In the fiercely competitive home games console market, Nintendo is battling against Microsoft and market leader Sony. News of a partnership with NEC signals that Nintendo is serious about a successor to the GameCube, but questions remain over its specifications. The answers, no less than the current GameCube’s ability to grow its installed base, will help decide the new console’s fate.
Nintendo may be ready to ask NEC to provide the chip for its next home console.
Nintendo may be ready to form a partnership with NEC to create the chip for its next home games console, according to a report from Bloomberg. Although no details of either the console or the chip’s specifications have been revealed, the news underlines Nintendo’s determination to remain in the market despite growing competition from Microsoft.
With the console war raging, Nintendo and Microsoft are battling for second place behind market leader Sony. Both Sony and Microsoft have already made announcements about their future consoles. Now it seems that Nintendo is also already working on its replacement for the GameCube, which was only launched a year ago in the US and Europe, but crucial questions remain over its successor’s specifications.
The GameCube was originally conceived solely as a gaming console, but the popularity of DVD playback on the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox may force Nintendo to reconsider. Indeed, Sony and Microsoft intend to strengthen the multimedia features of their future consoles, foreseeing them morph into hybrid digital gateways able to access, download and store a range of digital content. The successor of the GameCube risks being marginalized if its capabilities fail to match up.
Nintendo must also launch the GameCube’s replacement around the same time that Sony and Microsoft replace the Playstation 2 and Xbox. It was the launch of the PlayStation 2 almost two years before the Xbox and the GameCube that greatly contributed to its current comfortable position at the top of the market.
A partnership with NEC could be a positive sign, but it doesn’t alter the fact that the GameCube is currently struggling to grow its installed base. If it fails to do so, it will make the task of its successor much harder.
Related Research: Datamonitor, Microsoft Gaming (BFTC0684)
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