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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Nintendo: Revolution will be cheapest next-gen console

The Revolution remains the most mysterious of the three next-generation consoles. With only the barest of system specs, and no tech demos, little is known about the device--or what is so "revolutionary" about it. So far, its most innovative features are a unique controller and repeated statements by its maker, Nintendo, that it will appeal to a vast untapped market of nongamers.

Today, though, one of Nintendo's most public faces said the Revolution will also stand out from its competition for another big reason: price. Speaking to CNN/Money correspondent Chris Morris, Reggie Fils-Aime, executive vice president of sales and marketing, predicted that the Revolution would be cheaper than both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

"Value has been a key card for us this generation, and we'll continue to play it," Fils-Aime told Morris. "Do I expect us to be at a lower price point than our competition? Yes, I do. Have we determined a price yet? No, we haven't."

How low will Nintendo go? It's hard to tell. Rumors of a $199 Revolution are running rampant in forums, though there is nothing concrete to support such an assumption. However, it would have to be below the only known next-gen price points. Microsoft is selling two Xbox 360 SKUs--the no-frills $299 "core" Xbox and the $399 standard model with hard drive and wireless remote.

In his interview with Morris, Fils-Aime also reiterated that the Revolution will not support high-definition televisions. "What we'll offer in terms of gameplay and approachability will more than make up for the lack of HD," he said. Both Microsoft and Sony are making much of the 360 and PS3's HD capabilities.

Fils-Aime also implied that the DS will see redesigns, just as the Game Boy Advance has. "As soon as [the DS] was launched, we started looking at ways to tweak it visually," he told Morris.

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