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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 19 June 2003
All games systems should be judged not just on the technical specifications of the console itself but also by the quality of the games available for it. In both areas the Game Boy Advance SP (which stands for Special Project apparently) is excellent.
It's a very nice looking unit and the flip top lid is both stylish and functional - protecting the all important screen from dust and scratches while closed, and making the whole thing truly pocket sized. It feels great too; the button layout is fine, with the standard A/B/Start/Select buttons along with two shoulder buttons all feeling nice in the hand. The screen is the same as a standard GBA screen, but with one important addition...
A backlight, turned on or off via a switch beneath the screen. This feature is what makes the GBA SP far superior to its predecessor, as the backlight allows you to play games with no other sources of light around. The backlight brightens up the gaming screen considerably, making all games much much easier to play, without you having to strain your eyes or constantly shift around to get a decent bit of light on the screen. Although it drains more battery power this way, the Lithium Ion battery is rechargeable so midnight gaming sessions are at last possible!
The only minor gripe with this new Gameboy is the lack of a headphone socket. So, while the sound is perfect coming out of the GBA SP's speaker other people around you may not appreciate it, so you'll have to turn the volume down and stop enjoying those tunes or invest in a headphone adaptor.
The GBA SP's game library is huge. It's backwards compatible with all the older versions of the Gameboy (although the old games stick out a bit due to the bigger cartridges!), so it can replace any other Gameboy's you may have. Also, it has some fantastic new games (e.g. Advance Wars) and ports of old classic SNES games available, which has left me spoilt for choice as to what to buy next.
The only bad things about the GBA SP are that there is no headphone socket and some of the games can be expensive, so if you buy one you'll need to have the cash to supplement your gaming desires.
Aside from that, it's absolutely top class.
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on 26 May 2003
This is, without question, the greatest gameboy ever released. The Gameboy Advance had serious issues with getting light onto the screen so you could see, and with the shape (it's pretty much the same shape as the old Sega GameGear - which flopped).
However, this gameboy fixes any previous problems with the console. The new flip screen design is absolutely beautiful, positioning the buttons in the best places, and relieving gamers who are sick of the clumsy L and R buttons on the old Advance. The console is remarkably compact, and will happily fit, along with its charger (because it doesn't take batteries, instead using a lithium battery similar to those in mobile phones), into the case of an original gameboy (yes, the yellow brick ones).
Those are but minor advantages compared to the greatest solution to the greatest problem Advance gamers had: the question of light. Gamers would lean their gameboy from side to side continuosly, searching for the right spot so they could see the screen, but to no avail. So Nintendo's answer was to put in a light. This iluminates everything perfectly, and I have no qualms with it. You can also turn the light off, enabling the battery to last much longer (it goes for 10 hours with the light on, and 18 with it off).
On the whole, this isn't just the greatest Gameboy ever made, but its the greatest handheld console ever. Not worth buying really, though, if you already own a Gameboy Advance.
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on 9 December 2003
I can't recommend this little gem enough. It's taken me a while, but I thought i had to add my adulations to the other top reviews for this gaming marvel. I think the nice thing about the GBA SP is that it looks cool, I'm 32 and regularly travel on business yet I'm never embarassed taking the GBA SP out of my bag! in badly lit places like trains and planes, the screen of the SP stands out really well. The controls are perfectly placed and the battery life is excellent. My only gripe would be that a headphone socket would have been better than having to purchase a special adapter, but this is only minor. Enjoy!
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on 5 July 2005
This is a fashion accessory and a boredom buster crammed into one! Its a cute pink colour and fits straight into your bag. But the best bit is the games! The screen is clear and the fun is endless!!! BUY IT...or regret it!!!
