GBA Gets e-Reader

GBA Gets e-Reader

The Japanese console giant, Nintendo, announced a new add-on for the GameBoy Advance which will feature an optical scanner. The new add-on will try to capitalize on the long lasting success of the common Trading Card. The module will plug in to the GBA and will be able to read patterns printed on to the specialty Trading Cards.

Initial cards will follow the tried and tested route of trading cards based on Nintendo's popular Pokemon franchise. Eventually cards carrying full versions of games originally made for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)console from the mid-1980s. The first game releases will include Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight and Excitebike.

The e-Reader will also be meant to act as a Trojan Horse enticing GBA owners to also purchase the GameCube, Nintendo's flagship console. This will be achieved by capitalizing on the GBA's ability to hook-up with GameCube. Once a GBA owner obtains the e-Reader they will find that the package includes cards with exclusive content for the upcoming Animal Crossing. Further support for other GameCube titles is also in the works.

While Nintendo is involved in a bitter fight with rival console makers in the living-room console market, they have dominated the handheld market and GBA and GameBoy Color account for more than 95 percent of the handheld console market.
Game Boy Advance has sold more than 6 million units in North America since its introduction a year ago. Speculation about rivals, Sony and Microsoft, releasing handheld consoles has remained just that and no information or schedule have been announced.

The e-Reader is set to go on sale on September 16 for USD40 in a package that will include several game and Pokemon cards. Additional cards with NES games will sell for USD5.