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Spaceworld 2000: Nintendo Gamecube Revealed

After many months of speculation and anticipation, Nintendo's upcoming next-generation system, previously known to the public as "Project Dolphin," has been formally announced. The system's new and (most probably) final name, Nintendo Gamecube, as well as plenty of other details on the console were finally revealed at Nintendo's annual "Spaceworld" gaming show held in Tokyo.

The Gamecube had a fantastic showing at Nintendo's Spaceworld. The system was shown off using marvelous technical demos featuring such Nintendo characters as Mario, Luigi, Link, and Samus Aran, as well as popular franchises like Star Wars and Pokémon. Nintendo.com's Spaceworld section stresses that these technical demos do not necessarily imply that these are actual games in development. However, anxious gamers should certainly keep their fingers crossed, as some of these demos, more likely than not, may turn out to be actual Gamecube games after all.

For our readers interested in the technical aspects of Nintendo's new console, following is Nintendo's official Gamecube hardware specification list:

Official Name NINTENDO GAMECUBE
MPU("Microprocessor Unit")* IBM Power PC "Gekko"
Manufacturing Process 0.18 microns Copper Wire Technology
Clock Frequency 405 MHz
CPU Capacity 925 Dmips (Dhrystone 2.1)
Internal Data Precision 32bit Integer & 64bit Floating-point
External Bus Bandwidth 1.6GB/second(Peak) (32bit address, 64bit data bus 202.5MHz)
Internal Cache L1: Instruction 32KB, Data 32KB (8 way) L2: 256KB (2 way)
System LSI "Flipper"
Manufacturing Process 0.18 microns NEC Embedded DRAM Process
Clock Frequency 202.5MHz
Embedded Frame Buffer Approx. 2MB Sustainable Latency : 5ns (1T-SRAM)
Embedded Texture Cache Approx. 1MB Sustainable Latency : 5ns (1T-SRAM)
Texture Read Bandwidth 12.8GB/second (Peak)
Main Memory Bandwidth 3.2GB/second (Peak)
Color, Z Buffer Each is 24bits
Image Processing Function Fog, Subpixel Anti-aliasing, HW Light x8, Alpha Blending, Virtual Texture Design, Multi-texture Mapping/Bump/Environment Mapping, MIPMAP, Bilinear Filtering, Real-time Texture Decompression (S3TC), etc.
Other Real-time Decompression of Display List, HW Motion Compensation Capability

*The Gekko MPU integrates the power PC CPU into a custom, game-centric chip.

(The following sound related functions are all incorporated into the System LSI)

Sound Processor Special 16bit DSP
Instruction Memory 8KB RAM + 8KB ROM
Data Memory 8KB RAM + 4KB ROM
Clock Frequency 101.25 MHz
Maximum Number of Simultaneously Produced Sounds ADPCM: 64ch
Sampling Frequency 48KHz
System Floating-point Arithmetic Capability 13.0GFLOPS (Peak) (MPU, Geometry Engine, HW Lighting Total)
Actual Display Capability 6 million to 12 million polygons/second (Display capability assuming actual game with complexity model, texture, etc.)
System Main Memory 24MB Sustainable Latency : 10ns or lower (1T-SRAM)
A-Memory 16MB (100MHz DRAM)
Disc Drive CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) System Average Access Time Data Transfer Speed 16Mbps to 25Mbps 128ms
Media 8cm NINTENDO GAMECUBE Disc based on Matsushita's Optical Disc Technology Approx. 1.5GB Capacity
Input/Output Controller Port x4
Digicard Slot x2
Analog AV Output x1
Digital AV Output x1
High-Speed Serial Port x2
High-speed Parallel Port x1
Power Supply AC Adapter DC12V x 3.5A
Main Unit Dimensions 150mm(W) x 110mm(H) x 161mm(D)

The Gamecube is set to hit Japan in July 2001, with a North American release soon to follow in October 2001. Although rumors have been circulating the internet lately concerning the Gamecube's initial price at launch, no official word has been given as of yet. Stay tuned to RPGamer for all the big details concerning Nintendo's upcoming jump into the next generation of consoles.


by Andrew P. Bilyk    
Source: [Nintendo.com]
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