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Monday, 3 September, 2001, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Pokémon to launch games console
Pokémon
The console will be launched in Japan in November
Cartoon hit Pokémon, whose trading cards, computer games and films have become worldwide phenomena, is to be turned into its own computer games console.

The characters will be the subject of a games machine that will be just six centimetres wide and will be on sale in Japan from November.

The console will be available in Europe next year, according to the Pokémon Company, which has seen huge success with its product and marketing tie-ins.


We hope the new Pokémon game will become the hottest item this year

Takanao Kondo
The Pokémon Company
Pokémon's trading cards became a global hit last year, and helped turn the Japanese characters into one of the biggest children's crazes ever seen.

Pokémon computer games for the Nintendo Game Boy and N64 have also seen huge popularity, but the new console will be dedicated to the game.

The launch date for the United States is still to be set.

"The Pokémon Mini is made to a scale of one-third that of Game Boy Advance," Pokémon Company spokesman Takanao Kondo said.

Pokémon cards
Pokémon trading cards became a global craze
"We hope the new Pokémon game will become the hottest item this year."

The console will come with its own software and will be sold for 4,800 yen (Ł28).

In the previous computer games, fans have had to train groups of characters to fight against wild Pokémon, which must then be captured and trained.

Players could collect 140 monsters by themselves - but to get all 150, they had to fight and trade with other fans by connecting their consoles.

The trading cards became a hit in the UK after Christmas 1999, and stories followed of raids on toy shops, cards changing hands for up to Ł300, and even an eight-year-old boy offering to swap his baby sister for a card.

The Pokémon industry is said to be worth more than Ł4bn, and has proved a huge boost for parent company Nintendo.

See also:

07 Aug 01 | Entertainment
Potter takes on Pokémon
26 Jun 01 | New Media
New Nintendo breaks sales records
09 Apr 01 | New Media
Pokemon faced with fatwa
29 Mar 01 | Middle East
Saudis to stamp out Pokemon
03 Apr 01 | Middle East
Qatari religious leader bans Pokemon
09 May 00 | UK
Pokémon card crime
24 Apr 00 | Education
Pokémon upsets heads and parents
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