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MoSys: Revolution Launching in Mid-2006

by Jonathan Metts - May 10, 2005, 10:28 am PDT
Total comments: 45 Source: MoSys Conference Call

The memory provider for both GameCube and Revolution has predicted a launch window for the next system. Also, first details on the Revolution's enhanced RAM technology.

In a conference call about the company's financial status, Monolithic System Technologies (MoSys) has revealed that their 1T-SRAM memory technology has been licensed to NEC for use in Nintendo's Revolution game console. NEC's 90nm chip technology will be used to enhance the 1T-SRAM design over the version currently used in the GameCube.

MoSys also mentioned that the Revolution is expected to launch in mid-2006. This is easily the most detailed, official information about the Revolution's launch date ever announced. Nintendo is expected to reveal more information about the Revolution next week at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, and Planet GameCube will be there to bring you all the latest coverage.

Talkback

FamicomMay 10, 2005

Sounds exciting. If it holds up to be true, should Ninty hold back the information on what makes the Rev "revolutionary" this E3, next E3 would be far too late to premiere it. I suppose a Spaceworld may be in order....

One month's notice sounds a bit "late," but showing finished goods like BAM before it comes out could create a big stir and prevent stealage. They'd really have to be working behind the scenes with third parties, though. So yeah, we may see a Spaceworld this year, or perhaps Nintendo will finally attend TGS.

Bill AurionMay 10, 2005

We are definitely ready for another Spaceworld...Show off some footage at E3, and blow the lid off there...

steveyMay 10, 2005

DO'H! I was hoping a 2005-2006 fall-winter launce DO'H!
Why you little **choking reggie**

Ian SaneMay 10, 2005

Mid-2006 just makes sense for what they're trying to accomplish. They want to launch before Sony. If they go with November again the odds of them beating Sony to the market are pretty much nil. They have to launch earlier in the year. And summer is a great time to launch because kids are home from school. Summer is always a dead zone for games and I have never understood why because that's when elementary, secondary, and college students have free time.

Of course a mid-2006 launch would mean the Cube wouldn't quite make the five year mark before getting replaced but I think it's close enough being the same calender year and all. Plus with the N64 we got the last first party game around May or June and then got nothing until the Cube launch in November. Odds are we'll get a similar drought with the Cube so if we get nothing after May anyway then they might as well move the Rev launch up for a smoother transition.

So if they launch in mid-2006 what do they have to show at E3? Spaceworld 2000 was the debut of the Cube and it occured in August 2000, over a year before the Cube launch in November 2001. So realistically at the least they should show something comparable at E3 which would actually be closer to the next launch than Spaceworld 2000 was. At Spaceworld we saw the console itself, the controller, and some video demos so I think Nintendo should at least show the same stuff at E3. Yes that means showing the fabled wacky new controller. Cut this "they'll steal our idea" crap. The Xbox 360 launches this year. They CAN'T steal the idea and odds are it's too close to launch for the PS3 to steal the idea as well.

E3 2006 is too close to launch to debut the launch lineup. They could possibly get away with that being the playable debut but we need to know what the games actually are sometime this year. I say they should just do what everyone else does and attend TGS. It would be good PR to mix in with the rest of the industry instead of doing everything different for no good reason. Whatever they decide to do that we need to see Rev games some time in 2005.

Now how does this work with the Japanese launch? Usually they launch first over there. I suppose they could pull another DS launch but I was pretty underwhelmed by that launch lineup so I don't think it's a good idea. With the DS they launched first in North America but it was clear Nintendo's Japanese dev teams were aiming for the Japanese launch so we got, well, pretty much nothing. It seems to be working out okay for the DS from a sales perspective but the Rev has a bigger fight ahead of it and a really weak launch isn't going to cut it. They can launch first in North America but it has to have been part of their plan all along so that the games are ready.

Spak-SpangMay 10, 2005

With this information. Nintendo better be showing more than just videos at E3, specially if they aren't doing Space World. I mean it would be cool to have a special Nintendo only show for the press, but Nintendo really needs to be giving every developer FREE, 100% FREE, No strings attached Development kits and showing them everything about the Revolution. And they mind as well show the public too.

