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Revolution revealed

Thursday 30 March 2006
The finalised tech specs of Revolution have been confirmed and fall in line with the console's mooted low-tech nature, according to development sources. Indeed, if reports are to be believed, very little has changed about the details Nintendo released at last year's E3 event.

Revolution's silicon guts really aren't that far removed from that of GameCube, revolving around a pair of processors known as 'Broadway' (CPU) and 'Hollywood' (GPU).

The processing speed of the former is hardly impressive as far as brute-force, number-crunching comparisons go - it apparently runs at 729MHz compared to 485MHz for GameCube and 733MHz for Xbox. In comparison, PS3's 'Cell' has a core that runs at 3.2GHz (3,200MHz). Similarly, the 'Hollywood' chip supposedly runs at 243MHz, next to GameCube's 162MHz and Xbox's 233MHz.

So, Revolution certainly can't go toe-to-toe with Xbox 360 and PS3, but we already knew that after Nintendo admitted that it had never planned for such a thing to happen.

Revolution may be in a different weight class, but it's got some pretty special boxing gloves thanks to its innovative motion-detecting controller. And with the cost of games development spiralling into insanity, Nintendo's seemingly stingy spec sheet may start to pay dividends when it becomes a format of choice for developers with great ideas but a budget that's less than astronomical. Hey, anyone reminded of DS?

As reassurance for this optimism, Josh Resnick, president of Pandemic, has just joined a lengthy line of developers wanting to heap praise on Nintendo's next-gen offering. "Well, Revolution is a very different platform, and we've actually just seen some things behind closed doors that are just mind-blowing," he recently told GamaSutra.com.

"They're doing something that's very different and unique." OK, so it's just non-specific approval that borders on fanboy drool, but it's coming from the mouth of a man whose studio makes some exceptionally great games, including Star Wars: Battlefront and Full Spectrum Warrior. So, there.

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