Report: Revolution coming in mid-2006

Earnings call by memory technology company Monolithic Systems says Nintendo's next-gen system is coming next summer.


Less than a week after an MTV listing revealed that the Xbox 360 will ship in November, another outside party has apparently pegged the release window of a rival next-generation console.

As part of its quarterly earnings call yesterday, Monolithic System Technology Inc. had its executives field the customary inquires from analysts. In a statement before he began fielding calls, interim chief executive officer and chief financial officer Mark Voll made a statement about the memory-technology firm's plans for the coming year--plans that involve a certain major Japanese game company.

While there are dozens of such calls every day, the Nintendophiles at GameCube Advanced noticed Voll's remarks contained a nugget of game-info gold. "During the quarter, we announced that NEC electronics will now use our 1T-SRAM embedded memory technologies on their advanced 90-nanometer process," said Voll, "and that the initial designs to be incorporated will be used in Nintendo's next-generation game console, code name 'Revolution.'"

Then, according to a transcript of the call, Voll said, "We are excited to be a participating member of the Nintendo team once again, as Nintendo will roll out and success game console to the GameCube in mid-2006." (Emphasis added.) Presuming that the transcriber misquoted Voll saying "a successor game console" as "and success console," it means that Nintendo's next-gen console will arrive just over a year from now.

As of press time, US Nintendo reps said they were waiting for an official response to Voll's comments. However, the executive's statements seem to confirm widespread speculation that the Revolution will arrive well into 2006, roughly the same time the PlayStation 3 is expected to launch. Sony has indicated it will begin mass production of the Cell processor, which will power the PlayStation, at the beginning of next year.

Monolithic System Technology--more commonly known as MoSys--developed the 1T-SRAM to offer "a combination of high density, low power consumption, high speed and low cost that other available memory technologies do not match," according to the company's Web site. In March, it announced it was extending its existing partnership with NEC to the chip-maker's new 90nm process generation of chips. MoSys has offices in Sunnyvale, California, and Yokohama, Japan.

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