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Manufacturer Bandai
Type Handheld console
generation fifth generation of consoles
JapanJapan March 4, 1999
Main processor NEC V30 MZ
Storage media Modules
successor WonderSwan Color

The WonderSwan was a handheld console released in March 1999 by the Japanese company Bandai . It was developed by Bandai and the company Koto Laboratory led by Gunpei Yokoi , who is also the Game Boy from Nintendo developed and thus a competitor for his own invention created.

When it was released, the device competed with the Game Boy and the Neo Geo Pocket Color . Only a few games of the successor WonderSwan Color , released in December 2000, are compatible with the WonderSwan, but a large number of modules are available. A special feature of the console are the four additional direction keys that are used for some games in landscape format.

The devices, originally available in ten different colors, are in some cases very popular with collectors. With Oswan and Cygne there are two emulators that can also emulate its successor consoles.

Technical specifications

  • Screen with 2.49 ″ (6.32 cm) diagonal, 224 × 144 pixels and eight levels of gray
  • 16-bit processor: NEC V30 MZ with 3.072 MHz
  • Maximum of 128 sprites
  • Built-in mono - Speaker
  • Multi-player: two players (with additional adapter)
  • Dimensions: 174.3 mm × 121 mm × 24.3 mm
  • Mass: 110 g
  • Running time: approx. 30 hours with one AA battery

Development system

The WonderWitch development system was also available to private individuals and was Bandai's attempt to actively involve the fan base and homebrew developers. The system was available in two expansion stages: the complete WonderWitch system and the WonderWitch Player , which only allowed the download of self-developed applications onto the handheld.

The complete environment offered two different compilers for the C programming language . In principle, development in other programming languages ​​is also possible, but the manufacturer officially only supports C. The WonderWitch Library provided should make it easier for developers with little experience to get started.

The kit also contained a connection cable, a CD-ROM with the necessary software, numerous instructions and a flash card. The latter was later also offered for sale individually, as for many developers a single card was not enough.

Similar devices

The Bennesse Corporation in cooperation with Koto Laboratory also developed a mobile game console, the Pocket Challenge V2, for learning and education in 2002. This was only published in Japan. The modules of this console are partly compatible with the Wonderswan platform.

Other accessories

  • WonderBorg : A robot with seven light sensors that can be controlled and programmed with the help of the associated Robot Works module. It has appeared in four different editions.
  • WonderCoin : A plug-in module that transforms the direction buttons into a directional pad.
  • Headphone adapter: Enables the connection of headphones via a 3.5mm jack and precise volume control.
  • Link Cable : Connects two WonderSwans together for a two-player game.
  • Rechargeable battery : Requires a special charger.
  • Power pack : is connected to a special battery module.
  • WonderWave : Infrared adapter for communication and data exchange with Sony PocketStation.
  • MobileWonderGate : NTT DoCoMo mobile phone adapter which allows the WonderSwan to be used as a PDA using a special cartridge.
  • Display light: Power supply via the WonderSwan connection to illuminate the screen.
  • Handy Sonar : A fish-tracking sonar similar to the Game Boy Pocket Sonar.
  • WonderMagic color : Unofficial backup module to play back any ROMs.

Games (selection)

Web links

Commons : WonderSwan  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Device Solution. (No longer available online.) Koto, archived from the original on February 16, 2014 ; Retrieved March 5, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.koto.co.jp