New Game Boy Set for E3 – Portable GameCube No Show

A really good E3 mystery to ponder – insight inside.

Posted by Staff
New Game Boy Set for E3 – Portable GameCube No Show
SPOnG can confirm that a new Game Boy model will be seen at E3 this year, with the Kyoto giant eager to reinstate its recently conceived second pillar of true portable gaming.

Although this has been the subject of intense speculation, SPOnG stands by assertions made in the past that the unit will be debuted at Nintendo’s pre-E3 conference and will go on to be available in playable form at the show to a greater extent than many insiders might have guessed.

What’s more, speaking to retail sources in the US overnight, painted an interesting picture regarding the machine’s release date, with a pre-Christmas rollout expected by two highly placed commentators.

All of which leaves the burning question – what is it? The facts are simple: no development kits have been shown anywhere. We have spoken with numerous developers in several regions and none have had any information on an emerging platform. Nintendo, however, is very good with its secret-keeping, with developers like Sonic Team having access to DS units long before the system was in the public domain. They also managed to turn software, and non-traditional software at that, around at a very rapid pace.

A Portable GameCube device has been mooted, though SPOnG thinks this is unlikely for various reasons. One source in the US said yesterday, “This is not going to be Nintendo’s answer to the PSP. It’s not going to be more powerful.” So will the firm release an update to the current hardware, seeing what is essentially a shrunk-down SNES re-born in its third portable iteration?

At this point you’d have to wonder what Nintendo can do to improve on the SP. A Play-Yan could be incorporated, as could embedded wireless functionality, though the GBA will already accept a wireless adapter and Play-Yan without hindering the device’s core appeal. Perhaps a download-driven unit is on the cards, offering a selection of Nintendo’s back catalogue, though Nintendo’s new-found interest in the Internet is something of an oxymoron: paranoid confidence.

The DS will also see some re-branding, though of course the core gaming element will still exist as its installed userbase is now strong enough to cope with this. However, the machine, with around five million global sales at the time of writing, will emerge as something that does a lot more, with music, art, education and PDA software set to be shown in a major way in the coming months. Nintendo will push the DS as a machine that offers portable gaming to a market that would usually ignore such technology, aiming for a super-casual gaming audience that would enjoy the functionality of an interactive entertainment portable with the ability to browse the internet, send email, enjoy movies and music and above all, offer the option be creative on the move.

To reiterate, SPOnG doesn’t know what the new Game Boy will be. We do know, however, that it’s slated to be shown at Nintendo’s pre-E3 conference and will be in playable form on the event's showfloor. We also believe that it will be available to buy in Japan and the US in time for the 2005 holiday season. The DS will see heavy re-branding, though gaming will of course always exist as long as the market is there to support it.

If Nintendo’s third-pillar strategy is a success, the consequences for the industry and for the Donkey Kong creator are massive. If the DS is adopted by the illusive non-gamer as an acceptable, well-priced portable creative and communication device with free Internet access, Nintendo’s handheld dominance will again be restored. The only question remaining is what will it offer its core fans in the meantime.

Stay tuned for updates on all things Nintendo, including a very special surprise here on SPOnG as E3 rolls by.
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Comments

Showing the 20 most recent comments. Read all 33.
BustyKrusty 8 May 2005 11:06
14/33
darthdark49 wrote:
This new gameboy whatever is never gonna make it or the portable gc so why does nintendo even bother.
sooner or later nintendo is going to die and if they don't have internet play on their next big console who the hell would play it!

Saying Nintendo might be in danger under certain circumstances would be acceptable, but claiming that it's going to fall is pretty bold statement.
By the way, i'm sure Gizmondo and M$ will make it.
Ditto 8 May 2005 16:07
15/33
DoctorDee wrote:

OK! If you think a new piece of Nintendo hardware is "nothing", that's your call. But you'll recall that everyone called us liars for saying there would be any new GBA hardware - indeed Alan is still hinting at that.

Now it seems that you want to reframe the terms of reference o that if there is new hardware, but we didn't guess EXACTLY what it was, we're still wrong.

We're good - not psychic!


I don't think you're liars (I wouldn't be a regular if I did!) but I do think that your previous articles were phrased in such a way that it made it sound that a PSP-style GB was a near certainty.

Anyway, roll on E3.
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Greg2k 8 May 2005 16:44
16/33
I think a media extension for DS and GBA would be pretty much mandatory, and no, the Play-Yan won't cut it, unless they improve it so it also makes full use of the DS.

I would expect the Play-Yan to be released outside Japan as just an accessory. People don't need to be forced into spending 30 quid more for a DS just to watch some movies or music; I think that since it's not on the standard console, it should be just an accessory and not a reason to ditch your new handheld.

