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Thursday, November 23, 2006
Zelda Wins Wii Players but Critics Query Future Demand


The rush to get hold of Nintendo's new Wii video game console is being fueled by demand for another attraction -- the new game in Nintendo's legend of Zelda series -- but game critics were uncertain this level of interest would continue.

Nintendo turned to one of its most popular franchises to make sure its Wii console got off on a good start in the three-way race for sales this holiday, against Microsoft's Xbox360 and Sony's Playstation 3.

For almost 20 years the Legend of Zelda has been one of the top properties in the video game industry, selling more than 47 million copies, so Nintendo ensured "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess" came in tandem with the launch of Wii.

The new game makes use of the new controls of Wii such as its motion-sensitive controller, with players swinging the remote to make sword attacks, pointing it to fire arrows, and even simulating reeling motions in fishing challenges.

"Nintendo has an opportunity to reclaim the market share lead (with the Wii)," said Jamil Moledina, executive director of the Game Developers Conference.

The new Zelda game has received rave reviews since its release with some critics calling it one of the best Zelda titles yet. According to Gamerankings.com, the title has an average rating of 97 percent among critics.

However the long-anticipated release of the Zelda title was expected to create a buzz but Nintendo has said that only about two of the 30 new Wii games by year-end are Nintendo titles.

Critics said they would look more at the pick-up of other games to realistically gauge future third party support to Nintendo which has been lacking in the past.

A new release "Red Steel" is an original created by developer UbiSoft for the Wii that puts gamers in a modern conflict with Japanese gangsters, firing with a variety of guns and swing the remote during in-game swordfights.

"Red Steel," however, has received mixed reviews from game critics, who have criticized its sluggish controls.


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