Nintendo's GDC Keynote Round Up: Link's On A Train

Here's a round up of all the stories that sprung forth from Nintendo President Satoru Iwata's keynote speech today, which brought us a Wii storage solution and an all new Legend of Zelda adventure.

Of course if you joined Kotaku's liveblog party, you already know all of this. Things kicked off with an early reveal of one of Nintendo's big surprises, the ability to play downloaded WiiWare and Virtual Console titles directly off of SD memory cards, along with the official announcement of Rock N' Roll Climber, Nintendo's killer rock climbing application for the Wii.

Once the official announcement of the SD card functionality was finished, things got all Zelda-y for a bit.

They presented the first trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
New and old Final Fantasy titles coming to WiiWare and the Virtual Console
There's that damn rock climbing game again
The Virtual Console added arcade titles to its lineup

Check out our gallery for images from the keynote speech, or check out the official Nintendo GDC press release below for all the news all at once, all for you.

NINTENDO PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES Wii STORAGE SOLUTION, NEW ZELDA GAME AND 50 MILLION GLOBAL Wii SHIPMENT

Keynote Details Nintendo DSi News on Eve of Launch

SAN FRANCISCO, March 25, 2009 – 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.

Remember that Wii features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other Wii features, visit Wii.com. For more information about Nintendo, visit www.Nintendo.com.