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Friday, 30 March, 2001, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Game Boy Advance impresses Japan
Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance: To be launched in Britain in June
The days when a Nintendo console was attached to TVs across Britain may a thing of the past, but in Japan the Nintendo brand is surging ahead, reports the BBC's David Gibbon.

Nintendo's Game Boy Advance, launched earlier this month, has already sold 531,000 units in just four days, following a highly successful launch.

It is part of the company's next-generation handheld video games system, and research by Media Create and industry trade paper MCV shows it is proving popular.

The Game Boy Advance, which can display up to 32,768 colours simultaneously on its 2.9" TFT screen as opposed to just 56 on the original, finally went on sale in Japan on 21 March.

It was welcomed with open arms by the country's mass army of keen games players eager to latch onto the latest technology.

I expect the machine to be in huge demand when it ships in the UK

Don McCabe

The sales figure proves even more impressive when you compare the sales figures of other leading video game formats during the same week.

Sony's PlayStation 2 shifted 70,000 units, Sega's Dreamcast sold 29,000 and Sony's Psone console made just 4,000 sales.

During the same period, a large amount of software was also sold, with the Nintendo-developed Super Mario Advance reaching the top spot with sales of 159,000.

The Game Boy Advance, which has 32-bit processing power encased in a 144mm x 82mm piece of plastic, has got many of the video game industry's leading players behind it.

They are all keen to develop games as they attempt to cash in on a format that is expected to be worth millions.

The original Game Boy has become the most successful games machine in the world - with more than 100 million snapped up globally, so success is almost assured for its latest incarnation.

Retailers and publishers in Britain are now awaiting the UK launch - officially set for 22 June - with baited breath.

Don McCabe, joint managing director of online games store, said: "We receive enquires about the Game Boy Advance on a daily basis. I expect the machine to be in huge demand when it ships in the UK this June."

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