Nintendo's winter games

Japanese conference reveals latest Wii details, and plans to sell GameCube Twilight Princess exclusively online

Nintendo's monthly Japanese conference reveals winter line-up as well as a smidgen of new Wii and DS information.

18 games will go on sale for the Wii in Japan this year, 16 of which will be available alongside the console on its December 2nd launch.

Apparently, Nintendo's marketing department is following the same strategy as it did with the DS, trying to capture a new audience of non-gamers in much the same way it did with its dual-screen handheld.

In addition to announcing that Big Brain Academy will appear on Wii next spring, top games bloke Shigeru Miyamoto plans to release a "health pack" for the Wii, saying that he wants to get the whole family using the console every day to manage their health and perform exercises. We don't like the sound of that; where's our kebab trainer?

The line-up of Wii accessories was also discussed, with the usual array of video cables (composite, s-video, component and Japan's D-terminal) making the list, along with a LAN adaptor for 2800 yen (12.6 GBP) and a 512 SD memory card for 3800 yen (17 GBP).

Elaborating on its much-touted Virtual Console, Nintendo plans to have 30 titles from the Famicom, Super Famicom and Nintendo 64 consoles available by the end of the year, with another 30 from the Mega Drive and PC Engine formats, although it didn't reveal any specific games.

Pricing will range from 500 (2.25 GBP) to 1000 yen (4.5 GBP) and points cards of the 1000, 3000 and 5000 varitety will be available in store, with the latter coming bundled with a free classic controller.

Interestingly, Nintendo also confirmed it will be using similar delivery methods to the Virtual console to bring "Compact Software" to Wii. Although details are still sparse, this will apparently be Wii software available for download for lower than regularly published games. Should Xbox Live Arcade be worried?

Moving on to DS, a new piece of cooking software was also revealed, following-up the success of the recently-released Talking! Cooking DS Navi which has sold over half a million copies.

DS Complete Menu Collection is a collaboration with cooking mag publisher Orange Page, and will release alongside a bizarre magnet stand that will allow budding-chefs to stick their DSs to the fridge. Finally we can show off our Picto Chat are to the whole family.

Finishing off with its almost-dead GameCube, Nintendo decided that the GameCube version of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will only be sold on Nintendo's online store, perhaps looking to avoid confusion at retail.

Unfortunately Nintendo was unavailable for comment on the availability in Europe, but at least the Wii version is shaping up nicely.