Nintendo has announced that a new Gameboy version will be introduced in March. This version will include a front-lit screen, a rechargeable lithium-Ion battery and opens and closes like a mini-laptop. Since the Gameboy introduction in 1989, there have been over 120 million units sold. Of the most recent version, the Game Boy Advance, almost 12 million units have been sold since its June 2001 debut. Update: Gamespot.com has revealed that they have learned that a blue-colored and black-colored version will be available upon release in Japan on the 14th of February.
Gameboy Advance SP Unveiled
2003-01-07 Games 34 Comments
This is nice, but I don’t know that Nintendo should have realeased it this early. It includes things that should have been in the original Gameboy Advance (backlit screen, more battery life). It looks nice, but frankly, I love the button layout of the one now, and this one looks so…square. Bottom line: I think I would have liked the original GBA to have a backlit screen, not a whole new $100 product.
That looks king of uncomfortable to play with for extended periods of time. Too squarish.
I hadn’t seen that, but I think that is great. But again, they had the technology and means during the production of the GBA 1.0, so I think that it is overdue.
I love the fact that its got back lighting, but… It looks like my hands will be to big, Everyone should just get the Gamecube Gameboy Advanced player when it comes out and play it on your TV instead with your Gamecube controller,
I feel uncomfortable just looking at those controls and the way the unit has a chunk of (square) real estate under your fingers.
The Gameboy has been an unbelievable success despite its initial inferior technical capabilities compared to its rivals. The world’s first color hand-held video game system was the Atari Lynx, which was released in 1989 just like ist rival, the Gameboy and offered a maximum resolution of 480 x 102 (vs the original Gameboy’s monochrome 160 x 144 and Gameboy Advance’s 240 x 160).
Later in 1991, Sega also entered the market with its own color hand-held video game system, the Game Gear (160 x 144 screen resolution), yet the lynx was still far more powerful.
Despite everything, the Gameboy has completely overshadowed its superior (more powerful, better screenmodes, backlights, etc) competition. I believe the two main reasons must have been content (especially Zelda and Mario games) and battery-life.
In the near future, the main competition is expected to come from next generation multi-functional gadgets, mainly next generation cellphones and PDAs. A big advantage will be that these devices are easily connected to the internet. Cellphone targeted I-mode gaming is already extremely popular in Japan. The Japanese I-mode games market was already worth over 200 million Euro in 2001, but since Januari 2001 the amount of I-mode subscribers has grown from 17 million subsribers to over 36 million users in Japan today!
How much of a refund will customers get who bought Nintendo’s original ‘broken’ GBA ?
How much of a discount will people get who already own the current one when they buy the new one ?
Sorry for all the posts, but check this out …
Look on the right side of the page – it’s not quite as big as it looks
Sure, it looks kind of chunky, but then again have you seen an original Gameboy recently? The old version is much bigger and much more square than this but I never really found it uncomfortable. I will reserve judgement until I actually try one, though.
Yeah I remember the Atari Lynx!! That was way cool, oh and the game gear too!! Remember the TV Tuner? Man that Game Gear kicked Ass.
But honestly I know the reason why Gameboy was more successful and it was because of Games!! There were just soo many.
Me and my mates would always return back to the good old Green screened gameboy, I can still remember my favourite games were WWF, T2, and Super Mario Bros!! I knew someone that just bought it for Tetris!?
Are Nintendo bigger than Microsoft? My mate thinks they are?
Maybe they should build an OS specific for developing games?
The Turbo Express!!! Bomberman galore!
An upgrade kit that puts an internal backlight into the GBA.
This is probably what you guys want.
The kit is $35 which probably erases the cost advantage, of the GBA over the new system, not to mention that the kit has to be installed…
Are Nintendo bigger than Microsoft? My mate thinks they are?
I doubt it. Actually the biggest game publisher is Electronic Arts, and the hardware sector is far from being the place game companies make lots of money (the Gameboy may be an exception).
Maybe they should build an OS specific for developing games?
