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Waiting on Nintendo's Revolution

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Nintendo president Satoru Iwata proved Thursday at the Game Developers Conference here that giving people gifts is the surest way to make new friends.

That was made clear when he told the 3,000 people gathered for his keynote address that Nintendo would give everyone on hand a free copy of its newest game for the Nintendo DS handheld, "Brain Age."

But with the next generation console wars already under way with the release last Fall of the Microsoft Xbox 360 and the announcement of a November worldwide launch of Sony's PlayStation 3, the most noteworthy news of Iwata's speech was the lack of specifics about the timing of the launch of Nintendo's own next-gen console, the Revolution.

Iwata did talk about and show images of the company's prototype for its innovative Revolution controller, a two-handed system in which one hand holds a free-standing device like a TV remote controller that directs player positioning while the other hand holds a second free-standing controller that directs targeting.

Iwata also unveiled the company's plans for a series of forthcoming DS games: "Tetris for DS" and "The Legend of Zelda."

And while the crowd of developers was clearly enamored of Iwata's message of innovation and fun for game players of all ages, it was disappointing not to hear more about the company's plans for its next flagship console.