This new peripheral attaches to the top of the Game Boy Advance much like an oversized game cartridge, and it lets you scan in and play a number of classic NES and Game & Watch games using a barcode-like scanning mechanism. These games actually come in the form of trading cards that are similar in size and packaging to collectible baseball cards. These cards usually come in packs of five, and each one has artwork that pertains to that particular game on the front and a pair of "dot code" strips along the back. When scanned into the e-Reader, these codes load the actual game into the e-Reader's memory, which then enables you to play it on your Game Boy Advance.
Currently available e-Reader games include such NES classics as Excitebike, Tennis, Donkey Kong Jr., and Balloon Fight, all of which are exact representations of their original counterparts, as well as Game & Watch games like Manhole. Larger games like Excitebike require that you scan the dot codes located on both sides of all five cards, whereas the simple Game & Watch games only come with a pair of dot code strips. The e-Reader seems to be able to hold one NES game and one Game & Watch at once. If you scan in any additional games, you'll be prompted to overwrite parts of the peripheral's memory. Games are stored safely in the e-Reader's memory even if the device is removed from the Game Boy Advance. This device can also be used with upcoming Pokémon cards (for those that are interested). The Pokémon-e Expedition series adds two new dimensions to the Pokémon Trading Card Game via e-Reader technology. By scanning the short bar, you'll get expanded Pokédex info that will assist you in card-slinging gameplay. By scanning the long bars on several related cards, you can conjure a Pokémon minigame on your GBA.
Even more impressive, with Nintendo GameCube games that are designed to work with the e-Reader and e-Reader cards, you'll be able to send game data from your e-Reader/GBA through your Nintendo GameCube/Game Boy Advance Cable into the GCN game. Imagine the possibilities for RPGs, possibly based on card games such as Magic. Even opens up the possibility for a Star Wars RPG/card game if we'll lucky. Combine that with online capabilities, and we'll have a grand old time.
The e-Reader is available in stores now for around $39.95 to $44.99, and it comes bundled with either Donkey Kong Jr. or Pinball. Individual card packs sell for only $4.99.
Pokémon-e Expedition Booster Packs are available now for $3.29. Theme Decks are available now for $9.99.