Nintendo has claimed that it will produce 24 million GameBoy Advance units during the machine's first year on sale; a whole million in the first ten days, it says. This projection would mean three times as many GBAs would ship next year as PlayStation 2s, something some people are a little sceptical about. But not us; as figures have shown in previous years, the handheld market is ultimately much more lucrative for Nintendo than anything else. The GameBoy Color sold more units combined last year than the whole of the rest of the console market put together, including the N64, PlayStation and Dreamcast, as well as smaller operations like the now defunct Neo Geo Pocket Color. Key component shortages for the GBA have been dogging its development (things like LCD screens and flash memory), but it looks as though those problems are coming to an end. GBA production will begin in earnest early next year, and thanks to its Internet and email options, the console should sell to a much wider market than before. Competitors like the recent Wonderswan Color will no doubt greet this announcement with fear.
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