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Wii-DS connectivity, Pokémon details

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Famitsu has some new details on Wii-DS connectivity and how the Pokémon franchise will show up on both systems, as narrated by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

Iwata explained the ways in which Wii and Nintendo DS will communicate with each other. In addition to DS demos provided over WiiConnect24, DS will work with Wii similarly to how Game Boy Advance worked with Nintendo GameCube — as "extra controllers" for specifically-designed games. The Nintendo DS will be able to be used with these games as a touch screen controller, as well as DS games having their playfield expanded on the TV screen via the Wii (think Four Swords Adventures here). Iwata explained the extra modes of play are to make DS owners happy.

New details about previously-announced Nintendo DS Pokémon titles Diamond and Pearl were also revealed. The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection will enable both online battling and Pokémon exchange for these titles as well as voice chat during gameplay (contrast the lobby-only voice chat available in Metroid Prime Hunters).

Pokémon Battle Revolution

The wraps were also taken off Pokémon Battle Revolution for Wii. The title will be similar to Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Colosseum in that it will allow Pokémon to be transferred between the handheld game (Diamond and Pearl) and the console game for on-screen battles — Battle Revolution will be the first Wii game with DS-Wii connectivity. Nintendo is also considering making the title compatible with the Wi-Fi Connection for online play.

Iwata promises WiiConnect24 will inspire new styles of games that make use of the "network" (presumably above and beyond the WiiConnect24 use already announced for the upcoming Animal Crossing title). The Virtual Console service will not only feature retro titles, but "compact games" sold for 500-1000 yen (working out to about US$5-$10). Nintendo is working with developers of Virtual Console Titles to make sure they've got sub-3-second start-up time and making the experience smoothly startable and stoppable. He also said final pricing and release information for Wii should be revealed this coming September, describing the console as a game machine that permeates itself into daily life.

Once again, thanks to N-Sider Samer for providing us with this insight into what's going on across the Pacific.