Word from the folks at gamesindustry.biz is that Ninteno will be discussing their next generation of console, currently referred to as the N5, at this year’s E3. This is in addition to the first publicly playable demonstrations of the successor to the GameBoy, Nintendo DS.
“Comment on this will come from the highest levels,” said Nintendo of America senior VP of sales and marketing, Reggie Fils-Aime, speaking about the forthcoming system which has been dubbed N5 in the media. “The focus and commitment we have on this will be shown at E3.”
Fils-Aime’s comments appeared in an interview with CNN/Money’s Game Over column, which was primarily focused on the other console which Nintendo will be making noise about in Los Angeles this May – namely the Nintendo DS, which is expected to be playable at the show for the first time.
He confirmed that the DS system is presently aimed at a 2004 launch in North America (“As we’re sitting here, that’s the plan,” being his comment on this), which bodes well for a launch this year in Europe – as Nintendo hardware launches here rarely lag far behind the US launches.
N5 will appear in 2006, will use multiple PowerPC processors from IBM and a graphics chipset from ATI – all of this information is already well known and, with the exception of some speculation over the date, is pretty much set in stone. It seems probable that all Nintendo has in mind is an official confirmation of these facts in order to finally put a lid on the ongoing speculation regarding its future commitment to the home console market.
I thought it seemed a little early to be talking about the next Nintendo console until I realized the original GameCube hit North American shelves in November 2001. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago for some reason. It’ll be interesting to see what Nintendo has in store to try and reclaim their lost market share.