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Nintendo Embedding Classic Games on Trading Cards

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the yay-I-got-the-white-sword dept.

Games 336

bacontaco writes "Here's a quick article over at Adrenaline Vault about Nintendo's plan to put out old-school Nintendo games with the use of a e-Reader that plugs into the Game Boy Advance and trading cards that can be swiped with the device. The article flips back and forth on which console's games will be supported, saying either NES or SNES games will be used with the cards. It's kind of eye-opening when you think about how games that seemed so great so long ago can now be fit on something so small as a card."

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336 comments

Hello. I have scored the first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276540)

I'd like to tell you all about a boy named Sak. Sak is a homosexual boy, and he enjoys goatsex. That's all! Thanks. Bye!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

FCAdcock (531678) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276543)

fp?

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276573)

Yup you got the first post fool

turbographic (1)

meatbridge (443871) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276548)

its not that hard to imagine, because at the tail end of the nintendo legacy turbo graphix 16 had games that fit on cards

Re:turbographic (2, Funny)

2names (531755) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276693)

ALL of the first computer games were on cards... PUNCH CARDS.

Re:turbographic (1)

tx_mgm (82188) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276712)

no.
those were memory cards so you could take them to an arcade and play your saved games there.

Re:turbographic (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276738)

The turbografx 16's games were on credit card sized rom cards, with a row of contacts on the end that plugged into the system. You might be thinking about the neo geo.

Re:turbographic (1)

tx_mgm (82188) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276767)

oh yeah....thats right.
d'oh. sorry about that.

cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276549)

I love My GBA. One of the best investments I ever made.

3rd post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276550)

lets see them put this on a card

Ahh, youth (2)

thelexx (237096) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276551)

"It's kind of eye-opening when you think about how games that seemed so great so long ago can now be fit on something so small as a card."

Only if you don't remember cartridges! :)

LEXX

Re:Ahh, youth (5, Funny)

Moonshadow (84117) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276655)

"It's kind of eye-opening when you think about how games that seemed so great so long ago can now be fit on something so small as a card."

Not to mention having every one ever made fit onto a single CD, with lots of room to spare...

*cough*

First Metroid Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276553)

Badass, now I can turn into that little ball thingy and kick some ass without stealing the rom!

Re:First Metroid Post (1)

dextr0us (565556) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276747)

just to let you know there is a new metroid game coming out for GBA and GC on the same day (in late novemember if i'm correct). The GBA incarnation is akin to a sequel to metroid 3, so you should be expecting it in novemember.

Question to the slashdot community (3, Interesting)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276555)

What is preventing someone from putting out a console capable of running games from all the classic system? Let's say I want to do NES, Sega, SNES, and maybe one or two of the 'lesser console'. Better yet, why not have a cdrom drive so you can fit a thousand of those old games onto a single media. What would be the issues holding this back?

Re:Question to the slashdot community (3, Insightful)

Nakago4 (576970) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276595)

A little something called licensing.

Re:Question to the slashdot community (2)

gatekeep (122108) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276598)

Nothing is holding this back short of IP law. In fact, I've seen MAME/NESticle cabinets that do pretty much that.

Re:Question to the slashdot community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276638)

The original companies themselves. It's very rare that console technology is licensed to other companies (one notable exception is the JVC X-Eye, which is Genesis/Sega CD compatible). /me still wonders why Nintendo never released an NES converter for the SNES, it would have been fairly trivial considering the CPU similarities (if one were able to take advantage of that).

Re:Question to the slashdot community (2)

BlackGriffen (521856) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276659)

Aside from lots of copyrights, a few patents, and an army of lawyers, not much at all. Oh, yes, supporting all of the different connectors would be a hassle if you go for actual emulation of the cartridges. Honestly, you're computer can do it now (for the most part), if you know where to look.

BlackGriffen

Re:Question to the slashdot community (4, Insightful)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276673)

What is preventing someone from putting out a console capable of running games from all the classic system? Let's say I want to do NES, Sega, SNES, and maybe one or two of the 'lesser console'

You mean the Dreamcast [dcemulation.com] ?

Re:Question to the slashdot community (3, Informative)

Lxy (80823) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276687)

What is preventing someone from putting out a console capable of running games from all the classic system?

Nothing. It's called a Sega Dreamcast.

www.dcemulation.com has all the emulators and tools you need to put MAME, Stealla, NES, Sega Genesis, SNES, even LINUX on your Dreamcast. That is, assuming you have legally obtained ROMs.

