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Useful Notes / WonderSwan

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Bandai's entrant into the handheld console market which never received a release outside of Japan. In style, it looks like somebody crossed an iMac of the era (Bondi Blue!) with a Game Boy. It came in a multitude of colors, and eventually got an upgrade with the WonderSwan Color and another upgrade with the SwanCrystal.

The system was the brainchild of Gunpei Yokoi, father of the Game Boy, who had recently retired from Nintendo and wanted to do something different in the game business, and went to Bandai to get it off the ground. Unfortunately, after Yokoi's untimely death in a car crash, the project lost a great deal of momentum... at a point when Nintendo was releasing the Game Boy Advance, which eclipsed the WonderSwan family quite quickly. In the end Yokoi's last creation never left Japan.

The system gave Nintendo the first thing like a challenge in Japan's portable market — indeed, it's believed that the success of the WonderSwan (Color) gave the Big N just enough of a nudge to release the Game Boy Advance so quickly on the heels of the Game Boy Color.


Games for the WonderSwan and WonderSwan Color:


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