Either that or have a Space World type show about a week before the Xbox 360s launch and invite the media for one day and the public for 2 days to make a special 3 day event. Have games playable, and on that day announce the true launch date of the system, hopefully that will buy you enough time to find out when the Sony Playstation 3 will be launched and beat it by a few weeks.

Spak-SpangMay 10, 2005

Sorry to double post (two in a row)

I completely agree with Ian here. We need to see something this year, and Nintendo would do better to attend shows that already exist. It would make other developers feel better because they can just add Rev games to the displays and booths they are already spending money on at TGS.

Nintendo could be shooting for a simutaneous launch. Simply put have games that do not need much translation or have built in multilanguage support so you can launch quickly by just changing the default language of the game. If Nintendo was aiming for a simutaneous launch then all the developers would be shooting for the same time frame.

Michael8983May 10, 2005

It's not the Nintendo norm but a mid-year launch could work wonders.
Since Summer is an expected slow time for games, people won't be too pissed off about the usual post-launch game drought and Nintendo can save the MAJOR games in time for Christmas when it should have a huge stock of Revolutions ready to sell.

BigJimMay 10, 2005

Sounds like a good compromise, IF it's true. Xbox this fall. Revolution in the summer. PS3 = summer/fall? Nobody will have a full year's advantage, so this can wipe out part of Xbox's lead, other than the first holiday season.

However, Nintendo may have internal goals... but they have slipped *every* time.

GalfordMay 10, 2005

I kinda figured this was going to happen. When NEC first said they were relicensing 1T-SRAM again, I kinda figured it would be for Revolution. Isn't XBox 360 also using 1T-SRAM?

joshnickersonMay 10, 2005

The REVOLUTION will NOT be televised!

Sorry. Just felt like saying that.

jasonditzMay 10, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: TheYoungerPlumber
One month's notice sounds a bit "late," but showing finished goods like BAM before it comes out could create a big stir and prevent stealage. They'd really have to be working behind the scenes with third parties, though. So yeah, we may see a Spaceworld this year, or perhaps Nintendo will finally attend TGS.


I agree. What's the point of hyping a console 12+ months before anyone's going to be able to buy one anyhow? I'd much rather they quietly start manufacturing, put together a solid launch lineup, and next year at E3 just pull back a curtain and say "See this? You'd better pre-order, because its here in a month".

I could honestly care less if we see a video of it at E3 this year. What's even the point? We know the graphics will be better... and they're probably not going to reveal much else. Its a big yawn without th Revolutionary aspect being revealed.

This year's E3 should be all about software for Nintendo. A good showing for Zelda is key. Some surprise titles like we got last year would also be much welcomed.

ThePermMay 10, 2005

ps2 launched in april in japan..which is a holiday season in japan. Kidas say "buy me that' parents feel like crap ifthey dont

BigJimMay 10, 2005

Well Nintendo at one point believed that purchasing decisions are made within 90 days, so I think Nintendo will have at least a 90 day marketing window, similar to GameCube. But the Cube was a $199 product... within the impulse purchase range.

If the Revolution is more expensive, I think we'll see a more aggressive pre-launch campaign. No way will there only be a month or so, if they're serious about competing.

Still, that mid-2006 could easily slip, like all of their system launches have.

jasonditzMay 10, 2005

They can always market it before unveiling, if they so choose. If its as incredible a design as they're trying to convince us, a marketing campaign shrouded in mystery is a reasonable possibility. Nintendo characters "plotting the revolution" with some kind of tagline like "The Revolution Will Begin July 4th" (or whenever launch is, but that's a great date for the US launch).

I still have a hard time understanding the "90 days" things though. Does it really take you guys that long to figure out if you want something or not?

SgtShiversBenMay 10, 2005

No, but it takes some of us a LONG freaking time to save up 300+ dollars especially when it's not a real priority BILLS .

jasonditzMay 10, 2005

I don't see how "time to save up" neccesitates earlier demos. Most people don't buy consoles at launch anyhow.

nickmitchMay 10, 2005

Quote

The REVOLUTION will NOT be televised!

