WonderSwan Color

A Handheld gaming device from Bandai. The system was noteworthy for supporting play on the system vertically or horizontally, depending on the particular game.

Overview

The WonderSwan Color was released on December 30, 2000 (only in Japan). It was created by Bandai, and the successor to the original WonderSwan. In Japan, it was met with modest success and sales (especially considering Nintendo's near-monopoly of the handheld market). The market share of the WonderSwan Color was approximately 8%, according to Bandai. Much of this success is credited to the low price of the handheld; ¥6800, or $59. The WonderSwan Color also had great third party support, with companies such as Squaresoft (who ported many of the original Final Fantasy games to the WonderSwan Color). When the WonderSwan Color's successor, the SwanCrystal, was released, Nintendo had regained support of Squaresoft, however. One of the unique features of the WonderSwan (all versions) was the fact that it could be played either horizontally or vertically.
The original WonderSwan featured only black and white. Naturally, the WonderSwan Color had a color LCD screen (as well as several more upgrades). The WonderSwan Color is slightly larger (7 mm larger) and heavier (2 g heavier), contained more RAM (64k of RAM). The WonderSwan Color is backwards compatible with many of the original WonderSwan's game (as well as the WonderSwan being compatible with many of the WonderSwan Color's games).

Similar to the Nintendo DS, before the WonderSwan Color can be used, the player must enter data about oneself, including birth date (year, month, and day), name, sex, and blood type. The name appears under Bandai's logo whenever the handheld console is turned on. The WonderSwan Color launched in several colors (five, in fact): Pearl Blue, Crystal Pink, Crystal Black, and Crystal Orange. In addition, several limited editions of the console were released. Also, the console had a Final Fantasy bundle, packaged with either the original Final Fantasy or Final Fantasy II, and a Final Fantasy skinned WonderSwan Color.

Technical Specifications

  • CPU: SPGY-1002, 3.072 MHz 16-bit NEC V30MZ duplicate
  • Memory: 64 kB shared VRAM/WRAM
  • Screen: FSTN reflective LCD, 2.8 in (71 mm), 224x144 pixels, 241 colors
  • Sound: One mono speaker, optional headphones (mute, soft, loud settings)
  • Link: Link adapter required for two players
  • Power: 20 hours of gameplay on one AA battery
  • Size: 128 mm x 743 mm x 24.3 mm
  • Weight: 95 g (3.35 oz)

WonderSwan Color games