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GBA Internal Light Ready?

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the must-get-better-lighting dept.

Games 124

Dark Paladin writes "Looks like Portable Monopoly , the internal Gameboy Advance light, is finally ready to move beyond Vaporware and launch. The price for the kit? $35. Finally - me, a dark night, and my GBA. " Perhaps with this, we can revoke GBA's current title holder as "Worst Screen Ever". Still, Golden Sun is a great game.

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124 comments

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Euro (0, Offtopic)

bavodr (105334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006595)

Does it support the euro ? :)

Re:Euro (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006606)

what the fuck are you talking about, man?

Re:Euro (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006655)

A clear FP opportunity sadly missed by a dumbass question.
Well done.

What? (0, Redundant)

govtcheez (524087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006596)

> Still, Golden Sun is a great game.

Wow... That didn't go with the rest of the description at all... "The screen's getting better, but at least they have a good game!"

Re:What? (0, Informative)

dadaist (544022) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006661)

Typical slashdot "editing." They feel that if they don't write the article, they still need to contribute something. This editor clearly knows nothing about GBA, but needed to interject a comment. He probably borrowed it from some GBA fan website.

Emulator (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006598)

The emulated version is better.

How soon before... (2)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006605)

...Nintendo sues the poor guy for making an "unlicensed" GBA add-on?

Re:How soon before... (4, Insightful)

Hnice (60994) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006642)

No, no, you want real pain, and a smack in the face to all of us -- as well as this guy, of course, who's been doing this for months

How soon before Nintendo, who just dropped the gba price to $80, starts marketing a new model, with a light like this one, to re-sell to everyone who purchased one of the current crap-screen models, simultaneously revealing their plan to screw us, and rendering this great work a nice experiment but nothing more?

Re:How soon before... (1)

JoshMKiV (548790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006666)

I'd give this a 90% chance... it is bound to happen. Why the price-drop on something that has been selling so well, and has no competition? I'd say a fair guess is to reduce stock before the new version is launched.

Re:How soon before... (1)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006723)

It's very likely. But there are a great many people who already own a GBA who will not wish to purchase another. In my case, I actually consider the $42 price (shipping included) to be worthwhile. I pay half the price to have the same product. If the site is to be believed the risk involved in modding the GBA is small and I'm pretty sure my 90 days are up anyhow. I'll be happy to pay the money for something cool like this. Naturally, if I get another GBA, for some reason, it'll be the properly lit version.

Re:How soon before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006957)

How soon before Nintendo, who just dropped the gba price to $80, starts marketing a new model, with a light like this one, to re-sell to everyone who purchased one of the current crap-screen models, simultaneously revealing their plan to screw us, and rendering this great work a nice experiment but nothing more?

Yeah, it's all a big conspiracy by Nintendo to sell more GBAs by putting a better one out with a lower price.

Why are all you Slashdotters so damn paranoid?

Re:How soon before... (2, Insightful)

Eccles (932) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007104)

How soon before Nintendo, who just dropped the gba price to $80, starts marketing a new model, with a light like this one

Nintendo is brain-damaged when it comes to providing lights. They could have sold millions of Gameboy Colors with a built-in light for $50 more than the base GC, but never did. Likewise, they could have made a killing selling a deluxe unit with better speakers and a larger screen, but nope.

Also, the PM guys may be trying to patent their lighting system just to discourage Nintendo from taking their design and selling it themselves. (Although I doubt PM would discourage a nice profitable licensing arrangement.)

Re:How soon before... (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007900)

The PM guy should IMHO patent this thing. Nothing would prevent him from licensing the design to Nintendo and still make a fuckwad of money on that, in addition to his own direct sales. That's what patents are for, to extort money from others with your ideas.

Re:How soon before... (1)

Bastard Jim (555586) | more than 12 years ago | (#3008694)

Well, that may very well be what Nintendo is planning. If so, great! I personally cannot wait for a lit version, but for the millions of current "dark screen" GBA owners who don't really have much choice (myself included) this will at least provides us with some options. Either they will get this kit by paying an extra $35US (+s/h) or shell out another $100US+ just to get a lit version. I think the first option is better for a lot of current owners. Then again, maybe Nintendo is not coming out with a lit version. Instead, it's only one with a better/brighter screen. If so, then that's all the better for Adam Curtis at portablemonopoly.com.

