While the gaming community has been at abuzz about Microsoft's next-generation Xbox 360 console, Nintendo has counter-attacked with an announcement of its own regarding the company's next-generation console, codenamed Revolution.

According to Nintendo, the console will be "about the thickness of three standard DVD cases and only slightly longer", making it closer in size to Sony’s diminutive PlayStation 2 and considerably smaller than the Xbox 360.

In a welcome revelation, Nintendo's pint-sized powerhouse will not only have DVD-playback capability but also backwards compatibility (something Microsoft has been mysterious reticent about).

The company also reassured gamers of the Revolution's hardware strengths, saying the console "will be packed with power that will enable it to wow players with its graphics." Similar to Microsoft, Nintendo has partnered with ATi for its graphics card and IBM for the processor.

Assuaging anxieties of Nintendo's history of reluctance with online, the Revolution will be "wireless internet ready out of the box."

Whether or not the console will be unveiled at E3 remains to be seen (if it does it'll likely be to a limited extent), and it won't be running the race for a 2005 release; the Revolution is slated for launch in 2006.