NOOOOOOOO!!!

SgtShiversBenMay 10, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: jasonditz
I don't see how "time to save up" neccesitates earlier demos. Most people don't buy consoles at launch anyhow.


But for the people that do, and don't know what the systems cost, that 90 days (when you have bills and all that junk ) tends to seems like not enough time. If they announced that the Revvie was going to be 350$ (I hope not) a year early, I'd be able to save up for it with my skills and all that. But 90 days with that price tag won't do it for me.

lol no, the next Nintendo system will not be $350, even if htat is the price of the competition. $200 vs $300 made some people think the PS2 is a more powerful system. $300 vs $350 would make people think, "Damn, these things are expensive--that one's a little easier on the budget, at least, and I don't need another DVD player."

jasonditzMay 10, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: SgtShiversBen
Quote

Originally posted by: jasonditz
I don't see how "time to save up" neccesitates earlier demos. Most people don't buy consoles at launch anyhow.


But for the people that do, and don't know what the systems cost, that 90 days (when you have bills and all that junk ) tends to seems like not enough time. If they announced that the Revvie was going to be 350$ (I hope not) a year early, I'd be able to save up for it with my skills and all that. But 90 days with that price tag won't do it for me.


And again, there's no reason they need to show us early demos or anything about the system to give us a ballpark of the launch price.

I can say, without too much fear of being wrong, that its going to be somewhere between $200 and $400 and that its going to be available between May and November of 2006. I can also safely say its going to be great, and in all likelihood, you're going to want one.

So there you have it... you've got your 12-18 months lead time.... start saving face-icon-small-smile.gif



Ian SaneMay 10, 2005

"I'd much rather they quietly start manufacturing, put together a solid launch lineup, and next year at E3 just pull back a curtain and say 'See this? You'd better pre-order, because its here in a month'."

And everyone will say "See what? We're too busy playing Xbox 360 and drowning in PS3 hype." By E3 2006 everyone will have already made their decision for next gen and the choices will be Xbox 360 now or PS3 later. It's ALREADY viewed as a two man race. No one is even going to notice the Rev if Nintendo doesn't reveal it until then.

Us who are excited about the Rev are in the minority. Most people already have written Nintendo off and waiting until E3 2006 to reveal the details is just going to give the impression that Nintendo's a non-factor.

BigJimMay 10, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: jasonditz
They can always market it before unveiling, if they so choose. If its as incredible a design as they're trying to convince us, a marketing campaign shrouded in mystery is a reasonable possibility. Nintendo characters "plotting the revolution" with some kind of tagline like "The Revolution Will Begin July 4th" (or whenever launch is, but that's a great date for the US launch).

I still have a hard time understanding the "90 days" things though. Does it really take you guys that long to figure out if you want something or not?


Re: 90 days. For the masses, it can. Not necessarily individuals. It takes time to get the message out. Much more than that and you face diminishing returns. (Note the millions MS spent promoting Xbox for a full year in advance, and sold only a million or two more than GameCube overall).

But exactly how Nintendo acts is up in the air because Reggie is now in charge of marketing, and Revolution may not be the $199 sweet spot for home electronics.

jasonditzMay 10, 2005

Either the Revolution is Revolutionary or it isn't. If it is, people will take notice. If it isn't, showing it earlier isn't going to make a difference anyhow. The PS3 won't be out yet either way, and the sort of person that's going to jump on the Xbox-360 at launch isn't going to have his mind changed by what at this point is presumably going to be a very incomplete demo.

The DS wasn't harmed by the PSP's media hype, and if people want the Revolution, all the Gamestop employees in the world aren't going to make them pre-order a PS3.

Until launch, there is absolutely nothing Nintendo can do about the view that they are going to be a non-factor. This year's E3 is better spent pumping this year's products. That means Zelda, and DS online games.

TalonMay 10, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
Cut this "they'll steal our idea" crap. The Xbox 360 launches this year. They CAN'T steal the idea and odds are it's too close to launch for the PS3 to steal the idea as well.


