Nintendo's Game Boy has been one of the biggest gaming successes ever, and the company have released several models over the years, from the basic Gameboy, to the Gameboy Colour, Gameboy Pocket, and more recently the Game Boy Advance.
One of the biggest criticisms levelled at the Game Boy Advance was the fact that the screen was nearly impossible to see properly in all but the best of lighting conditions, making playing GBA games not only uncomfortable, but simply not as enjoyable as it should have been.
|Fortunately Nintendo have taken note, and the biggest improvement in the new Game Boy Advance SP is that of a screenlight - with the light on you can play the SP in complete darkness, and see the screen perfectly clear.|
It also performs well in sunlight due to the reflective layer that is used to bounce the light off of the LCD screen. In fact the screen seems easier to view even with the light switched off, so it'd seem Nintendo really have worked hard to ensure all screen problems are eliminated.
The use of a flip screen means that the SP can actually fit in your pocket due to it's compact size, and doubles up as a good way to protect the screen from knocks and scratches when it's flipped closed.
At first the shoulder buttons (which are located on the rear of the unit under the fold back screen) seem to be in an odd position, and very small, but within minutes of play you'll realise they're just the right size and perfectly positioned. They also feel soft due to the way that they're sprung, despite being made of solid plastic, and they feel much better than on the original GBA.
Other controls are well placed and very responsive, and in fact the whole unit design feels as though there's been a lot of thought put in to it - the screen hinge seems substantial and not at all flimsy. One feature that the SP is missing however is a headphone socket, and if you want to use headphones you'll need to buy a separate headphone lead which uses one of the external ports.
The SP operates off a built-in battery, which is said to provide up to 18 hours (10 hours with the screen light switched on) play before needing a recharge which takes three hours, and offers much better performance than typical disposable AA batteries.
Game Boy Advance SP is a very stylish bit of kit, which looks great and will be the sort of gaming device which everyone from children to business men will want to have - it looks good enough to simply place on your desk for those quick lunchtime gaming sessions – and is ideal for those dull long journeys, especially when you consider how long the built in battery lasts between charges.Overall score: 9 out of 10
Recommended Price: £89.99
Colours: Silver, Black or Blue
Available: March 28thBuy a silver Game Boy Advance SP from AmazonRelated articles: Nintendo announce Game Boy Advance SPGC pockets SP boost from NintendoRadica reveal GBA SP range