The WonderSwan was developed by Yokoi Gunpei (known as the father of the Nintendo Game Boy). A low price point and extremely low battery consumption is considered to be the original vision of Yokoi. Sadly, Yokoi died in a car accident before seeing a completed WonderSwan.
Most of the games for the WonderSwan were based on Japanese Anime series. The system had no success outside of the Japanese domestic market, mainly beacause it was not ditributed and marketed efficiently. One of the system's interesting features is the control layout allows for games to be played in either vertical or horizontal position.
Other than the original WonderSwan's lack of color support it was a brilliantly engineered system. Shame it didn't have success outside of Japan.
this handheld was also sold in the UK, im not sure if it was sold in all of Europe but it was definitely on sale here in the UK. i can remember Argos $ Toys R Us selling them $ also the colour version.
I would like to "correct" the information given about this system. It was infact sold here in the US, mainly through Toys R Us. Later when the system failed a very weak "buy back" offer was put to use to "reclaim" all hardware so it could be destroyed. The system itself sold for nearly $150.00 us and only had a few games available.
Saturday 3rd February 2007
END OF PRODUCTION
December 2000 (replaced by WonderSwan Color)
BUILT IN SOFTWARE / GAMES
integrated into system chassis (11 software addressable buttons, 1
16-bit SPGY-1001 (custom Bandai manufactured CPU based on the NEC V30 MZ line of processor, the v30 microcode is compatible with x86 instructions)
shared with system RAM
1 KB save EEPROM
FSTN fixed resolution LCD display 224 x 144 mono
8 shades of gray
4 channel stereo 4/8 bit sample size audio (mono through systems internal speaker)
SIZE / WEIGHT
74.3 mm x 121 mm x 24.3 mm / 110 gr
Accessory port (allows system communication and headphone adapter)
proprietary ROM cartridges with the ability to have a small amount of EEPROM for game saves (max 16 MB)
NUMBER OF GAMES
1 AA battery (30 hours autonomy!) or Rechargeable Battery Pack