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Gaming

Nintendo's Game Boy to go wireless

Motorola's semiconductor unit will supply chipsets for a wireless adapter for use with Nintendo's Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP.

Motorola's semiconductor unit will supply chipsets for a wireless adapter for use with Nintendo's Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP.

The 2.4 GHz radio frequency chipset will let as many as five players link up wirelessly with one another, Motorola said Friday. The chipset contains a 32-bit RISC architecture-based processor and a RF transceiver designed to work in the TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) protocol.

The Nintendo wireless adapter, along with the new software "Pokemon FireRed" and "Pokemon LeafGreen," will be launched in Japan during the first half of 2004. The companies did not say whether the devices would be released elsewhere, and they did not give pricing.

Gaming-hardware maker Nintendo, which claims 98 percent of the handheld console market with the Game Boy, has had a limited wireless-gaming presence. Customers of some Japanese carriers, including NTT DoCoMo, can attach their Game Boys to cell phones, which then act as a modem for Web-based play. Last year, wireless products specialist nReach announced a Bluetooth wireless adapter for the Game Boy.

Nintendo said Motorola's antenna technology, in addition to help in integrated circuit development and system engineering, had helped it develop a new wireless gaming system.

Though popular, wireless gaming faces problems, mainly because of the low data-transmission speeds of wireless networks. Nokia last year announced plans for a combination of a cell phone and a gaming console so that cell phone owners could use minutes from their calling plans to play. The N-Gage device lets a game be played by several users over a cellular network and includes a Bluetooth connection so gamers who are within about 10 feet of each other can link without dialing up.