Nintendo Revolution Manufacturer Nintendo Type Video game console Generation Seventh generation era First After April - Before November 23, 2006 available (Source) Unspecified 12 cm DVD format Media GameCube optical disc Online service Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection The Nintendo Revolution is the current codename for Nintendo's fifth home video game console and the successor to the Nintendo GameCube. The codename refers to the console's promised "revolution" of the video-game industry. For example, the console's controller, which can detect its exact location and orientation in 3D space, is a concept never before seen in mainstream video game consoles. The system was unveiled at Nintendo's 2005 E³ press conference and the system's game controller was revealed at the 2005 Tokyo Game Show by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata during his keynote speech in September.  Nintendo has stated the console will be launched in 2006. In an interview with Nikkei Business, Iwata stated the Revolution will be released after April of that year, and that they are considering attempting an international launch  with no more than 14 weeks of difference between the first and last launching regions.  In a later interview with Sankei Shimbun Iwata confirmed that the Revolution will be released in North America before Thanksgiving (November 23, 2006).  Nintendo has announced that more details about the system will be made public on May 9, 2006 at their E³ 2006 Press Conference.  Nintendo has been coy with release of information regarding the Revolution, leaving some media outlets with the idea that Nintendo was not prepared or did not have the intention to compete with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Top executives at the company denied this and insisted that they were simply protecting their intellectual property from imitation by competitors before the system is released. Nintendo has previously standardized technologies within the gaming console world such as the D-Pad, analog control thumbstick, first party wireless controllers (Wavebird), shoulder buttons, and vibrating feedback, which have been widely disseminated following their mainstream arrival on Nintendo's machines. Contents 1 Confirmed hardware and technology 1.1 CPU/GPU 1.2 Connectivity 1.3 Memory and game storage media 1.4 Design 1.5 Controller 1.6 Technical specifications 2 Features 2.1 Backward compatibility 2.2 Virtual console 2.3 Parental controls 3 Games in development 4 E3 2006 4.1 A Playable Revolution 5 Rumors and speculation 5.1 Hardware and specifications 5.2 Games 5.3 Possible absence of "true" high-definition support 5.4 Miscellaneous 6 Gallery 7 See also 8 External links 9 References Confirmed hardware and technology CPU/GPU Nintendo has announced that IBM has finished developing the CPU, codenamed "Broadway". IBM had previously developed the processor for Nintendo's current system, the GameCube. Nintendo has also announced that Canadian graphics card maker ATI Technologies is developing the GPU, codenamed "Hollywood", for Revolution. In February 2000, ATI acquired ArtX, the company responsible for the GameCube's GPU. Many of ArtX's employees were former employees of Silicon Graphics, the company responsible for the Nintendo 64 graphics chip. It had previously been speculated that the "Hollwood" GPU was based on the Gamecube's GPU or existing PC hardware. However in a recent interview ATI's Public Relations Manager for Consumer Products, John Swinimer, confirmed that "Hollywood" has not been developed from PC architecture. As of January 2006 the specifications for the Revolution's GPU and CPU had not been released, and in an interview with Dutch game magazine [N]Gamer, Jim Merrick, Nintendo's former head of European marketing, said that they may never be. Connectivity The Revolution will have built-in Wi-Fi , allowing certain games to be played online via a wireless hotspot or through a wireless router. Nintendo has also provided a device that will be able to connect the Revolution online via a Windows XP computer, a USB port, and a Broadband connection as an alternative to buying a Wi-Fi router. This device was released specifically for the Nintendo DS portable but will also work with the Revolution. Iwata also stated that there may be an attachment via USB port that would allow a wired Internet connection. Nintendo has also announced that the consoles will be able to connect to one another wirelessly for LAN (Local Area Network) applications. Along with this comes the ability to use "Download Play". Currently featured in the DS, this allows for multiplayer network games to be played across multiple systems with only one copy of the game being played loaded into a participating system. It has also been suggested that the Revolution will feature connectivity between the system and the DS. Recent patents suggest that downloadable DS content is a possibility. Memory and game storage media Nintendo has confirmed that MoSys, whose 1T-SRAM memory technology was used in the GameCube, will again provide the RAM technology for the Revolution console. The