Saturday, May 20, 2006

At long last, no more GBA rehashes

After four rehashes of the Game Boy Advance (only one of them really necessary), and millions of units sold later, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has finally revealed that the worldwide portable phenomenon will not see any more updates.

"The Japanese game market is now evolving around DS. We don't need to do something that will pour cold water on the situation." said Iwata in an interview

Well, so it looks like the Micro will be the last unnecessary GBA update. But that doesn’t mean Nintendo wont milk a whole new generation of cows – I’d expect a few DS rehashes by the end of the system’s life span.

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A look at all four iterations of the Gameboy Advance:

Gameboy Advance (released 2001) - Although the Gameboy Color sold like hotcakes, it was a pretty disappointing portable when it was all said and done. The Gameboy Advance blew the Gameboy Color away with stunning graphics (for its time on a portable system), a great line-up of game titles, backward compatibility, and a solid sound design. However, the system’s overall design was quite unattractive looking, and the dark screen was a huge nuisance.

Gameboy Advance SP (released 2003) - Fixing the problems of the original version of the GBA, the SP featured a nice-looking backlit screen, a rechargeable battery pack, and a new, fresh, pleasing design. Gamers quickly sold off their troublesome originals and upgraded to the awesome new SP by the millions.

Gameboy Advance SP2 (released 2005) – Few people complained about the original SP’s screen, but Nintendo decided to repackage the Gameboy Advance and upgrade it once again with a new, brighter screen.

Gameboy Micro (released 2005) – While the Gameboy Micro was smaller and sported a great new screen akin to that of the Gameboy Advance SP2, it sacrificed the ability to play classic Gameboy and Gameboy Color titles in doing so.

Also released in 2003 was the Gameboy Player. This let you play Gameboy, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance titles in the comfort of your living room on a normal sized television. It required a Nintendo Gamecube to use as it connected to the bottom of it. The Gameboy Player retailed for $49.99.


At 9:42 PM, Blogger Wedge14 said...

Remember Gamegear?

CPU: 8-bit Z80 (3.58MHz)
RAM: 8KB, 16KB Video RAM
Colors: 4096 (32 on screen)
Sprites: 64
Sprite Size: 8x8 pixels
Resolution: 160x146 pixels
Screen: 3.2" backlit LCD
Sound: 4 channel stereo>

Does that even compare to a GBA? I can't tell.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Ross said...

Some of the games on Game Gear certainly looked impressive for their time, but it used six AA batteries which only lasted around five mesely hours.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Wedge14 said...

Yeah 5 hours wasn't enough Dr Robotnik's mean bean machine.

I really loved my SP tho. I got the fancy dancy NES styled one. I'd bust out in school and random kids would revere me as some old school gaming deity. I would just laugh and curse the forthcoming Gameboy DS. (I'd purchased the SP on a whim with no knowledge of the soon to be relased DS)

At 11:13 AM, Blogger gnome said...

The GBA is definitely more powerful than the GG, and even more powerful from (my) Atari Lynx.

Ross, mid you, the Micro has a great screen. Amazingly bright.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Ross said...

Well Gnome, I was also aware of its great screen, which is why I said this:

"...sported a great new screen..."

At 5:16 PM, Blogger gnome said...

You're absolutely right, apparently reading it, didn't change my need to write about the micro's impressive screen. I'll go spank myself now.

At 6:15 PM, Blogger Tomleecee said...

Compared to the GBA, the GameGear is archaic. As stated by Wedge14, it has an 8-bit CPU whereas the GBA is 32-bit. You only have to have a quick glance at the difference in visual quality to see that the GG just can't compete with the GBA. The GP32, however, destroys them both.

At 2:28 PM, Blogger The GagaMan(n) said...

Does one of those updates (the brighter screen one) really count?


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