Though the details aren't all there, the GBA will be online in 2002... but not with Nintendo.
A few days ago, nReach announced its plans to bring Game Boy Advance online via Bluetooth technology, a popular form of wireless information transfer. Below is the press release.
Golden, CO ~ December 19, 2001 ~ nReach understands that today's Game Boy Advance generation wants to play and communicate with fellow gamers wirelessly. nReach addresses this demand by introducing the new Bluetooth Adapter for Nintendo Game Boy Advance. This innovative new product is designed to allow wireless multi-player gaming in person, at designated retail locations, or over the Internet.
The patent pending nReach Bluetooth Adapter transforms a Game Boy Advance (GBA) from a basic gaming device into a wireless device powerhouse. It allows GBA users to play various games against other users wirelessly, send and receive Instant Messages, and access channel based Internet content. A GBA user can use the Bluetooth adapter in numerous ways including: connecting to the Internet through their PC via a Bluetooth USB adapter, through a Bluetooth enabled cell phone, person to person, or through a nReach deployed "Hot Spot". These nReach "Hot Spot" environments are being deployed by various retailers, malls, and locations that cater to gamers of all ages.
"Imagine being able to play against your friends over the Internet while one of you is at the mall and another is at home," says Mike Stemple, CEO of nReach. "Our goal was to make it simple for gamers to find their friends on different "Hot Spot" networks and allow them to send messages, access Internet content and play against one another, and we feel this product will have a large mass market appeal due to our integration of Bluetooth technology into the adapter."
The Bluetooth Adapter for the GBA will be available in Q2 of 2002.
Whether the games in question will be simple internet-based applications or current/future multiplayer GBA games is still not known, though this will likely depend on how the adapter interacts with the system itself.