GameBoy Advance SP [1/07/03]

As reported at Gamespot, Nintendo of Japan has announced an updated version of the GameBoy Advance at a press conference in Tokyo, Japan on Jan 7th, 2003. The updated hardware will see release in Japan in February (the 14th has been mentioned). It was also reported to be scheduled for release in North America and Europe in March and the retail price is suggested to be $100.

Apparently, the release of the new handheld is directly in response to complaints about the original. The new version will be made with a front-lit screen light built into the handheld, making the screen easier to see in varying light sources. With this will be an included rechargeable battery. Also, the new clamshell design will make the handheld smaller (reportedly 1 inch thick by 3 inches square when folded). Along with the silver version, there will be both a blue and black version of the handheld.

Nintendo has also stated that they still plan on producing the original GBA and that the new version of the GBA will likewise be backwards compatible and should work with just about all of the games and accessories that were previously available. It appears that the new design is, in part, a means to push Nintendo into a new direction with a handheld that looks more like a gadget than a toy.

For hands-on impressions of the new handheld, check out Spong.com.

- - Kinderfeld

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