iQue details unveiled

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA (11/13/2003) - Games retailer Lik-Sang has revealed details of Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s iQue, which is scheduled for a China-only release. The iQue is essentially an N64 contained in a controller, and is made in a process similar to the one used by Sony Corp. to create their integrated PS2 chip for the PSX.

The product will come with an AV cable, power supply, a 64MB flash card, and the full version of the puzzle game Doctor Mario. The flash card will also include time-limited demos of four games: a 10 hour trial of Zelda 64: Ocarina of Time, a seven hour trial of Mario 64, and one-hour trials of Wave Race 64 and Star Fox: Lyat Wars. Full versions of these games can be unlocked at authorized Nintendo booths in Shanghai for 48 Yuan ($5.80).

Nintendo has taken numerous steps to ensure a solid digital distribution system for the iQue. The in-store booths will apparently be capable of updating the operating system on the console, and the flash card keeps track of games you've purchased, allowing you to put games back in without having to pay again.

Although we previously reported that the iQue will not be sold outside of China, the iQue reportedly features NTSC TV (China is a PAL territory) output; this could suggest that Nintendo plans to launch the console overseas in the future.

The iQue will be sold for 568 Yuan (US$69) and be available in Shanghai at the end of the year with other regions in China to follow later.

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