Alongside talk of a new motion-sensing Xbox 360 joypad, another near certainty for E3 appears to be an announcement from Nintendo of a Wii version of its hugely popular Animal Crossing series.
VG247 reports that the personal blog of Nintendo Official Magazine staffer Tom East carried a post stating that: Those of you who have read the new issue of Official Nintendo Magazine should already know that Animal Crossing Wii will be unveiled at the conference.”
However, this has now changed to: Of course everyone is hoping that Animal Crossing Wii will be there but what else would you like to see.”
Additionally, leading Nintendo blog GoNintendo is claiming to be in receipt of an upcoming release schedule from the firm confirming the game's arrival before the end of the year.
Animal Crossing first appeared in 2001 as a limited Japanese release on the N64. However, it was the port that arrived for GameCube in Japan later that year that caused a stir amongst the gaming community. The three year delay in getting the title to the European market meant its reception was muted in the UK, but the release of DS outing Wild World in 2006 marked the beginning of a strong success in the West.
The Wii version of the game is likely to be the first to offer internet multiplayer. It is unlikely to be a full-blooded MMO, but will likely allow for trading of items and letter sending over Nintendo's network.