|Released||NA September 16, 2002|
|Media||Game Boy Advance cartridge with built-in link port|
The e-Reader is a gaming peripheral developed by Nintendo. When paired with a compatible portable gaming device (e.g.Game Boy Advance), it can be used to scan e-cards which have specially encoded data printed on them, to perform various functions such as uploading data or unlocking game features. Some cards may also contain game data to play mini-games or even retro titles such as the ports of NES titles, for play on the GBA.
e-Reader cards work using Dot Code Technology developed by with Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. Each card can hold up to two code strips, one long strip holding up to 2.2 kilobytes of information and a shorter strip containing 1.4 kilobytes. The e-Reader peripheral itself uses 64 Mb mask ROM and 1 Mb flash memory.
Use in Animal Crossing
When the e-Reader and Game Boy Advance are connected to a Nintendo GameCube playing Animal Crossing, cards from the Animal Crossing-e series can be scanned to affect gameplay, such as obtaining exclusive pattern designs or receiving gifts such as rare NES games. e-Reader functionality is only available in NTSC and Australian PAL versions of the game. The Europe release of the game disables all e-Reader functionality.
Animal Crossing recieved two promo e-reader cards: a bonus Nintendo Power prize (containing the NES Link design card), and a card containing K.K. Ska that was included in the original e-reader package.
Dobutsu no Mori+ received multiple Promo cards with alternate artwork. Two special player cards were released in Famitsu magazine, as well as alternate K.K. Slider, Rover, Blanca, and Resetti cards, with the latter three being in a blind pack. Most other special characters' promo cards were included at random inside Takara playsets.
There are 5 different card sets. Once scanned, they can give the following items:
- A letter from a villager and an item
- The two NES cards can give players the game shown on the card.
- K.K cards that gives music.
- A promotional card that comes with the e-reader and gives a surprise item. (K.K. Ska)
- A card featuring a male or female player that allows the player to play a minigame when scanned on the Game Boy Advance.
Japan received a second card series to go with Dōbutsu no Mori e+. This set contained 3 series, with characters that appeared in e+. Melody (town tune cards and design cards were also included. Special villagers such as Pierre, Meow, Bow, Nindori and Shoukichi may only be obtained and moved into down by scanning their card. Meow, Bow and Shoukitchi came in e+ Takara playsets. Pierre is found in the e+ card file, and Nindori was a 2003 Nintendo Dream bonus. These e+ cards could be used to move villagers into town, much like the current amiibo functionality.