April 1 - Nintendo of America announced today a plan to release a new "pack" to enhance the experience of its upcoming title, Earthbound 64. The as-yet-unnamed peripheral gives off odors so as to re-create scenes from the game, giving players the experience of "being there."
At a press conference, Nintendo demonstrated the device with a beta of Earthbound 64 on the 64DD. Smells the audience sampled included a pine forest and apple pie, as well as the foul stench of several of the game's enemies - all depending on the environment the onscreen player was in.
Nintendo explained that the inspiration for the device was based on the success of the Rumble Pak, released last year. It was explained that after it was determined that packing in scratch-n-sniff trading cards with the original Earthbound was such a hit with gamers, Nintendo wanted to translate that to the release of Earthbound 64.
Third-party developers are expected to embrace the Pak, which has built-in Rumble Pak features, by next year. Acclaim Entertainment has expressed interest in using the Pak for its NFL Quarterback Club '99 game, to feature the smell of a real football field.
The exact price of the unit has yet to be determined, although a Nintendo spokesman commented that it will be priced competitively with other such products on the market.
The immediate reaction of the assembled press was that this cool little device should be dubbed the "Stinky Pak," or "Odor Pak" - to which Nintendo said, "We have been looking at those possibilities, but those seem to have already been trademarked by novelty companies."