At last check, you could buy these units used for around $50. Sega killed it last Christmas, so there's no new ones to be found. Check your local Funcoland or pawn shop, you'll probably find one.

Re:Question to the slashdot community (3, Interesting)

merlin_jim (302773) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276760)

Actually, this is currently possible. Licensing is the big issue.

Get a good NES emulator (Nesticle is fairly good), SNES emulator (ZSNES), Sega emulator (I forget... something like Genocide is what its called)... these are all available for Linux. I have a demonstration system for this; they all run with decent framerates on the VIA Mini-ITX board, which you can fit into a console size system. Throw a CDROM on it, and run all your software from a FLASH card... these are cheap and solid-state, both good things in a console that might need to be banged around a little. Parts are gonna run you $250 - $300. And that's consumer prices. Wholesale might get a little cheaper. You can throw in basic networking ,e-mail, and websurfing for free, though, so people might be willing to pay $300 or so for this system.

The problem is, you have to license it. You MAY need to license the box; IANAL, but it seems to me that emulators are not infringing on any IP laws, with the possible exception of patents, but IIRC none of the systems mentioned except SNES with the special GFX games (StarFox and Zelda are examples) are patented. However, you absolutely have to license every game you sell.

How much does Nintendo value their legacy games? The article mentions $1 - $4. So, put 100 games on a CD and you're talking about quite a large royalty. In addition, how likely is Nintendo to want to license games on a system that can also run Sega games? What if they foresee that one day, you'll have a decent Playstation emulator on the box too?

How likely is Nintendo to want to even start a dialog with you?

First post ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276562)

I think so ! :)

f1rst po0st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276563)

fp

ROM alternative (2, Funny)

phigga (526030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276564)

Sweet...now I can play Burger Time without having to search for a ROM that works!!!

long ago? (2)

flynt (248848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276565)

I'd rather play Mario 1 than the new game personally! Those games are still great today, and this idea seems pretty cool!

Re:long ago? (1)

FCAdcock (531678) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276650)

Mario 3 is still one of my favorite games ever. That and Bird Hunter, I still play that game quite frequently...

Knocks the wind out of the abandonware argument? (5, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276567)

One of the main reasons people use to justify trading game ROMs is that the original publisher has "abandoned" them and that they're no longer selling or making money on them. Natually, if a company has gone under and no longer exists, that's a pretty good argument. However, here, we see Nintendo showing just the opposite.

Re:Knocks the wind out of the abandonware argument (3, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276742)

In this case, abandonware just makes an intermediate step. If there's some old software that I like that suddenly comes out in a new and useful format, of course I'll buy the new version.

Gamecube (1)

DBordello (596751) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276568)

But is gamecube powerful enough to play these classics? Doubt it :) db

Now the e prefix is become a postfix? (5, Funny)

stienman (51024) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276571)

In other news, Nintendo is post-fixing an 'e' to each game's title in the hopes of jumping ahead of the next revolution in electronic naming.

"People are tired of e-this, and e-that, k-this, g-that. We're leading the next naming revolution with new-age names like Donkey Kong-e, and Mario Brothers-e."

-Adam

Re:Now the e prefix is become a postfix? (5, Funny)

webslacker (15723) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276821)

It's called a suffix, not a postfix. What kind of nerd are you?

a swipe? (1)

Mr.T1 (607832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276574)

By swiping a card, these games can't be that small, can they. Or is the real news that they invented same high density magnetic material? Anyway, great idea, combining trading cards with computer games.

Re:a swipe? (2, Informative)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276608)

The article says that the games will be stored using dots printed on the card and that the reader will scan in the dots optically. Now *that* sounds pretty cool...much cooler than just using a magnetic stripe.
To have some idea of what the cards will look like, take a look at any UPS package with the dot-coded label that has that bulls-eye in the middle.

Re:a swipe? (1, Insightful)

RegenesisX (593111) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276813)

My understanding is that each game comes on 5 trading cards. I assume this means different levels will be on different cards and you'll be prompted to swipe a different card as the need arises.

TG16 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276580)

Its not amazing that those games would fit on a card... remeber the turbographics 16 console system. those games were cards even back then.

Data size? (2)

unicron (20286) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276581)

Really makes me wonder how many games used only a fraction of the cartridges total space. On one hand you have a lot of really easy to beat, small games and then you have games like FF3 and ChronoTrigger, which takes a really long time to beat.