Re:How soon before... (1)

Queer Boy (451309) | more than 12 years ago | (#3009535)

Nintendo produced a backlit Gameboy for the Asian market in the days of Gameboy Pocket. The Gameboy Pocket's screen was more efficient at using energy, so adding a light to it and using AA batteries with it (instead of Pocket's AAA) gave nearly the same play time as the original. Nintendo has a great aftermarket of licensed products in the US. In Asia no one wants to lug around all that extra gear (smaller is better even if it is lesser quality), so a backlit Gameboy was appropriate for that market.

The reason why Nintendo took so long to come out with a color unit was because of power drain. They aren't going to release a backlit unit anytime soon unless the drain on power is insignificant.

Incidentally, Nintendo has a history of refusing to use available technologies until they have matured to the point of transparency. Another example of this is disk technology. It was available in Japan for the Famicom (NES) and the N64. But Nintendo said that load times were too long for a worldwide release. (Gamecube games have similar load times to cartridges).

Re:How soon before... (2)

Tofuhead (40727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3009913)

Locally, two major retailers have the GBA at $69.99, and one of them is throwing in a free case on top of that too. GBA is already extremely successful, and the price is dropping so drastically so soon after launch? I've heard nothing officially about a new modified model, but something is getting me excited over the prospect of these babies coming out some time soon.

Personally, I'm very satisfied with my current GBAs...they have worked great under reasonable lighting conditions (someone else posted this: reading light is more than adequate), even with the older first-generation screen. I've heard rumors that the neweer GBAs come with Panasonic (not Sharp) LCDs, and are somewhat brighter, but I've never noticed any difference in screen quality between newer Japanese black/orange GBAs and my older models.

Still, on a totally unrelated note, Golden Sun is a great game. <snicker>

< tofuhead >

Re:How soon before... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006645)

Fuck that. How long before you make an ass out of yourself?

Re:How soon before... (1)

Queer Boy (451309) | more than 12 years ago | (#3009637)

...Nintendo sues the poor guy for making an "unlicensed" GBA add-on?

Nintendo has previously lost lawsuits over that idea. They lost a lawsuit pertaining to Game Genie (CodeMasters) for the NES, for "unlicensed" games made by Tengen (a former division of Atari), and over cartridge "back up" units. Video game systems have been classified computers, as far as the US courts have are concerned, so a license to create software for it is not necessary (although you will not get the Seal of Approval, and it may void your warranty if you use unlicensed HARDWARE with it) and it is perfectly legal to make a backup (as fair use laws are still being upheld pertaining to video game systems) as long as it follows copyright laws (it's for your use only, and you own, or HAVE OWNED the game).

As an unrelated sidenote, it's fascinating that in the computer world, you don't even own the physical media the software came on, all you actually own is the license to use it, but in the video game world, you own the media, and there is no license. At least that's the legal precedence I have followed.

It wasn't that bad (5, Funny)

.sig (180877) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006610)

The GBA is simply highly dependant on the art on Feng Shui and contortionism. All you have to do is position it in the right manner, especially in relation to any light sources in the room, and it becomes clear as a bell. It's even easier outside, just make sure that there are no large objects preventing the suns rays from striking the screen.

It's not just a game, it's applied art!

Drats (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006615)

Curse you, Dark Paladin! I received the update email as well, and thought "Hey! This is news that belongs on Slashdot." And what do I see when I pop in, but that somebody else has beat me to the punch. Alas. Good reporting.

How cool is that? (1)

joebp (528430) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006616)

I'm getting one... when I have money ;)

Still, it doesn't change that the GB(A|C) should never have been released with such a poor screen.

Re:How cool is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006623)

Well don't these people look stupid for buying one now? Should've gotten an Atari Lynx.

