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Friday, April 01, 2005

Nintendo: The GameBoy Revolution

It's a little known fact that Cathode Tan employs a Japan office. Well, "employs" is a strong word and "office" is an outright lie. But friends come on many shores, and sometimes even the occasional island. OK, just England and Japan actually. Plans for global domination are coming along slowly.

Anyway, my agent in Japan is one Hiroko Toyoda. She's a PR assistant for Nintendo and I sent her an email on Saturday asking her about what she thought of the PSP launch. She forwarded me this, but then apparently remembered I don't read kanji. She said a PR release was due for Thursday, to coincide for a week after the PSP launch - when they thought Sony would release the numbers for PSP sales. I asked her if we could do a quick interview that I could release the same day. This was over a cell phone, so it's a bit quick and fast.

And here it goes. And it's a doozy.

Greets, Hiroko. For those readers who didn't attend college with you - can you give us a quick background?

Hiroko Toyoda:
My name Hiroko Toyoda. I'm a public relations assistant with Nintendo here in Japan.

Any relation to Ken Toyoda?

Hiroko Toyoda:
*laughs* No. I didn't get this job because of Ken, so please stop telling people that.

What did you think of the PSP launch for North America?

Hiroko Toyoda:
Typical Sony fanfare, I guess. Where are the numbers to support the hype? All this press last week - but we haven't heard anything since. The DS, however, was selling quite well in Europe.

But the PSP was on South Park last night.

Hiroko Toyoda:
Was it? I'll have to download that.

Are you saying that Nintendo isn't at all worried by this release?

Hiroko Toyoda:
Sony is attempting to leverage their PlayStation hardware to break into GameBoy markets. So we're going to attempt something similar.

Use the GameBoy to break into PlayStation markets? Didn't you try that with connectivity for the GameCube?

Hiroko Toyoda:
That was more about rewarding our core fan base, people we could rely on buying both products. For our next generation of GameBoy. Well, the next generation GameBoy is the Revolution.

You guys are having a lot of revolutions over there.

Hiroko Toyoda:
*laughs again*. No, no. You're not hearing me right. The next GameBoy is the Revolution. The Controller is the GameBoy. The GameBoy Revolution will have have GameCube quality graphics, be TV ready out of the box, and have WiFi support for 16 players.

The Revolution is the GameBoy? You're making a Portable GameCube?

Hiroko Toyoda:
Actually, the graphics will be considerably better than the GameCube. IBM and ATI have made a mobile chipset of their next generation tech. Basically we'll be pushing their notebook technology about a year early.

For a handheld? Or is it a controller?

Hiroko Toyoda:
We think of it as both.

What about rumours of a hard drive? DVD capability? All the things we expect from a normal console?

Hiroko Toyoda:
There will be a add-on specifically for media playing and storage. You'll be able to store all your saved games, your music library, your movies. You'll then be able to transfer the media you want on the go to your GameBoy Revolution.

OK, this isn't fair. I'm sure I've got like a gajillion new questions now.

Hiroko Toyoda:
They'll have to wait *giggles*. The official press release will have more information in it. This is all I can tell you for now.

There was some bantering but I couldn't cajole any more from here. But holy cow! Screw the PSP! Supposedly the full press release is due out today.


Tony said...

I thought about this for a while after I posted and I am now getting the distinct April Fools feeling.

Josh said...

your feeling would be correct...

Meant to do more viral work on Friday. Stupid paying job gets in the way of being a prankster...