TOKYO--Nintendo announced it will release a new model of its Play-Yan multimedia playback peripheral, which was originally for the Game Boy Advance. The new model, called Play-Yan Micro, will be released simultaneously with the Game Boy Micro on September 13 in Japan. Sales of the old model will end on September 11.
On the surface, the Play-Yan Micro is identical to the original model, including its size and weight. The peripheral comes in the shape of a GBA cartridge, measures 58.5 by 43.4 by 11.0 millimeters, and weighs 16 grams. The device can be connected to the Game Boy Micro, GBA SP, and Nintendo DS, and users can play back movies and music by inserting an SD memory card. The peripheral supports MPEG-4 movie files in ASF and MP4 format, as well as MP3 audio files.
The biggest difference between the Play-Yan and Play-Yan Micro is MP4 files support. While both models can play the movie format, the old Play-Yan required that a software patch always be included along with the movie on the memory card. The new Play-Yan Micro features native support of MP4 files. The menu screen has also been streamlined and updated with a more modern and stylish interface.
On the other hand, the Play-Yan Micro will no longer support downloadable minigames. The original Play-Yan let users download a total of 12 simple minigames, which were available at Nintendo's official Web site, and an additional 13th game offered by Club Nintendo.
The Play-Yan Micro can play approximately three hours of movies or 10 hours of music on the Game Boy Micro. It will be able to run a bit longer on the GBA SP, up to about four hours of movies or 16 hours of music. On the DS, the device can play back five hours of movies or 20 hours of music.
The Play-Yan Micro will be available for online purchase only. The peripheral will be offered in two packages: a 5,000 yen ($46) package that comes with just the Play-Yan Micro and a 6,000 yen ($56) package that includes the Play-Yan Micro and Panasonic's MediaStage Ver.4.2 for Nintendo, which is a PC application that converts movies and music to Play-Yan-compatible formats. While the original Play-Yan was available only through Nintendo and Canopus' Web site, the Play-Yan Micro can be purchased through other online retailers as well.
Along with the announcement, Nintendo has opened a special Japanese Web page for final sales of the old minigame-enabled Play-Yan...at the same price of the new model. More information, in Japanese, can be found at Nintendo's official Play-Yan Micro Web site.