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Portables (Games) Businesses E3 Nintendo

Game Boy Micro Announced 96

The Nintendo press conference this afternoon revealed the new Game Boy Advanced format: the Game boy Micro. The new handheld will play all GBA titles, and is only slightly larger than an iPod. From the article: "The sporty, silver metal Game Boy Micro measures a mere 4 inches wide, 2 inches tall and 0.7 inches deep, allowing it to sit comfortably alongside today's hippest technological gadgets. It weighs an astonishing 2.8 ounces, or about the weight of 80 paper clips. Yet Game Boy Micro has the same processing power and plays the same games as Game Boy Advance SP models, complete with standard face controls and gleaming shoulder and Start/Select buttons that literally shine." Photo available from the AP.
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Game Boy Micro Announced

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  • Tiny goodness (Score:5, Interesting)

    by M.C. Hampster ( 541262 ) <> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:30PM (#12557303) Journal

    Very nice. Although, that screen is obviously tiny. It's about 2/3rds the width of the cartriadge. They did say it was the best screen they've put on a handheld though.

    If it's cheap enough, I'll probably pick one up.

    • Re:Tiny goodness (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vistic ( 556838 )
      Well they can't put a huge screen on a tiny device.

      I think it certainly does look pretty cool though. It really is a radical new look for anything Nintendo... I don't think they've ever made anything metal before. Usually it was all plastic. This looks more like an accessory people carry around at all times, rather than just another kid's toy.

      good job Nintendo.
      • The screen is actually the same size as current GBA screens. The Game Boy Micro is just a retooled GBA that looks a lot cooler. It also has rechargeable batteries.
        • Re:Tiny goodness (Score:3, Informative)

          by Yorrike ( 322502 )
          Sorry, but you're wrong on the screen size. Currently, a GBA cartridge can fit comfortably inside the dimensions of a GBA or GBA SP screen. If you take a look at the micro pics, you'll see the screen is smaller than the width of the cartridge, and therefore, smaller than the current GBA's screen.

          And the GBA SP has a rechargable battery, so that's nothing new.

    • Re:Tiny goodness (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Reignking ( 832642 )
      The price is going to be very important in determining if this will be successful or not. Very interesting to see Nintendo offering multiple levels of portable gaming: Micro, Gameboy, and DS.
    • I've seen the conference, and from what I understood it actualy is a GBA in a new form factor. So the screen should be the same as a regular GBA.
    • Why would you want to buy one of these when the DS is just a few bucks more probably, and can play all of the same games plus the DS games.

      The origional Gameboy came out when I was probably about 5 or 6, and I played the heck out of that thing with it's monochrome display, and loved it. It ate batteries like they were cheaper than dirt.

      When the DS came out I bought one in the first week. The DS games so far are total crap (I mean you Star Wars III! You let me down big!), but the fact that I can plug in
    • New for the Nintendo Gameboy Advance:

      The Hunt: Rise of the Cartriadge!!
  • I was all ready to post how they're concentrating too hard on making the devices small, and they should spend more time working on design and layout and games.

    Then I saw the picture of the little guy. /me want!
  • by GTRacer ( 234395 ) <> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:35PM (#12557351) Homepage Journal
    The people who think an SP is just too bulky and clamor for the Micro probably live in a standard Xbox controller, right?

    Seriously, for me, the SP is about as small as I can stand handgrip-wise. I know this Micro returns to the GBA formfactor, but why? The SP seems to be the right balance of size, heft, and comfort. And screen visibility/legibility.

    - What's in your wallet?

    • The SP is probably one of the most perfect pieces of production design I've ever held. It is beautiful and practical and the right size and everything. This micro looks like it's got DS's problem of buttons too close to the edge. Of course, there's nothing but edge to put them on.

      • My right shoulder button keeps jamming.

        I know how to fix it temporarily but it keeps jamming after a while.
        I think the metal rod in there is bent.