Re:How cool is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3008161)

GBC screen is completley fine
GBA they bouched but its not as bad as you ppl make it out to be
i hate the damned scratches more than anything and how easy they are to get good ole GB could be thrown down a flight of stairs and rubbed with dimond sand paper and just laugh in its face

FINALLY (1)

gmplague (412185) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006624)

I can finally justify getting a GBA... now, the question is, is it too late? Is something bigger/better coming in the next few months?

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006682)

Nintendo hasnt made any announcements. And there arent any competitors. So go ahead and buy one. Nintendo might release a new one in 3-4 years. Maybe longer. For handhelds there really isnt much they can do for "bigger and better" unless its adding a backlight like this into the model. 3D games wont be viable because of the limited screen size and controls, so making a faster processor would be kind of silly. A handheld SNES is as good as it gets, IMO. And this is it.

Long live 2D platformers! Screw 3D!

Re:No. (1)

silicon_synapse (145470) | more than 12 years ago | (#3008316)

For handhelds there really isnt much they can do for "bigger and better" unless its adding a backlight like this into the model. 3D games wont be viable because of the limited screen size and controls, so making a faster processor would be kind of silly. A handheld SNES is as good as it gets, IMO. And this is it

Oh I wouldn't be so sure. If nothing else they could through in a head mounted display and integrate the game system into a more ergonomic controller. There're plenty of room for improvements. Luckily they have more imaginative staff than myself.

Re:FINALLY (-1)

dadaist (544022) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006685)

What a moronic question. Do you feel that by posting a "me too" response you gain worth or esteem in the eyes of the Slashdot community? If so, rest assured, your nincompoopancy is very clear. "Bigger" especially is revealing. Do you even know what a "Gameboy Advance" is? Why in the name of all that is sweet in heaven would you want a larger, heavier portable device?

If anyone mods you up, please, someone slap the moderator in Metamod.

It doesn't matter! / EBAY (2, Informative)

mekkab (133181) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006737)

Much like the PS2 vs. X-Box...

The GBA is backwards compatible and has more games out than any new comer. So I'd buy this... you can't go wrong.

And with the addition of this backlight, I'd ACTUALLY think about buying one of these (played it in Target (that's TAR-JAY! to you) and hated the screen... played Tony Hawk with my little cousin, and still hated the screen)

Now what *I* can't wait for is when people start buying GBA's in bulk, buying the Portable Monopoly backlight in bulk, put 'em together, and sell 'em on E-bay for a quick killing...

Re:FINALLY (4, Insightful)

iapetus (24050) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007154)

Is something bigger/better coming in the next few months?

No. And if it were, it probably wouldn't make much of a difference - GBA's predecessors have seen off superior technology in the past without blinking. If you think MS has a monopoly on the OS market, it's nothing compared to what Nintendo has in handheld gaming. :)

About the only thing that could make a dent in that would be Sony and/or MS entering the handheld market, and that isn't going to happen for a while, if at all.

Re:FINALLY (2)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 12 years ago | (#3008515)

Actually I think the sony psone combo unit (the little white unit thats battery powered and comes with a 5 inch lcd) is sonys testing of the waters so to speak. If I hadn't wanted FFX so bad, I probably would of bought one of those. I mean think about the psone combo, its quasi handheld, it already has 600+ games and can also be plugged into a television. Damn cool gadget.

Sony already tried in Japan. (2)

Thag (8436) | more than 12 years ago | (#3008594)

They had a GBA-like device called the Wonderswan that could interface with PSX games like GBA will be able to with GameCube games (and the Sega Dreamcast VMUs could with the Dreamcast).

As far as I know, it realy hasn't set the world on fire.

If anyone else has more details, please post!

Jon Acheson

Re:Sony already tried in Japan. (3, Informative)

Jayde Stargunner (207280) | more than 12 years ago | (#3008899)

Incorrect. The Wonderswan (and Wonderswan Color) doesn't interact with the PSX. I believe you're thinking about the PocketStation--which is very similar to the Dreamcast VMU.

The Wonderswan is along the name lines as the Neo-Geo Pocket...simply a GameBoy competitor. (Both of them were released before the GBA but never managed to gain enough market share to fend off the GBA's release frenzy.)

Both the Wonderswan and NGP have been beaten into the ground by the GBA for no other reason than that Nintendo's got the handheld market in the bag.

