Dis joins Nintendo's game


Intent on becoming a major player in the gaming industry, Disney Interactive on Thursday used the E3 Media & Business Summit in Santa Monica to unveil a slate of games aimed at the family audience and traditional gamers and also announced DGamer, a connected community for the Nintendo DS.

Disney Interactive Studios GM and executive vp Graham Hopper stressed the company's commitment to video games by noting that it will spend $130 million on product development this year alone.

One of the event's highlights was DGamer. Using the wireless WiFi connection in the DS portable system, DGamer will allow owners of Disney Interactive DS games to interact with one another worldwide. It will debut in May with the DS version of "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian."

"Building upon the robust, family-friendly features of the Nintendo WiFi Connection, Disney game fans, kids and parents will have an online community like no other to communicate in a fun environment," Hopper said.

Disney Interactive has had success leveraging hot properties from its parent company and will continue that trend with "High School Musical: Sing It!" for the Nintendo Wii and "Hannah Montana: World Tour" for the Nintendo Wii and "Hannah Montana: Music Jam" for the Nintendo DS.

The company also showcased a new version of "Turok," a franchise popular with hardcore players more than a decade ago. Developed by Disney Interactive's Propaganda Studios, "Turok" will be released early next year for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 under the Touchstone game label because it is aimed at an older audience.

Disney Interactive this week also added a fifth development studio by acquiring Austin-based Junction Point Studios, led by legendary developer Warren Spector. The studio already is working on a project and also will help bring some of Disney's more traditional franchises to the newer gaming platforms.
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