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Nintendo’s Classified Information: The next Game Boy

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So I was at my rents' house the other day for a family get-together. More or less bored, I decided to stroll down to the basement and open many (I mean many) of my old retro-mags I have stashed neatly into a stored compartment.

Here, you will find ancient issues of EGM, GamePro, Nintendo Power, GameNOW/ Expert Gamer, and Game Informer (as well as a dusty, yellow SNES). I always read these mags into trying to improve my writing skills here on Bitmob and look at how pro-writers like Dan Hsu, Crispin Boyer, and others reflect and express their take on how to write an article.

But what caught my attention was EGM 181 (August 2004), which both the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS was making its way to the gaming community and graced the magazine cover. I always loved the handheld systems; it was always pleasurable to take a break from the monster consoles and play some downgraded (yet beautiful) side-scrolling games, especially Castlevania and Megaman Zero. I grew up and  started off my gaming with the NES, then, well, you know the rest of the story there.

Now, that was seven years ago, where Nintendo was getting ready to go up against its first real-time competition with Sony's new handheld. Eleven years later, the 3DS is now available with a recent and skeptical price drop, following the upcoming release of the successor of PSP: PS Vita.

Now going back to my basement adventure, I started checking out other issues of EGM, particularly, #177. The Getaway 2 portrays the cover, and if any of you own this issue, check out page 29 — there is a interview with Perrin Kaplan (Nintendo Vice President of Corporate Affairs) and questions about the then-upcoming Nintendo DS (as well as sketches of EGM's own DS early design). Here is part of the interview:

EGM: So Nintendo is still working on the follow-up system to the Game Boy Advance?

PK: The minute we finished the GBA SP, we started working on the next Game Boy. This is a different product.

EGM: Will the DS delay the release of the next Game Boy?

PK: I wouldn't say that, no.

Well, there ya' go. I know, it was long ago, things change under certain circumstances. I admire and appreciate the 3DS and DS before it. And think about it: It took nearly eleven years for the original Game Boy to come out with its successor; the Game Boy Advance.

But I for one do not believe the 3DS is the equivalent  to"Game Boy 3." Maybe postponing is a smart thing; maybe they have a secret weapon up their arsenal and they are waiting for the right time for it.

If the next Game Boy is (or was) in the works, what would make it superior and far more distinctive than both DS systems? Perhaps more like an i-Pad? A single screen?

It is hard to even think about how scary technology improves on a year (or months) basis these days. It may be way too early to even discuss the 3DS passing the torch to a new Game Boy (and I don't like to judge on recently-released systems) but I think 3D is something premature to feature and take on the handheld departments.

That being said, Nintendo necessarily doesn't need to release a new handheld — its reign of being number one in the portable field have made them in a well comfortable position. Now with Game Boy emulators available on the 3DS Virtual Console, it seems fitting the 3DS and its caliber is what Nintendo wants to concentrate on. But you never know, SP came out not too shortly after the GBA; the DS Lite/ DSI after the DS.

Nintendo loves to burn fuel with rapid change of new product. What do you think?

-Pictures courtesy of modojo.com, engadget.com and wikianocookie.net


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