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Boxart of the Mobile Adapter GB package
The Mobile Adapter GB (Japanese: モバイルアダプタＧＢ Mobile Adapter GB) is a peripheral for the Game Boy Color, released exclusively in Japan on January 27, 2001 which allows players to connect to compatible Japanese mobile phones. It is also compatible with the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP. The peripheral was a collaboration between Nintendo and Mobile21, a company that was jointly owned by Nintendo and Konami.
As a part of a service known as Mobile System GB (Japanese: モバイルシステムＧＢ Mobile System GB), the Mobile Adapter provided the hardware to compatible games, which used the network for wireless play across the nation via the now defunct
gameboy.datacenter.ne.jp server, hosted by Nintendo Network Service Development. KDDI was the internet service provider of the Mobile System GB's network. The most well-known Mobile System GB is the Pokémon Mobile System GB used in the Japanese releases of Pokémon Crystal and Pokémon Stadium 2.
It was first released with a recommended retail price of ¥5800, before a price cut to ¥3800 from July 19, 2001. Despite its promises, the service was not much of a commercial success and closed down in December 14, 2002, probably due to its high price, the additional costs involved and a general unwillingness of players to connect their phones to play games. The closure of the Mobile System GB service makes it impossible for players to link to the server; however, it is still possible to link with friends provided that a peer-to-peer network is used.
The Mobile Adapter GB was not the first Game Boy peripheral offering online play. From as early as March 6, 1998, Hudson Soft's GB Kiss Link Modem allowed players to access downloadable content from the Internet and send messages between friends, through a number of compatible games which had built-in infrared ports, such as Nectaris GB, the Japanese versions of Robopon for the Game Boy Color, as well as the GB Kiss Minigames cartridge which came packaged with the GB Kiss Link Modem. The Link Modem was available through mail order.
The package was bundled with the original Mobile Adapter GB itself, which was a blue cable that could be used to connect to compatible Japanese mobile phones. Included with the Mobile Adapter GB is the "Mobile Trainer" cartridge, that only boots up when the Mobile Adapter GB is connected to a compatible Japanese mobile phone. A special edition of the Mobile Adapter GB came packaged with Mobile Golf, which was a spin-off to the Mario Golf series used to test the Mobile Adapter GB. After the Mobile Adapter GB's release, different colored cables were sold separately which allows the player to connect to different types of phones, one of which was announced but never released.
In addition to the blue Mobile Adapter GB cable, three other cables were announced, all of which were sold separately, apart from the green adapter, which was never released. They all allowed the player to connect to different types of phones.
- Blue: the original cable packaged with the Mobile System GB. Supports connections to a digital cell phone terminal PDC. The cable allowed for a maximum bit rate of 9600 bps.
- Yellow: this cable connects to a cdmaOne mobile phone, allowing for a maximum bit rate of 14.4 kbps.
- Red: this cable connects to a DDI mobile phone, with a maximum bit rate of 36.6 kbps.
- Green: this cable would have support PHS devices from Astel and NTT DoCoMo, but it was ultimately never released.
The Mobile Trainer cartridge.
Mobile Trainer (Japanese: モバイルトレーナー Mobile Trainer) is a cartridge which came packaged with the Mobile Adapter GB itself, developed by MissingLink, the parent company of Denyusha. Prior to its release, it was previously given the tentative name of Mobile Starter Cartridge (Japanese: モバイルスターターカートリッジ Mobile Starter Cartridge). The cartridge served as a general guide to the Mobile System GB, which included a help menu about how to use the service and a glossary of key terms. Under a mobile settings menu, the player was able to alter their registration details, and confirm their remaining balance.
When the player boots up the cartridge, a connection screen checks whether the Mobile Adapter GB is connected. The software will progress past the loading screen only once connected to a compatible Japanese mobile phone. The cartridge offered an email system in which users could exchange text messages between each other. Another feature of the Mobile Trainer cartridge was access to the Mobile System GB homepage, which published featured articles around different compatible titles.
In the internal data of the Mobile Trainer ROM, graphics for Pokémon such as Pikachu, Porygon2 and Tyranitar have been found. The purposes of these graphics are unknown. It may be of note that Tyranitar uses artwork which more closely resembles its initial design from the early development of Pokémon Gold and Silver.
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List of compatible software
Below is a list of all known Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance software which supported the Mobile System GB.
Pokémon Mobile System GB
- Main article: Pokémon Mobile System GB
The most well-received division of the service was the Pokémon Mobile System GB service used in the Japanese versions of Pokémon Crystal and Pokémon Stadium 2, which ran up to when the whole Mobile System GB service went defunct in December 14, 2002.
- ↑ DMG/MGB/CGB: Game Boy Series
- ↑ モバイルシステムＧＢ (via Internet Archive)
- ↑ ShadowFlare
- ↑ モバイルトレーナー
- ↑ モバイルシステムGB対応ソフト
- ↑ Horse Racing Creating Derby - IGN
- ↑ ファミ通.com ゲーム/馬穴大作戦
- ↑ Game Boy.com - Baketsu Daisakusen (Horse Racing Game) (via Internet Archive)