GDC 06: Revolution to play Genesis, TurboGrafx games

Next-gen Nintendo console's game-download service will span not just decades but former competitors' classic systems.

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SAN JOSE, Calif.--Everything old is new again. You only have to look at the success of Xbox Live Arcade to know that while gamers are demanding the hottest graphics and the latest innovations from their next-gen hardware, they also relish the opportunity to travel down memory lane--and they're willing to pay for that chance.

Nintendo knows this. The company announced at E3 last year that its forthcoming Revolution would help scratch the nostalgic itch with a "virtual console" that will let users download and play potentially hundreds of games from the company's back catalog, spanning all of its older systems--the Nintendo 64, SNES, and the hallowed NES.

At its GDC keynote this morning, Nintendo unveiled plans to flesh out the Revolution's classic-game lineup even beyond its own storied library. Today during his keynote speech at the 2006 Game Developers Conference, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced that two former hardware rivals--Sega and Hudson--will make sizable chunks of their own back catalog available for download on the Revolution.

According to Nintendo, over 1,000 games for Sega's Genesis console, released in 1989, will be added to the Revolution's library. Joining them will be an undisclosed number of titles from the Hudson's TurboGrafx console, also released in 1989 and codeveloped by electronics giant NEC. Though no specific titles were mentioned, Nintendo said it is taking a "best of" approach in selecting which games will come to the Revolution.

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