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|Type||Video game console|
|Generation||Seventh generation era|
|Release date||October 23, 2006|
|Discontinued||December 31, 2007|
|CPU||Sunplus SPG290 SoC|
|Graphics||Sunplus SPG290 SoC|
|Best-selling game||X-Men (Pack-In)|
The HyperScan is a video game console from the toy company Mattel. It uses radio frequency identification (RFID) along with traditional video game technology. The included game was rated "T" (Teen, not suitable for under age 13) and the remaining titles were rated "E10+" (not suitable for under age 10), by the ESRB. Despite this, it was marketed toward boys between the ages of five and nine who were not ready for high-end video games in terms of maturity and/or expense. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunplus SPG290 SoC
UART, I²C, SPI etc.
Composite video output (SoC supports TFT displays, 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
The HyperScan was not a successful console, as it received largely negative reviews from critics and audiences for its games, design, and controls.
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