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Product Spotlight: ‘Dr. Mario 64’

Apr 16, 2001  •  Post A Comment

What it is: Interactive television version of Nintendo’s latest “Mario” game, “Dr. Mario.” It is now available in the 250,000 hotel rooms in the United States and Canada that are equipped with Nintendo 64 software.
Provider: LodgeNet Entertainment Corp., a broadband interactive services provider that delivers interactive television and Internet services to more than 5,000 hotels, casinos and resorts in the United States and Canada (805,000 rooms at the end of last year). The company also licenses its technology to partners serving properties in Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
Specific services provided include video games, video on demand, on-demand music and high-speed Internet access (via television) as well as premium cable. Customers include Best Western International, Embassy Suites, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Inter-Continental, Ritz-Carlton and Starwood.
N64: A network-based interactive games platform developed by LodgeNet and Nintendo. Called Super Nintendo Entertainment System when it was originally launched in 1993 as a 16-bit system, the current system was upgraded to a 64-bit system in 1999. Nintendo’s new platform, Game Cube, could trigger a new upgrade in the hotel-oriented platform.
Games biz: “The 30 interactive TV games we provide bring in somewhat less than 15 percent of total hotel revenues-it’s been pretty steady, a good lift for us,” said Steven Truckenmiller, vice president for LodgeNet’s guest pay services. “Hotels like the service because it’s great for children. `Mario’ has a high visibility-it’s greatly in demand by our guests.”
Mario Mania: “Dr. Mario 64” is the N64 version of the game made popular on Nintendo’s Game Boy platform. Players identify virus bugs by color, then eliminate them by lining up pills of the virus’ signature color. When four sections of the same color match up, the virus is eradicated. If the screen fills with pills, the viruses survive and the player loses.