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Wizard

The Big N's Unloading

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Nintendo has made its latest list of release dates known, and it looks like that rumored Metroid Prime: Hunters bundle for the DS won’t be coming out this fall after all (if at all), as Hunters has been pushed back from the already-delayed October of this year to the first quarter of 2006. If the oddly appropriate franchise extension Metroid Pinball is any good, however, maybe its October 24 release will soothe Metroid fans with a calming massage from the DS Rumble Pak add-on that’ll come bundled with it. Also of note for the DS was that Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time will arrive on November 28, Mario Kart DS on November 14, and Animal Crossing DS on December 5. (The latter two titles were previously announced as releasing in the fourth quarter of this year.) Other intriguing titles listed include Age of Empires: The Age of Kings for the DS in January, Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble (originally Battle [Carnival]?) in November and Super Mario Strikers on December 5 for the GameCube, and Dr. Mario/Puzzle League for the GBA and GameBoy Micro (also on December 5).

 

December obviously is going to be a popular month for releases on Nintendo platforms, but Mario Kart and Animal Crossing will serve as important tests of the Big N’s new online strategy, especially for the portable DS. With millions of dollars (that is, over 5 billion won) in profit being made off an online Mario Kart clone in Korea alone, it’s up to the house that Mario built to show that online game services for its most popular franchises can help garnish further profits around the world (despite past statements that online gaming is not of interest to the majority of consumers as yet). Me? I just want to play Advance Wars: Dual Strike over Wi-Fi, which is currently available. Now that would be awesome. Excuse me while I go buy a DS….

>>joystiq

>>Gamespot

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