New Pokémon Video Games Aim to Win Players' Hearts and Souls

Included Pokéwalker Accessory Brings Pokémon Training into the Real World

VANCOUVER, March 15 /CNW/ - From the earliest days of Nintendo's portable Game Boy(TM) system, Pokémon(TM) games have made their mark. Now Nintendo has released completely updated versions of two classic Pokémon games, available now for the Nintendo DS(TM) family of systems. The new Pokémon HeartGold Version and Pokémon SoulSilver Version games take place in the beloved Johto region first introduced in the Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version games 10 years ago. The new games have evolved to include updated graphics and sound as well as intuitive new controls that use the Nintendo DS touch screen.

The new games come with a Pokéwalker(TM) accessory, a small device that lets players bring their favourite Pokémon with them wherever they go. Players can transfer a Pokémon to the Pokéwalker and then simply walk around in real life. By walking, players earn Watts that can be used to encounter and catch wild Pokémon or search for hidden items. The Pokémon in the Pokéwalker will gain Experience Points as the player walks, and can even go up one level when they are transferred back into the game. Players also can wirelessly connect two Pokéwalkers to receive a gift.

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions feature detailed graphics that show off the hundreds of Pokémon that players can catch and train, as well as all the different environments in the game. For the first time, players can interact with all their favourite Pokémon outside of battle by selecting the leader from their party to follow behind them on their travels. An internal clock keeps track of the time of day and the day of the week, and some special events will only happen on certain days or at certain times of day.

As always, trading and battling with friends is a big part of the Pokémon experience. Players with a wireless broadband Internet connection can interact with their friends who have Pokémon HeartGold, SoulSilver, Diamond, Pearl or Pokémon Platinum Version games to trade or battle Pokémon via the Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection service. Players also can battle and trade with others via a local wireless connection.

"Every year Nintendo introduces a new wave of players to Pokémon, and their enthusiasm is always amazing," said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada's vice-president and general manager. "Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions, combined with the new Pokéwalker accessory, give longtime fans a new way to experience Pokémon, and they open the door for the next generation of players who want to see what the Pokémon phenomenon is all about."

Toronto and Montreal Pokémon fans were treated to a special launch celebration of the games by Nintendo of Canada. At events held at Wizard World, Toronto, and Pepsi Forum, Montreal, over 400 kids had the opportunity to play the games and try out the Pokéwalker accessory, while the Pokémon character colouring zone and Pokémon photo booth provided additional entertainment. As a special surprise, beloved Pokémon character Pikachu was on hand at the Toronto event to welcome and greet fans.

For more information about Pokémon HeartGold Version and Pokémon SoulSilver Version, visit www.pokemongoldsilver.com.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii(TM), Nintendo DS(TM) and Nintendo DSi(TM) systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System(TM), Nintendo has sold more than 3.3 billion video games and more than 558 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi, as well as the Game Boy(TM), Game Boy Advance, Super NES(TM), Nintendo 64(TM) and Nintendo GameCube(TM) systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario(TM), Donkey Kong(TM), Metroid(TM), Zelda(TM) and Pokémon(TM). A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site at www.Nintendo.ca

About Pokémon

The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible for brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 and today is one of the most popular children's entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Nintendo of Canada Ltd.

For further information: For further information: Cohn & Wolfe Toronto, Andrea De la Cuba/Maricel Dicion, (416) 924-5700 Ext. 4071/4084, andrea.delacuba@cohnwolfe.ca, maricel.dicion@cohnwolfe.ca

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Nintendo of Canada Ltd.

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