Matsushita Battery Industrial Announces Solar Battery-Powered Game Machine

February 29, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) recently announced that it will release a portable game machine using a solar battery in April 2000. The game, Gen-Jisan, which means Old Man named Gen, will be sold for approximately 3,880 yen (111.24 yen equals US$1). The game analyzes users' behavior and tells them their compatibility with others.

The game machine uses a hybrid-power source that employs both a solar cell and a coin-shaped lithium battery. The solar battery acts as a supplemental power source, making the lithium battery last longer compared to existing portable game machines using only a lithium battery.

According to the company, a comparable machine with only a lithium battery works for 20 to 30 hours. This machine is claimed to have a life of 750 hours in continuous use indoors with brightness or outdoors on a cloudy day, and 600 hours on a rainy day, without charging the lithium battery. The device is designed to start using the lithium battery; it then switches to the solar battery during game playing.