendo of America launched a wide-scale advertising campaign to guarantee public awareness. The campaign is set to include print, television, electronic media, and point of purchase advertisements...

Nintendo Bolsters Anti-Piracy Seizures

02.07.03

Nintendo of America today announced three new seizures of counterfeit Game Boy games in the People's Republic of China, expanding its record to 135 anti-piracy raids against separate illegal manufacturers and retailers in that country alone in 2002. The...

SEGA Sports GameCube Lineup Officially Cancelled

02.07.03

Sega of America today confirmed that the SEGA Sports game lineup will no longer be developed for Nintendo GameCube. The move had been anticipated since Sega's Chief Operating Officer, Tetsu Kayama first noted in November 2002 that Sega would "have to narrow down [its] focus in the U.S. sports game software business" through a restructuring that would likely involve the halting of sports game development for GameCube. Kayama's comments followed terrible North American sales of Sega's 2K franchise on GameCube. Sales of Sega's 2K Sports games across PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube through 2002 broke down to an approximate ratio of 10:5:1.

A Sega of America representative stated, "Sega has been evaluating its resources and product lineup to ensure it is bringing the right games to the right platforms as the company builds towards becoming a profitable, independent content publisher. After careful examination, Sega has made the strategic decision support to support Nintendo GameCube with a priority on delivering its leading entertainment properties such as 'Sonic The Hedgehog' and 'Super Monkey Ball,' proven franchises which have been top sellers on the system. Accordingly, Sega will focus its sports development resources on delivering its Sega Sports games to PlayStation 2 and Xbox on time at the start of each season."

Nintendo GameCube Bundle Details

02.06.03

Following less-than-stellar holiday sales for Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo of America announced they will soon offer consumers a free game with the purchase of a Nintendo GameCube for $149. Beginning February 9th, select retailers will offer GameCube buyers...

Legend of Zelda Bonus Disc Available

02.06.03

Nintendo of America announced in December that gamers who pre-order The Wind Waker at participating retailers would be eligible to receive a limited-edition disc including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Master Quest. Distribution of the bonus disc was originally slated to begin on February 16th. However, online retailer EBgames.com and certain brick and mortar stores have reportedly already begun distributing the bonus disc to customers. Most retailers we talked with, however, stated they will not be releasing the bonus disc to customers until the game's official street date on the 16th. One interesting side note... The Zelda bonus disc has been packaged in a standard GameCube game case. When it was released in Japan, the bonus disc was distributed in a cardboard envelope.

International Superstar Soccer 3 Details and Screens

02.06.03

Konami of Europe returns to the football field with International Superstar Soccer 3, scheduled to release in Europe on the Nintendo GameCube in May. No plans for a North American release have been released. Designed as a companion title for Konami's...

Splinter Cell Officially Delayed

02.05.03

Video game publisher Ubi Soft today officially acknowledged that Splinter Cell for Nintendo GameCube has be delayed until May 2003 in North America and Europe. The title, which has been an Xbox exclusive since November 2002, was initially scheduled to release on Nintendo GameCube and Sony PlayStation 2 in March 2003. Likewise, the PlayStation 2 version of the game has also be delayed into April. Tiffany Spencer, Senior Public Relations Manager at Ubi Soft, told GameCubicle, "We treat Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell on new platforms as new releases rather that ports. It means that even if we re-use the "Game of the Year" acclaimed gameplay and storyline of Splinter Cell, we try to optimize the game to the hardware it plays on and add exclusive content and features."

Nintendo of America Executive VP Retires

02.05.03

Nintendo of America today announced that John Bauer, longtime Executive Vice President of NOA, will retire at the end of March. In early March, James Cannataro will join Nintendo of America as its new Executive VP. Cannataro, like Bauer, will be responsible for Nintendo's finance, credit, human resources, information services, and other administrative functions. Cannataro currently serves as executive vice president and CFO for Spiegel. He previously served as executive vice president and CFO for Eddie Bauer.

"John Bauer has been a tremendous asset to Nintendo, making a substantial impact during his long tenure with us," said Tatsumi Kimishima, President of NOA. "We're very sad to see him leave, and, of course, wish him well in the opportunities that lie ahead." Bauer joined Nintendo in 1994 after serving as a managing partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, an international accounting firm. In addition to his role at Nintendo, Bauer also has been very active in a number of capacities, including the Seattle Mariners, Junior Achievement, the Boy Scouts of America, Overlake Hospital, and many other community organizations.

