The Game Boy Advance (GBA for short) was the second and final successor to the Game Boy line before Nintendo moved on to making the Nintendo DS. Along with the model shown to the right, the GBA also had the Game Boy Advance SP, and the Game Boy Micro.
It was released in 2001 in North America, Japan, Europe. It was released in 2004 for the People's Republic of China.
Why It Rocks
- Its 32 bit processor allowed for more advanced games than the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color. Surprisingly true in the "Advance" part of its name.
- Many of the games were ports of Super Nintendo Entertainment System games such as a re-release of Final Fantasy VI and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Final Fantasy 1 & 2: Dawn of Souls. These ports even offered more content than the original games, such as extra levels and dungeons.
- The technology used in the GBA allowed for the Game Boy Advance video packs, which allowed for several television shows to be compressed into cartridges for viewing. However the video quality was extremely poor.
- Excellent battery life.
- Like the GBC, the GBA came in different colors, including the limited edition platinum color, seen above.
- Numerous accessories and the system comes in many different colors.
- The Game Boy Advance SP remodel had a rechargeable battery and was more compact. Later models had were backlit for darker areas.
- The Game Boy Micro is extremely tiny, capable of fitting in the palm of your hand. However, it is not backwards compatible with GBC and original Game Boy games.
- Over 1,000 games.
- The Game Boy Advance was backwards compatible with the Game Boy Color and the original Game Boy making the total library of playable games above 2,000!
- The original model still used AA batteries and had no backlit screen, which is a serious problem with games with really dark graphics such as Castlevania: Circle of the Moon.
- The SP model had no headphone jack.
- The ports of SNES and Genesis/Mega Drive Games had inferior audio quality compared to their original counterparts. They also had to figure out how to work with only the A and B buttons.
- Plenty of shovelware had made it to the system.
- Just like its' predecessors, the screen will decay if reflected by a sun for too long, although not as much.
- The Micro model did not sell well.
- Too many kid show/movie based games which where often shovelware as mentioned above.
As of 2009, over 81 million units of the GBA have been sold worldwide. While multiple handhelds were released during the GBA's lifespan, none could even try to compete with it and it further cemented Nintendo's dominance in the handheld gaming market.