goal of 1T-SRAM is to combine the speed of SRAM with the capacity and price of DRAM. The new 1T-SRAM has very low power consumption while maintaining a rate of speed and functionality close to SRAM and allowing for the density of DRAM. At E3 2005 Nintendo announced that the Revolution will use proprietary 12 cm optical discs as the storage medium for Revolution Games. Whether or not these discs shall retain the GameCube's discs' level of proprietary protection (having been completely nonstandard) remains to be determined. Also, 512MB of internal flash memory will be available for game saves and various other files, such as game downloads from previous consoles. Additionally, again at E3 2005, Nintendo revealed that a small internal attachment (most likely a dongle) to be sold separately from the console will allow the Revolution to playback DVD movies. Design The Nintendo Revolution is the smallest console Nintendo has ever manufactured, described by Nintendo as being "about the thickness of three standard DVD cases and only slightly longer". The console will stand either horizontally or vertically. The front of the console features a self loading media drive which is illuminated by a blue light and will accept 12 cm Revolution game discs and 8 cm GameCube game discs. When the console was unveiled at E3 2005 the console was colored black. However, at the Tokyo Game Show 2005 when the controller was revealed, promotional material depicted a white console. Nintendo has since revealed three additional colors (gray/silver, lime green, and red), but none of these colors have been confirmed as official colors. Controller The Nintendo Revolution controller sets aside the traditional controller seen in other mainstream consoles in an attempt to appeal to a larger audience. The controller is shaped like a television remote control and is held with one hand. Due to its symmetrical nature, the Revolution's controller is able to be used by either hand, unlike other controllers. The controller is also able to sense motion; two sensors placed near the television allow the controller to sense its position in three-dimensional space. Other sensors in the controller itself allow it to sense its tilt and yaw. This allows players to mimic actual game actions, such as swinging a sword or using a flashlight, instead of simply pushing buttons. An early marketing video showed actors miming such actions as fishing, cooking, drumming, conducting an orchestra, shooting a gun, sword fighting, and performing dental surgery. To communicate with the sensors, the Revolution's controller uses Bluetooth technology.  A digital directional pad is positioned at the top of the controller face, with a large button labeled "A" directly below it and a trigger on the underside acting labelled as the "B" button. Below the A button is a row of three small buttons labelled from left to right: Select, Home, and Start. Towards the bottom of the controller are two additional buttons labeled "b" and "a". The "b" button is located above the "a" button, suggesting the controller can be used like an NES controller when turned counterclockwise. The controller also features an expansion port on its underside which will allow various attachments to be added to the controller. Nintendo has revealed one of these attachments to be a unit which features an analog stick and 2 trigger buttons. It will connect to the main Revolution controller via a short cord, and its appearance while connected to the main controller has led it to become dubbed "The Nunchaku". Nintendo has stated the aforementioned "Nunchaku" add-on may be bundled with the Revolution console. Nintendo has also announced a controller "shell" which will resemble a traditional game controller called the "Classic-Style Expansion Controller". The Revolution "remote" will fit inside this shell which will allow gamers to play games using a traditional controller while retaining the "remote"'s motion sensitivity. According to Satoru Iwata, it is meant for playing "the existing games, virtual console games, and multi- platform games" . An IGN article titled "Understanding the Revolution Controller" discusses the "shell" and includes a mock-up of what the shell might look like. Despite the controller's similarity to lightguns which are only compatible with standard-definition CRT televisions, Nintendo has stated the Revolution and its controller will be compatible with all televisions including digital projectors. An Ars Technica journal entry speculates that the controller may use a combination of IR and ultrasound to function, much like some existing, similar products such as "virtual whiteboards" . Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto, before exiting the stage of Japan's 2005 Digital Interactive Entertainment Conference, stated that "there are still secrets to this controller, and these will be revealed next year." Technical specifications Nintendo has released very little detailed information at present concerning the technical specifications of the Revolution console. According to a recent interview with Nintendo's Jim Merrick, Nintendo may never release a complete system specification . Some details have however been released by Nintendo and other third parties involved with the console: Processors: IBM "Broadway" CPU : ATI "Hollywood" GPU : Memory: Unconfirmed amount of 1T-SRAM 512 MB built-in expandable flash memory.  