Gameboy System

GameBoy Owners Will Surf The Web

Mark Hachman

GameBoy Advance owners with the longing to get connected now have a new option: a Bluetooth module that will allow them to be connected to the Internet.

The X-tra Fun Bluetooth module for the GameBoy Advance SP will go on sale around Christmas 2003 for $49, according to Mark Cramer, the company's president and chief executive.

The Bluetooth module will require a separate cell phone or other device for Internet access, although it can share a Bluetooth piconet with up to seven devices. Those devices, if connected to GameBoys, could also use the Bluetooth network to play games which X-tra Fun plans to provide, Kramer said.

The Bluetooth cartridge will plug into the standard GameBoy slot. An upgraded version will include a Secure Digital (SD) card slot and a dongle, and sell for $99. Setup is a breeze, Kramer said.

"What's neat is that it's all plug and play," Kramer said. "You push a button and it does it all in background."

Inside the module is an eCos embedded kernel and web browser, which together take up about 375 Kbits of storage. The browser can store the last 255 pages the user sees before it needs to overwrite the oldest page with new data, Kramer said.

X-tra Fun expects strong sales within the U.S. "Seventy-five percent of all GameBoys are sold within the U.S.," Kramer said.

Clarification: Although ExtremeTech accurately quoted Mark Kramer's characterization that the eCos kernel is Linux-based, eCos is in fact not related to the Linux operating system. The story has been corrected to reflect that fact.

Copyright © 2003 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in ExtremeTech.

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