As for the GBA, I think it's time Nintendo realise it's dead already. Even conservative developers prefer the DS because they can just consider it a GBA on steroids. A new remake of the GBA would be a huge mistake. Of the DS, too soon.
Zeo [banned] 9 May 2005 01:13
17/33
It's funny because you can't "confirm" s**t.

Why do you make things up? You have no reliable sources.
vault 13 9 May 2005 01:24
18/33
Zeo wrote:
It's funny because you can't "confirm" s**t.

Why do you make things up? You have no reliable sources.


Umm..., actually Lord Zeo of the Power Rangers world, I can confirm s**t and well so can they, just as well if not better than I can. Have a look...

Here!

If you think that's not s**t then I don't know what is!
DoctorDee 9 May 2005 10:39
19/33
Adam M wrote:

I don't think you're liars (I wouldn't be a regular if I did!)


I didn't mean to imply that *you* did, and we appreciate your regularity ;-)

but I do think that your previous articles were phrased in such a way that it made it sound that a PSP-style GB was a near certainty.


That is, I think, the impression that Stef had. And certainly, it would seem to be the only logical approach. But given that we cannot find ANY evidence of dev kits in circulation, we no longer think that that is a possibility, not for a Xmas 2005 launch... which leaves two options, a portable GameCube (since the gamecube disc is small enough to use in a handheld) - which bring problems replicating the GameCube's controller on a small form factor, or a Game Boy Advance SP SP...

We know there's something, but Nintendo are remaining tight lipped as to exactly what.

We're looking forward to E3 as much as anyone else.
Ditto 9 May 2005 13:39
20/33
DoctorDee wrote:
That is, I think, the impression that Stef had. And certainly, it would seem to be the only logical approach. But given that we cannot find ANY evidence of dev kits in circulation, we no longer think that that is a possibility, not for a Xmas 2005 launch...


Could be aiming for a 2006 launch... I don't know if it would be so unreal if Nintendo developed tech demos for E3 and then distrubuted dev kits afterwards.

Or it could be the portable Gamecube with slight alterations - three less shoulder buttons. No new kits required. I'm hoping for this one.

I think that releasing another SP would be totally pointless. As your article says, I don't see a large number of improvements that can be made. Plus people are still buying SPs by the bucketload!

Could it be another Gameboy accessory? Something like a GBA Player 2? Or is it def an actual console?
Mendez 9 May 2005 21:01
21/33
Zeo wrote:
It's funny because you can't "confirm" s**t.

Why do you make things up? You have no reliable sources.


He's at it again! Man, I own yo ass. STFU already!

wanderingsoul 9 May 2005 21:01
22/33
I think people forget to realize that the DS is capable of handling GBA games. They aren't that stupid to waste R&D on a souped up GBA when DS is practically a souped up souped up GBA. Why would it sell if the DS is not only more powerful, but can handle GBA games as well? For all we know DS could in theory be an intermediary between the GB of old and the GB of new, possibly the only way to preserve GBA and its library is through DS.
Companies plan these projects in advance. Do you think that suddenly one day R&D discovered something interesting so they incorporate it into an addon system, or a souped up system? Companies leave flaws in products so they can milk them for all they're worth. If they decide to release another GBA, there would be no point for anyone to buy it. Its like buying a "PS1" when you could buy a PS2.

But I'll abstain from speculating from what it actually is because in all honesty, it could be another virtual boy for all I know :P
vault 13 10 May 2005 03:25
23/33
wanderingsoul wrote:
Companies leave flaws in products so they can milk them for all they're worth.


I $ee Mr. MONEYbag$ doe$n't $ee, in any re$pect, how MONEY fit$ into the R and D equation.*

Yeah way back when in the beginning of videogames, Colecovision was going to be superbadass, but the company sat down at a board meeting one day and the lead designer said, "F**k it Jim, our system doesn't need to be superbadass (say the equivalent of the NES x2) to win, oh and also, all those doritos that fell into the processing boards, don't worry about cleaning that up either. We need to leave SOME flaws in the system, so that we can bilk these shmucks (customers) in four more years with the Colecovision 512K Ultramega System!**

*Dollar signs added posthumsly for effect. I do not have special keyboard with fancy lights that makes piggy noises when I press down on the keys, and it doesn't make dollar signs everytime I press the..., oh wait a minute it does! Hot dog!!!

**Actual boardroom meeting may not be 100% factual.
DoctorDee 10 May 2005 07:12
24/33
Adam M wrote:

Could it be another Gameboy accessory? Something like a GBA Player 2? Or is it def an actual console?


You know what we know. We think it's a new console.