        Anyone got a rod to sell?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I am a rock star, therefore I wear tight jeans. However, sometimes I need a break from the rocking. All of my problems have been solved.

      -Jimmy Page
    • While I think the SP is quite good, I do find myself wishing it had bigger buttons and d-pad. That being said, the micro probably uses the same size or even smaller buttons, but it still looks beautiful.
    • I know this Micro returns to the GBA formfactor, but why?

      Geh! I hate the SP formfactor. It cramps your hands at an odd angle. Just hold a SP, and look at your wrists. Now hold a GBA, and look at your wrists. The GBA formfactor is much, much more natural for your hands. My mother-in-law, who's a Tetris addict with arthritis, can confirm this as well.

      I've been hoping that they'd release another GBA with the original GBA formfactor, but with an improved screen and hopefully equivalent battery life to the or
      • At first I also thought the wrist position you needed to maintain for a good viewing angle on the SP was awkward. But then I realized that if you tilt the screen a bit more, it snaps softly into a position that transforms it from an acute angle into a slightly obtuse angle. This actually makes it easier to hold than the GBA, in my opinion, because you can position your wrists almost naturally.

        In case my explanation is failing, here's an attempt at ASCII art to display the idea:

        Crappy Good
        \ <- scre
        • Thank you thank you thank you thank you!
          (can't mod, posted in this discussion)

          Thank you again for spotting that out. It will take a bit of getting used to this new position, but my wrists are happy.

          now I just need to solve my right should button problem permanently... Keeps sticking, I think the rod is bent.
    • I agree - the micro is just too damned small to be comfortable for adults, and kids will never stop losing them. It reminds me of those thumb-sized phones Nokia used to make, which were eventually dropped because they were too small for mainstream consumers.
    • I think you completely missed the point here. This is not a GameBoy for big time gamers...All of them already have their pockets filled with a DS and PSP. This is a pure vanity purchase...This is for the people that would rather use their money on a minuscule iPod mini rather than spend the few extra bucks on its bigger brother. That's really all their is to it...Something that'll fit inside your pocket next to your tiny MP3 player or in a purse.
    • Plus the SP covers the screen when you carry it around so it doesn't get scratched up.
  • by mnmn ( 145599 )
    Never bought one, although I think I'll buy this one. It smacks of the original donkey kong nintendo devices.... just what people will buy for a quick game, not a game-console on the run (running fast games, running hot and shutting down after what 4 hours of play).

    Now if this thing can do wireless multiplayer, and if I can play DOOM and quake on it, and maybe the atari2600 games, I'm all set.
    • Re:Best gameboy (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dwedit ( 232252 )
      Doom is available, not quake. A set of emulated Atari 2600 games are also available.
      You can buy a Majesco Wireless Link cable for GBA, it's not Wi-fi though.
    • I don't know if this thing has the port on it for multiplayer. And besides, the wireless adapter requires a flat surface and the micro seems curved.
    • Never bought one, although I think I'll buy this one. It smacks of the original donkey kong nintendo devices.... just what people will buy for a quick game, not a game-console on the run (running fast games, running hot and shutting down after what 4 hours of play).

      In which case get WarioWare, the very epitomie of a "quick game on the run". The GBA does have a fairly good library, although quite a bit of it is old SNES ports.

      Now if this thing can do wireless multiplayer, and if I can play DOOM and

      • Actually Majesco released a device that uses wireless and can be put on the gamelink port so if you and your friend both have one then you can do wireless on any gamelink game. Although I haven't used it so I can't attest to the quality.
      • Re:Best gameboy (Score:2, Interesting)

        by rebe01 ( 665657 )
        The largest official collection of Atari2600 games can be found in the Aspyr Activision Anthology []. It contains about 52 Atari 2600 games, some of which are prototypes that were never released. The cartridge also contains the box art and manual for every single game, and many of them are multiplayer. There is also a score board, which keeps track of all of your high scores, and you can also earn patches (like you used to be able to in real life) for getting certain high scores in the games. I own this co
    • I think the DS most resembles my first Nintendo gaming experience. Good old Green House. Flip-open, dual screens...I remember begging my grandfather to get one for me and it was one of those specialty type stores (like Sharper Image) and it cost something like $100 bucks. I know it was expensive.

