Game Boy Advance



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Systems Set New Interactive Entertainment Standards

Nintendo, the company that revived the entire video game industry in the 1980s, opened new worlds of video game play today at the Spaceworld trade show in Tokyo by simultaneously unveiling the new Nintendo GAMECUBE console and the portable Nintendo Game Boy Advance. While each system will be the most powerful in its category, they have been designed to work together to provide a game play experience that is unprecedented and totally unique to Nintendo.

Game Boy Advance is powered by a 32-bit processor developed by ARM, Ltd. in the United Kingdom. Its screen size increases by 50 per cent, and screen resolution is up 60 per cent thanks to a new, reflective TFT colour LCD using a high contrast white panel. Its processor runs 17 times faster than that of the Game Boy Colour; it's capable of displaying 32,000 colours simultaneously; boasts PCM sound playback for infinitely improved audio; and with a special cable, allows up to four machines to be linked for full, four-player action.

Game Boy Advance will be available in Japan in March 2001, and in North America and Europe next July. The system will retail for approximately 9800 yen in Japan (or $90), while Western Hemisphere pricing has not yet been announced. Ten titles were demonstrated at Spaceworld, including the eagerly anticipated Mario Kart Advance. Game Boy Advance also is fully backward compatible allowing the system to play all existing Game Boy and Game Boy Colour titles.

"Our current Game Boy Colour holds a more than 90 per cent share of the portable video game market around the world, and in fact, is selling better now than any other time in its 11 year history," says Peter MacDougall, Nintendo of Canada's, president. "The industry has always wondered when someone would invent a 'better' Game Boy. Well, now we have."

Nintendo GAMECUBE sets new technical standards in a compact (6"x6"x4.3"), transportable housing. It features a highly customized, 405 Mhz, copper wire central processor from IBM; a revolutionary graphics co-processor from ATI with Mosys 1-T SRAM memory embedded directly onto the chip; and 40 MB of memory, including one of the largest implementations of static memory in consumer product history. This integrated design creates the fastest and most efficient video game system ever brought to market.

Storage media comes in the form of a small (8 cm diameter), 1.5GB proprietary optical disk from Matsushita. Accessories will include a 56K modem and (future) broadband modem; the 'Wavebird' wireless RF controller; (2) Digicard slots for either 4MB flash memory cards or a 64MB SD-Digicard adapter; and a variety of high speed ports and both analog and digital AV outputs.

Nintendo GAMECUBE will launch in Japan in July of 2001, and in North America in October 2001. "In my experience, there have often been theoretical claims of high performance for game hardware, and although people were very impressed by the figures, the actual products haven't even delivered one-tenth of the claims," says Shigeru Miyamoto, the master Nintendo game designer. "It is a given that the Nintendo GAMECUBE will offer better graphics and higher quality sound, but more importantly it will allow developers the freedom to concentrate on creativity without worrying about technical limitations."

Dozens of developers around the world are in possession of tools to create Nintendo GAMECUBE games, and dozens of titles are in development. Exact games will be announced closer to launch, but will certainly include some of the household names that have propelled Nintendo to sales of over a billion video games worldwide in only a decade and a half.

The systems not only excel in their own right, but connect to offer a continuous, transportable form of interactive entertainment. The two cutting-edge technologies combine in a number of ways: * Games can be created to allow data transfer in either direction between the systems. As a result, designers can develop games that may be played on either device;

* The Game Boy Advance portable system can be used as a discreet controller to direct action on the Nintendo GAMECUBE;

* While the Nintendo GAMECUBE runs on normal AC power, Game Boy Advance can be powered by disposable batteries or rechargeable batteries;

* Modem accessories for both systems can connect players to the Internet or each other to exchange data, post scores, download characters, and for head-to-head play.

"For several years, virtually every advance in our industry has focused solely on improving the 'look' of games. While our new Nintendo GAMECUBE and Game Boy Advance not only will create the best looking games, more importantly, they will transform how players think about interactivity," explains MacDougall.


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