Re:Data size? (2)

unicron (20286) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276602)

I really hate reading over something I just posted and realizing it looks like a 3rd grader wrote it..been a long day..

Re:Data size? (2)

gatekeep (122108) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276622)

Do the catridges really have a predetermined total space? The storage of a cartridge is really only limited by the amount of memory which can fit in that physical space and be powered by the amount of electricity provided by the console, right? Of course there might be some issues about the console being able to address large amounts of memory and such, but that could probably be fixed through swapping or some other means, I'm certainly no console programmer.

Re:Data size? (2)

cascino (454769) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276677)

Correct me if I'm wrong (it's been awhile), but I believe the largest SNES cart was 32 MBits, or only a few megabytes.
And, as stated above, most big RPG's such as FF3 and CT used about all this space - I remember some extra stuff at the ending of FF3 wasn't able to make the final release due to cartridge-size limitations.

Re:Data size? (3, Informative)

photon317 (208409) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276697)

In the old 8-bit nintendo (probably other and later consoles as well) cartridge programmers implemented bank switching to put more data in the cartiridge than the architecture was really designed to handle. They are known as "mappers", and it's what you hear about when you read about NES emulators and whatnot and what "mappers" they support - they're referring to memory addressing schemes used by games that couldn't fit normally.

Re:Data size? (1)

shadow303 (446306) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276703)

It's limited by the ROM size on the cartridge. You could put a larger ROM on, but then you need to add more address lines to access the added memory, so generally once you pick a size, you are kind of stuck.

Re:Data size? (1)

IsoRashi (556454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276826)

If I'm not mistaken, a lot of the space inside a cartridge wasn't "used". They did this because of heating concerns. Basically, if they filled the whole thing up, your cartridge would melt all over your system, and that's not exactly a good thing. I forget where I originally read this information. It was in an article about some kid who opened an SNES cartridge and was disappointed to find that half the cartridge was completely empty.

Re:Data size? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276640)

FF3/6 and the CT roms are about 2-2.5 mb, IIRC. I'm not at home with my "m4d r0mz" collection right now. That's in PC speak, if you dump the rom to a computer file. The "megabit" size doesn't seem to add up to the megabyte on PC.

Re:Data size? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276748)

People are still hung up on this?

This is why I have always despised the practice of reporting sizes in megabits instead of megabytes...8 megabits = 1 megabyte, simple as that. So, for example, Zelda 3 for SNES would be considered an '8 meg game', translating into the 1MB that you would see if you checked the ROM yourself (plus a tiny bit more for the SMC header). Of course, I understand that '32 megs' sounds bigger than '4 megabytes', but it's misleading. Using that logic, Dreamcast games can be up to '8 gigs', meaning '8 gigabits'.

Re:Data size? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276750)

Some where I heard Nintendo 64 carts are only about 32-64MB! Pretty amazing for the games they put on them.

Not really impressed by this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276582)

Look at how big a CD is, its not much bigger than a trading card. And how much fits on one of those, and they're optical too...

Interesting (1)

Boogey (608449) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276584)

Being younger, I remember when the Snes came out. This is the first time I feel dated, now they fit those games on cards? Makes one wonder what the future holds for computers and consoles, you can only get so small and retain its usefulness.

Zelda! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276587)

This ia great, a perfect way to play Zelda in my car for only a few dollars, and I dont have to rig a laptop emu system.

On another note nintendos new game Animal Crossing for the gamecube lets you download NES games to your GBA and play em on the run. Kick ass

It's about damn time. (1)

zhar (533174) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276588)

I've always thought nintendo should try and make some money off of the classic gaming market by using emulators or something along that line. Instead, they have been fighting the emulation scene tooth and nail.

Zelda (1)

meis31337 (574142) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276600)

I would love to carry around Zelda in my wallet and pull it out whenever I want to play it... seems like a great idea to me... more companies should be doing stuff like this.

Re:Zelda (1)

Hamster Of Death (413544) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276647)

Might want to reword your comments there..
Zelda might get jealous of whatever you're pulling out and playing with!
=)

Where is the data? (4, Interesting)

phriedom (561200) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276617)

It says that the e-reader plugs in and reads an optical dot code on the trading card. I expect that means the actual game data for all the games is already in the e-reader, and the trading card just enables the right game titles. Its probably microprinting too, to defeat photocopies.

