LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2001 - On a plane, in a car, at the beach, with a friend this summer, Nintendo's wildly anticipated Game Boy Advance handheld system will be everywhere you are.
Game Boy Advance launched in Japan on March 21, 2001, selling 1.6 million units in its first five weeks. Unveiled during the May 2001 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, the new portable handheld launches nationwide June 11 with 17 new titles designed specifically to demonstrate its breakthrough performance, headlined by Nintendo icon Mario in Super Mario Advance and the high-flying racing action of F-ZERO: Maximum Velocity.
"Game Boy Advance redefines what a portable game system can be," says Peter Main, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Nintendo of America Inc. "While Game Boy Color remains the best-selling video game system in the world, achieving all-time sales records even 11 years after introduction, we expect the new Game Boy Advance to set new standards in both sales and gameplay excellence."
Game Boy Advance will carry a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $99.95, while new game software will retail for between $29.95 and $39.95. To date, 200,000 systems have been pre-sold in the United States. Nintendo expects to ship 24 million Game Boy Advance systems worldwide in the first year.
Game Boy Advance decisively breaks the existing boundaries for handheld video gameplay, boosting screen size by 50 percent. Game Boy Advance actually delivers a sharper picture than current 32-bit and 64-bit consoles playing on a 27-inch television.
Game Boy Advance displays more than 500 times as many on-screen colors and is several dozen times as powerful as Game Boy Color. It will enable previously impossible scaling, rotating and transparency effects.
Two new control buttons have been added to the original Game Boy configuration to allow for more complex and varied forms of gameplay. With select multi-player software titles, four Game Boy Advance units can be linked together by optional cables offering four-way gameplay with all four players using a single game cartridge. In addition, the unit itself is capable of being used as a discrete controller for the upcoming NINTENDO GAMECUBE console.
Super Mario Advance takes Mario to the next level with outstanding graphics and an audio track featuring brand-new character voices and enhanced stereo sound. Single-player Adventure mode offers the timeless gameplay of Super Mario Bros. 2, taking players on an incredible journey through seven sprawling worlds - 20 levels in all - to defeat the evil Wart. In the game's multi-player mode, up to four players can punch and jump their way to victory using a single game pak and Game Boy Advance Game LinkÔ cables (sold separately).
F-ZERO: Maximum Velocity incorporates 20 all-new reality-defying racetracks, features five modes of play (Training, Grand Prix, Multi-Pak Link Play, Single-Pak Link Play and Championship) and four difficulty levels (Beginner, Standard, Expert and Master). Players initially compete in three racing series (Pawn, Knight and Bishop) and then can move to the Queen series for more adrenaline-fueled action. With bonus tracks and machines, and a customizable interface, F-ZERO: Maximum Velocity offers something for every racing fan.
Other titles debuting with the system include: Army Men Advance (3DO), Pinobee: Wings of Adventure (Activision), Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (Activision), Super Dodge Ball Advance (Atlus), Fire Pro Wrestling (BAM!), Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (Konami), Konami Krazy Racers (Konami), Earthworm Jim (Majesco), Iridion 3-D (Majesco), Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure (Majesco), Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 (Midway), Namco Museum (Namco), ChuChu Rocket! (Sega), GT Advance Championship Racing (THQ) and Rayman Advance (Ubi Soft).
Future Nintendo titles for Game Boy Advance include Mario Kart Advance (temporary name), Wario Land for Game Boy Advance (temporary name), Advance Wars and Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers? (temporary name). More than 60 exclusive Game Boy Advance titles are expected by Christmas, and virtually all games sold for previous Game Boy systems are compatible with the new hardware.
At launch, Game Boy Advance will be available in three colors: Arctic (white), Glacier (translucent blue), and Indigo (violet). A fourth color, Fuchsia, will be available on July 2, 2001.