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by the NWR Staff - November 4, 2004, 7:11 pm PST

PGC heads up your concerns about various topics!

Nate asks: I know that GBA-GC connectivity is pretty much dead, but there are still three great games that use it: Pacman Vs, Crystal Chronicles and Zelda Four Swords. I know also that the DS is backwards compatible with GBA games, but has no link port. But I do know that the e-Reader has a link port on it. Could you try this experiment out for me once you get a DS: see if you can use the e-Reader with the DS to play those really neat connectivity titles? Because I would like to know if I can trade in my GBA for a DS or If I have to hold on to it for said games. -or keep it and get a DS and have the ability to play with more of my friends than just the ones who have GBA... -

Thank you for your time and effort, you run a great site with quality coverage,

Aussie Ben says: Sorry, but it doesn't quite work like that. The port on the e-Reader is nothing more than a pass through for the existing link port. On the original GBA, the e-Reader would obscure the link port because it was at the top of the system. So, what Nintendo did was create a pass through port that would sort of "extend" the port out to the end of the e-Reader. If you plug the e-Reader into the GBA SP, you'll notice that it doesn't block the link port because the cart slot isn't at the top - it's at the bottom. So, the pass through port in the e-Reader isn't required - if you try to link up using the e-Reader's port when it's in the SP, you won't get any communication. You have to use the port at the top of the SP instead -- I've made this mistake multiple times, and have sworn in frustration until I've realised what I've done wrong.

Or, if you want to skip my rambling, the e-Reader's port is more like an extension cable - not a link port. It needs to be plugged into an existing link port to work. Since the DS doesn't have a link port, plugging in the e-Reader won't help.

Random Task asks: Is michael jordan going to be in live 2005? im a big fan i hve got to know please awnswer me back thanks.

Jonathan Lindemann says: There was no mention of it in IGN's review. It's notable enough that I think they'd mention it if it was in there, but you never know. If he's in there, they may have left out mentioning it because of an agreement with EA.

Jonathan Metts says: My queries to EA on this issue were never answered. However, judging from the GameFAQs message boards, Jordan is not in the game. People are sharing Create-A-Player instructions on how to create him, so I'd say he's not available normally or is so well hidden that no one has found him yet. Sorry to bear the bad news.

thepoga asks: When do u think the next gameboy will launch since DS is a "third pillar". Will it come with a joystick u think?

Jonathan Metts says: Although the DS may really be a third pillar for Nintendo, I think it will have the side-effect of delaying the launch of the next Game Boy. It probably depends on how DS fares and how much of the market Sony takes away with PSP. If PSP fails early on, it will be that much longer until the next Game Boy is released. If Nintendo sees the competition taking away its core audience, and the DS is not sufficiently holding onto the current GBA market, then the company will start looking at an earlier launch for the next system.

Jonathan Lindemann says: The DS and GBA is a very powerful one-two punch for Nintendo. For handheld buyers that want something more sophisticated and gadgety (i.e. adults), there's the DS; for those budget-conscious consumers (i.e. Moms buying for their children), there's the GBA. I think they can co-exist quite well in the marketplace.

With that in mind, I don't think Nintendo is in a hurry to release the next GameBoy, simply because the SP has been so phenomenally successful (and doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon). You have to wonder what the next logical step is in the GameBoy's evolution, or more precisely, what more could they add to the SP that wouldn't have it stepping on the DS' toes? I think the answer to that is at least two years away.

Michael Cole says: Adding to Jonny's response, I think Nintendo is doing what it did before the N64: watching the competition. Back then they didn't think optical media was a smart decision, and they had good reason to think so after watching the Sega CD and similar early CD console systems struggle. The next Game Boy's media format is directly related to the PSP's success. But if there is any truth to Sony's rumored battery consumption requirements for PSP software, Nintendo will probably hold out for a economical breakthrough in static-state technology.

