Wii will now let you play games from SD card, bigger cards too -Updated with PR

by: John -
While perusing the Nintendo GDC press conference, this little nugget amongst others came out today. There's now an SD Card Channel available and you can now save and play games from the SD card. Not only that but up to 32GB of storage is now supported, up from the 2GB limit. All I have to say is it's about time they did this and they showed off the feature by playing Zelda II from the card. Good deal and it's nice to see the SD card being used better now. It only took them a few years.

-Update: Here's the full press release with much more information about what was announced.

Nintendo President Announces Wii Storage Solution, New Zelda Game and 50 Million Global Wii Shipment

Keynote Details Nintendo DSi News on Eve of Launch

Game Developers Conference

NOTE:  Multimedia available below

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nintendo President Satoru Iwata today revealed surprises for consumers and an expanded palette of video game development opportunities for the industry during his keynote address at the Game Developers Conference. Iwata announced a new storage solution for Nintendo’s Wii home console and showed video highlights of a new Nintendo DS game from The Legend of Zelda franchise.

Video game developers now have expanded opportunities given that worldwide shipments for the Wii system surpassed 50 million units and worldwide shipments for the Nintendo DS franchise are at more than 100 million units. Iwata said, “It is in the power of game developers to invent things that gamers have never seen – or even imagined – before.”

Nintendo also noted several key initiatives that are on the way for consumers, some of which are available at the Nintendo GDC booth.

Nintendo DSi

  • The new portable Nintendo DSi system goes on sale in the United States on April 5. For the first six months after launch, consumers who buy the system and connect to the Nintendo DSi Shop will automatically receive 1,000 Nintendo DSi Points, which can be redeemed for downloadable Nintendo DSiWare games and applications through the Nintendo DSi Shop. In order to receive the free Nintendo DSi Points, consumers must access the Nintendo DSi Shop by Oct. 5, 2009, and the Nintendo DSi Points can be redeemed at any time after that (wireless broadband access required).
  • Similar to how the WiiWare service works in the Wii Shop Channel, the Nintendo DSi Shop will feature a variety of downloadable Nintendo DSiWare games and applications. These games and applications will be available at four different price categories: free, 200 points, 500 points, and 800+ points. Consumers can purchase Nintendo DSi Points in the Nintendo DSi Shop with a credit card or by purchasing a Nintendo Points Card at retail locations for redemption in the Nintendo DSi Shop. All points from one Nintendo Points Card will need to be redeemed at the Nintendo DSi Shop. Nintendo Points Card will start to become available at select retail locations beginning Apr. 5.
  • Iwata gave conference attendees a glimpse into some of the upcoming Nintendo DSiWare games and applications such as Moving Memo (name not final) and WarioWare: Snapped!. Moving Memo (name not final) lets users create animated digital flipbooks of their own design, while WarioWare: Snapped! uses Nintendo DSi Camera functionality for a fresh gaming experience.
  • On the show floor, conference attendees are able to experience some of the Nintendo DSiWare games and applications that will be available soon. Bird & Beans and Art Style: Aquia are fun mini games that will be perfect to play on-the-go.

Nintendo DS & Nintendo DSi Software

  • The new The Legend of Zelda™: Spirit Tracks game that Iwata announced will utilize the intuitive touch control of Phantom Hourglass in an all new adventure that will please longtime Zelda™ fans while keeping the game accessible to all DS owners. The concept behind this Zelda game includes utilizing a steam locomotive to travel around the world, switching Phantom and Link to explore the dungeons, and solving puzzles using new items.

Wii

  • As the library of downloadable WiiWare and Virtual Console games continues to grow, Wii owners have asked Nintendo to provide easy, expanded storage space. Starting today, Wii owners will be able to save downloaded WiiWare, Virtual Console video games, and Channels directly to High Capacity SD cards, in addition to SD memory cards. To play games that have been saved to SD cards, consumers will be able to select and launch them from an SD Menu icon on the Wii Menu. (Note that when launching games or channels from an SD card, an equivalent amount of internal Wii memory is required. To clear space from the internal memory, users can transfer games or channels from the Wii Menu to the SD card). This feature is included in the latest version of the Wii System Menu Update, which owners will receive immediately after performing a system update today.
  • Gamers will be glad to have that additional storage space, as the Virtual Console will expand to include the arcade versions of classic third-party games like STARFORCE by Tecmo Ltd., and Mappy, Gaplus and Tower of Druaga by Namco Bandai Games Inc. starting today.
  • Upcoming games Punch-Out!! and Excitebots: Trick Racing are available to play at Nintendo’s booth. Excitebots: Trick Racing, a new and refreshing take on the classic Excitebike series from the arcade and NES days, is slated to launch on April 20, while a new game in the classic Punch-Out!! series will be on store shelves on May 18.

WiiWare

  • To highlight new development opportunities for independent developers, Iwata unveiled a game for the WiiWare downloadable game service called Rock N’ Roll Climber, which uses the Wii Balance Board accessory to help users simulate the experience of rock climbing. The game is being developed by Vitei.
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