conclusion:We like it

84 September 10th 2012 3:32 pm

Nintendo has a reputation for getting it right on the second try, and the Game Boy Advance SP is no exception, improving on the original GBA with a secure clamshell design, a lighted screen, and a rechargeable battery. The only downside is the loss of a standard headphone jack, but that's a minor quibble when you consider that unlike the more advanced Nintendo DS, the GBA SP is also backwards compatible with the vast library of Game Boy and Game Boy Color games.

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90-Day Price History


Critic reviews

5 reviews
  • Game library
  • Graphics
  • Battery life
  • Portability (size / weight)
  • Durability

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User reviews

38 reviews
PC Mag Mar 17, 2003

You no longer have to buy an external light, rechargeable double-A batteries, or a carrying case. What you save on those accessories comes pretty close to the 30 extra dollars you'll spend on the newer unit and makes this purchase a wise investment for gamers.

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CNET Mar 15, 2006

Now that it has a brighter screen, Nintendo's Game Boy Advance SP is the budget champ for portable gaming.

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CNET Jun 20, 2003

By including an illuminated screen, Nintendo has finally fixed the original Game Boy Advance's biggest flaw.

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IGN Mar 23, 2003

All right, now you kids can stop bitching about the GBA... it's got that light you wanted. Plus way more.

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The Gadgeteer Apr 1, 2003

At $100, if you already have the Advance and don’t mind not having a lighted screen, then I would say no to upgrading. But, if you don’t have a Game Boy unit at all, and are looking to buy one, then definitely get this one! It’s compact, fun and not just for kids!

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kris kris

Over its lifetime I've used a number of iterations of Game Boy, but this one was tops because it combined all the best features of the line. The ability to play original Game Boy games in addition to Game Boy Advance was a huge selling point, though by the time the GBA SP was released, it...

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shawnppickett shawnppickett

This unit was released not long after Nintendo's Game Boy advanced. The Game Boy Advanced was a popular console, but it had a lot of flaws, it was a bit on the big side for a portable game system, it had no backlight, and used AA batteries for power. Nintendo used a transflective lcd to try to...

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hagridore hagridore

Nice library of games (maybe too many classic ports.) Sweet design with a lit screen (that also works in the sun) and good battery life.

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Gofake1 Gofake1

Pokemon was a huge time sink. My memories are overwhelmingly favorable. I can't think of any major issues with the SP. Control inputs are limited, but they work. Very minimalistic design, big improvement over the original Advance. Clamshell FTW.

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