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Nintendo of America finally unveiled its Internet strategy today for their GameCube console.
While both Sony and Microsoft have announced online plans for their respective consoles, Nintendo has until now remained silent on the issue. For service slated to begin this fall, Nintendo will begin selling both the GameCube v.90 Modem Adapter and the GameCube Broadband Adapter at retail for an MSRP of $34.95 each.

The first announced product is Sega's Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II launching this fall in North America. Sega's game will be playable at this month's E3 Expo in Los Angeles. Nintendo's network strategy is built on the philosophy that online will be most successful if the game play is extremely compelling and highly affordable. To match this philosophy, Nintendo's initiative consists of a flexible development program, favorable publisher business model, and support for all consumers whether the player connects by modem (narrowband) or broadband.

Satoru Iwata, Director of Corporate Planning at Nintendo commented, "Nintendo is known for great gaming and our first priority is to continue that legacy. Game content developed with that sole mission will enhance the joy of video gaming." With regard to Nintendo's bottom line, Iwata added, "The profitable part of the online business is very likely several years away. Entering the business because it's the hot topic of the day doesn't make a profitable business nor satisfied customers. That's why it will be a part of Nintendo's strategy, not the mainstay, as other companies are attempting to do. There still are too many barriers for any company to greatly depend on it."

"We understand the strong appeal of online gaming to a select group of video game players, and indeed, it's one way to increase their satisfaction in exploring new types gaming," said Peter MacDougall, Executive VP of Sales and Marketing with NOA. "To make online more appealing to the rest of the game-playing population, we're taking concrete steps to aid our development partners in overcoming some of the inherent technical and financial obstacles to successful online games." Nintendo currently is making software development kits available to developers worldwide. 

As part of an incentive to publishers, Nintendo will not require royalty fees from revenue generated by a publisher's game played online through the GameCube. Nintendo is in discussions worldwide with a large number of developers about online projects. The intent of the model is to encourage developers to consider new genres of games for online play. Several of Nintendo's internal development groups also are researching online projects, but none will be demonstrated or discussed at this year's E3.

May 13, 2002

Jim - News Contributor, GameCubicle


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Nintendo's official GameCube site can be found at http://www.nintendo.com

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