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Nintendo reveals strong Christmas schedule for Japan

New details have emerged of Nintendo's GameCube release schedule for the Japanese market in the fourth quarter, with spokesperson Mitsuaki Hagishima confirming the possibility that a number of the platform's biggest forthcoming games could be out in time for Christmas.

Titles with confirmed release dates include the Cube version of Mario Tennis, which will appear in Japan this October, as will Kururin Squash!, a puzzle title which is being created in collaboration between Nintendo and Eighting.

November will see the launch of Mario Party 6 - and with it, it's suspected, a new GameCube peripheral which may well provide the console's direct response to Sony's EyeToy camera system. The firm has previously boasted that Mario Party 6 will not require the use of a controller, which ties in with recent camera-related trademark filings in Japan.

Later in November and through into December, the release schedule is less certain - but Hagishima did confirm that the company may well have Star Fox 2, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and Fire Emblem: Seima no Kouseki ready before the end of the year, making this into one of the strongest Q4 line-ups the Cube has had to date in Japan.

It's not been announced when any of these titles might arrive in the USA or Europe. However, the Cube line-up for Christmas outside Japan does, crucially, include Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, the highly anticipated sequel to Retro Studios' first-person adventure title, which will not appear in the Far East until 2005.

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