With the launch of its Revolution fan site, IGN released some details about the upcoming Nintendo Revolution. What you’re about to read are not the official specs, but rather information gathered from developers who are playing with development kits.

According to most studios, they are developing on “GameCube-based kits.” That’s a pretty big clue that the upcoming Revolution certainly won’t be a hardware revolution. Heck, when the system was first announced, a Nintendo executive said the machine would be two-to-three times as powerful as the GameCube. Rumors of the initial Revolution specs were way off.

That’s a far cry from the XBox 360 which is 8x as powerful as the original XBox, a system more powerful than the GameCube. So where does that leave us in terms of processing power? According to one developer:

“To be honest, it’s not much more powerful than an Xbox. It’s like a souped up Xbox,” a major third party source revealed to us. “But it’s the controller that makes the difference and the controller is really nice.”

I’m sure you guys want more details. Well the Broadway CPU that will be in the Revolution is an updated Gekko CPU, the chip found in the original GameCube. According to a developer

“The CPU is the same as Gekko with one and a half to two times the performance and improved caching,” said a source. “Our guys experimented with it and think they’ll be able to get about twice the performance as GameCube.”

As far as graphics go, all we know is that the Hollywood GPU made by ATI may be an updated Flipper GPU, the processor in the GameCube. The video card is expected to have only 3 MB of memory. Hardly enough to do high definition. But of course, we already knew the Nintendo Revolution wouldn’t support high definition.

As far as memory goes, the Revolution is going to just build on the GameCube’s configuration of 24MBs 1T-SRAM and 16MBs D-RAM. They added an additional 64MB of 1T-SRAM. Again, hardly enough to support high definition textures like the 512MB of the XBox 360.

And the last bit of details released were on the Revolution discs. These upcoming discs will support 4.7 gigs of data if single layered or 8.5 GB when double-layered. Quite a leap from the 1.5GB of the GameCube discs. Even a bigger leap when you consider there won’t be any high definition content to fill it up. No, I swear I’m not bitter about the lack of high definition :)

Although, this hardware seems disappointing compared to the upcoming PlayStation 3 and the already released XBox 360, software houses still seem to be excited by this Revolution and its unique controller. The system is coming in at a $149 price tag and maybe even a $99 one. Compare that to the $399 price tag of the XBox 360 or the supposed $499 pricetag of the PlayStation 3. The Revolution might bring consoles to a whole new market.

Nintendo has already declared it has no intention of competing with Sony or Microsoft for #1. I’m sure Nintendo, who’s been making games for over 100 years, has some idea what they’re doing with this gamble.

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."