Weill in Japan Jason Weill Web Productions
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On July 13, I made a trip to Akihabara and bought myself a SwanCrystal. The SwanCrystal is Bandai's latest model in its WonderSwan series, and features a display comparable to a Game Boy Advance. It takes only one AA battery, and has a library mostly consisting of Japanese RPGs. I'm happy with it, but I don't think it's worth the investment unless you're a big fan of Japanese RPGs.

The SwanCrystal main unit, with a shadow across the screen. The back of the SwanCrystal.  Note the hump from the one AA battery.  A rechargeable power adapter is available.  When installed, it does not increase the thickness of the unit, but I don't use the SwanCrystal enough to justify the cost. The side of the SwanCrystal features an expansion port.  To plug in headphones or connect to another WonderSwan unit, you can plug in adapters sold separately.  The lack of a built-in headphone jack is a minor annoyance with the SwanCrystal. The Final Fantasy IV title screen.  The screen is no brighter than a Game Boy Advance's.  Side-mounted lights are available, but no backlights are. The Game Boy Advance is somewhat larger than the SwanCrystal and heavier due mostly to the difference in battery usage. Notice that the SwanCrystal is slightly thinner than the Game Boy Advance, but the hump from the AA battery makes it sit tilted on the table. The SwanCrystal and Game Boy Advance from the bottom.  The Game Boy Advance has a volume control and headphone jack, while the SwanCrystal has a three-level volume control and no headphone jack without an adapter. The SwanCrystal and Game Boy Advance from the back.  Here, the SwanCrystal's small size is easy to see. The Game Boy Advance has two shoulder buttons, a link port, and two clips on the top.  Meanwhile, the SwanCrystal's top is bare except for the cartridge slot. A WonderSwan cartridge is slightly longer than a Game Boy Advance cartridge, and the contacts on the WonderSwan cartridge are exposed.  Fortunately, all WonderSwan games include plastic cases to prevent dust from getting in. The back of a Game Boy Advance cartridge (left) and WonderSwan cartridge. The back of a WonderSwan cartridge (top) and a Game Boy Advance cartridge. A WonderSwan cartridge (left) is about the same thickness as a Game Boy Advance cartridge.  Both are fairly thin and lightweight. The Game Boy Advance cartridge (Right) has a lip to remove it easily, while the whole label of a WonderSwan cartridge is visible and can be used to remove the cartridge. A WonderSwan cartridge is slightly longer than a Game Boy Advance cartridge.