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Bandai to Offer Internet Service for Its Handheld Game Unit.

Bandai Co Ltd is following the lead of Nintendo Co and developing an internet access kit for its handheld game unit, the 'WonderSwan'. The kit will consist of an adapter to allow the handheld to be connected to a personal digital cellular (PDC) mobile phone and software that allows users to read e-mail, browse the web and download games from the internet. According to AsiaBizTech, the data transfer rate available with the 'WonderGate' kit will be 9,600Kb per second. Bandai is planning to launch the service at the end of this year, although mobile communications carriers, rather than Bandai, will sell the kit. Bandai has given no details of the pricing of the kit yet. Nintendo has said that it will start a similar online service for its Game Boy handheld device next year.

Bandai has tried to develop online game services before, only to get badly burned in the process. Between 1995 and 1998, the Japanese toy maker developed an internet home terminal with Apple Computer Corp called the Pippin. Although it incorporated many of the ideas now used in machines like the Sega Dreamcast and Sony Playstation 2, the terminal was not a success because it was too costly and not well supported by software. Bandai ditched the project in 1998 at a cost of $214m.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jun 29, 1999
Words:219
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