Not wanting to be out of the limelight, Nintendo announced its next generation console today at a press conference at E3 in Los Angeles. Called Nintendo Revolution, the company hopes gamers will be buying into the Nintendo gaming ethos rather than being swayed by the multimedia elements of the other two competiting systems:

"We will show the world what a next-gen system can be. Revolution marries the strongest heritage of innovation to the future of gaming," says Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. "With backward compatibility and the 'virtual console' concept, the stylish, compact body provides maximum gaming power. It will not only take home entertainment into another dimension by expanding the definition of video games, but it also will give you access to the great history of gaming."

The new console boasts a very compact design, approximately the size of three standard DVD cases stacked together with a variety of prototype colours being showcased during E3.

Nintendo also confirmed that the console also will have downloadable access to 20 years of fan-favourite titles originally released for Nintendo 64, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and even the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

Easy expansion: A bay for an SD memory card will let players expand the internal flash memory.

The Revolution will have two disc formats to accommodate the new format for the new system as well as Nintendo GameCube discs. Owners will have the option of equipping a small, self-contained attachment to play movies and other DVD content.

The system boasts 512 megabytes of internal flash memory, wireless controllers, two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi access.

Revolution's technological heart, a processing chip developed with IBM and code-named "Broadway," and a graphics chip set from ATI code-named "Hollywood," will deliver game experiences not previously possible.

No comment has been made on the processing speed in connection with the PS3 or Xbox 360 nor has a date been set, although commentators believe it will be mid 2006 at the earliest, by which point it may be too late.