Sneak Peek at Gameboy Advance ... & FAQ's
By Pojo

Thanks to one of my friends in Japan, I was able to get my hands on a Game Boy Advance (GBA) a couple of weeks ago.  I decided to do a quick review via some Frequently Asked Questions on the board.  Photos were added to better explain.

Q:  How big is the new GBA vs. the older Game Boy Color?  What's obviously different?

A:  As you can see, it is roughly the same size.  Now you hold it the "width" way though.  You also have 2 more buttons on the top left and top right of the GBA.  And the screen is wider ... The screen has that new HDTV wide screen type look to it now.  The screen is roughly 1.5 times larger.  Here's my GB and my GBA side by side:

Q:  How big are the cartridges? 

A:  The cartridges are significantly smaller now.  Funny how they can cram more into smaller packages these days!

Q:  Do the old Game Boy Games and Gameboy Color Games work on the new Game Boy Advance?  They look too big?!

A:  They sure do!  I love backwards compatibility.  Sony was smart to do this with their PS2 as well.  Here is what your GBA looks like with the older cartridges.  It sticks up higher out of the back, but it still works just fine!

Q:  Do the new top buttons do anything with the old games?

A:  The new top buttons add more features to the new GBA games.  In F-Zero they help you tilt/slide your car to the left & right.  In the older GBA games they do actually do something sort of cool.  Since the screen is wider, the entire screen is not filled when you play an older game like Mario Golf.  But, if you hit the upper right button, the entire screen will be filled.  Of course, that makes Mario an even fatter short guy.   

Q:  Is there an infrared port on the GBA?

A:  No.  The Infrared port is gone.

Q:  Doesn't GBA have as many bits (32) as a Playstation?

A:  Yes.  The GBA is powered by a 32 bit processor, making it about as powerful as the original Playstation.  Of course the screen on a GBA certainly can't match your TV.  

Q:  How good is the sound?

A:  I think the sound is noticeably different. It is much more fluid and not as tinny.

Q:  What kind of batteries does it use?  How long will they last?

A:  The GBA uses AA batteries that are supposed to last for 20 hours of Gameplay.

Q:  Will my Wormlight still work in the GBA?

A:  Mine does.  ;-)

Q:  Do the Japanese GBA's play American games?

A:  The Japanese Game Boys and Japanese GBA's both play American games.  The orange GB pictured above was purchased from Pokemon Center in Japan a couple of years ago, and I play all my GB games on it.  And I'm able to play all my American games on the GBA as well.

Q:  Can you link up to play with or against a friend?

A:  Here's one of the cool new features!  My friend Gary who works on Pojo's Video Game Magazine says this:  "Up to four GBA's can be "daisy-chained", or linked, together - without a special hub peripheral.  What's more, you only need one copy of the game, instead of one for each player."  Is that cool or what!

Q:  Are GBA's going to be tough to get?

A:  According to reports I've seen.  This is a definite yes!  Nintendo has  stated that there will only be 1/2 million Game Boy Advance Units for sale on June 11, 2001.  This might be harder for some folks to get than the Playstation 2.  Our suggestion:  Reserve it in advance to make sure you're getting one! We had this link to KBKids.com (See banner below) on our main page to reserve a copy in advance.  A few days later, they said the ones coming out on June 11, 2001 were already sold out, but you could reserve the game for July.  I'd certainly reserve it now!  It would be a long summer without one. 

If you have any more questions, feel free to visit our Message Board section on this topic by clicking here.  



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