Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, Pokemon get everywhere. The popular franchise is now set to be extended as Nintendo joins forces with camera maker Olympus Optical to develop a system for the GameBoy Advance that will allow people to play games using their own characters, including Pokemon, downloaded from electronic data cards. "Card-e", as it's known, will launch in Japan, Europe and the USA later this year, following the release of the GameBoy Advance itself. With competition in the video games market intensifying thanks to the intrusion of Microsoft, and Sony's PlayStation 2, it's no surprise to see Nintendo returning to tried and trusted technology in order to improve profitability, according to analysts. Eiji Maeda, senior analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research, speaking to Reuters, called the move "a typical example of Nintendo's way of doing business." Furthermore, "[Nintendo] always aims to create new trends in the children's game market while adopting the latest technologies." Mr. Maeda also said that he felt Nintendo would continue their dominance of the handheld gaming market, despite strong interest from WonderSwan in Japan. After the failed exertions of SNK last year with the Neo Geo Pocket Color, this does seems like a foregone conclusion. The NGPC, despite it's incredible popularity with the development community and mature gamers everywhere, forced SNK to pull out of Europe and the USA in a hail of fire from popular Nintendo brands. As a result of the Card-e announcement, Nintendo's shares have gone up in value, and Olympus Optical shares have risen also, by a smaller amount. The GameBoy Advance is set to launch in Japan on the 21st of this month, and on the 11th of June in North America. It is expected to hit Europe later this year. Related Feature - GBA lineup confirmed
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