Nintendo Game Boy Advance Purple Handheld System Reviews
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Nintendo Game Boy Advance Purple Handheld System

157 ratings (126 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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Still probably the best handheld console

Jul 7, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Helpful Review

Pros:Great game library, sleek design

Cons:Long gaming sessions may be slightly uncomfortable for people with large hands

The Bottom Line: Anyone who wants an affordable handheld gaming console.


Handheld gaming has always had its opponents; why settle for a bite-sized experience, even if you have to sacrifice immersion and gameplay for portability? The arrival of Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance silenced the naysayers and proved you CAN have good gameplay on a three inch screen.

But before we go onto the point of any console, the games, let’s go over the system itself. The GBA SP is a redesign of the original Game Boy Advance, with a (relatively) sleek and svelte clamshell form replacing its predecessor’s bulky and obtuse design. Its footprint is tiny, and can easily fit into any pocket. The screen is well-illuminated thanks to a new built-in backlight; gone are the days of having to buy a worm light to play anywhere other than in broad daylight. The shoulder buttons may present a problem to those with larger hands, as they’re quite small and placed close together. The battery life is long at approximately 10 hours with the backlight on and 18 with it off.

The Game Boy Advance has an ample game library, with a lot of crap but a substantial amount of gems, too. The improved processing power allows for more detailed graphics, though you shouldn’t expect Playstation-level 3D rendering. For a taste of the games available, here are some essentials:


Golden Sun
Golden Sun: The Lost Age (both excellent RPGs, arguably the best available for the system)

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (plays very differently from the PS2 games, but still fun; excellent graphics as well)

Final Fantasy I & II
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy VI (all ports of their respective NES or SNES versions; still as amazing now as they were decades ago)

Riviera: The Promised Land (very good anime-inspired turn-based JRPG)

Advance Wars
Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising (great strategy games)

Gunstar Super Heroes (fast paces side-scrolling shooter)

Metroid Fusion
Metroid: Zero Mission (essential for fans of the series)

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (see above)

Super Mario Advance
Super Mario Advance 2
Super Mario Advance 3
Super Mario Advance 4 (classic Nintendo at its best)


…as well as countless others; this is just a short list. When it comes to games, you really can’t go wrong with the GBA SP.


Technical specifications:
* Size: Approximately 3.2 inches (81 mm) x 5.69 inches (145 mm) x 0.97 inches (25 mm).
* Weight: Approximately 140 grams (5 ounces).
* Screen: 2.9 inches reflective thin-film transistor (TFT) color LCD.
* Power: 2 AA batteries.
* Battery life: The average battery life is approximately 15 hours while playing Game Boy Advance games (also dependent on the Game Pak being played and the volume setting).[5]
* CPU: 16.8 MHz 32-bit ARM7TDMI with embedded memory.
* Memory: 32 kilobyte + 96 kilobyte VRAM (internal to the CPU), 256 kilobyte WRAM (external to the CPU).
* Resolution: 240 x 160 pixels.
* Color support: 15-bit RGB (16-bit color space using 5 bits depth per channel), capable of displaying 512 simultaneous colors in "character mode" and 32,768 (2^15) simultaneous colors in "bitmap mode".


Recommend this product? Yes


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