Miyamoto on the stage "Wii Connect 24," indicating Nintendo expects the console always to be connected to networks
Miyamoto on the stage "Wii Connect 24," indicating Nintendo expects the console always to be connected to networks
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As soon as the press conference began, Shigeru Miyamoto, General Manager of Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development, came running up to the center of the stage. He was in a bow tie, holding a Wii controller in his hand. As he waved his arms, a symphony orchestra formed with game characters displayed on a large screen started playing the musical instruments in accordance with Miyamoto's action. When the music was over, roar came up from 3,000 people in the audience filling Hollywood's "Kodak Theater."

Video clip of the demonstration: MPEG, about 1.1 MB

At a press conference held prior to the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) event, Nintendo Co., Ltd. unveiled the gaming screen of its next-generation game console "Wii." Through the user interface using the dedicated controller's acceleration sensor, the Wii enables unprecedented ways of game character operation in sports, action, battle and other games. Miyamoto's demonstration of the musical conductor was one of them. By bringing new fun to the game world, Nintendo aims to "draw users who have shown no interest in videogames thus far and boost the gaming population" (Satoshi Iwata, President of Nintendo). The company, however, only revealed that the Wii's market debut would be in the fourth quarter of 2006. Pricing for the Wii is still not decided, but "Nintendo intends to set the price affordable for the mass market."

According to the company, the Wii's start-up time will be shorter than that required by current game consoles. "Videogame's start-up time is getting longer and longer these days. We get irritable if we have to wait for 30-40 seconds before playing a videogame. Nintendo will therefore make the Wii start up more quickly," said Iwata. He also said that the company assumes the Wii is connected to networks at all times. "The Wii never sleeps. That means it could even give you a fun to find the game situation changed when you wake up in the morning, for example" (Iwata). While having upward compatibility with the "GameCube," the Wii will support some titles from the "Famicon (Nintendo Entertainment System)," "Super Famicon (Super Nintendo)," "Nintendo 64," "Sega Megadrive" and Japanese "PC Engine."

Hiroki Yomogita, Silicon Valley