Nintendo Announce DVD Compatible Console In The Form Of "Dolphin"
While Nintendo's focus clearly remains fixed on the N64--We happen to believe that it has many more years of profitable life, both for our retail partners and for our company--I want to take this opportunity to share with you some of Nintendo's plans for the future.
Let me raise the curtain just a little on Nintendo's next home video game system. One that we are targeting for worldwide launch at the end of year 2000.
The code name for this product is "Dolphin." That's not the name of the product, but I'll use the Dolphin name this afternoon when I refer to our new hardware system.
While our new Dolphin hardware will be extremely powerful, it will not be expensive. It will retail at a mass market price for home video game systems.
And, as you're about to see, Dolphin's software will also be competitively priced at retail.
Nintendo has been working on dolphin for sometime now.
The graphics chip is being developed by ArtX of Palo Alto, California. This company is headed up by Dr. Wei Yen,--the man who was primarily responsible for the N64 graphics chip.
Dr. Yen has assembled at ArtX one of the best teams of 3D graphics engineers on the planet.
We are absolutely confident that Dolphin's graphics will equal or exceed anything our friends at Sony can come up with for Playstation 2.
Dr. Wei Yen is here today in the front row and I'd like him to stand and be recognized.
Of course, we need to power Dolphin with a CPU that's second to none.
A CPU that is the most powerful processor of any current or planned home video game system. How about a 400 MHz CPU?
Well, that's precisely what we're going to use. And we call that chip the "Gekko processor."
I am pleased to announce that Nintendo's partner and the company that is now in the advanced stages of designing the Gekko processor and which will manufacture this chip at its world class manufacturing facility in Burlington, Vermont is . . . . . . .IBM.
IBM & Nintendo have entered into a multi-year, $1 billion technology agreement under which IBM will manufacture the custom designed 400 MHz Gekko processor for Dolphin.
Gekko is an extension of the IBM Power PC architecture.
The Gekko processor will feature IBM's unique industry leading copper chip technology.
Only IBM has the technology to manufacture chips using copper circuitry.
Nobody else in the world can do what IBM does. And quite frankly, anything less is simply not state of the art technology.
By the way, you may have seen a recent article in the New York Times about how Sony & Toshiba plan to build a brand new factory to manufacture a chip with quote "Cutting edge 0.18 Micron technology"?
The article went on to say that Toshiba had never mass produced a chip using 0.18 Micron technology.
Well guess what! IBM already makes 0.18 Micron chips at its Burlington, Vermont manufacturing facility!
That's where the Gekko processor will be manufactured. And the Gekko processor will be a 0.18 Micron chip . . . using copper chip technology.
As I said before, it will be the fastest and most powerful CPU in any home video game system . . . . period.
Needless to say, Nintendo is very pleased with its strategic alliance with IBM.
Our engineers have for sometime now been working closely on the Gekko processor with a team of engineers from IBM Microelectronics.
IBM Microelectronics is headed up by Dr. John Kelly. At this time, I'd like to introduce Dr. Kelly and ask him to say a few words about the new IBM/Nintendo relationship. [dr. kelly remarks]
Thank you, John.
Well, as all of you know, the world's most powerful CPU and the world's best graphics chip have to play games on . . . . . something. On some software medium. And this time around, that software medium is not going to be ROM cartridges! Dolphin's software medium will not only be one that will be very inexpensive and quick to manufacture, it will also be one that is counterfeit proof.
Earlier today in Tokyo, Mr. Yamauchi, Nintendo's president, and Mr. Morishita, the president of Matsushita, held a joint press conference to announce another strategic alliance.
As many of you know, Matsushita is the largest consumer electronics company in the world. It's best known outside of Japan for products marketed under the "Panasonic" brand.
Here's what Mr. Morishita and Mr. Yamauchi announced:
First, Matsushita will develop, manufacture and supply to Nintendo a DVD disk drive for incorporation into the Dolphin hardware unit.
The software medium for Dolphin will be DVD and this DVD software will be manufactured by Matsushita and supplied to Nintendo.
Second, Dolphin's technology will be integrated into various Matsushita or Panasonic branded DVD consumer electronic products, enabling consumers to play movies and music as well as Dolphin games published by Nintendo and Nintendo's third party publishers.
Third, the Matsushita and Nintendo strategic alliance will enable the two companies to explore various ways of extending Nintendo's Dolphin technology and Matsushita's DVD technology to other products.
I mentioned before that Dolphin's software will be competitively priced at retail.
Let me assure you that this is a critical objective for Nintendo--as is the need for flexible and quick manufacturing turn around of Dolphin software and strong and effective counterfeit protection.
All of these objectives will be achieved under the Nintendo-Matsushita alliance.
Joining us today from Princeton, New Jersey is Dr. Paul Liao ("lee ow") the chief technology officer and vice president of Matsushita Electronic Corporation of America.
Dr. Liao is also president of Panasonic Technologies Inc. And the head of R&D for Matsushita in North America.
Dr. Liao is sitting in the front row and I'd like him to stand and be recognized.
Thank you, Dr. Liao ("lee ow").
In a nutshell, Dolphin hardware and software will be fast, powerful and inexpensive.
Need I say that it will also feature world class video games from people like Mr. Miyamoto and the Stamper brothers?
Is there any question about Nintendo's proven track record of mega hit video games spanning the last 15 years? I don't think so.
Well, there you have it.
We've lifted the curtain a little on Dolphin. But we aren't going to lift it all the way.
We're going to continue to be very circumspect in revealing all of Dolphin's specs . . . for a very simple reason--there are more technological surprises to come, and we'd like to keep them just that--surprises--for you and especially for our competitors.
But as I stand here this afternoon, I think Nintendo is very well positioned to take on Sony and Sega.
And with partners like ArtX, IBM and Matsushita, I'm very confident we'll do very well in that coming battle. In fact, we can hardly wait!
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