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Iwata, Fils-Aime comment on Revolution plans for '06

Nintendo execs talk launch dates.

Recent comments from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and US sales and marketing boss Reggie Fils-Aime have confirmed more details about the Revolution console launch, with both men adamant that it will ship before the end of the year.

Speaking in a brief interview with Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, partially translated by US website GameSpot, Iwata said that Nintendo has "no plans to miss out on the year-end sales battle" by launching the Revolution too late.

"As for North America, we need to release it by Thanksgiving, or otherwise we won't receive support from the retail industry," he continued. "So the Revolution will be released prior to that period."

As well as placing a deadline for the US launch of Thanksgiving, Iwata also revealed indirectly that the launch will not come before June - saying that a working version of the console similar to the final design will be shown at E3 in mid-May, which would preclude a launch prior to then.

Nintendo could quite possibly launch the Revolution in all three territories during the June to December period, given that the less complex hardware of the system should see it experiencing fewer manufacturing bottlenecks than its rivals at Sony and Microsoft - and it's possible that it will repeat the strategy used with the DS and launch first in the United States, rather than in Japan.

As to the price, both Iwata and Fils-Aime - who was speaking in an interview with News.com - are adamant that the Revolution will come in at an affordable price point compared to its competitors.

"The amount of money that people are willing to spend on videogames is getting less every year," Iwata commented. "Even if it's a superb machine, it's not going to sell if it's 50,000 Yen (around $430). We plan to make [the Revolution] an affordable price."

Fils-Aime went even further, reiterating earlier comments from Iwata which suggested that the machine would come in at a price point of under $300, and criticising the high bar to entry of other next-gen systems in terms of pricing.

"Many companies are making their products too exclusive and expensive for the general consumer," he commented. "For example, for American consumers to get into the Xbox 360 franchise, with games and extra controllers, they had to spend more than $700, not including an HDTV, which is really the only way to positively experience 360."

"We resolve at Nintendo to remain within reach for the vast majority of our consumers," he commented, and went on to say that the firm hopes to make Revolution into a more affordable prospect for developers as well, with one of the company's "new years resolutions" being to "turn game development into a democracy of great ideas."

"Just as the cost of systems is getting out of reach for everyday consumers, the cost of game development is getting out of reach for game publishers," he said. "The Revolution will be more affordable for game developers to create for, and that will result in fantastically innovative content."

Regarding the company's targets for the launch of Revolution, Fils-Aime once again picked on Xbox 360 - confidently predicting that the next-gen Nintendo console will outsell Microsoft's system.

"We will see more units than Xbox 360 did here in the United States in our launch window," he predicted. "I mean, in December, we sold more GameCubes in the United States than Microsoft sold 360s, and Revolution will do better than that."

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

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