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Nintendo Game Boy Advance - Indigo

by Nintendo
Game Boy Advance
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews) 4 answered questions

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  • It features a more powerful processor than any previous portable system, for faster, smoother gameplay
  • The high-resolution, full color screen makes the game jump out at you -- 50% bigger than Game Boy Color
  • Two new buttons, L & R, bring you more control & game options
  • Extended battery life lets you play for up to 15 hours on a pair of AA batteries
  • Compact Game Paks let you store your game progress & are smaller then Game Boy Color Paks

Product Details

  • ASIN: B00005B8G3
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 5.5 x 2 inches ; 4.8 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,634 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Product Description

Product Description

Not only can you coordinate you GBA with your hair color (it comes in arctic, glacier, indigo and fuchsia) but you can be king of game mountain. Portable gaming entered a new era when the Game Boy Advance was released. This is not your older brother's Game Boy; the Advance has some powerful new enhancements. The screen is bigger, better to see 32-bit graphics. In fact, it delivers a sharper picture than some current TV-based consoles. You'll also see 10 times more colors than the Game Boy Color can display. The Game Boy Advance runs 17 times faster than its predecessor, allowing a range of game features such as scaling, rotating and transparency effects. New left and right buttons give you-and game designers-more options.

The Game Boy platform (which includes the original unit, the Game Boy Pocket, and the Game Boy Color) came to market when most video game consoles had a life expectancy of just a few years. More than a decade later, the system is still going strong. How did the Game Boy successfully compete--and in some cases bury--an onslaught of faster, more powerful handheld and home console systems? Let us count the ways: affordability, a huge library of games that consistently made the most of the hardware's limitations, smart power management that extended battery life, and uncluttered controls. But perhaps it was the system's ultraportable design that allowed devotees to play video games around their schedule, making it the must-have system for kids and adults alike.

Now the Game Boy Advance (or GBA as people are already calling it) comes to us with power that would have been unthinkable back in the day. The portable's 32-bit RISC CPU runs circles around the former's 8-bit workhorse, allowing it to process program instructions much faster. What that means to everyday gamers is more intricate visuals, more simultaneous movement on the screen, and better sound. In fact, the often-annoying beeps and boops of old-school Game Boy titles are being replaced with digitized stereo sound. The extra processing muscle also means you can even network up to four Game Boy Advance units together, via the communication cable, for multiplayer fun off of one shared cartridge. Only two Game Boy Color units could link together, and each unit had to have its own copy of the game.

What's not being replaced, however, is the wide selection of Game Boy games. Because the Game Boy Advance system is backward-compatible, it will play its own line of colorful games--including such launch titles as Super Mario Advance, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity, Army Men Advance, High Heat Major League Baseball 2002, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, and Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2--as well as all of the monochrome and color games that have already been released for the previous Game Boy systems (nearly 500 in total). Players can view the older games in their smaller, originally square dimensions, or, with the touch of the shoulder button, expand the game to fit the GBA's larger screen. We tried enlarging the screen on a Game Boy Color edition of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 and found that Mr. Hawk was much easier to see.

When you first pick up the system, you'll be amazed at how lightweight it is. At fewer than 5 ounces and a little larger than a deck of playing cards, the system easily fits into a shirt pocket without any sag. The GBA's wider shape fits better into a wider range of hands. The former design too often pushed the left and right thumb knuckles together during gameplay. The new layout should be comfortable for all ages, and the center screen orientation makes it easy to see.

Game Boy Color owners will find the GBA's larger screen somewhat darker than they're used to, but that's because the screen is outfitted with antiglare technology. Like the old Game Boy Color, the color LCD is not backlit, so you need pretty good light to play by. Unlike that system, though, you won't be craning your neck and tilting the unit to see around the hot-spot reflection of the light bulb in your screen.

But you'll also notice the graphics. Sporting what's basically a redesigned SNES technology, you'll see things on the GBA that the big consoles do, such as scaling (making objects larger or smaller) and rotation effects--technological advances that will affect the look of everything from crossing a finish line to throwing a touchdown pass to crawling through a dungeon.

Some might argue that Nintendo could have tried to put even more power into this Game Boy Advance. After all, the 32-bit video game had its heyday more than five years ago. Perhaps, but after handling this new handheld, we're inclined to think that Nintendo wisely struck a balance between size, price, and power consumption. And considering how well the old 8-bit system weathered the decade's technological storms, we think the Game Boy Advance is here to stay, and we're glad. --Porter B. Hall

Unit Specifications

  • CPU: 32-bit RISC CPU with embedded memory
  • Screen: 2.9-inch reflective TFT color LCD
  • Display Size: 1.6 by 2.4 inches (40.8 by 61.2 mm)
  • Resolution: 38,000 pixels in a wide-screen aspect ratio (10,000 per square inch)
  • Colors: 512 simultaneous colors from a palette of 32,768
  • Size: 3.2 by 5.6 by 1 inch (82 by 144.5 by 24.5 mm)
  • Weight: Approximately 5 ounces (140 grams)
  • Power Supply: 2 AA alkaline batteries
  • Battery Life: Approximately 15 hours continuous play

