The mystery behind the Dolphin was finally cleared when Nintendo unveiled its next generation hardware at its Japanese Trade show, Spaceworld 2000.
The biggest draw was the unveiling of the Nintendo Game Cube. The formerly-known Dolphin will be available in a selection of different colours at launch and scoming with a another piece of innovative Nintendo game controller design.
Game Boy Advance will be available in Japan in March 2001, and in Europe and North America next July. Ten titles were demonstrated at Spaceworld, including the eagerly anticipated Mario Kart Advance.
Nintendo Game Cube features a highly customised, 405 Mhz, central processor from IBM; a revolutionary graphics co-processor from ATI and 40 MB of memory, including one of the largest implementations of static memory in consumer product history. Nintendo Game Cube measures just 150mm x 110mm x 161mm.
Nintendo were very quick to claim that their new piece of
kit is the fastest and most efficient video game system ever brought to market.
Details of launch games are very sketchy with rumours pointing to new Zelda and Metroid games to be released at launch. What is more surprising is that a new Mario game is set to be missing from the launch games line-up.
Check out the pics of all the game demos for the Game Cube here!
Nintendo have finally jumped on the disk wagon. The special disks will be produced to play a variety of media - talk of the Game Cube playing DVD's is still unclear at present time. Accessories will include a 56K modem and (future) broadband modem; the 'Wavebird' wireless RF controller; 2 Digicard slots for either 4MB Digicard flash memory cards or a 64MB SD-Digicard adapter; and a variety of high speed ports and both analog and digital AV outputs. Nintendo Game Cube will launch in Japan in July 2001 and North America in October 2001.
The plaudits were already out in force for Nintendo:
"In my experience, there have often been theoretical claims of high performance for game hardware, and although people were very impressed by the figures, the actual products haven't even delivered one-tenth of the claims," says Shigeru Miyamoto, the master Nintendo game designer. "It is a given that the Nintendo Game Cube will offer better graphics and higher quality sound, but more importantly it will allow developers the freedom to concentrate on creativity without worrying about technical limitations." A direct slap in the face to the development problems that hampered the early life of the PlayStaton 2.
The plan to make the Game Cube and Game Boy Advance compatible will lead to the same game being developed for both hardware, and enabling players to save games on their GBA as well as carrying on the action away from their Game Cube.
Nintendo's decision to launch the Game Cube at the same time against Microsoft's X-Box is surely a make or break decision for the company. The Game Cube will either put Nintendo back on the top of the pile or into console extinction.
Check out the images of the Game Cube and the Game Boy Advance by clicking the hyperlinks and thumbnail images.