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Final iQue details emerge from China

Nintendo's entry into the Chinese market takes shape

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Further information regarding Nintendo's latest console, the iQue, has emerged from China, including details of the software which will ship with the system and a revised price point.

The device, which is due to launch before the end of the year in Shanghai, with other regions of China to follow later, is effectively a Nintendo 64 contained in a single control pad-sized unit. The system features an chip which integrates the entire functionality of the N64 onto a single die - based on a process similar to that used by Sony in creating the integrated PS2 chip for the PSX, the EE+GS@90nm.

The iQue is set to retail for 568 Yuan (about €7), not 498 Yuan (€51.50) as originally reported, and will come bundled with an AV cable, a power supply, a 64MB Flash card and one full game: puzzle title Doctor Mario.

Four other games will also be present on the Flash cartridge, but in time-limited form, with a ten-hour trial of Zelda 64: Ocarina of Time, a seven-hour trial of Mario 64 and one-hour trials of Wave Race 64 and Star Fox: Lylat Wars. Full versions of these games can be unlocked at special booths located at Nintendo's partner retailers in Shanghai, and will cost 48 Yuan (€5) each.

Nintendo has put significant thought into the digital distribution system used by the iQue. The in-store booths will also apparently be capable of updating the operating system on the console, and the flash card maintains a log of every game you've purchased - allowing you to put games you already own back onto the card without having to pay again.

The new information on the system comes courtesy of popular online games retailer Lik-Sang, which plans to sell the console to overseas markets. Interestingly, the system reportedly features NTSC TV output, although China is a PAL territory - suggesting that an overseas launch in future may be a possibility.

Copyright © 2003, GamesIndustry.biz

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