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Nintendo iQue Announced for China

by Michael Cole - September 26, 2003, 12:28 am PDT
Total comments: 8 Source: Yahoo News

Nintendo blazes into new market territory with a very interesting product.

China is well known as a breeding ground for software pirates and pirating tools, a fact Nintendo is all too familiar with. With its large population China is potentially a very lucrative market, however, and Nintendo proved its determination to reach Chinese homes yesterday at the Tokyo Games Show 2003 with its untraditional new console, the iQue Player. See the controller for yourself in this photo, provided by GAME Watch

iQue

Set for release in mid-October, The iQue Player, co-developed by Nintendo and iQue Ltd., addresses two major hurdles that have held console manufacturers back in China for years: price and piracy. Most Chinese families cannot afford current-generation hardware with their relatively low budget. Therefore, the iQue Player will retail at a modest 498 yuan (around $60). But how can Nintendo and iQue make a profit at such a price? Simple: the iQue Player will feature games originally made for the SNES and N64 downloaded to the iQue’s proprietary flash memory card for 48 yuan ($5.80) a piece at participating retail kiosks. This memory card is included with the console and doubles as the system’s anti-piracy mechanism, as a memory card will only work with the very same unit with which it was sold. Nintendo is confident this technology will prevent the illegal copying and distribution of its games.

Although Nintendo has stated the iQue Player will launch with around 10 games, including at least one Super Mario title, no specific SNES or N64 games have been mentioned. However, iQue's website features Mario, Link, Peach and Star Fox on the front page, which certainly suggests that the iQue will feature Star Fox 64 and at least one of the N64 Zelda games as well. iQue will be responsible for manufacturing, localizing and distributing the iQue Player. Nintendo’s bold new Chinese console will premiere in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

Talkback

RABicleSeptember 25, 2003

I want one!
Wouldn't it have been smarter to trial it in Bejing and Hong Kong first? Oh well, they would have their reasons.

ruby_onixSeptember 25, 2003

I want one of the kiosks. face-icon-small-happy.gif

KnoxxvilleSeptember 25, 2003

Man, I dunno. Piracy is so widespread over there that any sell is a hard sell. I wish Nintendo luck, but to introduce a legitimate console to a country who has known almost nothing except illegitimacy pertaining to video games practically guarantees that the iQue Player won't exactly be flying off of the shelves.

vuduSeptember 26, 2003

since you can only use the one memory card that was sold with the system, does this mean you can only have a limited number of games at any one time? if so, can you go back and download games you've already paid for for free?

(not that i really expect anyone here to have the answers to these questions.)

RobageejamminSeptember 26, 2003

wow. yet another crazy stunt from Nintendo! and yes, it does look like a great collectors item. it would probably be extremely hard to import over here being that you download the games from retailers. very cool though, like legal roms...

...man it looks like a dreamcast controller

UCSCWangSeptember 27, 2003

My roommates dad actually works for iQue and when we moved onto campus for classes, he brought one for us to try out. Its pretty nifty. The only games on it now are Dr. Mario, Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, OoT and yes Star Fox 64. The controller is pretty confortable but they but the z button below the L button which is a little wierd. If you guys want pics, Ill be happy to send them.

KnoxxvilleSeptember 30, 2003

Hell yeah Wang! Send to these guys so we can see it in action! Maybe some MPEGS too of you hookin it up and playing it and stuff!!

PIACSeptember 30, 2003

could you send the unit to me? face-icon-small-tongue.gif

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