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Back in 1987, Gunpei Yokoi and his R&D team at Nintendo of Japan wanted to combine the 'limitless' cartridge system with the portability of their successful Game & Watch handhelds. Knowing they were onto a winner with the new Gameboy, sales were predicted to hit around 25 million in three years. An impressive goal, although even that was an underestimation for the success of the console. Along with topping all sale expectations, back in the late 80s, who would have thought we'd still be playing on a Gameboy in the year 2005? Although obviously a more powerful edition than the original, Gameboy Advance titles are still in 2D, and aside from the addition of two shoulder buttons, still retain the controls of the original Gameboy, or even further back, the original Famicom.
Now, a few days before its Japanese release date, we have the next evolution of Gameboy, the Gameboy Micro. With interchangeable face plates, the console comes in black, blue, purple, silver, and Famicom color. The Famicom edition is of course a Japan special, and the back is adorned with the Mario 20th Anniversary logo. Being a tiny 10 cm (4") by 5 cm (2"), and a stunning 1.7 cm (.7") thin, the Gameboy Micro is around the same size as an iPod Mini, but just two thirds of the weight. This is something that you can just slip into the pocket of your jeans, and at under 80 grams (2.8 ounces), it's half the weight of a GBA SP, or just for a fun comparison, 1/5 the weight of the original Gameboy.
Further comparing it to the Gameboy Advance SP, the units 5 cm (2") screen has adjustable controls that go far brighter and display colors much more vividly than in the past, and as such Nintendo claims this is best looking Gameboy screen ever, more akin to that of the NDS. While the size is reduced to match the machine, because the resolution remains the same, your games should look even clearer. Heading under the hood, there's the usual GBA processor, with a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and much to the rejoicing of fans, a standard headphone port. Nintendo have also stated that all of the GBA's 700+ titles will run just fine.
As for the 'hood' itself, like a cell phone, the Gameboy Micro features removable and customizable face plates. Beyond the many available with the consoles launch, more choices will continue to flood in for ever after, ensuring your console always looks unique. Upon powering on the system too, the start and select buttons glow a cool blue, and all buttons along with the d-pad have been re-designed with a much softer feel than that of the GBA SP. So not only does the Gameboy Micro look good, but it feels good too.
All those who pre-ordered the Gameboy Micro can rest easy knowing yours are already on the way, but for everyone else, new orders are welcome anytime. We also have a range of accessories coming up soon, including the new link cable, Micro Wireless Adapter, and something surely even Gunpei Yokoi couldn't have imagined being used in his handheld, the Play-Yan Micro, unlocking the ability to play movies and music on the go.
Please note that Nintendo has changed the power connector on the Gameboy Micro, making all power cables from previous generation GBAs incompatible with the unit. The Gameboy Micro Japanese edition comes with a 110V power cable, and you should consider buying a separate Stepdown Converter, if you are in a 220 Volts country.
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