Game News: Nintendo's Charity

Actor Alan Cumming with his Nintendo DS Business Wire

Handheld games and game systems are apart of a growing mobile industry trend. Gaming on the go is getting bigger and bigger.

The handheld gaming industry has been fraught with many would-be platforms that would claim to be the next best thing. However none have made quite an impact on the gaming industry as Nintendo's GameBoy. Since its inception in the mid 80's, Nintendo's GameBoy has occupied the hands of millions of youths accross the globe.

Today, the GameBoy (GB) has also begun to infultrate the more adult market, providing games with a more mature theme. Since the 80's, Nintendo has made many advances on the GB system technology, and with their current version, the Nintendo DS, have gained even more popularity.

Thanks to a celebrity bidding frenzy, Nintendo DS(TM) proved to be the talk of the Sundance Film Festival. One-of-a-kind Nintendo DS systems created specifically for the festival were won by comedian Jay Mohr, host of the Sundance Channel's "Festival Dailies" and the popular show "Last Comic Standing," actress Poppy Montgomery, star of the thriller "Between," and actor Alan Cumming, also of "Festival Dailies" and "X2: X-Men United."

The three won their new custom Nintendo DS units in a silent auction at the Nintendo DS Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival. Mohr, Montgomery and Cumming outbid celebrities like Anthony Anderson of "Hustle & Flow," Lisa Kudrow, John Leguizamo, Jason Ritter and Jamie Bell.

Mohr bid a whopping $10,000 for a Nintendo DS with a swirling blue metallic pattern. Nintendo will add $5,000 to his winning bid for a total donation of $15,000 to Mohr's designated charity, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Montgomery bid $2,500 for a stylish green Nintendo DS with gold graffiti patterns, while Cumming bid $1,500 for a wild copper-and-brown one. Nintendo will match both their bids, and will donate $8,000 to their chosen charitable cause, tsunami disaster relief.

"Nintendo DS is already a hot system, but the one-of-a-kind DS units really created a bidding frenzy among the celebrities," says Perrin Kaplan, Nintendo of America's vice president of marketing & corporate affairs. "And best of all, along with Nintendo's contributions, two very worthy charities will benefit from their generosity."

The auction took place in the Nintendo DS Lounge in the Motorola Lodge, which turned out to be the favorite celebrity hangout. Dozens of stars stopped by to receive and enjoy new Nintendo DS systems and games, while sending messages to one another using the built-in PictoChat(TM) wireless chat feature. Lounge visitors included Paris and Nicky Hilton, Ludacris, Terrence Howard, Evan Rachel Wood, Khleo Thomas, Sean Astin, Joe Pantoliano, Seth Green, Aaron Ruell, Shannon Elizabeth, David Schwimmer, Marisa Tomei, Danny Masterson and Jason Isaacs.

During the Sundance Film Festival, celebrities and Hollywood hotshots played a variety of the best soon-to-be-released games, including WarioWare(TM): Touched! For Nintendo DS, and Star Fox(R): Assault and Donkey Kong(R) Jungle Beat for Nintendo GameCube(TM). The celebrity auction winners join the more than 1.3 million Nintendo DS owners in the United States. Nintendo remains on track to ship a total of 5 million Nintendo DS systems to the United States by the end of March.

Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.9 billion video games and more than 336 million hardware units globally.

For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site at www.nintendo.com.

By William Vitka and Chad Chamberlain

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