Revamped Gba Sp To Be Released This Year


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Jul 29, 2003
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Signals point to new hardware unveiling in May as GBA faces a second overhaul

A third version of Nintendo's Game Boy Advance may be shown off at this year's E3, according to a report from American Technology Research analyst P.J. McNealy, with an "SP" style revision of the existing hardware on the cards.

Meanwhile, Nintendo has distanced itself from a frenzied wave of Internet speculation claiming that the Japanese giant will be launching a next generation Game Boy later this year, saying that the rumours were "pulled out of the air".

A spokesman for Nintendo of Europe told this morning: "There is always speculation on what the next Game Boy will be, however, at this time there are no announcements about a new Game Boy SP product."

However, unofficially the Kyoto-based firm is expected to unveil a remodelled Game Boy Advance based on the existing technology at its traditional pre-E3 event.

At this stage no concrete details exist on what enhancements Nintendo will be making to the GBA, but it's expected that some of the add-ons released over the past year or so will be integrated into the remodelled console; namely the PlayYan multimedia capabilities that enable users to watch movies and listen to music on their GBA, as well as other obvious improvements such as the much missed headphone jack and, of course, wireless connectivity.

And it's on the latter point where things get potentially interesting, with the potential for Nintendo to extend its wireless download plans to the GBA, as well as include the GBA in its long-mooted online gaming plans. All of this remains in the realms of speculation, but the way is clear for Nintendo to truly extend the GBA lifespan well beyond what it otherwise might have been had it chosen to focus solely on the DS going forward.

To put the wild speculation about a next gen Game Boy console into context, the story was initially based upon a report released yesterday by American Technology Research analyst P.J. McNealy which pontificated on the likelihood of a new GBA SP being released in time for Christmas.

The report looked at the share performance of THQ and Activision, and the likely effect on trading a new GBA SP would have on them.

In turn, the report went on to list four bullet points why - in his opinion - Nintendo is likely to launch a new GBA SP, reasoning that Nintendo has averaged a new version of the GBA every two years, that the DS has not cannibalised GBA sales, that piracy concerns in Asia Pacific required a more secure version of GBA, and that - somewhat curiously - that a new GBA SP would be a "fun, new device while Sony focuses on the PSP and the expected launch of the Xbox 2".

McNealy guessed that the new GBA would be priced at around $99, fitting snugly between the DS at $149 and the old GBA SP at $49.

But nowhere in the report does McNealy suggest that Nintendo was readying a next generation Game Boy console - as, indeed, launching a next gen Game Boy having just enjoyed a successful DS launch worldwide would be a truly bizarre business decision for the Japanese giant.

Reports elsewhere talk of a "PR nightmare" for Nintendo, but it appears in this case that the only nightmare for Nintendo right now is having to deal with spurious stories "pulled out of the air" and the resulting deluge of phone calls from media outlets seeking some clarity on the issue.

The spokesman for Nintendo told us today: "It's a case of looking at this McNealy report and someone putting two and two together and coming up with five. McNealy's report is him putting two and two together and coming up with four. It's just his opinion, and not endorsed by Nintendo in any way."

An official Nintendo statement reacting to the reports also emerged this morning: "Game Boy Advance continues to be a shining star in the video game industry with more than 65.7 million units sold worldwide.

"In 2004 alone we sold 4 million Game Boy Advance SPs in Europe.

"Our newest hand-held game system, the Nintendo DS, has done extremely well since it launched in Japan and the US and similar success is expected when it launches on 11th March in Europe. Nintendo DS is on target to ship 6 million worldwide by March 31," the spokesman added.

Source :

Somehow I doubt it... it doesn't seem worthwhile to revamp a rapidly dying system. GBA game releases have slowed dramatically and DS sales have cut into GBA SP sales. Ironically, the DS initially caused a SPIKE in GBA sales... as many parents went in to stores looking to buy a DS for their kids for Xmas, but of course there was a shortage, so many parents ended up walking out with a SP instead. With it's backwards compatibility, and now that you can easily get one, the DS has started to 'cannibalize' the GBA sales. Unless it released for very cheap, maybe $50, and really included some better features (maybe along with the stuff listed in that article, a real backlit screen?), I dont see it selling well... really a waste of time for Nintendo.

