Nintendo 'Pioneers' Get First Chance to Preview Animal Crossing

Select Players Nationwide Will Play Upcoming NINTENDO GAMECUBE Title a Month Before Launch

August 2002 (Newstream) -- Moviegoers get "sneak previews." Book lovers get "exclusive excerpts." Now, video game players get their chance for a privileged video game experience. Nintendo of America today launches a nationwide contest to find the first video game players to experience its upcoming NINTENDO GAMECUBETM title, Animal CrossingTM, a full month before it becomes available to the general public.

Through August 12, fans can enter in teams of two for the chance to be selected as Animal Crossing Pioneers, the first players in the United States to move into this virtual neighborhood. Nintendo will choose 125 teams via a contest on where they will be asked to explain why Nintendo should pick them to be Animal Crossing Pioneers. Winners will receive a pre-released copy of Animal Crossing and be invited into the limitless world of the game.

"Animal Crossing is a unique title that has to be experienced firsthand to be truly understood and appreciated. Its success in Japan, with over 700,000 units sold, inspired us to want to get feedback as soon as possible from U.S. players," says Peter MacDougall, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Nintendo of America Inc. "Animal Crossing Pioneers will be true trailblazers for Nintendo and we're looking forward to hearing about their virtual communities and experiences."

The Animal Crossing Pioneers will work closely with Nintendo to complete game objectives, provide feedback, participate in online chats and post comments on an Animal Crossing Pioneer-only Web site.

These virtual explorers will step into the world of Animal Crossing, where villagers live their everyday lives in time with an actual 24-hour clock and 365-day year. They will carry out their daily routines, build relationships with villagers, celebrate special days, collect furnishings for their homes and just live life in an innovative experience that's a world of its own. And, when team members exchange memory cards they can visit other villages, thus opening up endless possibilities.

For an application or to view the official contest rules, visit Animal Crossing launches September 16 with an MSRP of $49.95.

As the worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co. Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home video game systems. The systems include Game Boy®, Nintendo® 64, Game Boy Advance and NINTENDO GAMECUBETM. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.6 billion video games worldwide, creating enduring industry icons such as MarioTM and Donkey Kong® and launching such franchises as ZeldaTM and Pokémon®. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site,