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Nintendo's E3 Conference

Grand Theft Auto DS, Animal Crossing Wii and $5bn worth of hardware sales

Nintendo unveiled a number of new Wii and DS titles today at its E3 conference, as sales of the company's hardware continues to dominate games markets across the globe.

First on stage was Nintendo's Cammie Dunaway, executive vice president of sales and marketing, to introduce extreme sports athlete Shaun White to demo Shaun White's Snowboarding, due from Ubisoft and exclusive to the Wii before the end of the year.

After the ice was broken, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata joined the stage to discuss how his first E3 in 2003 was met with scepticism, but five year's later the company has proven itself with new hardware, consoles and software.

Iwata said that he believes the industry has been able to move away from a reliance on seasonal sales, and that DS and Wii numbers prove this.

He also pointed out that over 700,000 Wii units have been sold in the US in the last three months, and that he hoped this helps break down the psychological barriers between gamers and non-gamers, along with titles such as Guitar Hero.

And then it was straight in to the games, for both hardcore and casual audiences.

For the core gaming audience, Nintendo confirmed the long-running rumours of an Animal Crossing game for the Wii. Animal Crossing: City Folk will be out this year, and comes bundled with a Wii Speak microphone, allowing users to talk to one another while playing.

Following the fan-favourite game came the fan-favourite mouth piece, as US president Reggie Fils-Aime took to the stage to state he wasn't satisfied with hardware sales and Nintendo success, even though the DS and Wii have combined sales revenue of USD 5 billion to date.

After a brief show of three third-party Wii titles – Activision's Call of Duty: World at War, the latest Raving Rabbids title from Ubisoft and Wii Clone Wars – Cammie Dunaway returned to reveal new DS games Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades, Spore Creatures and the latest Pokemon title – Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Alma.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for the DS however, was the announcement of a brand new Grand Theft Auto game, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Nothing was shown of the title, but Dunaway said the game was set in Liberty City and features a custom game engine.

A sequel has long been expected to Wii Sports, and today Wii Sports Resort also got its first airing in LA. The title will use the recently announced Wii MotionPlus and is due next spring.

Finally, the crowd were joined on stage by Shigeru Miyamoto, for the final big reveal - Wii Music. The game will use the Nunchuck, Wiimote and Balance Board to replicate over 50 instruments, and it hopes to appeal to those struggling with the accessibility of rival music titles Rock Band and Guitar Hero.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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