-Jayde

Re:Sony already tried in Japan. (1)

Agent 13 (69792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3009269)

I believe it was called PocketStation if memory serves me correctly

Re:Sony already tried in Japan. (2, Informative)

_Bean_ (128235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3009442)

More details sure.
The Wonderswan isn't made by sony but by BANDAI and it has nothing to do with a PSX

Re:FINALLY (1)

shadowcabbit (466253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3009366)

I can finally justify getting a GBA...

Is the screen's darkness that bad that you would base your entire decision to purchase a Game Boy Advance solely on whether or not it can be hacked? Last I checked the screen brightness was an issue of hardware. And as every gamer knows, it's not the hardware, it's the software (games) that should drive your purchasing habits...

Golden Sun (1, Informative)

lw54 (73409) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006656)

Here's some great info for all the Golden Sun fans

Parent links are broken; try this one instead (4, Informative)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006872)

GameFAQs is referer protected. Following a link from another site to a GameFAQs URL that does not end in "/", ".html", or ".asp" produces a server error. Try this link instead [gamefaqs.com] .

ObTopic: The light improves the Golden Sun experience tremendously.

Re:Parent links are broken; try this one instead (1)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007021)

If you use a referrer filter (such as WebWasher), then the links work fine.

(OT)Referer: filtering (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007181)

If you use a referrer filter (such as WebWasher), then the links work fine.

Perhaps on GameFAQs, right now, they might, but in the future, they might adopt the behavior I've seen on other sites such that it won't give you the page unless a Referer: header exists and is valid. Don't believe me? Try typing in the URL of a picture on an 8m.com member's web site [8m.com] .

Jesus was a Negro. (-1)

Bacillus0101 (267481) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006660)


Praise be to the black Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Christ was not of semetic [goatse.cx] descent, but of A F R I C A N [naacp.org] lineage.

Viva La Revolution! (5, Funny)

boris_the_hacker (125310) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006673)

This is great, I can now go old school and play on my GBA under the covers of my bed. Just need to make sure the girlfriend doesn't get wind of it, or even better get her a GBA, and a copy of Mario Kart and Advance Wars. Only today I was in a queue for tickets and was gagging for this - the lighting was less than wonderfull, I had to relegate Tony Hawk to my bag.

But seriously, I hope that this is very successfull and Nintendo take note of the the popularity and get's it sorted in the future, as the screen is great most of the time but there are always times when it could be JustThatLittleBitBetter(TM). Even so the GBA is an awesome toy :-)

I just hope they start shipping soon, otherwise I am sure the Pocket Game Cube will be out =P

Sad day ... Waylon Jennings dead at 54 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006686)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Waylon Jennings was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Hurray (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006687)

Yay, getting Linux on a GBA was hard enoughin the dark, i'll tell ya. Now i can actually SEE what i'm doing! Yay.

Tired of GBA-bashing (5, Informative)

PowerTroll 5000 (524563) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006691)

Admittedly, the screen is small, and not backlit, but I've been able to play it for extended periods of time by folowing a simple rule for reading.

Plenty of ambient light. Yes, the very same light one uses for proper book reading is more than adequate for GBA-playing. I've played it comfortably on airplanes, on my couch and yes, even on the can.

The small screen lends itself to problems, but that's what makes it portable. It's a trade-of at this point, until LCD screen technology imporves.

The bottom line: I spent $100 a while ago, and have enjoyed it plenty since.

Amen to that. (1)

festers (106163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3008442)

Every time the GBA is mentioned there is a vocal minority that springs up to badmouth the screen. I really don't get it: Unless you are a little kid trying to play your GBA past bedtime, a reading light/desk lamp/etc is more than adequate. I think the reason you don't hear from the (majority) of people pleased with the GBA's screen is because we are too busy playing Golden Sun to have time to post rants on Slashdot ;)

Re:Tired of GBA-bashing (2)

cornflux (168139) | more than 12 years ago | (#3009308)

I've played it comfortably on airplanes, on my couch and yes, even on the can.
Sounds weird to those that are GBA-less, but the bathroom really is one of the better places to play... plenty of light (either natural or artificial) in an enclosed area with light colored walls (think albedo). Just remember not to get too excited while playing... you might drop it(!) or risk a few strange looks from others after doing your business.

