Nintendo's successor to the GameCube will be shown off at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo in May 2005, the Kyoto-based company revealed this morning.
On recent form, the company could well be looking to showcase the console at the event with a view to launching the machine in Japan time for Christmas 2005, with a Spring launch for the US and an early summer launch for the rest of the world. At this stage, though, the firm will be keeping its options open and is more likely to hold back until 2006 before it launches, especially with the usual production capacity issues inherent with new consoles.
On the other hand, with the firm's current strategy of quick launches - case in point being the DS - there's a small chance that the company will once again be using E3 as a springboard for getting the product into the public's consciousness quickly, and any such strategy of this nature would almost certainly give the company a chance to steal a march on its rivals in the next round of console launches.
At E3, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata promised that its next machine would provide an innovative 'gameplay revolution', while yesterday senior managing director Yoshihiro Mori said, "Rather than offering a new edition of the same thing, we want to offer new ways of game playing." He refused to reveal any details on pricing or drop clues as to its design.
Meanwhile the firm also revealed a 3.5 million production target for the DS, and a 14 million ship target for the GBA (down from 17.6 million) in the current financial year to March 31st 2005.