The new model of the Game Boy Advance will be shown at Nintendo’s E3 press conference this year in what will be one of the most remarkable moments in recent videogame history.
The unit will be a true gaming machine and will come equipped with a large high-quality back-lit screen and analogue controls, very much, one might argue, like Sony’s PSP.
Nintendo staffers have confirmed to SPOnG.com that preliminary hardware will be shown both at the firm’s conference and encased alongside the Nintendo Revolution on the showfloor.
Indeed, SPOnG has been privvy to the emergence of the next-generation of Game Boy Advance for some time, though little more than it’s E3 debut was known.
As this news breaks, perhaps the most pertinent point to be mulled is exactly how Nintendo is going to explain the situation to fans and, of course, early adopters of the Nintendo DS. The answer to this conundrum is quite possibly the most incredible climb-down the games industry has ever witnessed.
Specifically, Nintendo will unveil a suite of PDA-focussed software for the DS powered by recently licensed Palm OS technology
. The machine will evolve from a pure gaming machine into a PDA equipped to play Nintendo 64 quality games. Essentially, Nintendo believes that with the right software, it has a high-powered, wireless-enabled PDA capable of playing games of a higher standard than any competing device.
Picking up the pieces, however, will be something of a PR nightmare, something that Nintendo is fully aware of. The DS, announced so soon after the PSP was unveiled by Sony, was effectively a spoiler machine, aimed at snatching away market share from SCEI. Although this has been categorically denied by the Kyoto giant, the revelation that a new Game Boy, which in essence appears to be a PSP with a Nintendo badge, confirms this belief beyond any doubt.
The new Game Boy will be based around existing Nintendo GameCube hardware and will be, when it launches in the US and Japan towards the end of this year, the most powerful handheld console on the planet. SPOnG also believes it likely that the machine will make use of GameCube software. Revolution connectivity was confirmed.
By way of damage control, Nintendo must now cling to its ever-present third-pillar line regarding the DS. The firm has always claimed that the Dual Screen represents not a furthering of the Game Boy range, but something quite different. It would seem that those well-placed foundations will now be required to carry the hefty bulk of a complete reversal of application for a machine that was launched as a gaming device and will, within months, have its key role significantly altered.