Anyway, I can't wait for the internal light... it's been months since I've played Castlevania.

99% correct... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3009780)

A large part of the complaints about the GBA lighting situation seem rather gratuitous to me.

In almost every situation I've used it, the GBA has worked fine, and I've had no light issues. It depends greatly on the games color scheme honestly. Advance Wars, for example, has a really bright color scheme, and I can play it with incredibly poor, minimal amounts of ambiant light. Almost all my games I can play with just normal ambiant light, no need to sit under a lamp or use a light add on.

Then there's Castlevania: COTN. This game requires the perfect lighting conditions that you see all the bitching about.

I wonder if the Castlevania game didn't exist, how many complaints about the lighting would there be. (And how many from actual GBA owners, versus the sorts who just go around panning Nintendo with or without reason).

Who did the QA on the GBA? (2, Insightful)

SplendidIsolatn (468434) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006704)

I've only used the GBA a handful of times, and must admit the lighting is awful. All I want to know is who Nintendo had test this before it went to market. A pack of rhesus monkeys? Unlike the Gamecube, PS2, or X-Box, it isn't like there is huge competition for the handheld game market, and they already had a near perfect brand name to build on. Why did they rush out an otherwise fine product out with that one major flaw?

With this internal lighting now available, I might finally plunk down the $$$ for my own GBA.

Re:Who did the QA on the GBA? (1)

clickfurtle (258764) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006982)

Probably this bunch: Bioluminescent Organisms [ucsb.edu]

Re:Who did the QA on the GBA? (2)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007932)

"Why did they rush out an otherwise fine product out with that one major flaw?"

You just answered your own question earlier:

"it isn't like there is huge competition for the handheld game market, and they already had a near perfect brand name to build on."

Competition is good, you see. They probably considered putting in their own backlight, but said "fsck it, they'll buy it anyway." So they get to say the GBA runs a ton of hours on a single battery charge, but in reality people have to use uncomfortable lighting situations or portable lights that drain the batteries much faster.

Re:Who did the QA on the GBA? (1)

jt007 (459122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3009558)


Nintendo actually considered the use of a some sort of lighting system, but decided against it as it would use the batteries too quickly and increase the price of the system.

See this link [nintendo.com] for more details.

Re:Who did the QA on the GBA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3009905)

I did, and let me tell you that working on that think for up to 14 hours a day was the most neck cramping, eye buzzing job I ever had. Every day was a nice logistical nightmare because they did not have enough lamps for everyone. They also did not have the AC adapters yet either. That makes it kind of hard to test games that require more than 8 hours to finish. There wasn't a day that went by that we didn't complain about not being backlit and the buttons being too small for those of us over 4 ft tall.

Not the worst screen ever (4, Insightful)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006706)

If you think it's the worst screen ever, play the original game boy again. There, now do you remember how blurry it would get whenever the screen scrolls? Now put an original game boy or color game boy cartridge in your GBA. Amazingly visible!


It's not the screen that's the problem: it's only with certain games (Castlevania, Circle of the Moon being the biggest offender).

Re:Not the worst screen ever (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007030)

The game boy color is not blurry. I would say its screen is in every way superior to the GBA (well, besides being smaller).

But no doubt...short memory.

The Game Gear would be the worst COLOR portable system screen...were it not for THE BACKLIGHT.

Re:Not the worst screen ever (2, Insightful)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007254)

I said original game boy. The game boy color certainly isn't blurry. Pocket might not be either, never saw it--I'm talking about the huge one that needed 4 AAs.

In any event, if I put Game boy color games in my game boy advance, they look just as if it they were in my game boy color, except that I have the option of stretching it (with the L and R buttons)

So, the game boy advance screen is strictly better that the game boy color screen.

Re:Not the worst screen ever (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007407)

Okay then...Not that I think the option to stretch the GBC games (haven't played GBC on a GBA myself, so I only THINK I know what you're talking about there) has anything at all to do with the screen's quality so much as it's aspect ratio.

