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GBA

Nintendo's Y2K Forecast!

by Kosta Andreadis - December 23, 1999, 7:12 am PST
Source: Nintendo Home Page

Some big news on the Game Boy Advance & Dolphin front! Nintendo has given us a preview of the two systems for the holidays! YAY!

Well we expected Nintendo to release some info before the year was out and it did. But did they really? On its homepage Nintendo has created a Y2K Forecast where they tell the world their plans for the big 2000. The preview covers everything from N64 to Gameboy Advanced and even yes Project Dolphin. It says "the most powerful console to surface in 2000", and where we'd expect some major announcements we only get a rehash summary of what we already know. Interesting to note though they mention that the hardware is "ready to rock" but the games aren't and that the completion of software will determine the release date of the console, so in other words same old Nintendo. Below are some excerpts...

"Although Nintendo and its third-party publishers have yet to drop any official game announcements, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto and other big guns have revealed that they are deeply involved with Dolphin projects."

Gekko CPU

At the heart of the Dolphin is the Gekko CPU. Clocking in at 400 MHz, the Gekko avoids over-heating thanks to the heat dissipation properties of IBM's 0.18 micron copper technology. IBM is the only company with the facilities to manufacture these cutting-edge chips in mass-market numbers, which will help to keep Dolphin's price tag reasonable.

ArtX CGP

The Custom Graphics Processor from ArtX, Inc., in Palo Alto, California, was designed by a team led by Dr. Wei Yen — the chief designer of the N64 graphics chip. Our sources tell us that the ArtX graphics chip can produce many millions of textured polygons per second, much more than the closest console competitor. In this critical area of graphics, Dolphin will leave the competition in its wake.

Matsushita DVD

Dolphin features a DVD drive produced by Matsushita, more well-known under the Panasonic brand name. DVD discs store an enormous amount of data, many times the capacity of a CD-ROM. This is critical for storing video, audio and detailed 3D graphics.

S3 Compression

S3 texture compression technology from S3 Incorporated is embedded directly onto the ArtX graphics chip. The six-to-one compression ratio will result in saved game memory, but far more important is the fact that the decompression of textures is handled automatically by the graphics chip. The results will include elimination of bluriness, blockiness and monotonous repetition of the same elements on the screen. All of this will help push Dolphin closer to the frontier of real-time, ultra realistic graphics than any other game console.

MoSys

MoSys' patented 1T-SRAM technology is used in Dolphin to embed large, very high performance memory directly onto the ArtX graphics chip. It eliminates the transmission times between memory and chip. Gamers can expect more detailed graphics moving at higher framerates.

Also as part of their Y2K Forecast they previewed the Gameboy Advanced and put it up against the godd 'ol Gameboy Color, technically only. Good to see that both are backwards compatible. Here's the stats:

Game Boy AdvanceGame Boy Color
CPU
32-Bit ARM with embedded memory8-bit Z80
Screen
2.9" TFT reflective screen


240x160 resolution


511 simultaneous colors


65,535 possible colors

2.3" TFT reflective screen


160x140 resolution


56 simultaneous colors


32,000 possible colors

Size (mm)
135w x 80h x 25d75w x 133h x 27d
Weight
140g138g
Power
2 AA batteries2 AA batteries
Battery Life
20 hours20 hours
Software
Cartridge format


GB Color compatible


Game Boy compatible

Cartridge format


Game Boy compatible

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