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Game Boy Advance SP

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Game Boy Advance SP
ゲームボーイアドバンスSP Game Boy Advance SP
Game Boy Advance SP.png
A Game Boy Advance SP
Release dates
Japan: February 14, 2003
N. America: March 23, 2003
Europe: March 28, 2003
Australia: March 28, 2003
South Korea: N/A
Technical specs
  • 32-Bit ARM RISC 16.78MHz processor with embedded memory
  • 2.9" TFT reflective screen - 40.8mm×61.2mm - 240×160pixels
  • Uses rechargeable batteries and has a battery life for 15 hours (900 minutes)
  • Compatible with Nintendo Game Boy Color and Game Boy games.
  • More below
Related information
Console generation: Sixth generation
Pokémon generations: I*, II*, III
Console type: Handheld
Colors:
Platinum
Cobalt Blue
Flame
Onyx
NES Edition
Pearl Pink*
Pearl Blue*
Pikachu Yellow
External links

The Game Boy Advance SP (Japanese: ゲームボーイアドバンスSP Game Boy Advance SP), also called the GBA SP (SP standing for Special), is Nintendo's 32-bit handheld gaming system that succeeded the original Game Boy Advance. It was released in Japan on February 14, 2003, North America on March 23, 2003, and in Australia on March 28, 2003. It is part of the Game Boy line, succeeding the Game Boy Advance, with a few minor changes, while being succeeded by the Game Boy micro. The Game Boy Advance SP's best selling games are Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions.

Sales

It was first released in Japan on February 14th, 2003, first retailing at ¥12,500. The next month it was released in North America (March 22nd, 2003) where the price of one unit was set at US$99.99 before dropping down to US$79.99 in September the next year. Released in Canada the same day as the US, prices were CA$149.95. Six days later, it was released in Europe and Australia (marketed at €129.99 and AUS$199.99 respectively).

Sales records show that by the end of March 2003, the number of sales in Japan were a modest 0.82 million units, with the Americas at 0.83 million, with the rest of the world totaling 0.46 million. However, by the same time the next year, figures had jumped past the 2 million mark in Japan, while in America the sales were more than double that of Japan. By this time, over 17.6 million units had been sold worldwide. As of September 2008, global sales of the GBA SP are at 43.49 million.

Changes

Physical

  • Size: 8.4 × 8.2 × 2.44 cm when closed
  • Weight: 142 grams
  • Screen: Reflective TFT Color LCD.
  • Light source: Frontlight integrated LCD.
  • Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery.
  • Battery Life: 10 hours (light on), 18 hours (light off)

The Game Boy Advance SP has a clam shell design which helps protect the screen from scratches. When open, it is almost the same size as the Game Boy Color, but slightly thinner. The screen is a Reflective TFT Color LCD with an integrated frontlight enabling game play in dark places without the use of an external light source. The user has the option to turn the light on and off. In late 2005, Nintendo released an updated version of the GBA SP, with a backlight instead of the usual frontlight. This new lighting system allowed the user to enjoy games in better color and brightness; however, it also causes a half-pixel screen lag.

Unlike previous Game Boys, the GBA SP does not require normal batteries. Instead it uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery which can be recharged using its own AC adapter. The battery can last up to ten hours with the light on, and only takes three hours to recharge fully. The SP's charger input also is the same as that of the Nintendo DS, so the chargers can be used interchangeably. However, the GBA SP is incompatible with the Nintendo DS Lite charger.

Just like its predecessor, it is compatible with all Game Boy Advance games as well as Game Boy and Game Boy Color games.

Unlike other Game Boy models, the SP does not have a headphone jack. Instead, a special adapter converts the extension port into one. Nintendo also released headphones made specifically for the GBA SP that plug into the charging port.

To play a video game on the GBA SP, the player needs to buy a game separately. The games come in small "cartridges," or as Nintendo sometimes call them, Game Paks, which are small boxes that have chips inside them. The cartridges have to be put into the hole at the front of the system, to make it possible to play the game. The actions or characters in the game are controlled with the directional pad, or D-pad, which is on the inside bottom of the console, just below the screen.

Internal

  • CPU: 32-bit ARM7TDMI with embedded memory.
  • Co-processor: 8-bit Zilog Z80
  • Memory: 32 kilobyte+96 kilobyte Video RAM (internal CPU), 256 kilobyte Dynamic random access memory (external CPU).
  • Resolution: 240 × 160 pixels.
  • Color: Can display 511 simultaneous colors in character mode and 32,768 simultaneous colors in bitmap mode.
  • Software: Fully compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games.

Pokémon games

Title Genre Release
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Main series RPG 2002
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire Pinball 2003
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Main series RPG 2004
Pokémon Emerald Main series RPG 2004
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team Dungeon crawler 2005

By backwards compatibility

Due to backward compatibility, all Pokémon games from Game Boy and Game Boy Color are also playable.

Title Genre Release
Pokémon Red and Green Main series RPG 1996
Pokémon Blue Main series RPG 1996
Pokémon Red and Blue Main series RPG 1998
Pokémon Yellow Main series RPG 1998
Pokémon Trading Card Game Card game 1998
Pokémon Pinball Pinball 1999
Pokémon Gold and Silver Main series RPG 1999
Pokémon Puzzle Challenge Puzzle 2000
Pokémon Crystal Main series RPG 2000
Pokémon Card GB2: Here Comes Team GR! Card game 2001

Special Pokémon editions

  • Torchic Game Boy Advance SP: On April 11, 2003, Pokémon Center stores in Japan started selling limited edition Game Boy Advance SPs to celebrate their fifth Anniversary. It is orange and features a Torchic on the front.
  • Groudon Game Boy Advance SP: On December 15, 2003, a limited edition Pokémon Groudon Game Boy Advance SP was released. It is red and features a Groudon on the front.
  • Kyogre Game Boy Advance SP: On December 15, 2003, a limited edition Pokémon Kyogre Game Boy Advance SP was released. It is blue and features a Kyogre on the front.
  • Charizard Game Boy Advance SP: To celebrate the release of Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, the limited edition, this special Game Boy Advance SP was released featuring a large Charizard on the front and a smaller Charizard next to the D-pad. The Game Boy Advance SP was colored red.
  • Venusaur Game Boy Advance SP: To celebrate the release of Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, the limited edition, this special Game Boy Advance SP was released featuring a large Venusaur on the front and a smaller Venusaur next to the D-pad. The Game Boy Advance SP was colored green.
  • Pikachu Game Boy Advance SP: On March 5th 2005, the Pokémon Pikachu Edition was released exclusively to Pokémon Centers in Japan. It is colored yellow and features a large Pikachu face on the front cover.
  • Rayquaza Game Boy Advance SP: On August 16 2005, this Game Boy Advance SP was released to commemorate the release of Pokémon Emerald. It features a silhouette of Rayquaza on the front and is colored green.


Game systems with Pokémon games
GB (PocketGBLSGBSGB2) • GBCminiGBA (SPGBmGBP) • DS (LiteDSiDSi XL) • 3DS (XL2DS)
SNES (BS-XNP) • N64 (DD) • GCNWiiWii U
PicoBeena