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Nintendo plans new Cube peripherals

Aiming to extend the life of the GameCube. In increasingly vague and ambiguous ways.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

They may have been overshadowed by widespread confusion over the future of Nintendo's next-generation hardware platform, but Satoru Iwata's comments in Nihon Keizei Shimbun that the platform holder is developing peripherals to expand the lifespan of the GameCube make for interesting reading.

According to the much-publicised article, Nintendo is developing peripherals that enhance gameplay, reportedly including further interactivity with the Game Boy Advance. Some sources have speculated that a Nintendo DS-compatible peripheral may be in the works too, but given that we barely understand what the DS even is, that's an impossible call to make.

The Nikkei article claims that we can expect to see the first of these peripherals in 2005, but unfortunately in the rush to extrapolate juicier info from the article, nobody seems to have pushed Nintendo on the significance and functionality of these new toys. NOA director of public relations Beth Llewellyn commented ever so briefly during her campaign to lock down errant reports on the platform holder's hardware plans, reportedly stating that "Specific details about accessories and their functions haven't been made public yet," which does at least confirm that it's accessories plural.

The difficulty is that we really can't comment on what sort of accessories we're dealing with. The words "peripheral" and "accessory" suggest some sort of controller/link cable style addition, rather than a plug-in component ala the broadband adapter or Game Boy Player (which is just as well, really, as there's precious little room left in my Cube's belly what with those two in tow), and it is difficult to imagine what could fit into such a role whilst sticking to Nintendo's professed desire for innovative gameplay rather than flavour-of-the-month technology.

It's also pretty reasonable to wonder just how important a couple of peripherals are going to look if they arrive a few months prior to one of Microsoft or Sony's next-generation console offerings. Not very?

We should probably expect to hear more on these mystery peripherals at E3.

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