You mean to “develop” games or to “play” games ? Either way, it make absolutely no sense of whatsoever. Windows always been the plateform of choice for game development either as native games and cross-plateform games (why re-inventing the wheel when everything is great?)
As for a game OS, There’s no way a company can create a new OS for games, sink TONS of money just to keep up with the power of directX, support all hardwares Windows does, then try to convince developers there’s a market (which isn’t), then lure the customer to buy it. So, really, what’s the point ? 🙂
The new GBA, much like if you add an Afterburner, is not back-lit. It’s front-lit. Makes a difference (granted I’ve read that the lighting on the new GBA is better than a self-modded old-style GBA).
I find, especially since Eugenia left, that OSNews has started to become a more Slahdot-style site. I come to OSNews to get more technical, OS-related news. I hope the new editors don’t go too far off track.
i think they should of gone for a little bit bigger screen size. at least 4 inches or around there. On the other hand, what does this topic have to do with osnews?
Okay here is the deal… Look at the size of the Gameboy Pocket and the Gameboy Advance and then compare them to the the Gameboy Advance SP. You will see the GBASP when folded out is about the same size as the GBP (but thinner and with a much bigger screen). The button placement is almost dead-on with the GBP. Nothing uncomfortable about that little unit. Well worth the price when first coming out. I think the GBA cost $80 or $90 when it arrived here.
Now how does this relate to OS News? Well, it probably doesn’t in the least… unless you can count it as some Hardware News just like a Wal-mart Lindows box, or an iPod, or an Intel processor, or a microdrive, or a video card. or a… get the point?
I happen to enjoy the little diversions like this. Made me keep the browser open for more than five seconds this time after browsing the headlines. Hell, I am even posting a comment. Haven’t done that here at OS News in quite a while.
BTW, I am testing Apple’s Safari right now, but that is a topic for another thread…
How does this relate to OS news ;D
the small size changes everything. Doesn’t look so uncomfortable now
Everyone always fails to mention the NEC PC Engine GT/LT or Turbo Express. It had the best specs of a handheld as it was the PC Engine with batteries and a backlit lcd screen. It played the same HuCards that the PC Engine or the Turbo Grafx 16 did. Nothing like taking Nutopia or Splatterhouse on the road. Ate batteries like the Sega GG did… but what a great system. The new GBA looks a hell of a lot like the
Ah ! The good old “Turbo Grafx 16”. Still play sometimes on my old system. Funny that it was marketed as a 16-bit machine, tho it was a straight 8-bit machine with 16-bit *graphics* capabilities …
Remind me of the N64, I have some friends that thought the core CPU was effectively a 64-bit processor … 🙂
@ Mana Beast & Wing
OSNews is not strictly an OS only website. Eugenia and the rest of the team have often reported on software titles including Blender, StarOffice or Games like Doom 3 or Quake 2 in the past as well.
The same can be said with regard to our hardware reporting. Just look at it like this. An OS is pretty much useless without software and OS is also useless without hardware, but we try to mostly focus on Operating systems.
Why are some news items regarding the GBA or other consoles of interest to many OSNews readers? For one, there are many software developers reading OSNews, the GBA is a potentially solid means of income for them as well.
We will continue to report on the most interesting software and hardware developments. Any interesting OS related news item can potentially make it onto OSNews. Slashdot reports however on just about anything, including ordinary news, science developments, social issues, politics, etc. Another big difference is that we run alot of feature articles and that news mostly arrives on SLashdot rather late in comparison to other websites.
I agree. The site mostly aim for OS news, but I still prefere some interesting “side news” than nothing (when OS community is stalled).
For one, there are many software developers reading OSNews, the GBA is a potentially solid means of income for them as well.
You bet ! I’m a professional game developer, and I can testify that GBA market is easily the strongest and more stable/profitable section of the whole video game industry.
