Nintendo will not release the E-Reader Game Boy Advance peripheral in Europe, the company's head of European PR has confirmed this week, following more than a year of indecision and miscommunication on the subject.
The peripheral, which slots into the GBA cartridge port and retrieves game data amongst other things from collectible E-Cards, is probably best known for its integration with Animal Crossing, which finally made it onto Nintendo's European release schedule earlier this year and should be out this September.
Speaking to Spong.com this week, head of PR Shelly Pearce admitted, "We won't launch E-Reader in Europe," adding that NOE feels "the market potential isn't great enough". However Pearce went on to state that Nintendo plans to make the E-Reader cards' downloadable elements available "via different routes".
The confirmation follows plenty of confusion over the peripheral's fate, including an episode in August last year when the company reiterated its plans to launch the E-Reader in Europe following reports to the contrary. The plan had been to release it in the first half of 2004, but obviously it never materialised.
Arguably though the E-Reader's absence won't come as too much of a blow to European gamers, particularly Animal Crossing fans who stand to lose the most functionality due to the change, as the lack of regional safeguards on the Game Boy Advance means the door is still open to use the American version - and Animal Crossing has already become a cult favourite on import over the past year or so.
What's more, Nintendo's assertion that downloadable elements will be made available in another way presumably applies to the eventual PAL release of Animal Crossing, which is due out in fully localised form in Europe on September 24th.