WonderSwan - game console from Bandai (WS)





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WonderSwan (WS)

WonderSwan is Bandai's handheld game console released in 1999 in Japan. It was developed by Bandai itself, with the assistance of Gunpei Yokoi's Koto. The WonderSwan was meant to rival handheld consoles such as the Neo Geo Pocket Color and Game Boy Color (despite the fact that WonderSwan developer Gunpei Yokoi also designed the original Game Boy for Nintendo).

The WonderSwan Console was later replaced by the WonderSwan Color. And while some WonderSwan Color games were compatible with WonderSwan, many were developed specifically for it and gave an error message when they were tried to be used with WonderSwan. A fairly large number of games were released for WonderSwan that could be played with a vertical or horizontal screen. However, since the console was aimed primarily at the Japanese market, only a small number of games have English text.

Released in late 2000, WonderSwan Color was more popular than its predecessor. It featured a color display that was slightly larger than the black and white WonderSwan display, plenty of RAM, and was fully compatible with WonderSwan games. At the height of the console's popularity, Bandai owned approximately 8% of the Japanese market, which is quite a lot considering that Nintendo was the main competitor. This is partly due to the rather low price of the console (about $65), but the most important component of success was a contract with SquareSoft, according to which remakes of the first games in the Final Fantasy series were to be released on the console. However, with the rise of the Game Boy Advance and the re-establishment of the partnership between SquareSoft and Nintendo, the WonderSwan Color console,