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Nintendo Game Boy Advance (AGB-001)

In 1996 Nintendo started project ‘Atlantis’ as their next generation hand held system. The fruits of their labor resulted in the 32 bit Game Boy Advance (GBA) release of 2001. March 21, 2001 was the release date of the GBA in Japan. The Arctic, Purple, and Glacier models were released on June 11, 2001 in the United States and the Fuschia model was release later that month on June 30. The system sold for $89.99-$99.99 USD, depending on what stores it was purchased at. The system came with two AA batteries that have a 15-20 hour life on average. Retaining qualities of previous Game Boys’ the GBA has a 2.9 inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) color LCD screen that is not backlit. It does boast a color display of 32,768 capable colors (512 displayable) and has a 32 bit embedded memory, comparable say to a Playstation or Sega Saturn, which makes easy for re-releases of favored the favored 16 bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System titles. The screen is 50% larger than the Game Boy Color. Nintendo has made life easier on parents with their ‘4 on 1’ in select first party cartridges. Mario Kart, F Zero, and Super Mario Advanced for example, all allow 4 players to compete against each other via link cables, but this time only one cartridge is necessary for play in certain modes. Along with these new, improved 32 bit cartridges is the ease of a fully backwards compatible system, meaning you can play all of the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges.

One noticeable difference in the GBA is the absence of the AC input. A special adapter is required: a piece slips in place of the battery cover and the AC input is placed in that component.(2AA, Rating 3V=0.6W) The GBA has an improvement over the Game Boy Color: a better battery indicator light. When the batteries are fresh, the light is green and when it turns red, the batteries are at about 20%-30% of their original capacity. Still functional is the palette chooser option. With any combination of the A or B button and one way of the D pad on the Game Boy Advance Title screen you can select the palette that will appear when playing the regular Game Boy games. See below.

After the Christmas season of 2001, Nintendo dropped the price of the GBA to $69.99. Target stores had an exclusive package deal for the Game Boy Advance: for $69.99 USD a Glacier or Indigo GBA was packaged in with a Donkey Kong bobble head figure. A red GBA was released in the fall of 2002 also to Target stores for the holiday season. Both systems had the Target logo on the screen. Another special edition was a Midnight Blue and a Black GBA for Toys R Us that had the TRU logo on the screen. The next installment of the colored GBAs is slated for June 3, 2002. On that day Nintendo will release the Platinum Game Boy Advance in the United States marking the one year anniversary of the new handheld unit. Those units were not meant to be replenished after they sold out. However to mark the release of Nintendo's Gamecube Platinum edition, another small shipment of GBA will be release on November 3, 2002 for $69.99-79.99 USD. During the summer of 2003 Nintendo released Arctic, Fucshia, and Glacier GBA systems packaged with the Pokemon Crystal game. Especially for the Christmas 2003 holiday season, Nintendo released Indigo and Glacier GBA systems packaged with an e-Reader for $69.99.

GBA in store demo unit.

To see the different software available for this system, please click here.
To see the peripherals available for the system, please click here.

Press Color Press Color
See this chart? This is all you need to know about playing the mono chrome games in a different color. Use the codes at left as the Game Boy Advanced title screen comes up.

Bottom of GBA:

1. On/Off Switch
2. Headphone Jack
3. Volume Control

Top of GBA:

1. L/R Triggers
2. Handstrap holes
3. Link Cable/Expansion Bay
4. Cartridge Slot

Power supply for the Game Boy Advance
Sample Game Carry Case for the GBA
The colors of the GBA: Platinum, Arctic, Indigo, Fuschia, and Glacier. The platinum version was released at the 1 year anniversary of the Game Boy Advanced. It was later rereleased with the Gamecube platinum edition.
Nintendo Power started a Game Boy Advance only magazine called Nintendo Power Advance. The magazine is quarterly and sells for $14.95. The first issue was sent free to Nintendo Power subscribers.

Kemco Pocket Recording Studio

Scan from a flyer in a media packet

New York Pokecenter's Gold version GBA. Later released nationwide in September / October 2002. $69.99, later retailed for $59.99 during the Holiday season. (image from eBay seller)
For a limited time, a Glacier Game Boy Advance was packaged in with an e-reader, Donkey Kong Jr. card pack and a sample game pack.
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