ScanSoft Speech Technology Enhances the New Mario Party 6 for Nintendo GameCube; Advanced Speech Recognition Enables Gamers to Interact with Game Characters Using Voice Commands

PEABODY, Mass.--()--Jan. 13, 2005--ScanSoft, Inc. (NASDAQ:SSFT), a global leader of speech and imaging solutions, today announced that Nintendo has implemented a ScanSoft(R) speech solution for the Nintendo GameCube(TM) game entitled Mario Party(R) 6. Using ScanSoft's speech recognition, players can control and interact with game characters, adding an exciting and natural dimension to game play.

As the sixth version of Nintendo's popular Mario Party series, Mario Party 6 is the first to provide speech recognition technology to control certain mini-games. Using ScanSoft technology, the game will accurately recognize the nuances and unique elements of a wide array of voices, including the voices of children. The game, which comes bundled with a microphone, allows players to use their voices in a variety of quizzes and select mini-games within the world of Mario Party 6. Using the Mic controller, users can bark orders at their racing character for motivation, or answer quizzes to earn extra stars to spend on game extras like Magic Books, hidden levels and game secrets.

"ScanSoft has a reputation for adding a level of creativity to a variety of applications," said Genyo Takeda, general manager, Integrated Research and Development at Nintendo Co., Ltd. "The software was extremely easy to integrate into Mario Party 6, and adds an incredible level of real-life interaction to the experience."

"Speech adds a whole new element to the user experience for games," said Alan Schwartz, vice president, Embedded Speech, SpeechWorks Solutions from ScanSoft. "By making our Speech Games SDK available on the Nintendo GameCube, developers will be able to easily add speech to the user interface for many different genres of games, as evidenced in Mario Party 6. We look forward to working with Nintendo and its developers to offer this exciting new feature in future titles."

SpeechWorks Solutions from ScanSoft are powering a new generation of games and applications that uses the power of speech recognition to provide advanced command and control of the gaming environment, as well as real-life interaction for gaming enthusiasts. Gamers can perform complex operations simply by speaking, and add real dialogue to game characters, bringing them to life. With speech technology, virtual characters can express their emotions, share their needs and answer questions, becoming unique, personalized lifelike creatures.

Integrated within Mario Party 6, SpeechWorks' Solutions from ScanSoft VoCon(R) Games Speech SDK leverages ScanSoft's renowned ASR 1600 engine, designed to ensure a smooth, natural interface for users of all ages. SpeechWorks Solutions from ScanSoft VoCon Games Speech SDK for Nintendo GameCube is available for all Nintendo-certified developers, and is the first recognition engine specifically designed to work with children's voices. Advanced speech recognition engines use proprietary signal processing techniques to ensure accuracy, while a scalable vocabulary ensures flexibility in game development.

-- Highly Accurate Recognition

The VoCon Games Speech SDK features a phoneme-based speech recognition engine that uses proprietary signal processing techniques and advanced speech recognition algorithms to provide highly accurate voice recognition in different environments.

-- Scalable Vocabulary

Game developers can easily create new vocabularies or enhance existing ones using a structured grammar format (BNF) featured in the VoCon Games Speech SDK.

-- Speaker-Independent Acoustic Models

With VoCon Games Speech SDK, the end user can simply plug in the microphone and start playing with no training or system enrollment required.

-- Children's Voice Support

Japanese and American English acoustic models have been trained with children's voices as well as the standard male and female adult voices.

-- Multiple Recognition Modes

Game developers can easily associate actions with recognized words or phrases. End users can initiate speech commands in "push-to-talk" (or "intercom") mode or by talking directly in the microphone.

-- Support for Customization

Full customization of the speech recognition engine parameters is available to optimize performance and CPU and memory consumption--including reduction of the memory footprint for simple applications.

About Nintendo

The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems. Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy(R) Advance, Nintendo DS(TM) and Nintendo GameCube(TM) systems extend Nintendo's vast game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.9 billion video games and more than 336 million hardware units globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario(TM) and Donkey Kong(R) and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid(R), Zelda(TM) and Pokemon(R). A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site at www.nintendo.com.

About ScanSoft, Inc.

ScanSoft, Inc. (NASDAQ:SSFT) is a global leader of imaging, speech and language solutions that are used to automate a wide range of manual processes - saving time, increasing worker productivity and improving customer service. For more information regarding ScanSoft products and technologies, please visit www.ScanSoft.com.

Trademark reference: ScanSoft, the ScanSoft logo, VoCon, and SpeechWorks are trademarks or registered trademarks of ScanSoft, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. All other company names or product names may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

The statements in this press release that relate to future plans, events or performance are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with market trends, competitive factors, and other risks identified in ScanSoft's SEC filings. Actual results, events and performance may differ materially. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof.

Contacts

ScanSoft Belgium BVBA
Vanessa Richter, +32-9-239 80 31 (International)
vanessa.richter@scansoft.com
or
ScanSoft, Inc.
Jonna Schuyler, 978-977-2038 (U.S.)
jonna.schuyler@scansoft.com

Contacts

ScanSoft Belgium BVBA
Vanessa Richter, +32-9-239 80 31 (International)
vanessa.richter@scansoft.com
or
ScanSoft, Inc.
Jonna Schuyler, 978-977-2038 (U.S.)
jonna.schuyler@scansoft.com