      I actually found a picture of one on ebay. m &category=4315&item=8192367349&rd=1&ssPageName=WDV W []
  • Cute little guy is just about small enough to be placed on a keychain.

    If the price is right I'll be picking one up.
  • Micro announced??? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xerxesVII ( 707232 )
    Who cares?
    Electroplankton [] is being released stateside!
  • Too Tiny! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ArielMT ( 757715 )

    This reminds me of the Sony Watchman and all the other micro TV sets when they hit the market en force. (I remember an episode of Home Improvement, I think it was, where something happened to the great room TV, and everyone tried watching football on a screen this small... With a magnifying glass, no less.)

    If you don't need glasses yet, I'd wager that the eye strain from trying to play this thing will make you need a pair right quick.

  • Yeah, it's small, but does it come with a belt clip/holster? How about a fanny-pack style case to carry the unit and games in?

    Otherwise, what's the point of making it so small?

    • Re:Holster? (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's small enough that a slight static buildup will keep it affixed to most rough surfaces.
    • How about a fanny-pack style case to carry the unit and games in?

      yeah...... *crickets chirping*
      and you'd... wear this in public? i seeeeeee.......
      no no! it sounds like a good idea! uh, stylin! yeah.....
    • this a joke? It's so small so it can fit in your pocket. Yeah, you knew that already.
  • Nice (Score:2, Informative)

    by rAiNsT0rm ( 877553 )
    Now if it is priced low enough and the release a NES controller faceplate it's mine. Very nice design and idea, I just wish they could get the technology down to $49.99 because too many bought a GBA, then a GBA SP, now this. Or even a trade in system as before would be nice.
  • iPod Mini (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ionizer7 ( 814098 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @02:21PM (#12557963)
    The submitter said it is slightly larger than an iPod, I believe it should say "slightly larger than the iPod Mini"
    • Warning - do not eat Game Boy Micro.

      • Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children should avoid prolonged exposure to Game Boy Micro. Caution: Game Boy Micro may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds. Game Boy Micro contains a liquid core, which if exposed due to rupture should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at. Do not use Game Boy Micro on concrete. Discontinue use of Game Boy Micro if any of the following occurs: * Itching * Vertigo * Dizziness * Tingling in extremities * Loss of balance or coordination * Slurred speech
      • Except that was said in connection with the iPod Shuffle not the Mini. The Mini really isn't that small. This thing is not going to be microscopic, just small.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The article doesn't actually say anything about a new game format or anything. Are we to assume that this tiny thing is simply a new exterior for the same GBA cartridges?

    I would say I'm not excited about it (and based on the appearance I'm NOT excited), but I suppose they upped the format with DS so they can't be expected to release a new cartridge system for the Game Boy line too. And after all, the original Game Boy cartridges lasted through the original, pocket, and color. GBA has already had the hor
    • The article doesn't actually say anything about a new game format or anything. Are we to assume that this tiny thing is simply a new exterior for the same GBA cartridges?

      I think this line from the article sums it up pretty clearly: "Yet Game Boy Micro has the same processing power and plays the same games as Game Boy Advance SP models..."
    • by barawn ( 25691 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @04:28PM (#12559527) Homepage
      but my hands get cramped enough on the SP that I can't imagine anything smaller or thinner than that.

