Panasonic GameCube Not On U.S. Radar

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Although a hybrid DVD player and Nintendo GameCube home entertainment system set for a December launch in Japan has generated considerable buzz in global electronic's circles, U.S. Panasonic officials said they still have no plans to bring the player here.

The GameCube-enabled A/V entertainment center, called the Panasonic "Q," plays DVD videos and CDs in addition to new tiny GameCube video game discs. Prototypes have been shown repeatedly at a variety of tradeshows, including E3 last summer, as a Japanese product and a technology statement only.

A Panasonic spokesman recently reiterated those plans, with the announcement of the impending release of the Japanese device.

The "Q" offers many of the multi-tasking attributes offered by rival new gaming platforms including Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's Playstation 2, both of which play DVD movies in addition to video games. It is set to go on sale Dec. 14 in Japan for the equivalent of around $325.

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