Well realistically there technology could still be stolen. Microsoft and Sony have until mid 2006 to develop something similar, that would be plenty of time for a peripheral (if that is what is so revolutionary) and besides Sony can just release some real pox internally developed game to allow its developers more time to produce something decent for their new peripheral. This all depends on how different Nintendo's controller really is. It didnt take long for Sony to release the dual shock controller when nintendo released an analogue controller and the rumble pak.

I think in this sense its kind of hard for Nintendo, they are damned if they do (ie Sony and microsoft could steal ideas) and they are damned if they dont (ie people will question what makes their system so revolutionary).

Oh and one other thing I might add:
"Secondly, today's news suggests that Revolution will ship well after Sony's PlayStation 3, which is rumored for a first quarter 2006 debut." matt casamassina, Revolution comming mid 2006
Take it as you will, with a grain of salt maybe. But he is suggesting Sony has pushed forward the playstation 3 release date. I have a feeling SONY is getting a little nervous that Microsoft is going to steal some of their incredibly large sunshine and maybe they are a little worried as to what Nintendo is going to bring to the table. Even though Sony and Microsoft dont see Nintendo as competition, Im sure both companies have spies trying to dig the dirt up on Nintendo's secrets.

Ian SaneMay 11, 2005

"Secondly, today's news suggests that Revolution will ship well after Sony's PlayStation 3, which is rumored for a first quarter 2006 debut."

All the more reason to show off Rev details now. If they're already stuck launching last then they can't afford to reveal their console last as well.

ArbokMay 11, 2005

"Secondly, today's news suggests that Revolution will ship well after Sony's PlayStation 3, which is rumored for a first quarter 2006 debut."

If that's true, I see that as being very good for Microsoft, considering that the technological gap between the two would likely be rather small, if there at all, as Sony is rushing their console for a earlier release date while still being shown after Xbox 360. Again, assuming that rumor is true, of course.

jasonditzMay 11, 2005

Since when is launching last such a big deal? The SNES did quite well as the last to market in its generation.

Honestly, I think you guys are putting way too much emphasis on launch timing and industry tradeshows.

steveyMay 11, 2005

'Plus with the N64 we got the last first party game around May or June and then got nothing until the Cube launch in November. Odds are we'll get a similar drought with the Cube so if we get nothing after May anyway then they might as well move the Rev launch up for a smoother transition."
NOdon't you lisen to nintendo they are going to make game up the rev. and after because rev. can play cube games.

"All the more reason to show off Rev details now. If they're already stuck launching last then they can't afford to reveal their console last as well. " no wait till sapeworld 2005.

Ian SaneMay 11, 2005

"Since when is launching last such a big deal? The SNES did quite well as the last to market in its generation."

Yeah but that's the f*cking Super Nintendo, the follow up to the most market dominating console ever made. You can't compare that to the Revolution. Nintendo feels that giving Sony a big head start last gen really hurt them and it's important that they don't launch last and let the competition become established before them. The problem with launching last is you have to convince people to wait and not buy the fancy new consoles from the competition. Nintendo isn't in a position where they would be able to convince that many people to wait. They don't have the market share or mindshare to pull that off.

jasonditzMay 11, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
"Since when is launching last such a big deal? The SNES did quite well as the last to market in its generation."

Yeah but that's the f*cking Super Nintendo, the follow up to the most market dominating console ever made. You can't compare that to the Revolution. Nintendo feels that giving Sony a big head start last gen really hurt them and it's important that they don't launch last and let the competition become established before them. The problem with launching last is you have to convince people to wait and not buy the fancy new consoles from the competition. Nintendo isn't in a position where they would be able to convince that many people to wait. They don't have the market share or mindshare to pull that off.



You don't have to do anything of the kind. The number of people who buy a console at launch (or even around launch) is a pretty small percentage of the overall market. Even if the Revolution waited until early 2007 to launch there are going to be plenty of potential customers who haven't bought either the PS3 or the new Xbox.

