Mini Video-to-Go Moves From Concept to Shelf

Portable video is coming it seems whether people feel there is a market or not… This time in the form of a hack to the Gameboy enabling video to play through for kids.

INEXPENSIVE ways to play video on hand-held devices have been promised for at least a couple of years, and there have been tantalizing glimpses of bright-screened, palm-size prototypes at electronics shows. [New York Times: Technology]

Essentially, Majesco has put a typical Game Boy game cartridge to a new use. With its own compression technology, it squeezed about 45 minutes of full-screen, full-sound video into the cartridge’s 256-megabyte solid-state memory.

When the cartridge, called Game Boy Advance Video, is inserted into the console, the 1.6-inch-by-2.4-inch screen becomes a video playback window. Sound is piped through the player’s tiny speaker or can be heard through headphones. Next month Majesco will also release the first headphones made exclusively for Game Boy Advance SP, which cannot accommodate commonly used headphones without an adapter.

The headphones are expected to cost about $10 and the video cartridges about $20, said Liz Buckley, senior product manager for Majesco, which is based in Edison, N.J. She said the first 11 titles would be cartoons or computer-generated animation for children ages 6 to 12.

“It’s the most likely age group to watch things over and over,” Ms. Buckley said, describing all the programs, which include Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “The Fairly Odd Parents” and 4Kids Entertainment’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” as “episodic.”

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