Ports and Peripherals: Two USB 2.0 ports. Support for wireless controllers. 4 Nintendo GameCube controller ports and 2 Nintendo GameCube memory card ports (for backward compatibility). Optional USB PC-compatible 802.11b/g wireless router. Media: Slot-loading optical disc drive compatible with both 12 cm Revolution optical discs (8.5 GB) and 8 cm Gamecube optical discs (1.5 GB) as well as standard DVD discs. (A first for self loading drives) 2 Front-loading SD memory card slots. Built-in content ratings system: PEGI 3+, 7+, 12+, 16+, 18+ ESRB EC, E, E10+, T, M, and AO. CERO All Ages, 12+, 15+ 18+. OFLC G, PG, M, MA15+ Networking: Built-in 802.11b & 802.11g support. Wi-Fi by the Broadcom Corporation: Features Backward compatibility Nintendo has stated that Revolution will be backward compatible with all GameCube software and most peripherals. The side of the console (or top if stood vertically) is the GameCube docking station, featuring four controller ports and two memory card slots compatible with GameCube Memory Cards and the Nintendo GameCube Microphone. The Revolution's slot-loading media drive accepts 8 cm GameCube discs as well as the standard 12 cm discs such as Revolution games and DVDs. This is uncommon in slot- loading media drives, which typically only accept discs of a single size. The console also has the ability to play NES, SNES, and N64 games through the Virtual Console feature. Virtual console Nintendo has announced that Revolution will have the ability to play many or all Nintendo-produced Nintendo 64, SNES/Super Famicom, and NES/Famicom games; the software may be recompiled or emulated but will be offered via the Nintendo online download service. Satoru Iwata refers to this feature as the "Virtual Console". According to a Japanese press release, "all downloaded games will be stored on the 512 [MB] flash memory built into the system. To prevent illegal copying, downloaded games will feature a proprietary DRM system." Nintendo announced that the downloadable games may be redesigned, recompiled, or emulated. It was also said that although the game play would stay the same, it would be possible "that with Revolution, we may be able to see the old games with new looks." This may be compared to the 1993 SNES release Super Mario All-Stars, a single cartridge containing several classic Super Mario Bros games with updated graphics. Some 3D games may "look sharper when played on Revolution."  However, Jim Merrick, a European Nintendo president, claimed N64 games played on Revolution will have a better frame rate, but that there would not generally be any other significant graphical improvements. If the technical aspects of Revolution also go well, "[Nintendo is] discussing the possibility of having older games like Mario Party playable online." Merrick has also said it's possible that users will be able to download games from others regions, a feature important to European gamers who could download (for example) Super Mario RPG from an American server. Although no specifics have yet been released, there will be fees associated with the "virtual console" feature. Nintendo has suggested that they may give some of the downloadable games away with Nintendo products or through other special offers. It is also unknown what specific titles will be available or whether third-party developers will release their older games for the Revolution, although it has been said that Nintendo is in talks with these developers for this purpose. Yuji Naka, the designer of Sonic the Hedgehog at Sega, said in an interview with Famitsu, "It's also great that we'll be able to play Famicom and other games via download. I hope Sega games will be playable as well." He also said similar in a recent interview with Nintendo Power. Currently, Nintendo could release more than 200 potential titles (and if, like it has been rumored, the Revolution is indeed compatible with the Game Boy Player accessory, then over 90 percent of Nintendo's back catalogue could be playable on the system, excluding Virtual Boy software). Some see Nintendo trying to pattern the most successful strategy used by the music industry against illegal music downloads. Since computers have been powerful enough to emulate past-generation home consoles and the Internet provided an easy, fast, and widely accessible distribution path for ROM images and emulators, illegal ROM downloading has been common among a segment of fans of old games. The music industry's most successful method of reducing illegal music downloading has apparently been to offer consumers a way to download music legally for a small cost, as in the case of Apple, selling music in their iTunes music store for a general price of $0.99 USD. If Nintendo is successful at utilizing this model, they may be able to reduce illegal ROM downloading and open up a new revenue stream. This