As some of you may have already seen here and there, there’s a new GBA (Game Boy Advance) model coming out. Dubbed the GBA SP, it adds front lighting, a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and a clamshell design that protects the screen and makes it even smaller when not in use.
Great. It’s the Game Boy Advance as it was meant to be. Why they didn’t put backlight in the first iteration of the Advance is beyond me. The screen is so bad right now that you can’t play it in well lit rooms. I think Nintendo took tiny black holes with six inch event horizons and placed them inside the screen. My room actually gets darker when I turn mine on.
If Nintendo keeps the battery user replaceable, then it might be acceptable. They’ve stated that the battery will only last about three years and that’s a worry of mine. Also worrisome are the ergonomics of the SP. I’m also skeptical of the “front light” that they’ve added to the screen. The articles state that the lighting works pretty well, but I’ll have to wait and see. On the “piss me off” list of changes is the removal of a standard headphone jack. Instead, Nintendo (because they love forcing people to buy peripherals) is making people buy a separate cable that connects to the GBA SP and allows you to connect headphones to it.
Damn them to hell.
Now the question is–import from Japan and be “King of Handhelds” for a month and a half? Or wait and be one of those in line at the counter? Ah. Tough decisions.