84

conclusion:We like it

84

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.

Buy It:

$149.99

90-Day Price History

now
high
$185
low
$105

Critic reviews

7.4
5 reviews
  • Game library
    8.0
  • Graphics
    9.2
  • Battery life
    7.4
  • Portability (size / weight)
    8.9
  • Durability
    8.0

sort by

User reviews

8.7
34 reviews
8.0
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.

Read the full review →
7.0
CNET Mar 15, 2006

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

Read the full review →
6.0
CNET Jun 20, 2003

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

Read the full review →
9.0
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.

Read the full review →
9.0
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!

Read the full review →
9.0
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...

Read the full review →
8.0
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...

Read the full review →
9.0
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.

Read the full review →
10
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.

Read the full review →
10
danbrunell danbrunell

The Game Boy Advance is my favorite system of all time. It was the one I grew up with and have the most memories with, and I think it has an amazing game library that will stand the test of time in the future. Now for my opinions of the GBA SP specifically though. The size of this thing is...

Read the full review →

How it stacks up

Instantly compare the Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP side by side with some of the top devices on Engadget!

Compare these

Other Nintendo consoles (portable)

Don't forget to check out these other devices by Nintendo, you might find something good!

See all Nintendo consoles (portable)