[Ed's note: we made a mistake in allowing this item to snowball into something more than a mere IBM-Nintendo PR announcement that production of chips is on schedule. Our apologies for allowing this one to get way, way out of hand. Read here for a more detailed apology.]
IBM announced that their Broadway chip custom-designed for Nintendo's Wii console has been shipping to Nintendo's since July. "We have been shipping well within this quarter (July)," said Ron Martino, director of IBM Technology Collaboration Solutions. "In fact, we have shipped a significant volume in this quarter."
So what does this news mean to gamers who have been waiting patiently for a release date from Nintendo? Well, considering that Nintendo has had their hands on a "significant volume" of one of the major components of their console since July, some might speculate that the Wii could be ready for release sooner than the expected October street date.
When asked to quantify the speed of the Broadway processor, IBM's Martino compared it to the GameCube. "Compared to the Gekko in the GameCube, it's 20 percent more power efficient. It also performs significantly better. The key point is that it is Power Architecture-based and custom-made and optimized for Nintendo," he said (not really answering the question).
With this update and Nintendo confirming the shipment of "6 million systems to retailers around the world between its launch in the fourth quarter of 2006 and the end of its fiscal year on March 31, 2007," we expect Nintendo might finally be ready to talk release schedule during their event in New York City next week.
[Update 1: toned down language throughout, added new first paragraph.]
[Update 2: more edits, added link in first paragraph.]