Nintendo e-Reader

March 4, 2015

The e-Reader was a device at attached to the GBA and allowed it to read special cards with a dot code across the bottom or side, these cards could be used in a number of different ways and could also be used in certain games at the time using a link cable.

It was released in 2001 in Japan. and in 2002 in America. It never got an official release in the UK, and many of the games which were compatible had their features taken out.

The e-Reader was designed for the original GBA, plugging into the cart slot, the american version, (eReader Plus) would also plug into the link cable port for stability, and to provide access to the cable for reasons such as connecting it to a gamecube. It kind of fits into the SP and Micro but doesn’t fit as well and the link cable ports can’t be used. I don’t have a DS or DS Lite available to try out but I presume it does still work in them.

Many different GBA and gamecube games were compatible with it including animal crossing, Mario Advance 3 and F-Zero to name a few.

I could only find three of my cards. Luckily, the eReader saves the last game you scanned in so I could at least play Mario Bros. Not the most exciting game considering its available on the GBA many times already.

There were also some eReader compatible Pokemon cards, which when scanned would show a pokedex entry for the card, which I think is a really cool idea. and also allow you to play a mini game based on that pokemon.

It’s a shame it never really took off as I thought it was a great idea that added something extra to collectable cards, the idea of collecting a set and being rewarded with a free game was great in my opinion. As well as acting kind of like DLC for some games, (F-Zero’s extra tracks and vehicles, or Mario 3’s new levels for example)

Watch the video below to see it in action.

Thanks for reading / watching 🙂

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