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Pokemon episodes to appear on GBA Video this summer

Ninty backs Majesco's GBA video player with one of its biggest franchises.

Nintendo of America has announced that the company is throwing its weight behind Majesco's GBA Video playback technology in the most tangible way possible - by releasing episodes of the Pokemon TV series for the system.

The GBA Video technology compresses videos into a format which can be played back on the Game Boy Advance, and the product is already backed by the Cartoon Network, which will be publishing episodes of some of its most popular shows in the GBA friendly format.

Nintendo will be publishing episodes of the Pokemon TV series on GBA Video from June 21st, with the first two releases set to hold two episodes apiece and retailing at $19.99 - significantly cheaper than the normal cost of GBA games, and comparable with the price of DVDs.

Other shows which will be appearing on the format include Spongebob Squarepants, Sonic X and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with the first releases set to arrive later this spring.

"Even by the remarkable standards of product evolution that have characterized the Game Boy franchise, this is a landmark event," enthused Nintendo of America exec George Harrison. "Pokemon is part of the first step in revolutionizing the nature of portable video entertainment, with eventual reach targeting all demographics."

His comments are bound to reopen speculation regarding the possible video playback functionality of the Nintendo DS console. Earlier this year, CNN/Money reported in its Game Over column that the forthcoming handheld would feature video playback features - a claim which seems even more likely now that Nintendo itself has backed video playback on the GBA. The company has previously expressed an interest in distributing non-game media on the GBA, with a pilot scheme for a similar technology already in existence in Japan.

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