backward-compatibility feature also stands as a new unique selling point against the Revolution's competitors. The unveiling of the new controller has also shed some light on the functionality of the backwards compatibility; specifically, when held sideways, the controller resembles the NES controller; on the left is a D-Pad, in the middle are Select and Start Buttons, and there are two buttons on the end serving as "A" and "B" buttons. Nintendo recently filed a patent on the interface of the virtual console , suggesting that it will be a full emulator, as opposed to using re-written games, and that it may be possible to have extra features such as new characters added to the game. An official survey conducted for Nintendo of America by marketing company Zanthus may give an idea what the "virtual console" could look like and how it might function, along with potential (but not official) prices.  Parental controls The Revolution will feature parental controls, prohibiting young viewers from viewing inappropriate content. This allows parents to set the age level of the system, and when a disc is inserted, it will read the content rating encoded on the game discs; if this rating is greater than the system's age level setting, the game will not load unless the user correctly enters a password to override the setting. For instance, a game carrying an ESRB rating of M for Mature, which is intended for those over the age of 17, will not play on a system that is set to only allow games rated E for Everyone (ages six and older). This will be found in all systems released around the world; it is confirmed that the European units will use the PEGI rating system , North American units will use the ESRB rating system , units for the Japanese market will presumably use the CERO rating system, German units will use the USK system, and Australian units will use the OFLC system. It is unknown what effect this will have on importing and playing games from one region on another region's machine; since Nintendo's consoles are also region locked, it is likely that whatever method importers use to circumvent the regional lock-out would have to override the parental lock-out as well. Some politicians have expressed that they are pleased with the concept of hardware based parental controls. For instance, an article listed on Nintendo's website claims that the governor of Washington, Christine Gregoire, feels that it "gives parents more information and more control over what video games their kids play and at what age." However, this may prove unreliable as most parental control systems have a very easy way to reset the password, in case one forgets the password. This method is usually, in fact, in the instruction manual, and therefore, most anybody could bypass a parental lock. Details are currently unknown. This feature is included on the Xbox 360 and will be present on the PlayStation 3 as well. Games in development Main article: List of Nintendo Revolution games Many games featuring Nintendo's classic franchises, such as Mario (most likely the long awaited Mario 128), The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Super Smash Brothers, have been announced. It has also been hinted that older games such as Kid Icarus will be on the Revolution as well, though as of most of the Revolution's details this has only been based on speculation. Nintendo has also announced that it is in the process of developing an entirely new and original franchise to be added into the Nintendo universe alongside the Revolution, in the same way as Pikmin alongside the GameCube, although all other details about this project are unknown at this time. It has been speculated that the new franchise might be more mature than most previous Nintendo games. Square-Enix is working on a sequel to Crystal Chronicles. Ubisoft is releasing Splinter Cell 4 on all major consoles including Revolution, and has announced an exclusive FPS and another non-exclusive game. Blitz has announced that Possession will come to all three next-gen consoles. Koei and Namco/Bandai (merging) have made announcements that they will develop for the Revolution. Also, Camelot has announced that they are currently working on a Revolution RPG. This game could possibly be a sequel to Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Killer 7 producer Goichi Suda, aka Suda 51, has confirmed that Grasshopper Manufacture is planning to make a Revolution game.  According to Game Informer, Hideo Kojima is developing a Revolution game with the team from Kojima Productions that developed Metal Gear Acid . A new video game company called NIBRIS is said to make an exclusive game called Raid over the River. It will be a futuristic overhead shooter. On December 8, 2005, Electronic Arts officially declared its support for the Revolution. On February 6, 2006, Activision's CEO said that it would have at least one game ready in the console's first four months. It is possible that this could be a launch game for Revolution. No details were given as to what the game would be, or whether it is an existing franchise or a new intellectual property.  