I was wondering why you were bringing up the game boy color if you didn't mean to suggest it's screen was inferior. (IMO, it is slightly easier to see in low or glaring light, therefore better)

Re:Not the worst screen ever (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007452)

BTW, disregarding it's lack of color, the GB Pocket was somewhere between the original and the GBC in terms of visibility. It was a little blurry, IIRC, but no where near the greenish smudge that was the original's screen.

Re:Not the worst screen ever (1)

Nameles (122260) | more than 12 years ago | (#3009218)

Game Boy Pocket had one of the best screens IMO on all of the GBs. It was probably the clearest out of everything except for GBA, and it was also the largest (square) screen.

Then again, I never got a Game Boy Light (Special GB released in Japan after GBP and before GBC)

Re:Not the worst screen ever (2)

iapetus (24050) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007322)

It's not the screen that's the problem: it's only with certain games

It is the screen that's the problem. Games attempt to compensate for its deficiencies by brightening the sprites, but it's still abysmal for even the brightest of games in less-than-perfect light, and the angle of light falling on it has to be perfect.

UR RIGHT after testing my good old game boy I got (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3007564)

well I tested my good old game boy and I got convinced the clue is u have to position it right and it shines like a golden sun ;)

If You've Never Used a GBA... (4, Informative)

Skirwan (244615) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006721)

...you probably have no idea what the point is here.

For the uninitiated, the GameBoy Advance lacks the internal backlight present in the older non-advance GameBoys. This makes it very difficult for some people to play in some lighting conditions.

Such as, for instance, everyone, everywhere.

Visual Aid [penny-arcade.com]

--
Free the Pink Halfling!

Re:If You've Never Used a GBA... (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006865)

The only Gameboy that ever had a light was the (B&W) `Gameboy Lite', which as far as I know was never sold outside of Japan. The Gameboy Lite has a switchable backlight that sucks batteries like crazy while it's turned on. I own one, and never use(d) the light, because it's just too annoying to have the batteries keep dying.

It did come in cool case colors (silver & gold) though...

Re:If You've Never Used a GBA... (1)

AndrewCox (180128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006940)

There was a backlight in older Game Boys? That's news to me.

I believe there was only one Game Boy that had backlighting and it had a very limited run (might've only been in Japan actually - I believe it was called the "Light Boy" and had a backlight that could be toggled on and off).

Re:If You've Never Used a GBA... (1)

benjymous (69893) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006941)

The GBC didn't have a backlight either, and neither did the original gameboy. The only model to come with a built in light was a model called the "Gameboy Light" that was only released in Japan

Original GB didn't have a backlight (3, Informative)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006991)

For the uninitiated, the GameBoy Advance lacks the internal backlight present in the older non-advance GameBoys.

The Game Boy didn't have a backlight. The colored-case Game Boys didn't have a backlight. The Game Boy Pocket didn't have a backlight. The Game Boy Color didn't have a backlight. The only backlit Game Boy systems were the Game Boy Light (released only in Japan, not in America or Europe) and the Super Game Boy (which required a Super NES and a TV and did not have a link port unless you got the rev.2 model, which again was sold only in Japan). You're confusing the Game Boy Color with the Sega Game Gear.

Now that the GBA is backlit, and Sonic the Hedgehog is appearing on GBA, does that make it a Game Gear Advance?

Re:If You've Never Used a GBA... (1)

karb (66692) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007630)

As about 400 people have replied to you and said, the game boy didn't have a backlight. :)

However, with the traditional gameboy, either because the res wasn't as good (not sure if this is true), or because it was only grayscale, a light wasn't necessary for most people.

However, with the new GBA, the "everyone, everywhere" thing definitely applies.

Re:If You've Never Used a GBA... (2)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007719)

I can't believe everybody is replying to this post with "Dude, none of the other Game Boys had lights, either..."

It was supposed to be a joke. Pointing out the irony in everyone's complaint that the GBA has no light, when NONE of the other Game Boys ever have, either.

I have a Game Boy Color and the screen is usable in the right conditions. I've toyed with getting the Advance and I can honestly say that in the right lighting it's not THAT much worse.

