HyperScan

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HyperScan
Mattel-HyperScan-wController-FL.jpg
Manufacturer Mattel
Type Video game console
Generation Seventh generation era
Release date October 23, 2006 (2006-10-23)
Discontinued December 31, 2007 (2007-12-31)
Media CD-ROM
CPU Sunplus SPG290 SoC
Storage RFID cards
Graphics Sunplus SPG290 SoC
Controller input Gamepad
Best-selling game X-Men (Pack-In)
Predecessor Intellivision

The HyperScan is a video game console from the toy company Mattel. It uses radio frequency identification (RFID)[1] along with traditional video game technology. The included game was rated "T" and the remaining titles were rated "E10+", by the ESRB. The console used UDF format CD-ROMs. The HyperScan has two controller ports, as well as a 13.56 MHz RFID scanner that reads and writes to the "cards" which, in turn, activate features in and save data from the game. Players are able to enhance the abilities of their characters by scanning cards. Games retailed for $19.99 and the console itself for $69.99 at launch, but at the end of its very short lifespan, prices of the system were down to $9.99, the games $1.99, and booster packs $0.99.

The system was sold in two varieties, a cube, and a 2-player value pack. The cube box version was the version sold in stores. It included the system, controller, an X-Men game disc, and 6 X-Men cards. Two player value packs were sold online (but may have been liquidated in stores) and included an extra controller and 12 additional X-Men cards.[2]

The system was discontinued in 2007 due to poor console, game, and card pack sales.[3] It is featured as one of the ten worst systems ever by PC World magazine.[4]

The RFID tag silicon for the contactless game cards, and the RFID tag and reader designs were provided by Innovision Research and Technology plc, a fabless semiconductor design house based in the UK which specializes in RFID systems and chip design.[5]

Games[edit]

The inside of the HyperScan, showing the RFID scanner.

Five games were released for the HyperScan: X-Men, Ben 10, Interstellar Wrestling League, Marvel Heroes, and Spider-Man. A sixth game based on Avatar: The Last Airbender and a seventh game called Nick Extreme Sports were announced, but cancelled.[6]

The X-Men game is a fighting game in which two characters face off against each other in self-contained matches.

Marvel Heroes, which includes some X-Men characters, is a side-scrolling, adventure quest.

The Ben 10 and Spider-Man games are similar to Marvel Heroes.

Interstellar Wrestling League is a sort of 2v2 fighting game similar to Tekken, but with alien-like characters.

Homebrew[edit]

Though not much development for homebrew games was done on the console, several programmers have created demos and proof-of-concepts. Some of the programs include a CD-Door demo, 3D Wire-frame demo, and a Bluescale demo.[7]

Hardware specifications[edit]

The HyperScan is based off a Sunplus system-on-a-chip.

Sunplus SPG290 SoC[8]
UART, I²C, SPI etc.
Composite video output (SoC supports TFT display, but the HS does not use it)
16 MB SDRAM system RAM
640×480 native resolution
65,535 colors (RGB 565 mode)
1 USB port

RFID scanner (13.56 MHz)
RFID storage: 96 bytes of user memory + 8 bytes unique ID + 6 bytes of one time programmable memory

Reception[edit]

The HyperScan was not a successful console, as it received largely negative reviews from critics and audiences for its games, design, and controls.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "HyperScan - RFID Game System from Mattel". About.com. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Mattel and Fisher-Price Customer Service". Service.mattel.com. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  3. ^ "Mattel Consumer Relations Answer Center - Product Detail >> Radica >> Radica Electronic Games". Service.mattel.com. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  4. ^ Edwards, Benj (2009-07-14). "The 10 Worst Video Game Systems of All Time - Slide 5:7. Mattel Hyperscan". PCWorld. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  5. ^ "Mattel Makes Contactless RFID Connection with Innovision R&T for Innovative HyperScan™ Games Platform". Innovision-Group. October 18, 2006. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2015.  - Site archived by Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "HyperScan - Video Game News Console Museum". Videogamenews.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  7. ^ "Mattel HyperScan - News". PDRoms. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ "HyperScan Software Development". Retrieved January 10, 2015. 

External links[edit]