Play-yan patch plays MP4 clips

New update for Nintendo's multimedia player for portables adds MP4 video support in 4:3 aspect ratio.

TOKYO--Nintendo today released a new patch for the Play-yan, the multimedia playback accessory for two of Nintendo's portables: the Game Boy Advance SP and the Nintendo DS. The patch gives the devices the capability to play MP4-formatted movie files, allowing videos to be enjoyed in the format's high-quality graphics and stereo sound. According to reports by users in Japan, files that are in the PSP's MP4 format have successfully run on the Play-yan with the new patch, although they have to be in the slimmer screen ratio of 4:3, as opposed to the PSP's 16:9 view.

Play-yan's patch file is available for download at Nintendo's official site. To play the MP4 movies, the 278KB patch file must be unzipped and placed in the root directory of the SD memory card that contains the video. Because the patch is read straight off the SD card and doesn't update the system's software, it must be kept in the root directory of the SD memory card with the MP4 video.

The encoding software bundled with Play-yan, MediaStage v.4.2 for Nintendo, does not have the capability to produce MP4 files. Nintendo plans to release MP4 encoding software for Play-yan users on its official site later on. Kobe, Japan-based Canopus, a company that specializes in video editing technology, has already announced that it will give MP4-encoding capabilities to an updated edition of its Play-yan file converter "Kantan Kantarou Edit for Nintendo," which will be released on August 5.

Detailed specs of MP4 files playable with the new patch are as follows:

Resolutions: 128x96, 176x144, 240x176, 320x240, 352x288
Bit Rate: 64kbps-1mbps
Frame Rate: 6-30 fps
Sound Format: AAC stereo
Sound Bit Rate: 16-320kbps
Sound Sampling Rate: 16KHz, 22.05KHz, 24KHz, 32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz

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