If the Revolution is all it's cracked up to be, its going to sell just fine no matter how much lead time the others have. If its just another cookie-cutter console with a couple of appealing first party launch titles, it could be launching tomorrow and its not going to help their market share.


TalonMay 12, 2005

Timing is very critical! Not only do you not want to let your competitors get a large head start but you have to be sure people are ready to buy your next system. Video game consoles are what is known as "disposable technology" or technology that is thrown away in a short period of time (ie 4-5 years) for something bigger and better to replace it, rather than upgrade it. That is part of the reason why you cannot access the battery in your i-pods because they are to deemed disposable technology.

So there is no point in introducing a new system very eary in the current systems life-cycle, because people wont buy it as they dont see a need to. Likewise if you let a system drag on longer than 5 years people start to think its time to get something new and if you havent released your next system they will just go straight to your competitors. I think as long as Nintendo releases revolution either before the ps3 or around the same time they should be in a nice position. If they wait too long after the ps3 is released their install base is going to shrink even further than what it currently is.

jasonditzMay 12, 2005

Again, that theory doesn't take into account the fact that most people don't buy their consoles anywhere near launch. More consoles are sold in the second half of a consoles life than in the first half. Surely these people that are buying Gamecubes now aren't planning to throw them away next year, whether there's a Nintendo replacement or not.

Its a lot more important how they launch than when they launch. Nintendo is at a very critical point with their consoles, and the Revolution damned well better be the best launch they've ever had. The last thing we need is to see them rush the thing to market in the name of getting there before Sony.

I'd rather see a Xmas 2006 launch with 6 first party titles and a bunch of 3rd party titles than a Spring 2006 launch with 3 first party titles and a handful of rushed 3rd party ports.



Ian SaneMay 12, 2005

"that theory doesn't take into account the fact that most people don't buy their consoles anywhere near launch. More consoles are sold in the second half of a consoles life than in the first half."

Okay then if Nintendo launches too late then the PS3 and 360 will reach their "second half" first. The late adopters will be buying the competition while Nintendo is still in the early adopter period. Plus you have to take into account games. The later Nintendo waits the more games the competition will have. Most people wait to buy a console because they want to wait until there's a lot of games to choose from. If Nintendo waits too long Sony and MS will reach the "enough games" mark first. If Nintendo waits until Christmas 2006 realistically the competition could have over 50 games to compete with the 10 or so titles Nintendo will have.

Most people buy ONE console. There are exceptions but in general every Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 sold can be seen as a Revolution not sold. The longer they wait the more sales Nintendo misses out on.

jasonditzMay 12, 2005

I'm not saying Nintendo should wait for the sake of waiting... I'm saying they shouldn't bother launching until they have "enough games".

You seem to be assuming that no matter when they launch they're going to have the exact same number of titles and they're all going to be just as good. My thoughts are: Let Sony and Microsoft race each other to market: it just makes their launch titles that much more rushed, and that much less polished.

Am I the only one who remembers just how horrible the PS2's launch titles were? That's Sony with plenty of time on their hands. What happens when they move the timetable up a bit to try to compete with Microsoft?

PaLaDiNMay 12, 2005

"What happens when they move the timetable up a bit to try to compete with Microsoft?"

Their consoles get bought by the mindless masses anyway. Add forced shortages and you've got a successful launch.

jasonditzMay 12, 2005

And everyone who buys early winds up disappointed, just like they were about 6 months after the PS2's launch. Then either a killer app like GTA3 comes out to make everyone forget about how bad things were, or it ends up like the Sega Saturn.

TalonMay 12, 2005

Quote

Sony Chief Financial Officer Takao Yuhara states
"For the year end sales season, simultaneously building up both the PlayStation Portable system in America and Europe as well as the next generation PlayStation is one option that we have."


I wish SONY would make their minds up when they are going to release the PS3!!

First it was the end of 2006, then the begining of 2006 and now they say its possible the PS3 could be released at the end of the year.

Personally I think this statement was made to take a bit of microsoft's thunder away. But if on the odd chance SONY is ready to release their system alongside microsoft again Nintendo will be lagging 6 months behind.

