Bandai beats Nintendo to the Net

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Bandai beats Nintendo to the Net

Japan’s largest toymaker will release three portable video games that can be played over the Internet by the end of this year.

Officials at Bandai plans to ship the software titles for its handheld WonderSwan game player in mid-December. Users also will be able to purchase an adapter allowing them to attach the game to a mobile phone and connect to the Internet.

With the release, Bandai beats rival Nintendo in the rush to exploit the possibilities of mobile phone technology. Nintendo, whose 10-year old Game Boy dominates the handheld video game market, won’t begin selling a mobile phone adapter and network-compatible software for the device until next April.

Bandai currently has no plans to sell the WonderSwan overseas, though the company recently signed a marketing agreement with U.S. toy giant Mattel that may serve as a platform for such a launch.

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