Nintendo Co. said on Monday it planned to launch its new videogame console sometime next year, missing the key 2005 holiday shopping season and putting it a step behind in the race to market a next-generation game machine.
Microsoft announced last week that its new console, Xbox 360, would be in stores in time for the 2005 year-end shopping season, likely giving it a head-start on both of its main rivals if, as industry watchers widely predict, Sony Corp. also introduces its new console in 2006.
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Nintendo has not yet officially set a date for its new console, code-named Revolution, but said it would give further details at the annual Electronics Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles this week. "It is true that we plan to launch Revolution in 2006. We will offer more details at the E3," a Nintendo spokesman said.
Based in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto, Nintendo was the dominant brand in home videogame consoles for much of the 1980s and early 1990s, until Sony entered the market with its PlayStation and Microsoft later introduced its Xbox machine.
Nintendo has said that Revolution will be ready for wireless Internet gaming and be compatible with the current generation GameCube, which is now in third place in the console market behind PlayStation 2 (PS2) and the Xbox.
The new console will be powered by a chip developed by IBM code-named Broadway and a graphics processor from ATI Technologies Inc. code-named Hollywood.
In a release on its U.S. Web site, Nintendo said Revolution would use 12 cm optical disks along with the 8 cm disks for the GameCube and be about the thickness of three DVD cases stacked together.