Game Boy Advance

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Game Boy Advance (GBA)
Gēmu Bōi Adobansu
GBA logo.png
Generation 6th
Predecessor(s) Game Boy Color
Successor(s) Nintendo DS
No. of games made
Best Selling game {{{best_games}}}
Last game
Technical Details
Media Game Boy, Game Boy Color, & Game Boy Advance cartridges
Storage Capacity {{{memory}}}
CPU {{{cpu}}}
Compatibility & Connectivity
Connectible with Nintendo GameCube
Input {{{input}}}
Backwards compatibility with
Fowards compatibility with {{{forwards}}}
Launch Date
  • NA: June 11, 2001
  • JP: March 21, 2001
  • EU: June 22, 2001
  • AUS: June 22, 2001
Lifetime 8 years
Discontinue Date 2008
Units Sold {{{sold}}}

Online Enabled

The Game Boy Advance (often shortened to GBA) (ゲームボーイアドバンス, Gēmu Bōi Adobansu) is Nintendo's 32-bit handheld gaming system that supplanted the Nintendo Game Boy Color. The Game Boy Advance was released in 2001. Not only did it look dramatically different (a semi trapezoidal shape compared to the rectangle shape of the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color), but it also contained a more powerful processor, allowing it to display SNES-caliber graphics and even play recorded sound samples. The Game Boy Advance was also capable of interaction with the Nintendo GameCube.

The original model was eventually discontinued in favor of the Game Boy Advance#Game Boy Advance SP and Game Boy Advance#Game Boy Micro, both of which function similarly. All versions save the Game Boy micro maintain the backwards compatibility function introduced with the classic Game Boy Advance. Backwards compatibility, through the inclusion of Game Boy Color hardware, allows Game Boy and Game Boy Color games to be played on the GBA. The Game Boy Color CPU is also used as a tone generator (which produces the classic 8-bit sound of Game Boy games) for Game Boy Advance games. Because the Game Boy Advance's screen is wider compared to its predecessors, an option to widen the display can be toggled with the L and R buttons.



Game Boy Advance SP

The Game Boy Advance SP (as in "special") (ゲームボーイアドバンスSP, Gēmu Bōi Adobansu Esupi) is the second version of the Game Boy Advance. The Game Boy Advance was redesigned with a front-light screen, so that players can see the screen more easily in the dark, as well as a physical redesign giving the system a clamshell design protecting the screen from damage and also adding a rechargeable battery (rather than requiring AA's). The only major drawback was the absence of a standard headphone jack; the headphones made specifically for the SP plugged into the charging port.

The SP was re-released some time after the Nintendo DS came out, with a new back-lit screen, as a brighter alternative to the previous front-lit design. The new back-light version offered a similar visual quality to the Nintendo DS.

Game Boy Micro

Introduced at E3 2005, the Game Boy micro (ゲームボーイミクロ, Gēmu Bōi Mikuro) is the third design of the GBA. At a size of only four inches wide, two inches tall, less than an inch deep, and a weight of 2.8 ounces, it is smaller than any other system in the Game Boy line. Its screen is slightly smaller than that of the GBA and SP, but it maintains the same resolution.

It includes such features as:

  • The sharpest screen resolution seen at the time in a Nintendo handheld.
  • A very compact and sleek design, making it truly a "portable" gaming device.
  • It also includes an interchangable faceplate, so the look of the Game Boy micro can be customized to the user's liking.
  • Adjustable backlight for playing in the dark.

Unfortunately, the system was not very well supported by Nintendo and several factors led to its early retirement. Due to size constraints (no room for necessary hardware), the micro will not play Game Boy or Game Boy Color games. The system is also incompatible with the Game Boy Advance's link cables, requiring an adapter to interact with a Game Boy Advance or Game Boy Advance SP. Finally, the console was released about a year after the Nintendo DS, further hindering potential sales.


  • The Game Boy micro is incompatible with any Game Boy or Game Boy Color games because it lacks the necessary hardware to run them. However, the Micro still includes the Game Boy/Game Boy Color CPU as a tone generator to maintain compatibility with Game Boy Advance games that used that feature.
  • The Game Boy micro is not compatible with the Game Boy Advance's link cable, requiring an adapter to communicate with a Game Boy Advance or Game Boy Advance SP. The adapter's size prevents it entirely from linking with the Game Boy Player accessory.
  • The Game Boy micro is incompatible with the original Game Boy Advance Wireless Adapter, so a compatible model was created and released by Nintendo.

See Also

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