May 17th, 2005, 18:45 Posted By: wraggster
Today, Nintendo revealed its contribution to next-generation gaming to USA Today, and the newspaper hit the streets just hours before the company's scheduled pre-E3 press conference. The console will be called Revolution, and is scheduled for release sometime in 2006.
Nintendo is the last of the "Big Three" to reveal its next-gen plans. Microsoft took the lid off its future console, the Xbox 360, last week, and Sony unveiled the PlayStation 3 yesterday at its pre-E3 conference.
The Revolution design didn't follow suit with its curvaceous competitors, the concave Xbox 360 and convex PlayStation 3. In fact, its simple rectangular design can be easily mistaken for a modem at first glance. However, like its competitors, the unit can stand vertically or lay supine. The black console can fit snugly in a grey stand, where it is pitched upward at a slight angle for vertical positioning, or be removed and laid flat (and look eerily similar to Apple's Powerbook batteries).
Revolution's enigmatic controllers were not revealed, but they will be wireless. Rumors have been awash that the controllers will be unlike any before, possibly losing buttons in favor of touch screens or incorporating some sort of gyroscopic functions.
By Nintendo's own admission, according to USA Today, the system is two to three times as powerful as its current-generation console, the GameCube. Sony's PlayStation 3, announced yesterday, is reportedly dozens of times powerful than its predecessor, the PlayStation 2.
However, Nintendo told the newspaper "It's not all about having 'turbo power', It's about what you do with it." What Nintendo plans to do with it is still under wraps--the publisher has not yet announced any games for the system.
Eschewing its previous business ideas, Revolution will be online-friendly, and support a broadband gaming service similar to that of Microsoft's Xbox Live. Its most significant contribution to online gaming will be the ability to download games, and not just simple puzzlers or platformers from the NES days. GameCube titles will be downloadable, though it's not clear whether the games will be saved to a storage devices or memory cards.
For those who would rather just pop in their hard copy of Mario Sunshine, Nintendo offers a simple solution: backward compatibility. As indicated before, Revolution, like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, will be able to play all the games from the current-generation GameCube, as well as DVDs through its blue-LED-illuminated front-loading media drive.
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