For a console that's been firmly dead for over a decade, the humble Famicom (or Nintendo Entertainment System) has stolen a surprising number of headlines lately. First there was the news that from September Nintendo plans to stop building the infamous grey boxes, which brought games like Zelda and Mario Bros. into the home for the first time, and now there's quite a hullabaloo surrounding its 20th anniversary. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is even defying company convention by stepping foot inside the Tokyo Game Show to deliver a keynote address called "Twenty Years After The Famicom".
But as keen observers will know only too well, Nintendo is never happy if it's not releasing some sort of special edition Game Boy to commemorate these sorts of things, and given the popularity of the GBA SP, which has sold over a million units in each territory, it's hardly surprising to discover that Nintendo has designed a Famicom-inspired SP. You'll have to head here for a chance to take in its multi-coloured, red and white colour scheme (based on the original Famicom model, and not the post '93 version) for yourself, but this is probably as close as you'll ever get to it.
This is because despite designing an SP which is - to our eyes at least - far more interesting to look at than the bog standard version, or even the Flame Red and Arctic Blue versions due out here later this year, Nintendo has decided that only 1,000 deserve to be made, and these will only be given to Japanese gamers drawn from a hat sometime after September 30th. What's more, only gamers who have sent in proof that they own Tales of Phantasia (GBA), Sinyaku Seiken Densetsu (Sword of Mana, GBA), Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (Cube), Tales of Symphonia (Cube), Mario Golf Family Tour (Cube) and Densetsu no Stafy (Cube) will be entered. 9,000 runners-up will be awarded T-shirts, presumably with a picture of Mario bending Europe over a stool. Er, or something celebratory.