Back in 2001 Nintendo unleashed on the world the incredible Gameboy Advance – or GBA for short. The GBA was the successor to the enormously successful Gameboy Colour and went on to consolidate Nintendo’s position as being the top dog in the gaming market.
The console featured a 32-Bit processor and a 2.9 inch full colour TFT display with a 240×160 resolution. One flaw in the design was Nintendo’s decision not to include a back light for the display. This meant no playing in the dark which was a bit of a downer. This wasn’t the end of the world however with a simple clip on light rectifying the issue.
The GBA was one of Nintendo’s best selling handhelds ever. It was a little unnecessary, in that the Gameboy Colour was still selling like hotcakes, but Nintendo were determined to stay ahead of the curve.
There was little competition for the GBA other than the Nokia N’Gage and the Neo Geo Pocket Colour. Whilst the N-Gage failed to really convince anyone it was a force to be reckoned with, the Pocket Colour had the potential to wipe the smile of Nintendo’s face. Ultimately though, and for a number of reasons, it failed to really take a chunk out of Nintendo’s sales.
Personally I never owned the GBA – but my brother did. I remember the first time I ever experienced F-Zero. It was utterly awesome. I was totally won over by the stunning graphics and amazing gameplay and played for hours and hours (to the annoyance and frustration of my brother).
Other popular games included Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap, Metroid Fusion, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Advance Wars and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. There was such a wide range of awesome GBA titles available, and even Sega endorsed the system with the release of Sonic Advance.
No one can deny the success of the GBA but it was eventually replaced by the SP in 2013. The SP wasn’t a brand new console but rather an improved version of the GBA with a new clamshell design and rather crucially it sported a front-lit display. The SP was also massively successful and in 2005 it was again refreshed by means of a new and much improved rear-lit display.