It is possible that the game data actually IS on the trading card. If that were true, I would say we have figuratively come full circle back to something very like punch cards.

Re:Where is the data? (2)

TheOnlyCoolTim (264997) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276695)

The e-Reader accessory connects to the Game Boy Advance via the cartridge slot and uses "dot code technology" to read optical data imprinted on the specially designed trading cards. The e-Reader hardware has a one megabit flash ROM to store up to one video game for continued play. The hardware also links to a second Game Boy Advance or a Nintendo GameCube. Animal Crossing for Nintendo GameCube uses the feature and upcoming products will take advantage of it in exciting and innovative ways.


It seems the game is actually on the cards themselves, but of course they could be bullshitting us... We'll see.

Tim

Re:Where is the data? (1, Redundant)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276719)

According to the full press release on the nintendo site [nintendo.com]
"The e-Reader hardware has a one megabit flash ROM to store up to one video game for continued play

Re:Where is the data? (3, Informative)

questionlp (58365) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276816)

Each e-Card has two sets of dots... one running on the bottom and on the right-hand side of the card. Each set of dots can hold so many kilobytes of data. There was some information in the latest issue of Nintendo Power and probably can be found at nintendo.com.

There is some ROM and Flash on the reader which is used to store the "OS" and the game data read from each of the cards respectively. Some games can fit on 2-3 cards whereas some games can take up 6+ cards.

My guess is that the dots are arranged in a certain way and using a certain dye type to reduce/eliminate the ease of duplicating cards using copiers or printers... who knows. Each game goes for around $5-10 so it's not too expensive compared to GTA-3 or Halo.

The idea of using the cards is also to trade stuff with friends for use in games (like Pokemon and the next Zelda game for the GC).

Returning to their roots (1)

CymorC (115920) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276623)

Nintendo was originally a playing card maker.

A Little more info... (5, Informative)

Kraegar (565221) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276627)

...is available at Nintendo's site [nintendo.com]

(note for some reason the link generates a 404, but if you refresh, it comes up with the page)

Re:A Little more info... (2)

Kraegar (565221) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276696)

And a little more info here [nintendo-e-reader.com] at the Nintendo e-reader site.

If SMC ROM files are any indication they are small (2)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276629)

ROM sizes are usually 1mb, 2mb, or 4mb.

Sometimes they are bigger, sometimes they are smaller.

The world's greatest emulator [zsnes.com]

mb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276660)

Note that mb is mega bit not mega byte

Re:mb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276784)

Wrong, in context to the parent. I've never seen a 128k commercially released SNES game. He was referring to the MB count as opposed to the Mb count.

That's super nintendo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276691)

SMC is, for the record, Super Nintendo.

ROMs for the original NES are almost never more than 50k in size.

Uh, yeah. (2)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276639)

"Technology's progressed."

Dude, the HuCard games for my TurboGraphix were on cards. Tiny little things...they liked to pick up legs when my other Turbo friends would come over. And they worked great...never had to blow on them or put them in new carts like genesis and Nintendo games.

What's amazing is that the technology is so CHEAP you can do this with a trading card set.

The cards hold 4.4K (2)

Target Drone (546651) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276645)

According to this page [nintendo.com] the cards can hold up to two strips of data containing 2.2K each. The memory reader has 64 Mb mask ROM and 1 Mb flash memory.

I suspect that the original NES and SNES games were bigger then 4K so you'll probably only get a stripped down version of a game.

Re:The cards hold 4.4K (3, Interesting)

Benley (102665) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276725)

Having read the article and also noticed this myself, I'm now wondering if the paper trading cards don't hold the game at all. Perhaps they are all pre-loaded on the e-Reader doohickey, and swiping the card just allows you to play it.

That would be excessively lame, imho, but it wouldn't surprise me at all.

Re:The cards hold 4.4K (2)

photon317 (208409) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276755)


They could be using a hybrid of the two techniques:

Perhaps they've stored a whole library of generic graphics/sound/"ai" routines on the dohickey that given good common coverage to the legacy games, and the cards just store sprite and gameplay/flow data in a highly compressed format.

Re:The cards hold 4.4K (1)

Lethal_Geek (156349) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276809)

Actually most the games seem to come on about 4+ cards. From pocket.ign.com ExciteBike review:

"Excitebike will also be available for the Game Boy Advance e-Reader device as a pack of five cards. Players can scan the game into their system without the need of a GameCube, cable, or Animal Crossing game."

