New GBA to be announced by Nintendo


Also, those of you trying to fool yourselves that the flood light is anything but a bulky piece of shit: give it up. We tolerated it when there wasn’t an official first-party solution to the problem, but now you’re starting to look silly. Any outside light is going to have problems with glare. Having to hold the GBA at some ridiculous angle is no better than only being able to play it in the bathroom.

I’m skeptical of this claim, though:

“This bright mini-fluorescent light rotates in two places to bring the entire GBA screen to life without any glare!”

Having purchased about four different lights for my GBA, and then eventually rigging my own, I seriously doubt this. The glare that you get is not a fault of the light, but a design flaw in the GBA itself. The plastic cover over the display is too reflective, and mirrors any light source that you put above it. It is physically impossible to get a good solution with a source light (as opposed to bright environmental lighting) that does not also produce glare from the light source. This is because the angle at which the reflective display cover reflects the lightbulb directly at you is the same angle at which the LCD itself best reflects the source lighting. You can manuever the GBA so that you can’t see the reflection of the lightbulb, but then the LCD is no longer reflecting the light towards your eyes, and the screen is dark again.

The best solution would be a non-glare film over the display. I’m not sure why Nintendo didn’t do this. Perhaps they did all their testing in brightly lit rooms…

Actually, I’ve tried the flood light, and it really isn’t so bad, but it doesn’t come close to the Afterburner or (I’m sure) the GBA-SP.

Some more pictures (the last few show comparisons to the current GBA):

Basically, it’s possible to rotate the light so that it illuminates the screen but you can’t actually see the glare if you hold the GBA at the right angle.

I wouldn’t call it false advertising but it’s a bit…I don’t know…tricky.

The key things to remember when evaluating the GBA SP are the price, $99 is about as high as they could possibly go and not lose the younger market entirely with the new form factor, and the fact that it looks a lot more like a cell phone now. They’re consciously building the device for older gamers/people that wouldn’t carry a GBA because of its looks. There’s a good article at Gamespot about it that says it feels good in the hands too. About like a Game Boy Pocket or Color.,10870,2908150,00.html

As for price, there’s no way they could put better tech in there (backlit screen) for the same price. Backlit screens made the Sega Game Gear really expensive. At the time I bought one, I think it was around $200 for a GG. They went down close to $100 at some point, but they were all but done by then. It was an expensive unit. The backlit screens also drain battery life like crazy. It took SIX AA batteries to run a Game Gear for about 6 hours or so. The best selling add-on (I worked at EB at the time), was the AC adapter and rechargeable battery packs that made it like holding a brick. It really was a nice device, but the price was prohibitive.


Very tricky. Illuminating the screen is usless if you don’t illuminate it from an angle that will reflect the light towards your eyes. That’s how a reflective LCD works. With environmental lighting (ambient light in a bright room, for instance), it’s not an issue because there is enough ambient and reflected light to allow you to see the screen without having to angle it directly towards the light source. With a close, directional light, glare will always be an issue.

As for the form factor, I’m skeptical that people worried about how they might look carrying a GBA are into games enough to spend $140+ on a portable device that does nothing but play games. I’d rather that Nintendo adopt a design suited to their main audience, and one that takes comfort into account.

But I’ll buy it anyway. The new screen alone would be worth it.

It’s supposed to be $99.

Right. But without a game or two, it’s just a paperweight.

I thought the official Nintendo position was that the GBA didn’t need a light?

The official position was that a light would use up batteries too quickly and/or cost too much.

True, but the best peripheral for the GG was the sweet TV Tuner. I bought one the day it came out (already had the indespensible AC adapter) and used it at my job in the university computer lab. Watching The Simpsons on my Game Gear and then switching to play Shinobi/Columns/Sonic made me a Sega man for life.

/me sporting best Gollum voice impression

Me wantsssss it. Me gottsss to have it. Mussssst have the preciousssss

/me wondering how come this strait jacket is so damned tight

My timeline:

Get GBA for xmas. Play Castelvania:CotM extensively. Realize the lighting issue is real when I get to my house (was playing at the well lit parents house).

1/2/03: Send GBA to ABHQ for Afterburner Install.
1/3/03: Start jonesing
1/7/03: Find out there’s a new well lit GBA coming out, curse fate.

Seriously, though, I don’t like how this new things looks at all, and I much prefer the “horizontal” form of the GBA to the “vertical” form of the GB Color and prior.

I honestly think they’re going to continue selling both units for awhile. The GBA is a lot cheaper without the lit screen/rechargeable battery/smaller size. For many people (parents with children), the price is going to be a big factor. Would you want your 5 year old carrying around a $100 piece of electronics?

It makes sense to keep the original on the market in addition to the new model for the price conscious consumers and those that don’t need the lighting. I’m very happy with my GBA as is and really only need the light in the john here at work (which is like a dungeon). So I’m not going to be buying. I’ll plow the dough into the Game Boy Player for at home instead.


OK, I’m officially pissed. I bought a GBA for travel over the holidays, and was pretty pleased with it. Now, not three weeks after I bought it, it’s obsolete. :evil:

Magazines not good enough for you? :!:

Why read about games when I could be playing them!


Funny, seeing the new GBA just makes me want to get an Afterburner installed in mine that much more.

My $0.02:

  1. The only place on the planet I can play the damn GBA is on an airplane. The standard reading light that beams down directly on your crotch provides enough light at precisely the correct angle for playing. I firmly believe Nintendo engineers designed the godawful screen while flying between Seattle and Japan. (Anyone remember that PA strip that so eloquently summed up the GBA lighting fiasco?)

  2. Advance Wars is one of the best games EVAR. For any platform.

  3. I thought the pics from early this morning were hoax pics (kinda like the “leaked” Imac pics from way back). I couldn’t believe Nintendo would actually design a piece of portable gaming hardware that looked so uncomfortable. I also thought the GASP acronym clearly pointed to a joke. :roll:

  4. They will make enough money off this piece of hardware to make up for the failing 'Cube.

I still maintain there’s no good reason to buy a GameCube because the GBA is such a perfect handheld Nintendo platform. If you’re into the whole Nintendo license thing, why bother playing the newfangled updates when you can play the classics in their original SNES-y glory?

Anyway, GBA rocks. I’ll be getting one of the new OLED clamshells at launch. However, the afterburner guys need to come up with a new business model, stat.

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