|Product family||Game Boy line|
|Type||Handheld game console|
|Generation||Sixth generation era|
|Retail availability||JP March 21, 2001
NA June 11, 2001
PAL June 22, 2001
|Units sold||Worldwide: 81.50 million, all versions combined (as of December 31, 2009).
Japan: 16.96 million
Americas: 41.64 million
Other: 22.89 million
|CPU||ARM7TDMI, 16.78 MHz|
|Graphics||Custom 2D core|
|Best-selling game||Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, 13 million combined (as of November 25, 2004)
Pokémon Emerald, 6.32 million (as of March 31, 2007)
|Game Boy, Game Boy Color|
|Predecessor||Game Boy Color (redesign)|
|Successor||Game Boy Advance SP|
The Game Boy Advance (ゲームボーイアドバンス, often shortened to GBA) is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured, and marketed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People's Republic of China on June 8, 2004 (excluding Hong Kong).
In 1996, magazines including issues 53 and 54 of Total! and the July 1996 issue of Game Informer featured reports of a new Game Boy, codenamed Project Atlantis. Although the expected release date of "early 1997" would make that machine seem to be the Game Boy Color, it was described as having "a 32-bit RISC processor" and "allowing similar to Super Nintendo Entertainment System standard games-playing to be played in the palm of your hand"—a description that more closely matches the Game Boy Advance. It also may have referred to the unnamed, unreleased Game Boy Color successor prototype that was revealed at 2009's Game Developer's Conference.
The technical specifications of the original Game Boy Advance are, as provided by Nintendo:
|Length:||approximately 14.45 cm (5.69 in)|
|Width:||approximately 2.45 cm (0.96 in)|
|Height:||approximately 8.2 cm (3.2 in)|
|Mass:||approximately 140 g (4.9 oz)|
|Screen:||2.9 inches reflective thin-film transistor (TFT) color LCD|
|Power:||2 AA batteries|
|Battery life:||approximately 15 hours on average while playing Game Boy Advance games (also dependent on the Game Pak being played and the volume setting)|
|CPU:||16.8 MHz 32-bit ARM7TDMI with embedded memory|
|Memory:||32 kilobyte + 96 kilobyte VRAM (internal to the CPU), 256 kilobyte WRAM (outside the CPU).|
|Resolution:||240 × 160 pixels|
|Color support:||15-bit RGB (16-bit color space using 5 bits depth per channel), capable of displaying 512 simultaneous colors in "character mode" and 32,768 (215) simultaneous colors in "bitmap mode"|
Backward compatibility for Game Boy and Game Boy Color games is provided by an 4/8 MHz Z80 coprocessor (which Game Boy Advance software can use the audio tone generators to supplement the primary sound system), while a link port at the top of the unit allows it to be connected to other devices via use of a Nintendo Game Link cable or GameCube cable. When playing Game Boy or Game Boy Color games on the Game Boy Advance, the L and R buttons can be used to toggle between a stretched widescreen format (240×144) and the original screen ratio of the Game Boy (160×144). Game Boy games can be played using the same selectable color palettes as on the Game Boy Color.
Every Nintendo handheld system following the release of the original Game Boy Advance (SP and Micro versions of the Game Boy Advance, as well as the Nintendo DS, DS Lite, and DSi) has included a built-in light and rechargeable battery.
In early 2003, Nintendo introduced a new Game Boy Advance (model AGS-001) that looks like a pocket-size laptop, with an internal front-light that can be turned on or off, a rechargeable lithium ion battery, as well as a folding case approximately half the original size. It was designed to address some common issues with the original Game Boy Advance which was criticized for being somewhat uncomfortable, especially due to an overly dark screen. The Game Boy Advance SP also came with a new and much brighter LCD screen for improved playability.
Around the same time as the release of the Game Boy Micro, Nintendo released a new backlit version of the SP (model AGS-101) in North America (commonly referred to as the "GBA SP+", SPII, or SP2). The switch that controls the light now toggles between "normal" (which itself is already brighter than the original Game Boy Advance SP's screen), and "bright", an intense brightness level similar to an LCD television set.
In September 2005, Nintendo released a second redesign of the Game Boy Advance. This model, dubbed the Game Boy Micro, is similar in style to the original Game Boy Advance's horizontal orientation, but is much smaller and sleeker. The Game Boy Micro also allows the user to switch between several colored faceplates to allow customization, a feature which Nintendo advertised heavily around the Game Boy Micro's launch. Nintendo also hoped that this "fashion" feature would help target audiences outside of typical video game players, much like its Wii. Unlike the previous Game Boy Advance models, Game Boy Micro is unable to support Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles. The Game Boy Micro did not make much of an impact in the video game market as it was overshadowed by Nintendo's other portable, the Nintendo DS.
On December 1, 2006, Nintendo of America released launch-to-date information indicating that the Game Boy Advance series had sold 33.6 million units in the United States. In a Kotaku article published on January 18, 2008, Nintendo revealed that the Game Boy Advance series has sold 36.2 million units in the United States, as of January 1, 2008. As of December 31, 2009, the Game Boy Advance series has sold 81.50 million units worldwide, of which 43.55 million are Game Boy Advance SP units and 2.42 million are Game Boy Micro units.
After the Game Boy Advance's support lessened, the most popular software became mostly games oriented to younger gamers.
The Game Boy Advance became the modern flagship of sprite-based games. With hardware comparable to the Super NES it had proven that sprite-based technology could improve and live side by side with the 3D games of the day's consoles. The Game Boy Advance not only has typical platformers, but also a huge collection of SNES-style RPGs. It has also become a popular system for old-school gamers due to the increasing number of games ported from various 8-bit and 16-bit systems of the previous eras, including the popular Super Mario Advance series, as well as its compatibility with all earlier Game Boy titles.
Final Fantasy VI Advance was the last Japanese GBA game, released November 2006, the last Nintendo-published game for the system. The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night was the last European GBA game, released November 2007. Samurai Deeper Kyo was the last North American GBA game, released in February 2008. A yet-to-be-released SNK Metal Slug game for the GBA has also recently shown up on the Toys R Us website and price guide.
Most GBA games are played with the character placed in the center of the screen, seen half from above in an ortographic wiew.
Nintendo released many addons for the Game Boy Advance. These include
Other accessories for the Game Boy Advance are
The Game Boy Advance, SP, and Micro had numerous colors and limited editions.
Nintendo's competitors in the handheld market were the Neo Geo Pocket Color, Bandai Swan Crystal, Game Park 32, Tapwave Zodiac, and the Nokia N-Gage. Despite the competitors' best efforts, Nintendo maintained its majority market share with the Game Boy Advance.
Many people have developed their own software to run on the Game Boy Advance. This is typically tested using emulators, and later written to flash cartridges to run on real consoles. Most such developers use a version of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and program in either C or C++, though recently some developers have started using either Visual HAM (which is just an editor that calls gcc/g++, similar to an IDE) or Free Pascal. Due to the simplicity of the system, and availability of homebrew libraries, it is very conceivable for a single developer to write a small commercial quality game.
There is an entire community built around programming for the GBA and the more recent Nintendo DS systems (e.g. http://gbadev.org). It is a still a relatively active community, in spite of the age of the Game Boy Advance console.
|Game Boy Advance|
|Total Games||948 (253 present)|
|← Game Boy Color||Nintendo DS →|
|Game Boy Advance SP|
The Game Boy Advance SP plays Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games. There are two other versions of the Game Boy Advance SP, the Game Boy Advance and the redesign of the Game Boy Advance, the Game Boy Micro.
|Game Boy Micro|
The Game Boy Micro is the second redesign of the Game Boy Advance, the first was the Game Boy Advance SP. It is much smaller and the screen is much brighter then when the Game Boy Advance SP was first released (now the Game Boy Advance SP also has a brighter screen if it was bought new). The Game Boy Micro does the same things as the Game Boy Advance, except has much nicer features. One drawback however, is its inability to play Game Boy and Game Boy Color games.
This category has only the following subcategory.
The following 199 pages are in this category, out of 252 total.
|Portal: Game Industry||Game Boy Advance at
|Game Boy Advance|
|Release Date||March 21, 2001 JP
|Input Options||D-Pad, A,B,L,R (2 Sholder buttons), Start, Select|
|Special Features||connects to GameCube as a controller|
|Units Sold||70.0 million (all versions, 2005)|
|Top Selling Game||Pokemon Ruby,
|Variants||Game Boy Advance SP,
Game Boy micro,
Game Boy Advance SP ver2
|Successor||To Be Announced|
The Game Boy Advance handheld made by Nintendo is the sucessor to the Gameboy Color. A new variation of the GBA, the Gameboy Advance SP was released due partly to lighting issues with the original GBA.
The GBA is known for it's robust library, from a variety of developers in many different genres. While the library was originally plagued with many SNES ports, it has since grown to be one of the strongest collections of games since the SNES.
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