D’Works, Nintendo wed

Studio, Majesco to bring animated films to Game Boy

Shrek is going to Mario’s world.

DreamWorks Animation has pacted with vidgame publisher Majesco to become the first studio to provide films for Nintendo’s line of Game Boy portable vidgame players.

Majesco will release the toon studio’s “Shrek,” “Shrek 2,” and “Shark Tale” later this summer in its proprietary Game Boy Video format with a price expected around $20.

Game publisher has in the past year released television content from Nickelodeon, Disney and Cartoon Network, but didn’t have the capacity to put a full feature film on one Game Boy cartridge.

Numerous studios — though not DreamWorks — have begun to release pics for Sony’s PSP portable game console, which was designed to also play movies. Majesco had to develop a new technology to play video on the Game Boy, however, and can only store animated content up to 90 minutes.

Company is hoping that’s the sweet spot for the Game Boy aud, though, which tends to be younger than PSP users.

“Given the technology and the Game Boy marketplace, we’re focusing now on animated content, though we hope to improve it so we can play live action,” said Lester Greenman, exec VP in charge of Majesco’s video line.

If first three pics sell well, Majesco also hopes to release DreamWorks’ “Madagascar” when it hits the homevid window. Publisher is also in discussions with other studios to license their animated pics.

“This is all part of our commitment to find compelling partnerships and expand our audience reach,” DreamWorks home entertainment topper Kelley Avery said of the pact.

Though financial details aren’t available, Game Boy Video deals are believed to be somewhat different for studios than DVD distribution, as cartridges are more expensive to produce than discs and Majesco must pay Nintendo a licensing fee for each unit.

Nintendo is by far the leader in the handheld gaming space, though Sony’s PSP is the first product to pose a serious competitive threat.

Company has sold more than 28 million units of its Game Boy Advance in North America, along with more than 1 million units of its new DS portable game console, which is also compatible with Game Boy Advance titles, including video products.

Later this year Nintendo will release a credit card-sized version of the gadget dubbed Game Boy Micro.

Movies aren’t compatible with previous versions of Game Boy.

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