T is for too many buttons.
The first-ever Wii video games based on the venerable "Sesame Street" franchise will come packaged with an unprecedented doodad: a cover that hides buttons on the Wii Remote. The games' producers insist the plush covers, which will look like either Elmo or Cookie Monster, will make the Nintendo controller less confusing for younger players.
"This is the first time anything like this has been developed and licensed for Nintendo," said Scott Chambers, Sesame Workshop senior vice president of media distribution. "We will be the first to introduce such an aid. We're doing it so that preschoolers can play and learn from these 'Sesame Street' games without feeling frustrated with the controller."
Chambers said the soft, fuzzy "gameplay helpers" for "Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure" and "Cookie's Counting Carnival," both slated to be simultaneously released this fall, will cover about 80 percent of the controller and won't cost extra. The pair of games mark the first time "Sesame Street" characters have starred in titles for the Wii and Nintendo DS systems.
The handheld versions of the games will come with a larger stylus designed for smaller hands that aims to simplify interaction with the Nintendo DS' touch screen. Chambers said the new pair of "Sesame Street" games, which will also be available for the PC, have been designed so that 3-to-5-year-olds can play with minimal involvement from parents.
Earlier this year, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment signed a deal with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization which produces "Sesame Street" in over 140 countries, to create and publish a series of games for various platforms based on the 40-year-old children's series starring Big Bird, Elmo, Grover and all their neighborhood pals.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is the division of Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. responsible for publishing games based on such franchises as Looney Tunes and DC Comics, as well as movies like "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Terminator Salvation." They have also released original games, such as last year's "Scribblenauts" for the Nintendo DS.
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