Mattel Hyper Scan

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Mattel released the Hyper Scan video game console in October 2006. The company was attempting to cash-in on the collectible card market, and the console featured (and all it's games required the use of) an in-built RFID scanner. It was poorly received by the public, and was discontinued by the end of 2007.

Games were stored on UDF format CD-ROMs. The HyperScan had two controller ports, as well as a 13.56 MHz RFID scanner that reads and writes to the cards which, in turn, activate features in and save data from the game. Players were able to enhance the abilities of their characters by scanning cards. Games retailed for $19.99 and the console itself for $69.99 at launch, but by the end of its very short lifespan prices of the system were down to $9.99, the games $1.99, and booster packs $0.99.

There were two different console types available: a cube; and a 2-player value pack. The cube box version was the version sold in stores, and included the system, controller, an X-Men game disc, and 6 X-Men cards. Two player value packs were sold online and included an extra controller and 12 additional X-Men cards.

The RFID tag chips for the contactless game cards, and the RFID tag and reader designs were provided by Innovision Research and Technology plc, a fabless semiconductor design house based in the UK which specializes in RFID systems and chip design.

Five games were released for the HyperScan: X-Men, Ben 10, Interstellar Wrestling League, Marvel Heroes, and Spider-Man. A sixth game based on Avatar: The Last Airbender and a seventh game called Nick Extreme Sports were announced, but cancelled before release.

Hardware specifications:

  • The HyperScan is based off a Sunplus SPG290 system-on-a-chip, including UART, I2C, SPI etc.
  • Composite video output (the SoC supports TFT display, but the Hyper Scan does not use it)
  • 16 MB system RAM
  • 640×480 native resolution
  • 65,535 colors (RGB 565 mode)
  • 1 USB port (unused by retail models; may have had some use for development hardware
  • RFID scanner (13.56 MHz)
  • Each RFID card could store: 96 bytes of user memory + 8 bytes unique ID + 6 bytes of one time programmable memory




Manufacturer: Mattel
Date: 23rd October 2006

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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH46006. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Mattel Hyper Scan

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