And as a developer, I STRONGLY prefere to work on GBA titles than anything else. 2 or 3 programmers, 2 or 3 artists, 1 or 2 level designers. Work for 6 to 10 month on project, and you get a real blast. Very different to the hollywood-like development effort needed to create a full 3D commercial game. And, more than anything, the joy of putting more time on THE GAME itself, than wasting time on tweaking a 3D engine.
GBA dev rules ! Thanks for covering this news. Keep up the good work !
I ordered one of those immediately after I read your post.
Too bad they were quite expensive here in Sweden (around $100 with backlights, a new front panel and shipping).
Very well. I guess I wouldn’t have got it much cheaper anyway.
Sega nomad with is 6 button, full genesis compatability (2$ a cartrige now) video composite output in standard and a jack for a second (external) 6 button pad is still better than that.
The turbo express is my second favorite.
Only cool thing GBA did bring is the 4 player mode. Granted the power is great, but i always played handheld in car lighter or in a electrical outlet somewere.
You bring nothing new on the table. It’s a well known fact that since the beginning, the Gameboy (almost) always been in front of a competitor better console. But he always win. The reason ? 6-buttons and all the fla-fla you enumerate don’t do good games. The good games are on Gameboy, that’s the ONLY reason why it’s still the king after 14 years. Plus the battery life always been better on GB than any other portable console.
And if you desperately want to compare hardware, the GBA is technically way ahead of Sega Nomad and it’s old-ish 16-bit architecture. There’s LOT more FXs support and power in the hand of developers working on GBA than Nomad.
So even on hardware side, you don’t have a point.
Only advantage of Nomad over GBA : the backlite. Now it’s fixed with the new GBA and it’s frontlite. Nintendo win, by K.O.
You have got to be kidding me! Ign says you need an accessory sold seperatly to plug in headphones. F!@#%!@@ wow.
Seen in an earlier post http://pocket.ign.com/articles/381/381613p1.html
I think it looks quite nice.
Why the heck is that GBA priced $99 in the US and about $120-$140 in Europe???
And why are only two colours available in the US compared to three in Europe and Japan (with more to follow for sure).
And the last mystery to me is why that gadget is marketed for people below 20? I turn 36 soon and got a normal GBA as birthday present last year. I would have never bought one myself and was very impressed by the quality of its software, be it the great Advance Wars or even the old Mario cart racing and Mario and Wario jump and runs. Not to forget the great QA – I have not found one software bug yet.
Only cool thing GBA did bring is the 4 player mode.
With the old Atari Lynx, it is possible to play games with up to 8 simultaneous players!
Listed retail prices within the US usually exclude VAT (~10%), listed retail prices in Europe usually include VAT (up to 25% in some countries). Import taxes on luxury goods is also high in European countries.
Furthermore there are often additional costs involved for companies to sell their products within Europe (compared to the very uniform US market), like for instance supporting many different languages, still several different currencies, etc.
I got a GBA the day it came out and now I would like to get a GBA SP and sell my GBA but I have a problem. My L and R buttons don’t work and nobody will buy it. I have tryed opening it and spraying contact cleaner but it does not seem to work. Could someone please help me.
I see alot of people complaining about the smallish size of the GBA SP. Isn’t that the whole point¿ This thing is portable and size matters when you’re toting it around with ya on trips or commutes. I know it’s a bit cramped for our American and European sized hands, but hey so was the original GBA for that matter so it’s really a mute point. It was teeny-weeny and that’s what i liked about it and it’s gonna be what I like about the GBA SP.
Like everything else, you’ll get used to it. Remember how square, clunky, and uncomfortable the original NES controllers were. You couldn’t pry those from my 13 year old hands with a crowbar. Cell phones are getting so small nowadays and nobody seems to mind, heck they can’t keep them on the shelves. Realisticly there is a limit on how small they should make a portable game system and have it still be functional. I think they sized it right. Not too small . . . not too big. I don’t even have to mention that it’s a Nintendo product and the games are great. The lack of a headphone port kinda sucketh, but other than that I see no real design flaws from the pics I’ve seen around the web. I’m for one am definitely getting one when they wash up on the Boston shores in March .