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Game Boy Advance family

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The Game Boy Advance family is a series of models of battery-powered handheld game consoles sold by Nintendo As of June 30, 2010, the Game Boy Advance series has sold 8151 million units worldwide1 It was preceded by the Game Boy line and succeeded by the Nintendo DS line


  • 1 History
    • 11 Game Boy Advance
    • 12 Game Boy Advance SP
    • 13 Game Boy Micro
  • 2 Comparison
  • 3 Game Paks
  • 4 Accessories
    • 41 Game Boy Player
  • 5 Legacy
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


Timeline of release years
2001– – Game Boy Advance
2003– – Game Boy Advance SP
2005– – Game Boy Micro

Game Boy Advanceedit

Game Boy Advance Main article: Game Boy Advance

In Japan, on March 21, 2001, Nintendo released a significant upgrade to the Game Boy line The Game Boy Advance also referred to as GBA featured a 32 bit 168 MHz ARM It included a Z80 processor and a switch activated by inserting a Game Boy or Game Boy Color game into the slot for backward compatibility, and had a larger, higher resolution screen Controls were slightly modified with the addition of "L" and "R" shoulder buttons The system was technically likened to the SNES and showed its power with successful ports of SNES titles such as Super Mario World, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past There were also new titles that you will only find on GBA, such as Mario Kart: Super Circuit and F-Zero: Maximum Velocity, and more A widely criticized drawback of the Game Boy Advance is that the screen is not backlit, making viewing difficult in some conditions The Game Paks for the GBA are roughly half the length of original Game Boy cartridges, and so older Game Paks would stick out of the top of the unit When playing older games, the GBA provides the option to play the game at the standard equal square resolution of the original screen or the option to stretch it over the wider GBA screen

Game Boy Advance SPedit

Game Boy Advance SP Main article: Game Boy Advance SP

First released in Japan February 14, 2003, the Game Boy Advance SP—Nintendo model AGS-001—resolved several problems with the original Game Boy Advance model It featured a new smaller clamshell design with a flip-up screen, a switchable internal frontlight, a rechargeable battery, and the only problem is the omission of the headphone jack, which requires a special adapter, purchased separately In some regions owners of the original Game Boy Advance received a special limited offer to trade their old models into Nintendo and merely pay the difference on the Game Boy Advance SPcitation needed In mid September 2005, Nintendo released a significantly improved Game Boy Advance SP model known as Nintendo model number AGS-101, that featured a high quality backlit screen instead of a frontlit, similar to the Game Boy Micro screen but larger

Game Boy Microedit

Game Boy Micro Main article: Game Boy Micro

The third form of Game Boy Advance system, the Game Boy Micro is four and a half inches wide 10 cm, two inches tall 5 cm, and weighs 28 ounces 80g By far the smallest Game Boy created, it has approximately the same dimensions as an original NES controller pad Its screen is approximately 2/3 the size of the SP and GBA screens while maintaining the same resolution 240×160 pixels but now has a higher quality than the original SP, not the improved SP backlit display with adjustable brightness Included with the system are two additional faceplates which can be swapped to give the system a new look; Nintendo of America used to sell additional faceplates on its online store In Europe, the Game Boy Micro comes with a single faceplate In Japan, a special Mother 3 limited edition Game Boy Micro was released with the game in the Mother 3 Deluxe Box The Game Boy Micro is unable to play any original Game Boy or Game Boy Color games, only playing Game Boy Advance titles with the exception of the Nintendo e-Reader, discontinued in America, but still available in Japan


Comparison of the Game Boy Advance game systems
Name Game Boy Micro Game Boy Advance SP Game Boy Advance
In production Discontinued
Release date
  • JP: 13 September 20052
  • NA: 19 September 20052
  • AU: 3 November 2005
  • EU: 4 November 20052
  • JP: 14 February 20033
  • NA: 23 March 200334
  • PAL: 28 March 2003
  • JP: 21 March 2001
  • NA: 11 June 2001
  • PAL: 22 June 2001
Launch price ¥12,0002






Units shipped Worldwide: 8151 million as of December 31, 2013
Best-selling game

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, 13 million combined as of November 25, 20046

Display 2 in 51 mm 29 in 74 mm
240 × 160 px78
511 simultaneous colors in character mode
32,768 simultaneous colors in bitmap mode7
Backlight - 5 brightness levels Frontlight On/Off toggle AGS-001
Backlight Bright/Normal toggle AGS-101
No backlight
Audio 6 channels
two 8-bit "Direct Sound" PCM channels, plus the 4 channels from Game Boy
Single mono speaker910
Stereo headphone jack
Stereo headphone jack
for headphones specifically designed for the GBA SP
Stereo headphone jack
Processor 168 MHz 32-bit ARM7TDMI
168 MHz 32-bit ARM7TDMI
4 or 8 MHz 8-bit Z80 coprocessor for Game Boy and Game Boy Color emulation, and as a tone generator in Game Boy Advance games
Memory 256 kB WRAM outside the CPU
32 kB + 96 kB VRAM internal to the CPU
Physical media Game Boy Advance Game Cartridge 2-32 MB Game Boy Advance Game Cartridge 2-32 MB
Input controls
  • D-pad
  • A/B, L/R, and START/SELECT buttons
Batteries 460 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 10 hours8
700 mAh lithium-ion battery12
  • 18 hours AGS-001 light off
  • 10 hours AGS-001 light on34
2 AA batteries
  • 15 hours

dependent on the Game Pak being played and volume setting13

Connectivity Fourth generation link port Third generation link port
Weight 80 grams 28 oz 142 grams 50 oz 140 grams 49 oz