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A step above GBC but could use a few improvements December 26, 2001
My daughter received this as a gift. She had an original monochrome Game Boy (GB) that she liked so she asked for the latest version. Game Boy Advance (GBA) is leaps and bounds ahead of the orignal GB and Game Boy Color (GBC) in terms of graphics and the screen size. It is absolutely fun to play the games. However, there a few things in the design I didn't expect from the next generation GB line.
As other reviews have stated, the screen is somewhat dim. There are no controls for brightness or contrast of the display screen like there were on the original GB. I mean, the dimness of the screen isn't what I would call horrible but it would be much easier on the eyes if it were just a bit brighter. You definitely need to play the game near a light source.
Also, the horizonital orientation of the unit takes some getting used to if your accustomed to the GB and GBC units. I think Nintendo should have stuck with a design that more closely resembled the original GB and GBC units.
Even though the screen is a little dim if your trying to decide between a GBC and a GBA, then my recomendation is to go with the GBA. It will play all the other games from the original GB and GBC. Plus, the GBA games are much better with the larger screen and superior graphics.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What!!! NO BACKLIGHT!!!??? Unless... October 28, 2002
Don't get me wrong, I love the GameBoy Advance, but seriously, WHAT WAS NINTENDO THINKING??? What was going through their minds when they decided not to have the GameBoy advance backlit. How would you feel if you bought a cell phone that wasn't backlit and the only way you could get a clear picture was in direct sunlight. I've tried EVERY aftermarket clip on light you can buy but they're not really practical. They are either not bright enough, have horrible glare, or don't light the screen evenly, and the ones that are bright enough are so heavy and bulky your GameBoy is hardly portable. It really annoys the heck out of me!
There is an aftermarket upgrade out there that fixes this problem. It's called the Afterburner and is made by Triton Labs. You must install it inside the GameBoy and it works beautifully. It completely lights up the entire screen with a brilliant, even light. But it's not perfect either. The installation takes about 4 hours and is an EXTREMELY stressful and difficult procedure. I ruined my GameBoy trying to install one.

I suggest buying a GameBoy with an Afterburner pre-installed from a PROFESSIONAL. ...Now I can play my GameBoy in complete darkness and can see every detail. It's awesome. I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT!!!
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good system with a very bad screen October 28, 2001
By A Customer
Game Boy Advance is a great system with one huge, glaring exception: the screen. When I first played GBA, it was in rather dim light. I was shocked that there was no backlight, as the screen was nearly impossible to see. My thinking then was that this is definitely a system to use in bright light only...a rather large drawback. Actually, though, I find the screen hard to see in bright light as well, due to the reflectivity of the screen - it tends to shine bright light back in your face. The screen is bad enough that I've seriously considered taking my GBA back for a refund.
Otherwise, it's a great system. I bought Super Mario 2 for Advance as my first game, and the graphics and sound are better than the original NES game. Plus you have the ability to save your game, network with other players, etc. Battery life is very good. I used mine with rechargable NIMH batteries, and I'd say battery life is at least 10 hours on two AAs...maybe more. With alkalines I don't doubt that you can get the promised 15 hour life.
To sum up, I'd suggest before buying GBA, you head down to your local toy store and see if you can put up with the screen. If it doesn't bother you, you'll love the rest. When Nintendo fixes the screen, it'll be a 5. I might be tempted to wait until then to buy GBA.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game system! March 25, 2007
A Kid's Review
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
I love my GBA! It is a lot of fun! Ok first of all do not buy the GBA SP it costs 80.00 and I just picked up my GBA for only 20.00! The only reason it is more expensive is because of a backlight. Most of the time I have no trouble at all seeing the screen of my GBA. But when I do play in the dark I just use a light shield attachment that I bout for only 5.00. So basically This is the same as the SP just a little older but it still plays the exact same games. Another think I like about my GBA is the size and shape, it fits my hands perfectly. Unlike the GBA SP, which I also used to own, which is so small and does not feel right in your hands at all. Another advantage over the Sp is it takes normal AA batteries unlike the Sp that has a rechargeable battery which by the way holds only a couple hours of life and even less if you play with the light on. I think it is better just to use regular batteries because what if you are on the go and your SP battery dies? If that happens you have no place to charge it. But with the GBA just pop in some new batteries and play some more. The last thing I dislike about the SP is it has no headphone jack. Sure you can buy an adaptor for it but you shouldn't have to it should come built in. Plus the adaptor hooks into the link cable port so you can't use a link cable while using the head phones. So believe me when I say The GBA is much better than the SP, I have had experience with both and the only advantage over the GBA is a back light. I am not going to tell you what to buy but I think it is better to pick up a GBA than waste 60.00 more on a system that plays the exact same games. SO why waste the money? I hope my review was helpful to you.
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