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Thursday, May 17, 2001
Matsushita to Sell Hybrid GameCube Soon After Launch


Japan's Matsushita said on Thursday it plans to launch a hybrid version of Nintendo’s GameCube video game machine in Japan soon after the console's September launch.

The world's largest consumer electronics maker said it plans to launch the product, which combines digital audio visual and video game functions including DVD playback, in the United States some time in the 2002/03 business year. Matsushita to Sell Hybrid GameCube Soon After Launch

Japan's Matsushita said on Thursday it plans to launch a hybrid version of Nintendo’s GameCube video game machine in Japan soon after the console's September launch. The world's largest consumer electronics maker said it plans to launch the product, which combines digital audio visual and video game functions including DVD playback, in the United States some time in the 2002/03 business year.

By offering the multi-purpose gadget, Matsushita aims to compete with archrival Sony, whose wildly popularly PlayStation2 game console that went on sale last year can play DVD movies.

Nintendo is to launch the next-generation GameCube console on September 14 in Japan, followed by a U.S. release on November 5. The hybrid machine, packaged in a small silver box, will enable users to play GameCube games on 3.150 inch compact disks, listen to CDs, and watch video CDs and DVDs, Matsushita said.

Matsushita, known for its Panasonic and Technics brand goods, is scheduled to exhibit a prototype of the hybrid game console on May 17 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the game industry's annual trade show in Los Angeles.

Matsushita and Nintendo had agreed in May 1999 on a comprehensive tie-up for game machines using DVD technology. Matsushita Electric, which developed the game console's disk drives, also said it is set to begin manufacturing 600,000 disc drives and 1.5 million discs per month from June.


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