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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2004, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
Next GameCube set for 2005 debut
Nintendo DS handheld
The Nintendo DS has two displays and a touch screen
Gamers could get a look at the successor to the GameCube in just under a year's time, Nintendo has suggested.

The Japanese games giant has said it would like to showcase its next generation console at next year's E3 video game trade show in May.

"Rather than offering a new edition of the same thing, we want to offer new ways of game playing," said Nintendo's Yoshihiro Mori.

Sony and Microsoft are also expected to launch their new consoles next year.

Sales slump

The GameCube has been struggling due to competition from Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox.

Nintendo had hoped to sell six million consoles over the past year, but it fell short, only shipping five million. In the coming 12 months it aims to sell 4.5 million.

Disappointing GameCube sales have hit Nintendo's bottom line, with net profits falling by 50%, according to the company's annual results.

In the US, sales have slumped, with the GameCube making up just 17% of the market, according to analysts NPD.

Mobile arena

Looking to the future, Nintendo has set some ambitious sales targets for its new dual-screen handheld games console, the successor to the GameBoy Advance.

Nintendo said it was hoping to sell 3.5 million DS consoles, which is due out in Japan by the end of the year, and in Europe and US in early 2005.

Sony PSP
Sony is developing its own handheld gaming console
"In order to have the DS out by Christmas, we plan to start production late summer or early fall and boost production every month," said Mr Mori.

Nintendo is looking to hold onto its lead in the world of mobile gaming, having sold more than 190 million GameBoys worldwide.

The DS has two displays which can be controlled via a finger or a stylus, and will also feature a microphone for potential voice recognition.

Mobile gaming is a growing industry, with a raft of contenders vying for Nintendo's crown.

Nokia has launched a handheld device and there are new mobile consoles such as the Gizmondo expected in the coming 12 months.

And Sony is throwing its hat into the ring with the PlayStation Portable, which is due out in Japan later this year.

The mobile games market could be the next battleground with more than 100 million users expected by 2006.

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