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Portables (Games) Entertainment Games

Game Boy Advance Video Player Coming To U.S. 40

Thanks to Yahoo for reprinting a press release revealing Majesco is bringing a GameBoy Advance video player to the U.S for Spring 2004. Although there are similar products available in Japan, there's been no attempt to launch a GBA video player Stateside until now, and the press release mentions: "Majesco's new video compression technology presently allows viewing of approximately 45 minutes of quality color video." It's noted that "approximately 12 video titles are scheduled to launch at retail", unfortunately proprietary, with no ability to import movies of your choice, and the Majesco CTO comments that this is "a significant advantage over most competitive technologies that limit viewing to black & white video", a dig at the currently available stand-alone VideoNOW player from Hasbro.
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Game Boy Advance Video Player Coming To U.S.

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  • Two questions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AtariAmarok ( 451306 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @01:22PM (#7828421)
    1. Will there be a sort of region encoding system so that existing Japanese titles won't play in the U.S.?
    2. The article mentions that it is a propietary format. Since it has apparently been out in Japan for a little while, has progress been made on tools that convert to and from "standard" formats into this format?
    • Re:Two questions (Score:3, Insightful)

      by simoniker ( 40 ) *
      Sorry if it wasn't clear in the write-up, but I think the Japanese GBA video player is actually by a different developer - though it does similar things.

      It may be that Majesco's system is a lot more standalone - the Japanese system allows you to write to Smart Media cards, but it could be the U.S. video player carts are just standalone, with no possible PC interface. We'll have to see.
    • Personally I doubt it, the GB region lock on them and as very well it shouldn't. I never got the point of them. Though I curious to wonder whether they can include options like subtitling, and *MAYBE* language preferences. Hopefully Majesco can release more information sometime soon. This is BIG news for me as I've been wanting this thing for a while now.
  • by the Man in Black ( 102634 ) <jasonrashaad@@@gmail...com> on Monday December 29, 2003 @01:22PM (#7828427) Homepage
    Unless there's another use for this that perhaps I'm unaware of.

    Oh come on. 45 minutes? Color video? Hand held? What are you gonna watch, skiing training videos?
    • 45 minutes is exactly the length of a 1-hour TV show, sans commercials. You can also fit two half-hour TV shows on one of these carts. Two carts would give you a whole movie (in most cases).

      I can just see it now: "Get the entire season of Law and Order on 25 GBA cartridges! Only $480!"

    • Cooking (Score:2, Insightful)

      by emilng ( 641557 )
      How about instructional videos like home improvement or cooking?
      Of course to keep in line with your thread, you could always have sex instruction... =P
  • Is it just me? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by heinousjay ( 683506 )
    Do we really need this in the GBA? I like mine because I can play good games in weird places, not because it's a do-all device.
    • Re:Is it just me? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @02:39PM (#7829054) Homepage Journal
      "Do we really need this in the GBA? I like mine because I can play good games in weird places, not because it's a do-all device. "

      This doesn't strike me as an "OOO EVERYBODY'LL LOVE THIS" product. But more like "There's a few people that'll find this useful."

      A few things to consider:

      1.) GBA is small and very battery efficient.
      2.) GBA is a common travel companion.
      3.) DVD players, even portables, are very large. Damn ~5" discs.

      If you're asking that question, simply put, it's not for you. Don't assume you represent the entire target audience, though. 2 little carts = 1 movie. If they can make that affordable, then I'd probably get it just to have something to watch instead of spending $200+ for a bulky DVD player.
  • Nintendo has fought hard again the flash cartridge makers. I see no way that they would allow companies to sell flashable cartridges. Even if a company put something out, it would only be a matter of time before someone hacked it and then you would have a cheap flashable ROM.
  • by b00m3rang ( 682108 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @02:23PM (#7828922)
    How is this better than a universal, memory card-based media player like the one I just found at: http://www.lik-sang.com/info.php?category=50&produ cts_id=3983& [lik-sang.com]
  • by Blackwulf ( 34848 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @02:24PM (#7828926) Homepage
    It was actually pretty impressive. I saw both a cartoon and an MTV special on the cards. They said that they're also licensing the technology out to game developers so they can create some FMV footage for their GBA games. (I THINK the Kingdom Hearts GBA game is using a technology similar, but don't quote me on that...)

    As for what it's good for, I'd think of having kids in the backseat of the car on a trip watching cartoons on their GBA. The cartoons came out better than the live action stuff, obviously, so I can see more use for distributing two episodes of a cartoon on a cartridge than distributing any live-action shows.
  • The question that I have is, how much will it cost? When I can get a portable DVD player with 7" widescreen [circuitcity.com] for US$250, unless this GBA thingy is really cheap, I just don't see much of a place for it.

    • "The question that I have is, how much will it cost? ... unless this GBA thingy is really cheap, I just don't see much of a place for it."

      I doubt it'll cost that much. It's got to have an input medium, and a decoder chip. How can that possibly come close to the cost of a portable DVD player?

      " When I can get a portable DVD player with 7" widescreen for US$250,"

      Though I doubt this will replace your DVD player, I just thought I'd point out that 7" is a hell of a lot bigger than your pocket. I hate car
      • Re:Price (Score:2, Informative)

        by Radius9 ( 588130 )
        It doesn't have an input medium other than the cartridge, and the decoding is done in software, so there is no decoding chip. It is a standard 15-20 dollar cart for 45 minutes of video.
    • While this is all pure speculation as I only glanced at TFA, and I've never used a portable DVD player, I would imagine that a cartridge based video player wouldn't skip on bumpy rides. Eh? Eh?
  • with the METEO Avi-2-GBA Video Codec [gameboy-advance.net].

    Granted, your flash cart will likely only have enough storage for a few minutes, but you can encode any video data rather than depending on / paying for prepackaged content.

    Don't worry, the software (windows only, I'm afraid) can also encode MPEG video.
  • Thank GOD! (Score:3, Funny)

    by __aailob1448 ( 541069 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @05:40PM (#7830554) Journal
    I've been wanting to buy 45min lowres videos to play on my GBA for ages. In fact, I can confidently say it's my lifelong dream. I'll now go pray and thank G..$5#&***_____ERROR.4174: Sarcasm Overload
    • This is exactly why I don't get why so many people go gaga over the PSP movie and music playback ability...

      Oh woo, we can buy mini-dvd's and mini-cd's of the same dvd's and cd's we already own. Same content just half the quality or half the tracks and they will not play on anything other than the PSP. Woo hoo, suck on that GAYboy owners!
  • How easy is it to watch the videos? Considering playing games is difficult enough...
  • My uncle just bought my 10-year old cousin a portable DVD player with a 3-4 inch screen for 140 bucks. It plays any DVD, and you can also hook it up to a TV when you're on the road. Seems like a much better deal to me.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall