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Game Boy Advance SP

This is what the Game Boy was always supposed to be, and I have owned many previous versions, starting with the original. The controls have always been comfortable, and the games very playable, but visually we suffered through low resolution, black & white, and poor lighting. There was a whole line of accessories to magnify and light the screen, cases to protect the unit, and rechargeable batteries to keep playing. All of the problems, and the accessories, have been eliminated with the Advance SP.

The screen is high resolution, color, and backlit for excellent viewing in any light including total darkness. The clamshell case design (available in silver or cobalt blue) folds up small to fit in pockets and also protects the screen eliminating the need for a case. The built-in rechargeable battery comes with a very compact A/C adapter and the charge lasts for hours of continuous play.

The thing that amazes me, and I must applaud Nintendo for, is that this new version still supports all of the original Game Boy games. Sure the old cartridges are double the size, but you can still jam them in and play on. There simply aren't many electronic devices that even attempt this backwards compatibility.

Flip open the 3.3 by 3.23 by .96 inch case and you are presented with the 1.6 by 2.4 inch screen and the familiar Nintendo controls of directional keypad, A and B buttons, Select, and Start. A small button is available to toggle the backlight on and off. (I suppose to conserve power). There are also L(eft) and R(ight) buttons positioned by your index fingers for auxiliary game controls.

Power and status LED's are on the right, and a volume control is on the left. A mono speaker is present on the control pad. Missing is a standard headphone jack, but an adapter is available to utilize the Ext. auxiliary connections. These connection can also be used to link to other Game Boys for multi-player games. Another external connection is used for the included A/C adapter/charger. The transformer is very small and the plug folds in, which keeps it very slim.

The Game Boy Advance SP is perfect for your first Game Boy or your next one. Good luck finding one!

Game Boy Advance SP
List Price $99.99

Review by
Greg Renza

5 stars