101 mm 40 in W
50 mm 20 in H
172 mm 068 in D

84 mm 33 in W
82 mm 32 in H
24 mm 094 in D

144 mm 57 in W
82 mm 32 in H
245 mm 096 in D

Colors and styles List of Game Boy colors and styles
Regional lockout No
List of games List of Game Boy Advance games
Backward compatibility N/A14 Game Boy
Game Boy Color7
Game Boy Advance line size comparison
Comparing the sizes of some Game Boy Advance systems, from top-left: Game Boy Advance 2001, Game Boy Advance SP 2003, Game Boy Micro 2005 

Game Paksedit

Game Boy Advance cartridges used a physical lock-out feature Notches were located at the base of the cartridge's two back corners One of these notches was placed as to avoid pressing a switch inside the cartridge slot When an older Game Boy or Game Boy Color game was inserted into the cartridge slot, the switch would be pressed down and the Game Boy Advance would start in Game Boy Color mode, while a Game Boy Advance cartridge would not touch the switch and the system would start in Game Boy Advance mode The Nintendo DS replaced the switch with a solid piece of plastic that would allow Game Boy Advance cartridges to be inserted into Slot 2, but would prevent an older Game Boy cartridge from being inserted fully into the slot

Advance cartridges Also known as class D are half the size of all earlier cartridges and are compatible with Game Boy Advance and later systems including the Nintendo DS Some cartridges are colored to resemble the game usually for the Pokémon series; Pokémon Emerald, for example, being a clear emerald green They are also compatible with Nintendo DS and DS Lite but see the Reception section for limitations Some Advance cartridges have built-in features, including rumble features Drill Dozer, tilt sensors WarioWare: Twisted!, Yoshi's Universal Gravitation and solar sensors Boktai The product ID of games on advance cartridges starts with "AGB"


Main article: Game_Boy_accessories § Game_Boy_Advance

The Game Boy Advance, as with many other consoles, has had a number of releases from both first-party and unlicensed third-party accessories

Game Boy Playeredit

The Game Boy Player is a device released in 2003 by Nintendo for the GameCube which enables Game Boy although Super Game Boy enhancements are ignored, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance cartridges to be played on a television It connects via the high speed parallel port at the bottom of the GameCube and requires use of a boot disc to access the hardware Unlike devices such as Datel's Advance Game Port, the Game Boy Player does not use software emulation, but instead uses physical hardware nearly identical to that of a Game Boy Advance


See also: Nintendo

The Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite are able to play the large library of Game Boy Advance games though the Nintendo DSi, Nintendo DSi XL, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo 2DS lack a GBA game cartridge slot However, the DS consoles do not have a GBA game link connector, and so cannot play multiplayer GBA games except for the few that are multiplayer on a single GBA or link to the GameCube

Certain games released for the various Game Boy Advance are available via the Virtual Console service on the Nintendo 3DS Ten Game Boy Advance games were released to Nintendo 3DS ambassadors, as in Nintendo 3DS owners who logged into the 3DS eShop before the major August 2011 price drop The Virtual Console GBA features of releases are limited, and there are no plans to release them to the public However, starting from April 2014, Nintendo has been releasing Game Boy Advance games as Virtual Console titles via the Nintendo eShop for the Wii U

See alsoedit

  • List of Game Boy Advance games
  • Game Boy line
  • Nintendo DS line
  • Nintendo 3DS family


  1. ^ "Consolidated Sales Transition by Region" PDF Nintendo 2010-07-28 Archived from the original PDF on 2014-07-19 Retrieved 2014-07-19 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Game Boy Micro gets Japanese, European release dates" GameSpot 2005-08-18 Archived from the original on 2013-05-18 Retrieved 2013-01-26 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Game Boy Advance SP" IGN Retrieved 22 January 2013 
  4. ^ a b "Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP review" CNET Retrieved 22 January 2013 
  5. ^ "Game Boy Micro US Packaging" IGN September 12, 2005 Retrieved January 26, 2013
  6. ^ "Consolidated Financial Statements" PDF Nintendo 2004-11-25 p 4 Retrieved 2007-11-11 
  7. ^ a b c "GBA Technical Specifications" Nintendo Archived from the original on 2007-10-14 Retrieved 2013-01-26 
  8. ^ a b "Nintendo Game Boy Micro specs Black" CNET Retrieved 2013-01-26 
  9. ^ "Nintendo GameBoy Console Information - Console Database" ConsoleDatabasecom Retrieved 2013-01-31 
  10. ^ a b "Nintendo GameBoy Color Advance Console Information - Console Database" ConsoleDatabasecom Retrieved 2013-02-01 
  11. ^ "Nintendo GameBoy Color Console Information - Console Database" ConsoleDatabasecom Retrieved 2011-02-19 
  12. ^ "Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP specs Platinum" CNET Retrieved 2013-01-26 
  13. ^ "Game Boy Advance Frequently Asked Questions" Nintendo Retrieved 2013-01-26 
  14. ^ Game Boy Micro Instruction Manual, Page 10" Nintendo Retrieved on 08-20-09

External linksedit

  • Official website
  • Game Boy Advance family at DMOZ

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Game Boy Advance family

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