Nintendo Co. Ltd. said in a press conference today in Japan that it has postponed the launch of its 64 Disk Drive peripheral until March 1998. Originally planned for release in Japan by the end of the year, the 64DD would increase the storage space available to N64 developers eight-fold, to a full 64 megabytes.
According to Reuters, a company spokesman for Nintendo said that the postponing comes as a result of delays in the development of the disks and the drive itself. The first games to appear on the system, Zelda 64 and Mother 3 (known as Earthbound 64 in the US), will have to wait until at least March to be released. Zelda 64 was scheduled for release on both the cartridge and the DD peripheral earlier this year.
In Japan, where Nintendo's 64-bit machine has not sold nearly as well as in the US, it was hoped that the DD peripheral would increase sales. Earlier, Nintendo released new pictures of both Zelda and Mother 3 to the Japanese press, hoping to catch the eye of players who had not yet purchased a system. Today, the 64DD seems much farther away than originally planned. The Japanese delay may set things back even further for US players, who probably will not see the 64DD until the summer of 1998.
Nintendo of America could not comment on the status of the US 64DD.