And how are they averaging GBA's every two years? There's only been two versions of the GBA, and the SP came out because everyone and their mother complained that the unlit GBA was just too hard to see. There was a short gap between the GBC and the GBA as well, but before that, hardware updates were slow in coming for the older gameboys....
They could of course just tweak the internals to try and stop pirates, make a couple of costmetic changes, and add a headphones socket. I'd be surprised if they sold it alongside the current SP (as is said in the article). It's much more likely to be like Sony's tendancy to fiddle with their hardware and keep selling it as the same thing for the same price.

I am still very angry at Nintendo for screwing everyone who bought the first GBA over by making their worthless SP. When you buy a new console, you expect the company to NOT release another in the following year. That is just mean.

Suddenly your console becomes worthless. Everyone is sucked in by the placebo effect that is the SP. They believe it is backlit. They believe it is more powerful. They believe that all the changes are for the better. Some even believe there are games that only work on the SP.

But the truth is this. The SP is a GBA, but worse. The frontlight is very bad quality for a company of their size. It would be better off with a regualar battery. And they changed the extension slots when it would have been better to not have.

And...the worst thing about the SP, period, is its shape. GBA was ergonomic. SP causes thumb cramps.

If they keep this attitude of "remaking" systems up, their sales of everything will go down. Because, only dumb people get ripped off and come back for more. But then again, they ARE marketing to dumb people: Stupid little kids who think its brand new.

Hmm...They already remake their games to death, too. How far will they go.
I didn't really care when the SP came out as I had bought a GBA at launch and found it so boring I would never go back for more.
lol... Nintendo seems to be run by an idiot :p... What the Freak is the point in releasing another GBA when the DS has been Released??????

Its just a waste of money as the consumer will be given the option - Buy a GBA for (how much do you think it will be?) £60?? Or Buy a DS for £99 ?????????

I can see the GBA Just sitting on the shop shelves collecting dust seen as for the extra £40 odd you get a DS.
Reasons this is a good business move
By Markusdragon, Self claimed industry guru.

1. Suggests to potential customers that the product is not outdated. By constantly remodelling the old system, they can make it look as if the original GBA (in the guise of a new, updated GBA) is still a powerful and popular machine, thus extending the life of the console.

2. Attracts budget gamers. Gamers who are just not willing to pay high prices for a console (or parents, who are not willing to waste money on THAT one, when THIS one is $40 cheaper) will be even moreso inclined to buy the console because of it's drop in price AND it's faux technologié neuveux.

3. Saps more money out of the collectors and compulsive buyers. For the same reason that people are willing to spend £300 on a phone that has the same features as their current phone, plus one more gimmick, people will be buying this for it's slight improvement over the previous models, or simply for the pleasure of owning one of every Gameboy.

4. Encourages the weak minded to buy Nintendo. Plenty of people are saving up for a PSP, but are they ever going to afford it. By waving an affordable product in front of them while they are saving up for a much more expensive piece of technology, they stand to attract many who will give up on the basis that they'll never get the money.

5. Allows for possibility of cheaper production with similar or higher quality products. By changing the design of the GBA, Nintendo can change manufacturers for the components, thus allowing for cheaper, and with the constant redevelopment of technology, higher quality components to be used in the new version of the product.
KickinWing posted on Mar 7 2005 at 01:07 PM said:
i just saw this today

towards the middle, the rumors of a new Nintendo handheld or revamped GBA SP.

Speculation so far is a new hand held would be based off of GC technology.

If Nintendo handles this better than the DS, then this might be great, but why do I see Nintendo using a small screen, they seem to like small screens.
a small screen may mean a smaller console, which at handheld level is way important to me. Both the DS and PSP are bigger than what I would've liked.

The idea is to be portable. I dont wanna be carrying a widescreen TV around in my pocket. Something GBA SP size would be great.
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