Well, a freak thunderstorm downed some powerlines around my house so I haven't been able to do as much work on the e-Reader article as I wanted but here's what I have so far: e-Reader press release; High rez scans of the fronts and backs of the cards they handed out at E3; Mini visual on how the e-Reader works - IRC Goliath



America Swipes Its Way Into a New Video Game Era

LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2002 - Nintendo turns paper trading cards into electronic fun, with the introduction of the innovative e-Reader.  When swiped through the e-Reader, paper trading cards create new game play experiences in a number of ways, depending on the card.  Applications for e-Reader cards can create entire video games playable on Game Boy® Advance from just a single paper card.  Other applications include enhancing game play or unlocking features in existing Game Boy Advance and NINTENDO GAMECUBEä video games.  Available Sept. 16, 2002, the e-Reader will retail for a suggested $39.95.  Card packs will retail from $1.99 to $2.99.

            “The e-Reader creates a completely new experience for game players, fusing the enjoyment of collecting trading cards and the wonder of discovering video game secrets,” says Peter MacDougall, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Nintendo of America Inc.  “Now players of all ages can build and enhance their video game collection by picking up a pack of cards.”

            Developed by Nintendo, the e-Reader connects to the Game Boy Advance via the cartridge slot and uses “Dot Code Technology” to read optical data imprinted on specially designed trading cards.  The library of cards begins with Pokémon®-e trading card game cards, to be distributed by Wizards of the Coast under license from Pokémon USA, Inc., which also can be used as a stand-alone trading card game; Animal Crossing-e cards that unlock features and heighten game play in the NINTENDO GAMECUBE game; and Game & Watch™-e cards, which hold an entire game printed on a single card.


Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. provides the “Dot Code Technology” used by the
e-Reader to read data embedded on each e-Reader card.  Each card can hold up to two code strips.  A long bar holds 2.2 kilobytes of information and a short bar holds 1.4 kilobytes.  The memory configuration in the e-Reader is 64 Mb mask ROM and 1 Mb flash memory.  The scanned information transforms into a digital display on the Game Boy Advance screen.