I think something similar could be said about D-pad versus analog input in the next Game Boy. If Nintendo decides it doesn't like digital control for 3-D (and something tells me designers will not), they will rethink alternatives. Something flat like the PSP's analog pad is more likely than a joystick that extends outward.

Jonathan Metts adds: I will further add to TYP's comments about an analog stick. Although I really believe the DS should have a joystick, I'm sure we all agree that there's a good chance Nintendo will eventually release an "SP" version of the DS. If that happens, they could certainly add a joystick...all future titles could support it, just how Sony released an analog controller for the PlayStation and encouraged developers to support it.

alan asks: Since we now know for sure there won't be a GBA link cable slot (this is probably to keep GBA in the market), do you guys think there will be any GC peripherals that allow you to connect the GC to the DS? If so, do you think they'll be backwards compatible with GBA games, like Four Swords? I guess I'm going to have to hurry up beating that, as I don't see a need to have both a GBA and DS other than for that, and GBA multiplayer games, which were farther between than it looks like DS multiplayer titles will be.

Jonathan Metts says: If there is a peripheral to connect GameCube and DS, I hope it's wireless. We're going to get very spoiled on playing wirelessly with the DS, and anyone who has played Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles or Four Swords Adventures will know that the short GC-GBA link cables are a real pain to deal with. However, I don't really think this will be happening. Connectivity between GameCube and GBA has produced a handful of good games, but the feature has largely ignored by both consumers and third-parties. As with GameCube LAN-enabled games, it's an idea that Nintendo has experimented with and learned from, but it probably won't be repeated without major changes, if at all.

Jonathan Lindemann says: Nintendo has consistently downplayed the idea of GC/DS connectivity. I think this is partly due to the fact that they want to establish the DS as its own platform, and not have it perceived as a "potential accessory to the GameCube" like the GameBoy Advance. I think we'd see a GBA/DS link solution before we'd ever see a GC/DS link solution.

Michael Cole says: Oh, I'm sure GameCube games could be programmed to use some wireless adapter you put in your GameCube (or one of its controller ports). If Nintendo wanted to, I'm sure they could have made the DS wavebird receiver compatible, and they may have. I suspect GBA support is via an emulator that doesn't bother with the external port, though. Remember that GB emulator patent?

Bill Stone asks: Since PS2 owners are getting Tales of Symphonia, is there any chance us Cube owners are going to get Tales of Rebirth? Was Symphonia a success sales wise for Namco?

Zosha says: So far the game is a PS2 exclusive. I don't see it coming to GameCube any time soon either, considering the phenomenal sales of the PS2 version of Symphonia, even though it was a shoddy port.

While Symphonia for GC wasn't a failure, it didn't sell to Namco's expectations...

Jonathan Metts says: Tales of Symphonia sold very well in both Japan and America. It may not have met Namco's expectations in Japan, but I think it probably exceeded them in America, where the game has been a virtual sellout since its release. (Demand outpaced supplies.)

The PS2 version of Symphonia has sold around 350,000 copies in Japan, which is much less than the GameCube version sold a year ago. I think Namco has seen that the GameCube audience is receptive to the series, and if they don't release Rebirth on the system, they are perhaps looking at another original game. It may also depend on how Baten Kaitos fares in America, although I don't think the two games are as intertwined as some people want to treat them.

Nameless asks: My teacher asks if since the DS has wireless (wi-fi) capablities, would it be possible to program for it from your computer and download it to the system? Or would u need anything special?

Jonathan Metts says: Even with Wifi, which is separate from Nintendo's proprietary wireless format also used in the DS, the system will probably have a data encryption process so that you can't send malicious data to it. Even without such protection, sending wireless data to the system will do nothing unless you're using a game that tells the system to receive wireless data. So, unless you can hack through a game to figure out what kind of data it is programmed to receive, you won't be able to send it anything meaningful.

In other words, don't be surprised if someone figures out a way to do it eventually. However, I don't think it will happen for a while, unless some developer creates a game specifically set up for this kind of functionality.

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