Nintendo Play-Yan (MP3/MPEG4 Player) Now Shipping: Japan Exclusive Tech Gadget for the GBA/NDSTue GameBoy - Nintendo DSNintendo's Play-Yan is an SD Card based MPEG4/MP3 player for your Gameboy Advance or Nintendo DS. The unit is normally only available through Nintendo's online store in Japan, and comes with Japanese display, instructions and software. Unfortunately, Nintendo had to call back the first batch of units in Japan, due to a technical problem with the sound output.Consolesandgadgets now has the newly released units in stock and we took some extra time to compare it with the other available movie players, give it a try from the non-Japanese user perspective, and point out what's good and not good about it.Play-Yan vs. The RestAs you might know, Nintendo's latest addition to the accessories market is not the first movie player for handheld systems. The officially Nintendo licensed and Smart Media Card based AM3 Player was a big disappointment and failed to impress international and Japanese users when it was released. The unit started off with a couple of Detective Conan cartoons for more than 18 months ago, and in the meantime they have a hand full more including Pokemon. Unfortunately it doesn't let you create or convert your own content, and if you are not a big fan of Detective Conan or Pokemon (and you are not near one of the Kiosks in Tokyo to download stuff), it is basically useless to you.Majesco Inc in America went another way with their "movie players". They released 24 movies so far, in the shape of standard GBA cartridges , which are available in US retail chains. Unfortunately, this was invented for parents who want to keep their kids quiet on the backseat of a car, not for multi media applications and people who want to watch their own content on the go.Nintendo Play-YanUnlike one might believe, the Play-Yan was not released by Nintendo to compete with the MPEG4 capabilities of the Sony PSP. Ken Toyoda, PR head of Nintendo, also confirmed that the Play-Yan was designed for the Gameboy Advance and that it works with the Nintendo DS is a coincidence. The fact that Nintendo announced the Play-Yan just a week after the Sony PSP was released does not relate, according to Toyoda. Don't take this wrong, the Play-Yan and any other movie players for the GBA or NDS are great devices on their own, but comparing it with the huge and expensive display of the Sony PSP, with its Universal Media Disc, the Memory Stick which is accessible through USB2, and many other multi media capabilities, is simply impossible. It's two different things for two different applications and different uses.The GBA/NDS Movie PlayerThe only item that you can really compare the Play-Yan with is the Compact Flash Card based GBA Movie Player. While the GBA Movie Players was originally not designed for the Nintendo DS, it is 100% compatible, and does exactly the same as the Play-Yan: it works in the GBA mode of the Nintendo DS. Both devices, Play-Yan and GBA Movie Player, don't make use of the Nintendo DS capabilities and are native Gameboy Advance units. We will compare these two from the technical standpoint and the usefulness standpoint.
Using the GBA Movie PlayerAs you can see above, the GBA Movie Player which is way cheaper than the Play-Yan. , you receive a player that comes with English instructions, English Windows Software, and a demo CD with some trailers and other demo movies. All you need to do to get up and running is hook up a Compact Flash Card Reader to your PC and store some of the demo movies on your Compact Flash Card. If you want to convert some of your own movies, you can simply install the slightly engrish Windows Software and use one of the easy options to convert your movies into the right format. Apart from just playing movies, you can also convert music, e-books and pictures to be displayed on your GBA Movie Player. Of course this is just a quick summary and the world of the GBA Movie Player