Game Boy Advance SP: Silver
- Handheld video game console with flip-top screen
- Built-in screen light with on/off switch
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included) offers 10-18 hours of continuous play
- 32-bit RISC CPU
- Backward-compatible--plays all Game Boy/Game Boy Advance games
- Also available in other colours
- Why not sell your old GBA at Amazon.co.uk Marketplace?
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- Platform: Game Boy Advance
- PEGI Rating: Ages 3 and Over
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
The new Game Boy Advance SP works essentially the same way previous Game Boy Advance models have, but adds a number of thoughtful features to the design. The most obvious difference you'll see is the lighting feature built into the screen so you can play in low-light situations without bulky external game lights that too often leave a hot spot on the screen or fail to reach the corners. You can shut off this internal light to squeeze more playing time out of the power source if you're in a situation with enough light to see the SP's reflective screen.
Speaking of power sources, the SP comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides between 10 and 18 hours of gameplay from a three-hour charge. Also, the new clam-shell design will offer protection for the screen from scratches when it's all closed up. As well as playing all your Game Boy Advance games, the system is backward-compatible with almost all Game Boy/Game Boy Color titles.
At first look, you might think the Game Boy Advance SP is a sleek travel alarm clock; when closed, it's just as tall and deep as the original GBA, but only half as wide. Its clamshell design protects the screen from everyday scratches. Open it up and the hinge will seek out a preferred, pre-set angle (about 150 degrees), though you can open it a bit wider or narrower for your own comfort. The hinge stands up well to lateral pressure.
Many decried the original GBA's reflective LCD screen and its reliance on external light sources. The Game Boy Advance SP's main feature--optional built-in lighting--fixes this complaint nicely. The quality of the backlighting is very good; it's bright and clear when looking directly at the screen, though less so from other angles.
The SP comes with a power adapter that recharges a built-in lithium battery; our informal tests found that it takes about four hours to fully charge (you can play it while it's plugged in and charging), and the battery lasts about 11 hours with the backlighting constantly on. Using the backlighting less often will conserve battery power.
Size, power, and affordability don't come without trade offs, though. There's no headphone jack here--you'll need a separately sold adapter--and the system isn't very loud at its highest volume. The L and R shoulder buttons are a fraction of the size they were on the GBA, and thus are harder to hit, and the reduced size of the SP is slightly less comfortable for adult hands than the GBA. The cartridge port placement on the lower part of the console is fine for GBA games, since they are flush with the console body, but older Game Boy Color carts will stick out in a way that takes some getting used to.
Overall, the SP is a significant improvement on, and seems just as rugged as, its predecessor--which has proven to be very rugged indeed. --Porter B HallSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is what the original game boy advance should have been!
The games are perfect for the job, quick pick up and play for the 30 minutes here and there while you're on the tube, bus etc.
The back light means you can play it wherever and when ever you want, and if you turn the light off you will wonder how you could ever play the original game boy/advance without it.
The battery life is superb, I think I have charged it about 5 times since I bought it 7 months ago!
It also folds away to a tiny size, just right for your coat pocket.
The only flaws are the lack of a headphone socket. You have to pay extra for Nintendo's own headphone adapter and the fact that the screen is front lit instead of back lit, meaning the colours are very slightly washed out when the light is on. However, these are only very minor flaws.
The styling and looks of the GBA SP are superb, it just looks nice and sits comfortably in the hand. I'd read some criticism about the shoulder buttons, but I find them to be in a good position, and don't have to fumble about to use them. It's nice and light and small too, and this truly does make it a proper portable handheld.
The backlight is a long overdue addition to the GameBoy range. I had used friends' original GameBoy Advance, and found it frustrating trying to see what was happening on the screen without a serious amount of lighting. Now, I can happily play in the dark. Which is nice.
The one factor which really made me cough up the hard earned cash for this was the variety and quality of games available. I'm currently working my way through Zelda-Link to the Past, and Metroid Fusion. The fact that I can link Metroid Fusion to Metroid Prime on my GameCube and unlock yet another Metroid game is just a nice bonus.
There's no doubt about it - this is a nice piece of kit which will provide me with hours of blissful gaming entertainment. All I wonder now is how the recently announced Sony PSP will compare ...
Let's get the moans out of the way, yes the GBA SP only had a front light and not a proper back light so the screen isn't as colourful as the DS. And yes, you had to pay extra for an adapter if you wanted to use headphones. But stuff that, this thing is amazing and I miss my old one!
So why was it so good? Well the design was spot one. I get finger burn and cramps from my DS light and my PSP when I try to play racing games, never got any pain from the GBA SP. Also this was the last portabl console to have the traditional Gameboy style layout of control buttons under the screen (instead of either side like the Lynx, GG, GBA, Neo Geo, DS & PSP). For some reason I find this layout better, don't ask me why it just is. Some truths are as unedinable as they are unquontifiable!
Next up: the NES design is a winner, easily the best looking console I've owned. The DS lite is sleek but this baby had charm. The light weight clam shell design is very small indeed and easily fits into any pocket I ever had. Also the battery life took a mighty wacking on many occassions.
But the main reason I loved this console was the games. The great titles just kept coming and coming. I was getting a soar neck from trying to angle my old GBA under a lamp to see them. The GBA SP meant I could actually enjoy my games without hurting myself, which I think you will agree makes a nice bonus!
Advance Wars, Mario Golf Advance, Sonic Advance, FIre Emblem, Metroid Fusion, Wario Ware Twisted, Aria of Sorrow, Golden Sun and Astro Boy are as good as the best any system has to offer.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Haven't owned a Game Boy before and I'm very pleased with my Tribal Edition GB. Has a few scratches here and there, but It's not something I wasn't aware of when ordering. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I would have given 5stars but I was sent the 001 instead of the 101 that was listed, I have decided to keep it even tho abit disappointed, the gba sp itself is in very good... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Yvonne Smith
i love the Gameboys there one of my favourite Nintendo products I bought this one it didn't at first but after trial and error but eventually it turned on and it was the best... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sam W.
bought for my partner to bring back his childhood since his was stolen and this works perfectly and very minimal scratches... was amazing Christmas pressentPublished 7 months ago by shadowhawk2000