The Pokémon Mini was a handheld game console developed specifically for the Pokémon series. Available in three colors based off characters in the series (Wooper Blue, Chikorita Green, and Smoochum Purple), it is the smallest handheld system ever released by Nintendo with the cartridges the size of postage stamps weighing only 70 grams. In total, ten games were produced for the system between 2001 and 2002, with only four being released in the US. While the system was more or less a scaled down version of the Game Boy, it did include several features which the Game Boy lacked.
In late 2001, Nintendo stood poised to capitalize on the moderate success of their first hand-held Pokémon device, the Pocket Pikachu. Sales, however, seemed to suggest that consumers were less interested in the device, even though it touted increased functionality over the previous generation. While moderately successful in Japan, numbers in America and Europe suggested only mild interest in the Pokémon Mini, which resulted in no games being released for the system outside Japan beyond the original launch titles (with the exception of Pokémon Tetris, which was released in Europe in 2002).
At home in Japan, however, sales were steady enough to warrant the release of six more games over the course of the next year but weren't strong enough to carry the platform, with the final game (Pokémon Breeder Mini) being released on December 14, 2002.
The platform did receive a small resurgence when it was featured in the 2003 GameCube release, Pokémon Channel, where it was featured as a virtual item the player's Pikachu could find under the bed. The virtual Pokémon Mini allowed the player to play a previously unreleased Pokémon Mini game entitled Snorlax's Lunch (or simply Lunchtime in the US release) as well as several Pokémon Mini game demos.
Features of the Pokémon Mini included a real-time clock (as well as a Celebi stopwatch), an accelerometer, an infrared port allowing for communication up to one meter away, and a vibrator for force feedback.
- CPU: 8 Bit CPU custom made by Nintendo, coined “MINX”
- Memory: 4kb Flash Memory
- Display: 96 x 64 monochrome LCD screen
- Unit Dimensions: 74mm x 58mm x 23mm
- Power source: 1 AAA Battery
- Sound: Single Channel PWM speaker