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.