Nintendo will be début their successor to the GameCube at next May’s E3. To be in a position to demo the console, referred to as the N5, in less than a year mean that they must have been developing it for a while.
An E3 showcase could mean a December launch for Japan, March 2006 for the US and a summer 2006 launch for the UK. Now that I’ve just typed that, it doesn’t seem so imminent after all. The timing is crucial, however – it will give Nintendo a lead on Sony and Microsoft when they launch their PS3 Xbox Next consoles. We’d just like to point out that this strategy did nothing to save Sega when they launched the Dreamcast ahead of the PS2.
The new console will almost certainly have advanced link up capabilities with the new DS handheld which will have been out on the market for a year by the time the N5 hits Akihabara. Of course, all of this is speculation as no details about the box have been released.
Nintendo didn’t have much luck with the GameCube, despite it looking great on paper: a technically advanced console, small and portable, quality games and characters, with a price (eventually) less than it’s competitors – Sony and Microsoft wiped the floor with it nonetheless, and many developers are cancelling scheduled games for it as sales continue to drop.
Sorry, was I talking about the GameCube there or the Dreamcast again?