      GB Micro: 4" wide, 0.7" thick
      GBA SP: 3.2" wide, ~0.9" thick

      It's not smaller, as far as your hands are concerned. It's wider. A little thinner, but really not much (maybe not even, I'm not sure those numbers are the 'unfolded' numbers). Smaller than the original GBA's 5.7", but still wider than the GBA SP.
  • by Txiasaeia ( 581598 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @02:30PM (#12558089)
    ...from the press release: "Game Boy Micro represents the latest evolution in the image of the Game Boy Advance line, but it is not a successor to any current system."

    All I have to say is THANK GOODNESS. I love my SP, and have no problems if other people want to buy this Micro, but I'm extremely glad that this isn't the GBA's successor. The entire reason I love my GBA SP is because of the clamshell design - my GB, GBC, and GBA all had their screens scratched to hell because of the open design.

    Having said that, now that they're milking the GBA design for all it's worth & expanding the line with GBA v3, it's going to be a very long time before we get the GBA's successor, innit?

  • But I think it looks like complete ass.
  • It had a hard disk and could play music. I usually am not a fan of the product that fills multiple roles, but that would be very nice :)
  • why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Why is nintendo re-re-releasing the GBA? They have a brand new hand held out now and should be concentrating on it. Not bashing the GBA though its great, but seriously how stupid does Nintendo think the public is?
    • Re:why? (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      On release of the PSOne:

      Why is sony re-re-releasing the Playstation? They have a brand new console out now and should be concentrating on it. Not bashing the Playstation though its great, but seriously how stupid does Sony think the public is?

    • I think Nintendo has people like me in mind. I'm not even remotely interested in a DS. I'd love to get a PSP, but that is out of my price range. I've been wanting a GBA for a long time, but the price is always too high, even for used ones on eBay. If they can come in with a price point of around $40, I'll buy one of these in a heartbeat.
    • Re:why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by elhedran ( 768858 )
      Its called accessing new parts of the market.

      For instance, if I have a portable games machine, I want it to be portable. Frankly the DS is too big to fulfill this requirement. So was the first GBA.

      This though, this would take up less room than a wallet or a set of keys. This you could pick up and take with you without feeling like you should be packing a backpack or something.

      Hence, they are really going after the people who look at the other systems and say 'they are too big'. Its much the same as w
    • My guess is that making the Micro will be cheaper for Nintendo in the long run. Technology has advanced since the SP, smaller chips and screens have gotten cheaper (probably to the point where continuing to produce the old stuff is no longer cost-effective), and the Micro will take less material to produce and package overall.

      It's the same reasons anybody re-releases a console.
  • Comparisons (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pat_trick ( 218868 )
    The GBA Mirco is to the GBA / SP as the Gameboy Pocket is to the original Gameboy.

    People will purchase the new one in spite of the original working just as well.
    • Remember the Advanced?
    • "People will purchase the new one in spite of the original working just as well."

      Spoken like someone who's never actually played both a GB and a GBP. The GBP had a much better LCD display, with far sharper contrast and all but eliminating the blurring you'd see on the original units. Nintendo didn't hype this fact because it'd make their old hardware look too bad, but the GBP is much easier on the eyes.
  • Lets see, this is the "heir" of the gameboy? this lcd watch sized thing?

    Thank you! next.

    Cut to the chase Nintendo, wheres the new gameboy? the one with 3d support, mini dvd games and broadband connection?
  • Units! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ibiwan ( 763664 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @04:36PM (#12559641) Journal
    When will they get this right? 80 paperclips? What is that in Library of Congress Index Cards?
    • Though 10 years older, the Sega Nomad is much bigger (4"x7"x2") so I can see how it has more space... but aside from wireless power ( about 35 seconds off batteries) it wasn't capable of wireless anything.

      Wait... you're saying that something else has been named Nomad? Blasphemy!
  • Is this supposed to be the poor man's PSP?
  • It's not small. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bynary ( 827120 )
    Here's a size comparison photo of the GB Micro: GB Micro []. It looks to be about the size of a NES controller, something I would hardly call uncomfortably small.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.