Back in October of last year a source within Nintendo told us that the Revolution would launch across the globe in June of 2006. This information led to not a small amount of investigation, resulting in this article: Exclusive: Revolution to Launch Worldwide in June 2006
From the report:
“As of early October this year, we had agreed with all key partners that a global ship date of June 2006 was achievable,” said one of SPOnG 's several sources associated with the Revolution manufacturing process. “Nintendo will get the launch in Japan and America and Europe as close as possible. It will be like the Xbox 360 launch, only tighter.”
“Everyone at Nintendo in all territories is now focusing on a global launch in June of next year,” another highly-placed source told us yesterday afternoon, under terms of anonymity. “The European launch might slip into July, but that’s it. Everyone at Nintendo has been briefed for this date and the official release schedule everyone is working to shows Revolution down for June 2006; this is simply a matter of fact.”
The report caused quite a stir, though many doubted the timeframe, in spite of the fact that senior sources within Nintendo and its close partners assured us it was the case.
To add a bit of rare background to this piece, at the time the news broke on SPOnG, we were aware that several games media outlets in Japan had been briefed either casually off the record or under terms of non-disclosure that Nintendo's internal target and that of its partners was June 2006. Over the course of several meetings, a long-time SPOnG mole was made privy to these plans, prompting the investigation into Revolution launch plans and netting the comments published above.
Almost half a year has passed since date of publication and SPOnG has monitored the situation closely. Those associated with Revolution's debut within Nintendo and at its partners still indicate that the June date has remained unchanged, though a more protracted cross-territory launch phase is now planned.
The open secret has now made its second escape into the public domain. "There are rumours that the Revolution could be released as early as June," said Akiteru Itoh of Tokyo-based Media Create in the latest Business Week. "If that happens, and Nintendo sells around 1 million units, Sony would have a harder time catching up,” he continued.
An announcement at this week's GDC is a possibility, with Nintendo seemingly planning to reveal the final name of its console on Thursday.
An indicator as to the launch plans could also be on the cards, given that E3, the next global platform for game announcement, would be just weeks before the alleged launch.
Keep it locked this week for the skinny from San Jose as it happens.