On February 13, 2006, Blitz Games announced they had signed a deal with a major publisher to develop a game for the console, which is not Possession, but an entirely new game. Tecmo has announced that it will be bringing a popular Korean PC golf game, Pangya Golf, to the Revolution also.  When the Official Nintendo Magazine 're-launched', it confirmed that "a new version of Animal Crossing, an update of Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, the next Super Smash Bros, and an all-new Mario" game were in the making.  This particular issue of the magazine also listed 'Smash Bros Revolution' and 'Metroid Prime 3' in its 'Official Release Dates' under 2006, albeit with 'TBC' (to be confirmed) attached. On February 21, the online edition of the Orlando Sentinial confirmed that Geist developer N-Space, Inc. is working on multiple projects for the Revolution.  Crossbeam Studios, an independent game developer, has announced their intentions to create games for the Revolution called "Orb" and "Thorn" by attracting developers at E3. E3 2006 A Playable Revolution A near-final Nintendo Revolution console will be unveiled at Nintendo's pre-E3 press event, which is slated for 9:30 a.m. Pacific time on May 9, 2006. The venue will be the Kodak Theatre—home of the Academy Awards—in Hollywood, California. Rumors and speculation Hardware and specifications The GPU is believed to be developed by the same team formerly known as the Californian firm ArtX which developed the graphics chip of both the GameCube and its predecessor, the Nintendo 64, before being purchased by ATI. In an interview with ATI employee John Swinimer, it was revealed that the "Hollywood" graphics chip is not derived from PC architecture and was built the same way as the Gamecube's "Flipper" GPU, i.e. from the ground up and specifically for the console.  Nintendo has been strongly hinting that not every major feature with regards to the Nintendo Revolution, and specifically its controller, has been revealed, likening it to the way that they first only revealed the fact that the Nintendo DS would have two screens, and only later revealing that it had a touch screen, microphone, and wireless capabilities. According to Nintendo of Europe's Jim Merrick, they "have not shared everything that there is to know about Revolution or its controller." Nintendo has patents relating to hardware accelerated 'emboss bump mapping'; it is suggested that these patents could relate to hardware for the new Nintendo Revolution. The console is likely to contain 88MB 1T-SRAM and 16MB D-RAM On December 30, 2005 Nintendo released to a few select news sources that the Revolution will sell for less than $299.  An interview at Spanish website Meristation suggests that the controller will provide force feedback, possibly through the use of gyroscopic technology. Games There is speculation that there may be up to 15 games ready for launch. A third Super Smash Bros. game with online play is scheduled to be released when the system launches. Mario Revolution is likely to be the long developed Super Mario 128, considering comments by Mr. Miyamoto.  Pilotwings 3 may be slated for a Nintendo Revolution release, after being cancelled for the GameCube. Animal Crossing Revolution has been confirmed by IGN. In an interview with IGN, Shigeru Miyamoto hinted that a new Kid Icarus may be in development for the Nintendo Revolution. Mr. Miyamoto said in an EGM interview that he is thinking of making a Pikmin game for Revolution. NGC Magazine claims that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, when inserted into the Nintendo Revolution, will utilize its native "free-hand" controller. Nintendo later issued a statement declaring NGC Magazine's rumor to be just that: pure speculation. NGC Magazine then rebutted Nintendo's rebuttal, claiming that a senior source within Nintendo positively confirmed the alleged controller features. Raid over the River, a game developed by NIBRIS, based in Poland, is currently being developed exclusively for the Nintendo DS and the upcoming next-generation Nintendo console. NIBRIS has found a Publisher for both systems. Third-party developers such as Activision, Atari, Capcom, Midway, Sega, EA Games, and THQ have made positive comments about the Revolution and will most likely be supporting the system, but have not announced any specific games themselves. Konami may be in the process of developing two projects for Revolution. Classic Sega titles may also be made available for download, in addition to classic Nintendo titles. This potentially includes titles released for the SG1000, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis/Megadrive, Sega CD, Sega 32x, and Sega Saturn. Support for Sega Saturn seems unlikely however, due to the difficulty in emulating the Saturn hardware. Some of the CD-based games would need to be either stored on external SD cards that the Revolution supports or delivered on optical discs, given the system's expected 512MB of internal storage. Sega titles are already available on the GameTap Service. There are rumors that Sega is creating a next-gen Sonic game,  that is different from the game announced for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 at the Tokyo Game Show 2005,  for Revolution. If this is true, it will most likely because they would want to make a Sonic game that takes advantage of the controller rather than just a port. There have been rumors on the Internet about a first person shooter called No End Soon.  