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Nintendo set to talk N5 at E3, says senior NoA exec

The line-up for Nintendo's E3 conference and stand is looking even more crowded than previously, with a senior executive stating publicly that it will be discussing its next-generation home console for the first time at the show.

The line-up for Nintendo's E3 conference and stand is looking even more crowded than previously, with a senior executive stating publicly that it will be discussing its next-generation home console for the first time at the show.

"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.

Interestingly, Fils-Aime also suggested that the new handheld will not use the "DS" name when it finally hits retail in North America, resurrecting speculation that the console will be called "Nitro" - a codename which has appeared on Nintendo's internal development websites.

The decision to talk about N5 at E3 seems an unusual one, given that the company already has one new hardware platform to discuss, along with a major line-up of new software for the GameCube system, including sequels to some of its biggest games. In light of this, it would probably be unwise to expect very much detail from the announcement - in fact, it's somewhat unlikely that Nintendo will tell us very much that we don't already know.

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.

External Link: [CNN/Money Game Over column]
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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.