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Gaming History You Should Know – The Game Boy Advance eReader July 2, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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Welcome back, it’s time for an all-new Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the best content that gives a look into gaming’s legacy.  Since the days of the Game Boy, Nintendo has always dominated the handheld market, and that legacy was cemented after Nintendo published the Pokémon games in the late 90s. While I stayed out of the gaming handheld market through most of my teen years, I became interested in the Game Boy Advance platform shortly after buying the Nintendo GameCube.

While I loved the GameCube I never got a GBA, but around the same time I was in the market for one Nintendo began to push a unique peripheral for the device, the Game Boy Advance eReader.  It used barcodes printed on the side of trading cards to read data and could offer games or game-related extras to GBA owners with the peripheral.

Josh Wittenkeller, who you all may know better as The Jwittz, is not only an incredible Pokémon fan, he is a Nintendo archivist.  His Pokémon Fact of the Day series is a YouTube staple, and I’ll constantly watch his videos to stay informed on Nintendo’s history.  In this video, he takes a look at the Nintendo eReader, explains what it did, how it worked, and highlights what were some of its best promotions. Give it a watch!

It’s sad that the GBA eReader wouldn’t have a very long lifespan. Part of the reason I didn’t get a GBA back in the day had to do with the fact that it lacked a backlit screen, and by the time a backlit revision of the GBA was released, The GBA SP, the eReader was discontinued. Sadly, its form factor became incompatible with the new hardware design, although I have heard it works fine with the GameCube’s GBA player.

I really regret missing out on this platform back in the day, it seems like a unique spin on contemporary technology. I feel that Pokémon was always the franchise that made the best creative use out of existing technology, and that legacy endures to this day with devices like the Pokémon Go Plus.