CES '08: Nintendo wins second Emmy

Design innovation for Wii and DS input devices leads 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards at Consumer Electronics Show; Atari Lynx and Mattel's Football/Auto Race among other honorees.

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Once the dust settled on last year's Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, Nintendo and Sony walked away from the Consumer Electronics Show hand in hand, sharing the award for Peripheral Development and Technological Impact of Video Game Controllers. The two were awarded for their contributions to controller evolution, with Nintendo winning for the Nintendo Entertainment System's D pad and Sony awarded for the PlayStation's Dual Shock Analog controller--not the PlayStation 3's motion-sensing Sixaxis controller, as the hardware maker initially claimed.

This year, although two awards were again doled out for Game Controller Innovation, the House that Mario Built stood alone on the acceptance podium at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, presented by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Nintendo was honored for the defining characteristics of both of its hot-commodity hardware devices: the Wii's motion-sensing remote and the DS's touch screen and dual-screen display.

"The pioneering interfaces for Wii and Nintendo DS reflect our long tradition of seeking new ways to enhance the gaming experience for users at every level," said Nintendo of America executive VP of operations Don James in a statement. "We're grateful for this award and thank the academy for honoring us a second time."

The NATAS dished out several other awards to game companies as part of the Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards. Winning for Handheld Game Device Display Screen Innovation were Mattel's Football Race and Auto Race, which were first sold in 1976 and credited as the first entirely digital handheld-gaming devices; Atari's 1989 portable Atari Lynx, which was the first handheld game device with a color LCD screen; and the Nintendo DS.

Although Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 has been licensed out en masse, Havok's proprietary middleware game engine won the NATAS' Emmy award for Physics Engines. Winning Emmys in the category of Development of Massively Multiplayer Online Graphical Role Playing Games were AOL Time Warner, Stormfront, Ubisoft, and TSR-Wizards of the Coast for 1991's Neverwinter Nights (not to be confused with BioWare's 2002 RPG based on the Dungeons and Dragons property of the same name); Sony Online Entertainment's Everquest; and Blizzard Entertainment's global phenomenon World of Warcraft.

The NATAS also recognized contributions from game modders with an Emmy award for User-Generated Content. Winning this award were Pinball Construction, published by Electronic Arts in 1983; id Software's seminal first-person shooter Quake; and Linden Lab's virtual world Second Life.

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