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on 2 March 2003
I think that you will all agree with me when i say the previous GBA was hard to play on. trying to get in the exact positon to play (with light on it)seem like an imposible task, and the you went and brought flood lights GREAT idea untill you use them... to much glare and trying to use the L & R buttons was extremely hard, your fingers kept hitting the flood light bar. The new gameboy looks a lot more stlyish and more appealing with the flip-top screen ( just like portable dvd player) looks are cruciual. Another feature is it is able to play every GB game there ever was. The front light on this makes it far, far better than the GBA despite it has exactly the same graphic processer and it is still 32-bit RISC CPU.Also you will be able to turn the light of if you need too. it comes fully equiped with a Rechargeable lithium-ion battery which offers 10-18 hours of continuous play. In the colour black you will see as much sticky dirty finger marks all over it. So in my opinion this is by far the best hand-held games console there is. I highly recommend it, even tough it is quite a lot of money to splash out on. So well done ninetendo yet again for brining out another quality console.
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on 2 May 2004
I can't remember the last time I ever had so much fun with a hand held console. I never really liked the Gameboy series until they released the Sp. I was not really impressed with the first Gameboy advance; the screen looked faint and was way too bulky (The shape was extremely reminiscent of the age old Game Gear).
But the SP changes all that for the better. First of all its backlit, secondly it does actually fit in your pocket. But for all those people who moaned about the size and the position of the buttons, its not as bad would think it would be. I have big hands and I can sit hold it rather well. Also the clamshell design is a great idea, I've had my console for about a year now and there's not a single scratch or mark on the screen. Not much I can say that I don't like about this console, apart there's no headphone port. Which can easily be solved with a headphone adaptor, which costs next to nothing (about 99p on ebay).
But the real beauty in owning a Gameboy advance console is that their not region coded. Meaning that any game cart will work in this Gameboy. Which means that you can buy games like Sonic Advance 3 from America up to 50% cheaper months before it's released over in the Uk! Ha, Neat going Nintendo!!
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on 5 April 2016
the product is to be expected to come with minor scurffs i carnt fault the seller this gameboy is a classic i had to have and i should order another to trade on pokemon i knew what i was in for given how old it was but it still beats the condtion of my gba that i have lost they do scratch easily so beware thanks please
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on 4 June 2016
Arrived scratched and very well-worn, as was to be expected really from something this old. But like most Nintendo products, it's virtually indestructible.

Works great, been using it solely for Tetris DX. Other games are available apparently.
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on 20 June 2003
The Gameboy advance sp has proven itself to be a great handheld console. Its small, light and the best of all it has a backlight. The backlight makes it much easier to see, you can play it the poor light and you can even play it in a pitch black room and still be able to see easily. The shape of the Gameboy is much better then its predecessor, it’s smaller and more compact. Also since the Gameboy advance is foldable, the screen is protected so you don’t have to worry about those pesky scratches.
So if you have a normal Gameboy Advance sell it and buy a Gameboy Advance SP or if you are looking to buy a worthy handheld console, get an SP, because you wont be disappointed!!
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on 8 June 2003
What a leap and a bound from Nintendo to come up with this, the initial GBA blew me away with the technology for such great mobile gaming but this has to of surpassed itself well and truly, I did stop playing on my GBA due to the putting it in your pocket ( not leaving much room and possibley getting it scratched ) thats where this one comes into its own !!! It folds up nicely to hide the screen when not in play so that you cant scratch it and when in your pocket it is very compact ( actually just smaller than the average gents wallet , about the same weight too with only cards in it and no pennies ;0)
With the front lit screen now in use too ( with the option to turn screen lighting off via the switch in the middle when you open it up ) it truly makes the GBA a real peice of ingenuity. how they fit all the electronics componets inside you will wonder indeed, Built in battery too ( rechargeable ) so that you dont have to carry 2 x AA Batteries with you at all times. It has one major downside and this being that they have removed the headphone socket, they make you purchase an optional socket that goes into the port on the back ( the charging port, when you charge up whilst playing you cant listen to sound thru headphones ) so if your like me and like the headphone socket your in for a shock ... Still that aside as it aint a huge problem but the shoulder buttons can be a little bit awkward at times too as the old GBA was a index finger cramper then sorry to say that this one is slighty more of a culperate than the last ... Doh ! ! !
BUT you really do have to way up the pro's and the con's when looking to buy one of these as if your after a GBA you really cant leave the SP on the shelf for the extra money compared to the old model now can you ?
If you do buy this product then i recomend that you also get it with Metriod Fusion as this will really show off its potential.
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