And why? Because Nintendo has announced it’s next generation system, and is expected to make an official announcement this week at E3. Here is the complete article from NGO:
Word has just gone out across the wire in Japan as of this writing that Nintendo will ally closely with Matsushita to manufacture its next generation game system, targeted to forming digital networks worldwide.
The as yet unnamed next generation Nintendo system, which sources indicate is being called Project: Dolphin internally, will use DVD technology, digital networking, and the IBM PowerPC chip. No release date for the machine has been announced, though the New York Times is reporting a Fall, 2000 worldwide release.
The preliminary spec announcement offers the following details on the machine:
IBM Custom Processor (Extension of Power PC Architecture)
400MHz Clock Speed
Semiconductor Process 0.18 micron Copper Technology
Full-Custom Chip jointly designed with ArtX, Inc. in the US
200 MHz Clock Speed
Semiconductor Process 0.18 micron Embedded DRAM Technology
High Speed DRAM Technology
Memory Bandwidth – 3.2GB/second
DVD Medium with Matsushita’s DVD Technology
Enhanced Counterfeit Protection
The presence of the PowerPC chip points to design meant to be built cheaply, as opposed to Sony’s “built from scratch” model with the Next Generation PlayStation. Also, “Enhanced Counterfeit Protection” points to an increasing concern in the software industry — rampant piracy.
According to the joint release, Nintendo and Matsushita have agreed to work together very closely on this project, hearkening to the close alliances formed between Sega and Hitachi, NEC and Microsoft as well as Sony and Toshiba.
The points of the agreement between Nintendo and Matsushita are as follows:
Matsushita will develop and supply the DVD media and the drive devices for the next-generation Nintendo game machine.
The two companies will collaborate on convergence products that incorporate next-generation game machine and Digital audio-video technologies.
The companies will pursue future applications of digital network-related products and services.
There is no indication yet as to the monetary contributions made by either company in this new partnership, though the New York Times reports that the deal will weigh in at $1 billion.
What this means for Sega is that its software has to be very good in order for Nintendo fans to see the true power of the Dreamcast and divert their attention away from the N64 and the new next generation Nintendo console. In most cases, Nintendo has beaten out Sega user base-wise. However, some sources indicate that this console will not be out until 2001, giving plenty of time for the Dreamcast, and whatever Sonic Team related games, to strut their stuff. Perhaps this will lead to a major announcement from Sega at E3.
This post was originally written by the author for TSSZ News.