Plus we're talking about FIRST gen NES games, I think the cart size on those is:

I got Ice Climber clocked in at 32K PRG (I'm guessing Program) and 8K CHR, whatever that means. I'm sure a little compression or not actually using all that data in the 32K ROM accounts for that.

Re:The cards hold 4.4K (1)

Rastor0 (591883) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276812)

According to the e-Reader website [nintendo-e-reader.com] (flash required), "with e-Reader technology, the code for an entire NES game can be stored on a stack of just five cards!"

And so this is probably where the collectible trading card aspect really comes into play: you need a complete set of 5 cards in order to play the game! Very clever, but I'm not surprised considering this is the company responsible for the Pokemon craze.

not that good... (1)

lawngnome (573912) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276662)

from what I have read the card based games will be the small mapper 0 games such as baloon fight and soccer. I really wish they would release all the first gen nintendo games (the pixalated cover games) and zelda on a cart for the GBA - I would buy one on the spot...

ROM trading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276664)

Those of us who, a couple years ago, swapped ROM files and got all pissed off at nintendo for trying to shut down emulation sites even though they were making no money from new sales of those games anymore are likely all kind of feeling stupid right now.

I still do not feel my trading of those rom files was immoral-- especially because 90% of the roms i downloaded were files that either i owned the cartriges for or were never made available in the U.S. (i still say Ufouria was the greatest NES game ever..).

However, this is the kind of thing that makes the abandonware debate really all screwy. Yeah, the copyright for those games fell into disuse. Yeah, the game companies are gaining no new sales for those games, and yeah, it's unreasonable that it will continue to be illegal to duplicate copies of "ice climber" until long, long after the last physical copy and physical NES system has stopped functioning and started decaying.

But can it really be said that it's right to take away a game company's copyright when it stops using them, given that cool things like what Nintendo just did can eventaully happen?

And can it really be said that this is an efficient copyright system, when 1) there are so many games that will never make it into this new system, 2) there are so many non-nintendo systems where the games are just frozen in metaphorical ice, legally lost to the world forever, and 3) if some system were in place whereby Nintendo would be forced to licence abandonware games to third parties on a RAND basis, we could have seen a system like this possibly years ago?

That said, this is a really neat idea, with the trading cards and all. Nintendo has impressed me once again, in a game industry i view as in a heavy creative slump..

-- super ugly ultraman

Its not that hard when you think about it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276670)

"Really makes me wonder how many games used only a fraction of the cartridges total space."

Go to any downloadable rom site. You will see that most the roms range from 50-250k in size.
The occasional game like ff3 will top out at around 4 megs.

Real Information on the e-Reader (1)

Jered (32096) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276671)

There's real information on the e-Reader at Nintendo's official e-Reader site [nintendo-e-reader.com] .

IGN has some info and questions (3, Informative)

sdjunky (586961) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276684)

You can see it here [ign.com]

From my understanding the games either
A. span multiple cards
B. are built into the eReader and the cards have barcodes to unlock them

Also, the games ARE for the NES.

What I wanna know... (1)

JasonMaggini (190142) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276685)

...are they gonna put Zelda on a card with a little tiny battery to save the game?

As I recall, that was pretty revolutionary in the days of the 8-bit console & cartridge...

the "reader" holds the games, NOT the cards (1)

gnudutch (235983) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276694)

Guys this is an old trick in the toy biz.


The so-called "reader" actually contains the full games, all of them. The cards only store some index to the game, along with some trivial security perhaps.

Re:the "reader" holds the games, NOT the cards (1)

Reece400 (584378) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276819)

Note the fact that a section of CD or even DVD the size of a card could hold many many many games and they too are optical storage, meaning that it is quite possible fit a whole game on a card,, however, they could prove scratch prone unless they have some sort of protective casing,,

Reece,

E-card will be NES only (2)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276709)

If you look through the racks of the Gameboy Color, you'll see some NES games that were rereleased for that platform. If you look at the Gameboy Advanced, you see some SNES games (Super Mario Advanced series (NES SMB2 and SNES SMW), and the new Zelda is Zelda3:LttP, for example).

So, now that the market for rereleases NES games ($30-$70 when new) as GBC games ($30-$40) has been exhausted, they are ready to be dumped ($5-$7).

I would expect that the Super Advanced Gameboy, when released in 6 years, will get a lot of ports from the N64, selling at $40, and an e-card reader like device allowing them to dump old SNES games for $5-$7.

