SEATTLE--As his colleague George Harrison gave a rosy Wii sales forecast to the financial press, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime preached the Mario Factory gospel to a captive audience--the journalists attending the Nintendo Summit in Seattle.
Much of Fils-Aime's speech tread familiar ground. Armed with sales figures from the April 2007 NPD report, which had the Wii and Nintendo DS selling 471,000 and 360,000 units, he made much sport of the fact that Sony's new PlayStation 3 console finished 2,000 units behind the four-year-old Game Boy Advance SP.
Corporate bravado aside, Fils-Aime's speech did contain some major announcements--or, more accurately, confirmations. The physically imposing executive allayed many-a-Nintendan's fear by promising that three of his company's biggest 2007 titles would indeed arrive before the stroke of midnight on December 31.
The most anticipated of the bunch was Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the forthcoming Wii fighting game. Though the game was originally slated for a 2007 release, speculation had grown in recent months that it, like many Nintendo titles, might slip past its original release date.
Fils-Aime also pledged that two other high-profile titles would arrive during 2007. The 3D platformer Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii remains a lock for the year, as does The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for the DS. The former always had a 2007 release date, while the latter had originally been scheduled to arrive in 2006.