Nintendo Reveals the Future of Pokémon

Coming alongside today's Game Boy Advance North American release details, some exciting announcements have been made regarding new accessories for the handheld system, as well as the future of Nintendo's Pokémon games. Mr. Tsunekazu Ishihara, the General Producer of Pokémon, has revealed a brand new accessory called the "E-Card Reader" for the GameBoy Advance, an innovative device which promises to take not only the popular Pokémon card game, but also portable gaming to a whole new level.

E-Card Reader
The E-Card Reader

Utilizing scanning technology originally developed by Olympus Optics, the E-Card Reader is designed to read data stored on Pokémon E-Cards. Prototypes models of each are shown in the image to the left. These cards will look the same as normal Pokémon trading cards, and can be used in the traditional card game, but they have one major difference: each one bears a special type of barcode, containing hundreds of times more information than ordinary barcodes found on store products. Through the use of these barcodes, the cards will able to store vast amounts of information, such as statistics, evolutions, tutorials, and even sound files that can be accessed through the Reader, which attaches right into the back of the GameBoy Advance.

As well, Mr. Ishihara announced that Nintendo is currently in the development process of a new Pokémon game. Tentatively titled Pokémon GameBoy Advance, this installment is certain to be a great advancement in Nintendo's successful series, as well as "the origin of a new Pokémon World," according to Mr. Ishihara. There was no mention as to whether the team intends to incorporate the E-Card Reader into the upcoming title, which is scheduled for a 2002 release in Japan.

As impressive as this device appears, it has only been announced in Japan, with no guarantee of ever reaching North America. It will be interested to see what possible further applications might be found for the E-Card Reader, and how it might be incorporated into future GameBoy Advance titles. RPGamer will keep you updated as more information regarding this device and the new Pokémon title become available.

by Matthew Wanlin
Source: []
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