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THE CUTTING EDGE / Focus on Personal Technology

Bandai to Sell Updated Version of WonderSwan Video Game Player

August 31, 2000|From Bloomberg News

TOKYO — Japanese toy maker Bandai Co. plans to start selling a new version of its WonderSwan hand-held video game player in Japan in December as it aims for a bigger piece of the market dominated by Nintendo Co.

The WonderSwan Color machine will feature a color liquid crystal display screen and will run all existing software for the original WonderSwan player. The WonderSwan, released in Japan in March 1999, comes with a monochrome LCD screen.

The move comes days after Nintendo, the world's second-largest home video game maker, announced plans to release the Game Boy Advance in March. Game Boy Advance is the successor to Game Boy.

Bandai plans to start selling the new game player in North America in late 2001. Game Boy virtually owns the portable game market in the United States. Earlier this year, SNK Corp. opted to pull its NeoGeo Pocket Color unit off U.S. store shelves rather than continue to compete with Nintendo.

In Japan, Bandai aims to sell 1.2 million WonderSwan Color units by the end of March, at a price of about $64, with 32 titles to be released.

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