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Nintendo plans new Cube accessories, reaffirms N5 plans

A number of statements from Nintendo spokespeople today have confirmed that the platform holder plans to continue supporting the Cube for at least two more years before launching a new console, probably in 2006.

A number of statements from Nintendo spokespeople today have confirmed that the platform holder plans to continue supporting the Cube for at least two more years before launching a new console, probably in 2006.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata was quoted in Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun saying that the company will support the GameCube with the launch of new software and innovative peripherals for the next two to three years.

In a statement obviously designed to boost confidence in Nintendo's commitment to its existing console platform, Iwata said that the Cube has by no means reached its full potential and stated his belief that "customers are fully satisfied with the performance of the current model," in hardware terms at least.

Nintendo will continue to develop its next console, which we dubbed "N5" last year, but will continue to focus on the GameCube throughout a full lifespan - right up until around 2006, when the next-generation machines from all three manufacturers are expected to arrive.

There's nothing particularly shocking in anything Iwata said - but Nihon Keizai Shimbun, along with several other news reporting sources, have tagged these statements as effectively an admission from Nintendo that it is somehow pulling out of the next generation console race, or that it has postponed the launch of N5.

Nintendo moved quickly to silence such speculation, with Nintendo Japan spokesperson Yasuhiro Minagawa telling Reuters that "other companies aren't expected to come out with next-generation consoles until late 2005 or 2006, and Nintendo will be launching its next-generation unit around the same time," while NoA's Beth Llewellyn told GameSpot that "we are staying in the hardware business... we're working on our next generation console system and it will launch it at the same time as our competitors."

Nintendo can hardly make its intentions any clearer than that. Iwata-san's comments, the company protests, have been taken out of context both by online news sources (which comes as little surprise) and by Nihon Keizai Shimbun itself (who should really have known better).

Returning to what Iwata-san actually said, rather than what the media seems to have imagined coming from his mouth, the president of the Kyoto-based company stated that first of the "innovative peripherals" he has promised for the GameCube will arrive in 2005, and is described as a "gameplay enchancing" device - which hints at something in the same mindset as Sony's Eye Toy. Details of the peripherals, however, are not expected to be revealed until late this year.

Author
Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.