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Nintendo Announces Mario Sluggers, Details Wii Fit, Boom Blox

At its media summit today, Nintendo announced that its first official Wii baseball title, Mario Super Sluggers would be coming to the U.S. later this year, and showed off its spring releases, including Wii Fit and Boom Blox, a game me
Recently-installed Nintendo sales & marketing executive VP Cammie Dunaway kicked off the company's spring summit in San Francisco today, showcasing upcoming first- and third-party games for its Wii and DS systems. Though hands-on impressions are currently under embargo, the company demonstrated several games, including Wii Fit, the Steven Spielberg/EA collaboration Boom Blox, and roguelike DS games Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness. The company also announced that Wii baseball title Mario Super Sluggers will be coming to the North American market later this year. Super Sluggers takes the motion-based pitching and batting controls seen in Wii Sports' baseball game into the Mushroom Kingdom, and fills out the gameplay by adding a full fielding and scoring system. Like other Mario sports titles, it features powerful charge-up moves themed around the franchise's large character roster. Dunaway, who first met the press during Nintendo's Bay Area arrival event last November, took the stage sporting a cast-clad arm--the aftermath of a recent snowboarding trip. Said Dunaway, with a sense of relief, "We're the only gaming company in the world with a controller you can play with a major wrist injury." The exec VP spoke about her first few months on the job, with topics ranging from her own boss ("Don't try to take Reggie on in Smash, because the taunts tend to get a little unbearable") to her boss' boss ("Mr. Iwata has this absolute belief and comitment that our job is to bring the joy of the gaming commitment to everyone"). An Electronic Arts representative demonstrated Boom Box, painting the game as a result of Steven Spielberg's excitement about Wii, the director's perception of a "continental divide" between the games he enjoys and those his kids enjoy, and his desire to create a game that could be enjoyed by all audiences. "It was very important to Spielberg that we have themed worlds and characters you can interact with," the rep recalled, resulting in environments ranging from medieval castles to colorful jungles. Though Telltale Games announced a new Homestar Runner episodic series en route to the system in June, Nintendo itself had no new concrete details on the service to reveal. Dunaway simple voiced her high confidence in the program, stating, "It is going to represent the most dramatic method of game development ever. It's an opportunity for game developers to try something different."

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