Super Boy! Possibly the Gamate's mascot at one point. He appears on one version of the Taiwanese packaging, and in one of the trademark registrations below. I have no idea if his name actually is Super Boy, that's just the literal translation of the Gamate's Chinese name. But there's a game in the list with that title, and wouldn't it make sense if he starred in it? EH? Yes it would. Probably. If the Gamate had taken off he could have been the next Mario.
I have no idea what's the red thing he's holding - it almost looks like it might say "GAMATE" on it. but this is obviously not what a Gamate looks like. perhaps the artist had never seen one and was working from a vague description ("yeah just draw a gamate in his hand ... what do you mean you don't know what it is? everyone knows what it is. it's a bit like a game boy."), OR maybe it's something ridiculous and unlikely like it's a prototype or the colour version or something. but it's obviously not that. it could kinda pass for a miscoloured game card, I suppose.
The Gamate Pirate Cart
(click for hi-res versions)
Over the years, I have come to obtain a number of pirate Famicom carts. One, though, "1992 Super Gold Hi-K 4 in 1", came as a surprise - the back label, it turns out, has a Gamate logo (and "seal of quality") on it. At first I thought some pirate outfit had just ripped off the logo, until I found out what the Chinese text said (thanks to Euclid for the translation):
- every month there'll be new cartridges (?) release.
- price is cheap, comes with full functions.
- quality assured, lifetime guarantee.
So, apparently, it's an advert for the Gamate. But why on the back of a pirate cart? Maybe a struggling Bit Corp had turned to piracy in the last year of its life, maybe the manufacturer of the cart was a distributor for the Gamate, maybe someone owed someone else a favour. I doubt I'll ever really know, though.
The screenshots on the back of Gamate boxes all seem to differ (sometimes subtlely, sometimes less so) from the actual games. I'll upload some comparisons at some point, if I can be arsed. But, yeah, they're different. I'm guessing the boxes were designed before the games were completed, and the screenshots are either mockups or from prototype versions.
well, there isn't much that I can find, believe it or not. but it got a couple of pages in C&VG back in the day, which you can see here courtesy of the Mean Machines Archive. unsurprisingly they weren't too fond of the thing. it also confirms my suspicions that the screen is indeed shite, and i don't just have a curiously selective vision problem.
it was advertised in US magazines, apparently. Here's a scan I "borrowed" from Pelikonepeijoonit, for those who have yet to experience the ultimate in hand-held entertainment.
Bit actually filed a few trademarks and patents for the Gamate in the US - "Gamate" was trademarked, obviously, as was common misspelling "Game Mate". Previously they'd registered trademarks for "Open Sesame", one of their 2600 games, and "Puzzy" (teehee) a brand name they used for a while. I'd link to the specific pages, but the US Patent and Trademark Office doesn't like that, so you'll have to trademark search yourself if you want to see them. They also patented the design of the Gamate and its cards, which according to the patent application were invented by a bloke called Michael Chen. And there are quite a few Michael Chens in Taiwan, as my attempts to track him down proved (it's also the name of the hero of Cloud Master).
Taiwanese filings - 1 2 3 4 5
For the Chinese version replace "TIPO_DRE" with "TIPO_DR" - this contains more information but is in Chinese. obviously.