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For Nintendo, it's Revolution

New game system includes wireless network capability

LOS ANGELES -- Let the battle for the digital den begin -- again.

Nintendo Co. yesterday was the last of the three major video game console makers to preview its next-generation system, called Revolution. The Japanese company had a tiny surprise, too.

Revolution will face stiff competition from Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 as the manufacturers vie to attract a more diverse audience with products that serve as digital entertainment hubs instead of just serving up video games.

After years of promoting their existing consoles with big-budget games, the three companies unveiled sleek new technology this week on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, an annual industry meeting that begins today.

Nintendo went a step further, disclosing that Revolution's built-in wireless Internet will provide downloadable access to the thousands of games in company's 20-year-old library..

Aside from the included WiFi networking, Revolution will have wireless controllers, two USB 2.0 ports, and slots for DS memory cards.

Price and game costs haven't been disclosed. The Xbox 360 will be the first to market, due around Thanksgiving, followed by the PS3 next spring and the Revolution sometime next year.

Nintendo's surprise unveiling was a tiny redesigned Game Boy Advance called Micro, available this fall. The silver device is a redesign and doesn't offer any new technology, officials said.

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