It would be nice if Nintendo could conteract both statesments with something like "Well ner ner revolution is releasing at E3" o_O O_o

Back to being serious, if sony does push the ps3 release forward I hope Nintendo can do the same with revolution.

Ian SaneMay 12, 2005

"Back to being serious, if sony does push the ps3 release forward I hope Nintendo can do the same with revolution."

I think there would come a point where Nintendo wouldn't be able to move the date forward. If Sony launches significantly earlier than Nintendo expected then what can they do? If the games aren't ready they're not ready. It's as simple as that. I say Nintendo should stick to mid-2006 regardless of what happens give or take maybe a month tops. If Sony moves up it's going to be at the expense of games unless it was their plan all along. So Nintendo can concentrate on having a better lineup at launch.

The PSP came out well after the DS but has more titles available and has since its launch. It hasn't killed off the DS but I think that's largely due to the really high price. If Nintendo does a similiar thing, where their launch lineup beats Sony's whole lineup at that point, AND they have it at a lower price that can give them an advantage. But they have to get the hype out now. On Xbox 360 and PS3 launch day the Nintendo Revolution has to be in people's minds.

Of course launching before the PS3 with an awesome lineup would be better but they have to do what's realistic. It has to be a balance between the launch date and quality of the lineup.

BigJimMay 13, 2005

The, uh, "sleek, 1 inch thick, DVD-playing Revolution" thread seems to have disappeared. Hope it comes back... if not, please unlock the thread in the Revolution forum.

TalonMay 13, 2005

It got locked because there is a news article that discusses it, its in the thread "First Revolution Details"

BigJimMay 13, 2005

The "First Revolution Details" thread is the one that disappeared for some reason. I was asking that if it couldn't be recovered, unlock the locked one. face-icon-small-wink.gif But now it's back...

Spak-SpangJune 27, 2005

Ian: You said something important here. You said at the launch of Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 Revolution has to be on peoples minds.

I say the best defensive for Nintendo is to keep the secrecy about the Revolution until about 1 or 2 weeks before Microsoft Xbox 360 launch. Then suprise everyone with a partial unveiling. Have the press play some games. Unveil specs and the future of Nintendo, but have NDAs to prevent talking about the controller. Allow the controller to still be secret. IGN and Planetgamecube and such can talk if they like the controller but nothing specific. Then if Sony launches early. Have another unveiling of the controller perhaps around the world with Super Smash Brothers Revolution tournaments and allow the public in.

This would cause huge media hype can excitement for Revolution, and you protected your secrets from being copied.

Ian SaneJune 27, 2005

Is there a particular reason for resurecting this old thread?

"I say the best defensive for Nintendo is to keep the secrecy about the Revolution until about 1 or 2 weeks before Microsoft Xbox 360 launch. Then suprise everyone with a partial unveiling. Have the press play some games. Unveil specs and the future of Nintendo, but have NDAs to prevent talking about the controller. Allow the controller to still be secret. IGN and Planetgamecube and such can talk if they like the controller but nothing specific. Then if Sony launches early. Have another unveiling of the controller perhaps around the world with Super Smash Brothers Revolution tournaments and allow the public in."

I don't think another partial unveiling is going to do it. If people haven't seen everything regarding the Rev by the time the Xbox 360 launches a huge chunk of gamers (and a lot of Nintendo fans) are going to say "f*ck it" and buy the Xbox 360. We need to see games planned for launch. Without the controller Nintendo either can't show off certain games because it will blow the "secret" or we'll only get a tease of the games. We need to see the control to see the games and we have to see games but the time the Xbox 360 launches. The 360 launch is the point when people are going to make the decision of which console to buy. If Nintendo hasn't given us all the facts the decision is down to MS or Sony. Why wait for the third place company to show their stuff when the second place company is launching tomorrow?

vuduJune 28, 2005

In agreement with what Ian's saying, even if Nintendo did release everything a couple weeks before Xbox 360 launched, it would be too late. People are going to have made up their minds and placed their pre-ordered way before then. If Nintendo is going to try to out-hype Microsoft, they'll need to do it before then.

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