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Nintendo Goes Fishing With IBM And Matsushita, Lands Dolphin

In a move that promised more than it revealed, Nintendo announced yesterday that its next-generation game console, code-named Dolphin, would launch next fall with technology from IBM and Matsushita

As part of a multi-year, $1 billion deal with Nintendo; IBM will design and build a 400MHz PowerPC processor, dubbed the Gekko, for the console named the Dolphin. The chip will use IBM’s 0.18 micron copper wire technology. Matsushita’s contribution is to create a DVD-ROM drive and media for the player. This drive will replace the Nintendo 64 game cartridge technology that has driven Nintendo consoles and the media will include anti-piracy protection.

The Palo Alto-based ArtX will design a graphics chip for the Dolphin.

Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln told said Nintendo’s goal was to deliver Dolphin at the end of the year 2000 at an unexpectedly low price.

“Dolphin will be extremely powerful, but not expensive. It will retail at a mass-market price, and so will its software,” Lincoln said.