There's nothing that excites gamers like statistics; pie charts and graphs dominated the opening of Nintendo's E3 conference. Fortunately, the event had more than just business to discuss. They unveiled a 'Wii Zapper' housing that allows the Wiimote and Nunchuck to combine into a light gun, which will retail for about twenty bucks. They showed off a number of third party titles to prove the outside-the-company commitment, such as a Soul Calbur and Medal of Honor (which will be playable online) designed specifically for the console. Hardcore gamers were the focus of the early portion of the conference: Smash Brothers Brawl has a launch date of December 3rd in the US. They heavily hyped online play, with several EA titles and a Pokemon-like Dragon Quest title. Mario Kart for Wii will be launching early next year, will be playable online, and will have a Wiimote driving wheel housing packaged with the game. With the hardcore discussed, the attention shifted to mass market games. A new channel, 'Check Mii Out' will allow for a HotorNot-style voting mechanism and contests to make the most realistic celebrity Mii. There was much discussion of the Nintendo approach to expanding audience; Super Mario Galaxy was brought up as bridging that gap, as a second player can 'assist' the primary player in various ways. Galaxy will be launching on November 12th. Targetted more directly at this 'outside the norm' group was WiiFit, which uses a dedicated device called the Wii Balance Board. It allows for a daily exercise routine, can track data over time (and compare it to other family members) and includes some simple minigames like a soccer heading game. The press conference ended with Reggie Fils-Aimee revealing Nintendo's goal to make videogaming one of the pre-eminent forms of entertainment, across all age groups.
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