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Matsushita Combo Player Unveiled

5/28/2001 02:00:00 AM Eastern

LOS ANGELES — In hyping its next-generation console called GameCube, Nintendo revealed that one of its development partners, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., plans to offer a hybrid version of the gaming system in Japan later this year that will also play DVDs and CDs.

According to reports out of Japan, Matsushita plans to launch the product in the United States some time in the 2002-03 business year but a spokesman for Matsushita's U.S. operations said he was unaware of any marketing plans for this country.

Nintendo of America displayed a prototype of the Matsushita combination player in its booth at the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), along with an assortment of GameCube related devices developed with Nintendo's technological partners.

The hybrid machine, packaged in a small silver box, will enable users to play GameCube games on eight-centimeter (3.15-inch) optical discs, a new format developed for Nintendo by Matsushita.

Matsushita Electric said it is set to begin manufacturing 600,000 disc drives for the system and 1.5 million discs per month starting in June.

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