Bandai WonderSwan
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

The Analogue Pocket's selection of openFPGA cores is growing all of the time, and this week, a core for Bandai's underrated WonderSwan handheld has just been released. The core in question has been ported by Adam Gastineau and is based on the work of FPGAzumSpass.

Designed by the late Gunpei Yokoi – who also created the Game & Watch line and Game Boy for Nintendo – the WonderSwan launched in Japan in 1999, two years after Yokoi's tragic death in a road traffic accident.

Sporting a 16-bit processor and a unique design which allowed it to be played in both landscape and portrait modes, the WonderSwan was intended to be a cheap and ultra-portable rival to the Game Boy. It was famously powered by a single AA battery – the initial monochrome version offered an impressive 40 hours of gameplay.

Initially launched with a monochrome screen, the WonderSwan would see two colour upgrades: the WonderSwan Color (2000) and SwanCrystal (2002). The console was supported heavily by Square, which, at this point, had experienced a very public falling out with Nintendo and wasn't producing software for the Game Boy or Game Boy Color.

The system sold 3.5 million units in its homeland during its lifespan but sadly never received a western release.

You can download the core here.