6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards Nominees

02.04.03

The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences today announced finalists for the 2003 Interactive Achievement Awards, which will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, February 27, 2003. Metroid Prime broke records with ten nominations...

Metroid Prime 2 in Development

02.04.03

Nintendo of America today announced that development of Metroid Prime 2 (tentative title) is underway at Texas-based Retro Studios. According to a game page at Nintendo.com, "A follow-up to the hit Metroid Prime is in development. No release date or other information is available at this time." A release in 2004 appears more than likely.

Game Boy Player in Jet Black

02.03.03

Recently, numerous retail sources have indicated that the GameCube Game Boy Player would only be available in Jet Black at its May release in North America. Nintendo of America today confirmed the inexplicable news development. In Japan, the Game Boy Player will be available in Jet Black, Indigo, Platinum, and Spice colors from launch in March. It's expected that the peripheral will be released in Indigo and Platinum in North America soon after the Jet Black exclusive introduction.

Nintendo Buys Back 1,300,000 Shares

02.03.03

Nintendo Co. Ltd. announced today that between January 6th and January 31st, the firm repurchased 1.3 million of its own shares for 13.9b ($116m). The repurchase is part of a ongoing buying program Nintendo set forth on June 27, 2002 that called for the repurchase of a total of 14 million shares. In October, Nintendo bought back 2.2 million shares for 25.9b ($215m). In November, Nintendo bought back 1.4 million shares for 15.7b ($131m). In December, Nintendo bought back 1.07 million shares for 12.4b ($104m). The repurchase program was announced as a way for Nintendo to put to work a portion of its immense cash holdings of 800b ($6.6b), which at the time of the announcement represented approximately 70% of Nintendo's total assets.

Rayman 3 GBA/GCN Connectivity Details

02.01.03

Ubi Soft Entertainment today revealed it has been working with console and handheld gaming experts Nintendo to bring fans of Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc an innovative and truly challenging connectivity experience. Players with GameCube and Game Boy...
Sonic Adventure DX Details

02.01.03

Sega of America provided additional details today on the latest GameCube exclusive featuring everyone's favorite blue hedgehog. Sonic Adventure DX (working title) will be released in May exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube. Featuring enhanced graphics, sound, and Game Boy Advance connectivity, Sonic Adventure DX pits Sonic and his pals against Dr. Eggman and his plans for world domination. "To date, Sonic has proved to be phenomenally popular on the GameCube and we're excited that Sonic is resonating with a whole new generation of gamers," said Mike Fischer, VP of Sega of America.
Hiroshi Yamauchi to Attend Mariners Game

02.01.03

Hiroshi Yamauchi, former president of Nintendo Co. Ltd,  will be in attendance at the Tokyo Dome when the Seattle Mariners open their major league season against the Oakland Athletics on March 25 in Tokyo. Howard Lincoln, Chairman and CEO of the Mariners, explained, "This will be the first baseball game [Yamauchi's] ever gone to, his first major league game and his first Mariners game. He told me he doesn't want to sit in a suite. He's going to be sitting right behind home plate." Lincoln was formerly a Chairman of Nintendo of America.

The Mariners are extremely popular in Japan. The roster includes Japanese stars Kazuhiro Sasaki and Shigetoshi Hasegawa, and Ichiro Suzuki, who the Mariners drafted on Yamauchi's suggestion. AP reports that the clubhouse at Safeco Field is crowded with Japanese reporters after every game. "We have a host of rabid Mariners fans in Japan. Even though we're going to be the visiting team, something tells me there's going to be a lot of Mariners supporters in the Tokyo Dome."

In 1992, Yamauchi saved the Mariners from a move to Tampa Bay in a $100 million deal brokered by Lincoln.  The deal made Yamauchi the team's majority owner. Yet, Yamauchi has only seen his team play through the screen of a high-definition television in his home. "It's wonderful that the fellow who single-handedly kept the Mariners in Seattle in the dark days of 1992 is, after 10 seasons, finally going to get a chance to walk behind the batting cage and see his players hit the ball," Lincoln said.


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