That's the real reason that Nintendo can afford to "lose" the console war, they'll make enough money on the NGC to be happy and build a library of games. Then they'll make the real money porting old games to their handheld.

It's a pretty similar strategy to certain genres in Hollywood... you know the internation and video distribution royalties, so you don't care if it tanks at the box office.

Alex

Games that *seemed* to be so great? (4, Insightful)

cje (33931) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276721)

Hey, I've got news for you, buddy .. a lot of those games were great!

Sure, they didn't feature a lot of the CD-quality music and breathtaking FMV and first-person, three-dimensional, high-polygon-count graphics that you'll find in modern games, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're any less fun. I don't know about anybody else, but I probably had more fun playing the original Legend of Zelda than I did playing Zelda: Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask. Good graphics and music + glitzy presentation does not necessarily = better games. A lot of today's games are very nicely packaged, but all too many of them are nicely-packaged garbage.

Nice idea. (1)

TheDanish (576008) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276724)

I thought Nintendo was AGAINST emulation? :p No, I know they'd permit it if they were doing it, especially if they had control over it. And it's not really all that much information. Some games are as small as 40kb (Super Mario Brothers, for example), and even the largest NES games are only 512kb (Megaman 4-6, Castlevania 3), which can be made a lot smaller if they're compressed. Anyway, what they could do is write a small emulator on the GBA cartridge and have a trading card reader that will enable ROM images already on that cartridge. You can put a lot of info on a GBA cart. I don't know the max capacity of a GBA cart, so that's just speculation. There's an FAQ on the GBA e-reader here [gamefaqs.com] , but that has more to do with Pokemon (and, if you think about it, it would make more sense)

Re:Nice idea. (1)

TheDanish (576008) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276759)

Erm, don't click that link. Go here [gamefaqs.com] instead. Sorry.

Re:Nice idea. (1)

TheDanish (576008) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276793)

On second thought, reading the post above mine, I guess they took the alternate route of simply writing out the image data on a card (several cards, actually). Oh, well, shows what I know...

I have one, using it right now. (5, Informative)

Mike the Mac Geek (182790) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276740)

Bought an E-Card reader today for my GBA and Animal Crossing (GameCube Game).

The data itself is embedded in the card. It's a printed optical dot code. VERY TINY DOTS. I can't pick one out with my naked eye. I'm sure I could with a magnifying glass though.

I saw somewhere that a long strip (lengthwise) can hold up to 2.2KB of data, and a short strip (width) can hold 1.1. Each card can have only two strips. Presumably so the card can be handled.

Picked up a few ECard games, like Excitebike, Pinball, Etc. Games take 9-10 long strips. The game can the be saved in the reader, so you dont have to swipe again until you save another. Only space for one.

This is easy to use, holds a good amount of data, and has a LOT of possibilities. Kudos to Nintendo/Olympus!

Re:I have one, using it right now. (2)

phriedom (561200) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276802)

so you need 5 cards to play exciteabike? That sounds cumbersome.

Perspective Please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276743)

The cartridge form-factor may have seemed large, but inside that cart was a small, say 20-pin or so memory chip with an even smaller slice of sillicon in it; This slice of sillicon is probably about 20% or so of the size of a CF card.

Great (4, Funny)

sdjunky (586961) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276744)

I can see it now. you buy a pack of cards and you have ALL but that 1 card to finish the set to play Zelda.

Just like Baseball cards you'll go buying pack after pack in hopes of finding the one

Overview of the device (1)

lightPhoenix (28084) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276746)

Alright, alot of people didn't look at the article and therefore have some misconceptions about the device.

It's a playing card reader that plugs into the GBA, with a link passthrough that allows a connection to the GameCube with proper cabling. The cards that it reads are not em-based or anything. It uses an optical dot system much in the spirit of the punch card system. Nintendo will be selling packs of classic nintendo games that can be scanned in, but these will mostly be first generation games as there's only like 2k of space on each long edge of the card and less for the other side. Nintendo will also be implimenting this eReader system with it's Pokemon Trading Card Game cards, so you can scan in cards and get stuff like minigames, songs, strategies, information, etc. Gamecube games like Animal Crossing can use the device with Animal Crossing cards, to scan in textures, songs, letters and more in the game. I don't know how else it'll be used, but my curiousity is piqued. Also it looks like it'll be fun for GBA programming contests if we can unravel the programming language.