So E3 this year is going to be exciting for all of us. Particularly for Lupos, I think ;-)
Ethan Bally 10 May 2005 13:18
25/33
A GameBoy emulator released for the PSP! Check it out:

www.psphacker.com
kid_77 10 May 2005 13:44
26/33
Ethan Bally wrote:
A GameBoy emulator released for the PSP! Check it out:

www.psphacker.com

Hasn't that been down for a while?

Try here
LUPOS 10 May 2005 16:14
27/33
DoctorDee wrote:

So E3 this year is going to be exciting for all of us. Particularly for Lupos, I think ;-)


HELL YES IT IS!

... all thats left now is deciding where to put the spong tatoo when i get back :P
__________
Joji 10 May 2005 16:15
28/33
I'm happy the DS does such 2D and 3D beacuse the simplicity of 2D games is what keep things interesting and many playing.

The stance for more realistic graphics is an easy grail to quest for (it wasn't to start but has gotten easier over the years). 2D gaming takes a bit more imagination to keep the player glued.

When I see the likes of Gunstar Super Heroes on the way to the GBA (even with the DS out too) it makes me happy that the likes of Treasure can provide us with something to fill my DSs GBA slot. Even on PS2 the stance to many is if it's not 3D it's not worth your time. I was sorry to hear of Sony swaying to more 3D games instead of welcomeing both a while back. It has taken Nintendo to realise that many aren't playing as games become more 3D and complex.

Pehrhaps this is where the DS success is, in it's simple but effective fun gaming as apposed to the me too identikit games flooding the current market wanting to put a cap in yo ass and take your money etc. DS is slapping developers round the face to see how well they can do. And due to the DS options on offer some real imagination will stop them for once doing lazy ports and other stuff we have seen before (in other words we will be able to see the original games and those using the features on offer effectively more clearly). Then we shall see who is for real.

GBA2 option I'd like to see (possibly for the DS too) download and play demos and SNES roms for a price (we all know how small the files are Nintendo). Fingers crossed for E3.
DoctorDee 10 May 2005 18:22
29/33
LUPOS wrote:
HELL YES IT IS!


I guess you saw this already:
LUPOS 10 May 2005 18:35
30/33
DoctorDee wrote:
LUPOS wrote:
HELL YES IT IS!


I guess you saw this already:


that is an emphatic... NO!

i had managed to not see that... when was that added?

you know i wasnt really going to get the tatooo right? i mean if you really wanted...

_____________
DoctorDee 10 May 2005 18:42
31/33
LUPOS wrote:
i had managed to not see that... when was that added?


Earlier today, it's a condition of entry for on-line press - you need a hard copy print-out of the website showing your name and job title.


you know i wasnt really going to get the tatooo right? i mean if you really wanted...


I though Stef had persuaded you... He wanted to run a competition where we gave a really great prize to one user who got a SPOnG tattoo.

I have a Harley Davidson tat, which is possibly worse.
LUPOS 10 May 2005 19:09
32/33
Earlier today, it's a condition of entry for on-line press - you need a hard copy print-out of the website showing your name and job title.


i figured as much... still a nice to see

is ms pemberton also mrs. walters?


I though Stef had persuaded you... He wanted to run a competition where we gave a really great prize to one user who got a SPOnG tattoo.


i thought all spong prizes where for uk folks only... like those shinny little DS's :/

I have a Harley Davidson tat, which is possibly worse.


i have what some say is the worst to ever get... my girl friends name on my right arm... but after 4 years i dont think it was a bad choice :)
plus its mainly a non official ring replacment... untill such a time comes that i have the propper scratch for such an investment.

you knew i was painfulyl pasionate about video games... but aprently im that nuts about all things i love... no body best be talking bad bout no transformers neither! (no i haven't gotten that tatoo yet... yet)

_________
DoctorDee 10 May 2005 19:28
33/33
LUPOS wrote:
is ms pemberton also mrs. walters?


She is. Check her out...

i thought all spong prizes where for uk folks only... like those shinny little DS's :/


Yeah, it's a bummer that. But although the companies are all Global, they act quite separatelty on a regional basis, so the UK/Euro marketing departments don't want their budget going on prizes to America or Asia...

Stef's going to try and do something about it... but don't hold your breath!

i have what some say is the worst to ever get... my girl friends name on my right arm... but after 4 years i dont think it was a bad choice :)


I'm 15 years with Amanda ;-) Jeebus, it's like we're married or something. Which, in fact, we are.

no body best be talking bad bout no transformers neither! (no i haven't gotten that tatoo yet... yet)


Still trying to work out what to have as my next one... Maybe SPOnG is the answer, but I can't win our own competition.
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