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The October Nintendo conference, held close to the Tokyo Games Show because Nintendo are jerks and won’t go to the TGS, was received better by gamers than their last E3 show. Among the new titles shown off were Wii Punch Out, Mario & Luigi 3 for the DS, a Klonoa remake for the Wii, a Trace Memory sequel for Wii, and most importantly, Sin and Punishment 2. Beyond the slew of new games, mostly focused at the core market (us), they also announced that they would be refitting Cube games with Wii controls. Donkey Konga and Pikmin are among the confirmed reworks.

The problem with all of these nice announcements is those of us in the West have no assurance these titles will make the trip. Sin and Punishment 2 was confirmed, and Punch Out will obviously make it, but what about the smaller Wii titles like Dynamic Slash, Cosmic Walker, Endless Ocean 2, and Spawn Smasher, also all announced at this year’s show? Fatal Frame IV, Disaster, Soma Bringer, ASH and other Japanese Wii and DS games remain inaccessible to American gamers so it should not come as a shock when Nintendo decides not to localize the newly revealed titles.

Nintendo of America decided to pass on Fatal Frame IV. It’s not like they desperately need Wii games made by other developers or anything.

Nintendo also unveiled a new DS, called the DSi. Reactions among gamers remains mixed – it is a DS with slightly larger screens, an SD card slot, music playback ability, no GBA, and two low quality cameras. Nintendo, enraged by the fact that people can share portable systems, has stated that goal of the product is to sell a DS to everyone in the household. The obvious concerns are: will they be splitting their audience by creating new software that requires the cameras, and who owns a cell phone and mp3 player and still sees the new features as worthwhile.

But more important news just broke. The DSi will be region locked. Nintendo seems adamant about keeping Western gamers away from Japanese games. When they decided not to localize Band Brothers, Tingle, the Bit Generations games, etc. we could at least import foreign copies but now Nintendo seems dead set on the DSi following the Wii’s lead. I guess we are supposed to consider ourselves lucky they localize anything at all.

6 Comments

  1. Christian said on October 7, 2008:

    I think this kind of ties into the blog post from J. Parish that we both discussed. The lack of region free play is another nail in the coffin for the Game Boy lineage. GB’s were always region free, and as years went on more and more people knew about and used this feature. To add region lock is surprising – on one hand, it isn’t shocking to see Nintendo tightly control their software formats, but this is one area where they have never acted before.

    Nintendo has always been Draconian, but as they expand into the world of multimedia devices, the comparisons to Apple Computer worry me.

  2. Matt said on October 7, 2008:

    I was unaware that Fatal Frame IV was not coming to American Shores.

    God I hate you, Nintendo.

  3. jay said on October 7, 2008:

    It still may be picked up by some other publisher, but even so it’s super lame of Nintendo to not publish it.

  4. Tyson said on October 8, 2008:

    Guess who receives his DSi in the mail around the first or second week in November!

  5. Christian said on October 8, 2008:

    Tyson – Its Michael Phelps right?

    I mean he got Call of Duty 5 early right?

    What did you say? That was just an empty game box? Damn.

  6. dave said on October 8, 2008:

    I always felt that Nintendo couldn’t be bothered dealing with the hassle of locking their handhelds. It just took the increasing popularity of online purchasing to get them to act. From my point of view with the exchange rate between Euro and the Dollar I could order a (ds) game in English up to six months before it was translated for the Euro market for a lot less and that’s including shipping.
    Looks like the good times really are coming to an end; depends on what uses are found for that lovely SD slot…

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