Finally some common sense. (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276751)

What a great idea.

I've seen it. It's cool. (1)

Airneil (43790) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276768)

A friend showed his to me today.

Imagine a Pokemon card with a thin (3mm or so) stripe of dots up one or more sides. The Pokemon cards he has have dots on one side and one end, you swipe both sets of dots to insert the monster in your Pokemon game.

He has another game, Excitebike, that uses both long edges of 5 cards to hold the game. Scan all ten dot strips, and play the game.

GBA/GameCube link and NES games (1)

agent oranje (169160) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276770)

There's also a neat feature in a game called "Animal Crossing," which was released stateside today, in that within the game, you can buy NES games, and play them within the game. These are transferrable to your GBA's flash memory via the GBA/GameCube link. Ever since that Pokemon fad, Ninendo has been thinking of new and tricky ways to make you want to "catch em all." Now I have to catch a GBA to take full advantage of my GameCube... heh.

The games AREN'T on the cards (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276780)

The cards don't actually hold the games, the games are already stored in the Gamecube's disc. The cards simply UNLOCK the ability to play the games.

are they on the locked reader or the card? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276781)

is the card just a key to unlock the games already on the reader? that would be lame.

Size ain't everything (1)

h0ss (562457) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276789)

Just because these games are small doesn't diminish their greatness. In my view, which may be a minority view, gameplay is king. You can fit fun in a small space as well as a big one.

Great! (1)

DonkeyJimmy (599788) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276790)

I think this is a great idea. Old Nintendo games are sometimes rare, and often still worth playing (Bionic Commando, River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball, Contra).

I have on more then one occasion hunted down an old great for a friend on his birthday and it's always well received. As time progresses it's getting harder to find working copies (funco land is a great place, though they charge as much as $20 for the rare ones if they have them, and sometimes they don't have much life left in them).

Re-releasing the games is good, and making them small and "tradeable" sounds like fun, assuming they are sufficently cheap and random. I wouldn't mind buying a pack of nintendo cards, getting another copy of Super Spike V-Ball as my rare and trying to trade for my friends Solar Jetman, maybe I'll throw in a Ninja Gaiden. A lot more interesting to me then magic the gathering or baseball cards.

ROM collection (2)

drdink (77) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276804)

Depending on the price of the GBA hardware and the cards, this will be a great way to start a ROM collection. All we need is for somebody to make an interface between the computer and the GBA hardware. This is much easier than previous methods for obtaining ROMs. Nintendo is kindly making it cheaper to emulate your favorite games on your home PC.

Abandonware no more... (1, Troll)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276806)

Okay, so let's say someone has the Excitebike rom on his or her computer. The argument is that it's "legal" since Nintendo doesn't sell it anymore.

How many people told you that "Yeah, I'd buy the real game if it was still sold."? I can't wait to see all of them rush to Walmart to buy a GameBoy Advance and an e-Readers so you can play the game.

I'd bet everything I've got that they're still going to play that rom in their basement, and still not give a penny to Nintendo.

Hu-Cards anyone????? (1)

Steveftoth (78419) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276808)

I hate statements like the last line in said story.

It shows no thought whatsoever. Besides, since the age of nintendo, games have been coming to usin the form of... a card. The TurboGraphix 16, all it's games came on cards.

The Sega master system which came out only a year after the nes, also used cards to deliver game. I had about 10 of them. They were really good games too, like Spy vs Spy. Not stupid little crappy games, but full games just like on the carts. Though they were usually a little bit smaller in data size. (as well as physical).

Also don't forget about those awesome card-cds, that are basically a cd cut down to the size of a card and can be put in the cd player.

very cool stuff.

SMS Cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4276814)

"It's kind of eye-opening when you think about how games that seemed so great so long ago can now be fit on something so small as a card."

Uh, not really. The Sega Master System (and TG16) used cards for some of their games.

I'm actually surprised that more smart-card type games haven't been developed. They hold, what 128MB? 256MB? Old Master System games were 1-4Mb (~125-500K). You could just about fit the entire library on just one card.

2d barcode (1)

Ryan Stortz (598060) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276822)

How large were the files for a classic NES game? A 2-D Barcode can hold around 4MB of data, and most roms are around 2-3MB.

Good idea for business cards (1)

briglass (608949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4276824)

Hi, nice to meet you, here's my shareware. ;)
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