If this is true, this could possibly be the exclusive FPS that Ubisoft is making.  It is interesting to note that if one brightens up the video, an object that just might be the transceiver for the controller can be seen above the TV. It has been speculated that Square Enix may be releasing new additions of the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series on multiple systems, most likely the Revolution and the PS3. Square Enix has already declared its support for the system, and will likely develop other games for the Revolution as well. Due to the style and features of the controller it may be possible to play NES games that use the NES Zapper or the SNES Super Scope, such as Duck Hunt and Yoshi's Safari. If the above rumor is true, it would also be possible to play games that use the Sega Master System's Light Gun attachment. It may be possible that games that were finished and never released, such as Star Fox 2 or EarthBound Zero may be released using the Virtual Console feature. Nintendo may utilize an internally developed proprietary visual distortion method to be applied to all of the games compatible with the Nintendo Revolution, including NES, SNES, N64, and GameCube titles. It has been rumored that the Nintendo Revolution will have the ability to download Nintendo DS video game demos that will be able to be received on the Nintendo DS. Tecmo has confirmed they will be publishing a new Sukatto Golf Pangya game for the Revolution, developed by Korean publisher Ntreev Soft. A small independent studio named Crossbeam Studios is rumored to be making two games for the Revolution, Orb and Thorn. Possible absence of "true" high-definition support Online arguments commenced when Nintendo of America's Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Perrin Kaplan, announced there would be no HD support for their upcoming system. Kaplan stated beautiful graphics and innovative game play could be achieved without HD and that abstaining from the technology would help keep the cost of games down. In reaction, major Internet-based magazines like IGN.com organized letter writing campaigns to protest against Nintendo regarding the decision and urging consumers to take action . 480p support It has been confirmed that the Revolution will support 480p (a.k.a. EDTV, currently the native output of a standard DVD), as did the GameCube, and the lack of true HD support (720p/1080i) is not yet a final decision.  Regardless, the support of 480p will still mean an improvement in graphics quality when properly hooked up to and viewed on an HDTV set (or any digital [non-analog] set, i.e. DTV or EDTV sets), when compared to viewing on an analog (480i-only) television set. 1080up.org 1080up.org is an online movement started by video game enthusiasts in hopes of influencing Nintendo’s final decision regarding HD support for the Revolution. It contains information explaining what high definition is and why they feel it is important for the Revolution to support it, plus, ideas for ways people can get involved in lobbying Nintendo to change their minds. So far, no clear changes or announcements on Nintendo's part have resulted from it. Miscellaneous The Revolution may have connectivity with the Nintendo DS and the next Game Boy system. Nintendo Power magazine has said this is likely in its July 2005 issue. A reported interview with Shigeru Miyamoto seems to confirm this; however, the legitimacy of the source is unknown. It has been suggested by some that Nintendo released the information about the real-space controller because they caught wind of a "pitch" and "yaw" handheld extension of the EyeToy that was being considered for the PlayStation 3 and therefore released the information to avoid accusations of plagiarism. However, the likelihood of this is quite low—the technology (and the patents) upon which the "pitch" and "yaw" of the Revolution Controller is based was purchased by Nintendo in mid-2001 , well before the EyeToy even existed. A forum may have found a catalogue with features of the console and its old prototype designs. Another member of the forum claims that the book is being used for University students. Also in the book are designs, an introduction of Nintendo and its president (Satoru Iwata), and more. Some pictures however may seem photoshopped. The book is entitled "The Nintendo Book", and is a free publication containing a financial report and various sales figures for the preceding year as well as "coffee table" photography of Nintendo products. It has been reported in the March 2006 issue of Official Nintendo Magazine that the stand for the Revolution "also acts as a power supply" , although this was later debunked as false by Nintendo itself and put down to a "small production error in the magazine"