Still, seeing this Kit makes me want to get an Advance so I can install the Kit. It's got a certain geek charm... or at least it will until I run into some 10 year old who modded his GBA also...

Re:If You've Never Used a GBA... (1)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | more than 12 years ago | (#3008365)

The defining characteristic of a joke is that it is funny, not just incorrect.

With that knowledge under your belt, it should be easy to see where the confusion came from.

Re:If You've Never Used a GBA... (1)

PeelBoy (34769) | more than 12 years ago | (#3008936)

I think it's called being sarcastic.

The problem is that it isn't easy to add a sarcastic overtone to plain text post (compared to just speaking out loud).

Another thing. Finding a joke funny or not is an opinion and changes from person to person. Yes the defining characteristic of a joke is that it is funny, but funny to who? Some times jokes are only funny to the person who tells them, or maybe a small group of people.

You mean . . . (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006722)

Finally - me, a dark night, and my GBA.

. . . they have gay pr0n for the GBA now?!

~~~

Forgive me, I couldn't resist.

Try gbadev.org (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007024)

they have gay pr0n for the GBA now?

The GBA has a JPEG viewer library. You're free to construct your own slide-show program and either burn it to a flash cartridge or send it over the link cable. See gbadev [gbadev.org] for more details.

I wonder... (1)

NEOGEOman (155470) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006731)

I wonder if their patent idea ever panned out for them. When they were first starting out with this project they made noise about some of the delay being due to a patent application for the process. I always wondered: Patent for what? Cutting a piece of off-the-shelf (albeit specialized) plastic and shoving it into another company's product? Always sounded kind of egotistical and greedy to me.

Nice to see the released product is reasonably priced. It's a shame Nintendo didn't bother with it themselves. The GBA screen is a travesty.

Wow. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3006752)

Makes me wish I had some sort of manual dexterity so I could install it.

Re:Wow. (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007162)

Too much videogame-playing has made the 23 year old joints in my hands resemble those of a 90 year old. I'm typing with my toes right now.

Headline: Accidental soldering gun deaths spike. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3007225)

I forsee lots of over-caffinated nerds with burns and broken GBA's, myself included.

How much does it affect Battery life? (2, Interesting)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006820)

I checked the faq and unless i'm missing something, i did not see any mention of effects on battery life.

Any idea how long it a pack of batterys would last? I believe the GBA runs for around 15 hours without any backlight.

Re:How much does it affect Battery life? (5, Informative)

kvandivo (207171) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006987)

You're missing something.

One of the FAQ items was: How does this affect battery life?

and the answer was 30-40%. They have been seeing around 10 hours of life using the light all the time.

Re:How much does it affect Battery life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3007003)

FAQ #14 [portablemonopoly.com] : How does this modification affect battery life of the GBA?



Battery life in our tests was 10 hours with the light on at all times using two fully charged Rayovac Renewal batteries. So you can expect about a 30-40% decrease in battery life, no different than what results from using external lighting devices.

:)

Re:How much does it affect Battery life? (1)

MantridDronemaker (541253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007008)

The FAQ said it reduces Battery life by about 30-40%, not bad considering how long batteries last in the GBA!

portable monopoly ? (-1, Offtopic)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 12 years ago | (#3006851)

Wonder how long before this guy has to rename his product and lose his domain .... dumb naming choice IMHO...

Re:portable monopoly ? (2, Interesting)

Bastard Jim (555586) | more than 12 years ago | (#3008757)

You have to understand why he chose this domain name in the first place. It was initially setup to be a place to sign a petition to ask Nintendo to create a version of GBA that didn't have a screen which sucked. And well, I personally think the description of this is fits Nintendo well? But over the past couple of months, after R&D'ing like a madman, the PM site owner realized that he could forgo the petition and just DO something about it, and it seems as though he has come through. But the site remained. He just kept updating it. Anyway, if you're talking about the name of the actual product. Not sure what it's called yet.

More GBA modding (2, Informative)

pacc (163090) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007142)

Combine this with the TV-out modification
and you will have the coolest GBA available.

http://www.lik-sang.com/catalog/product_info.php ?c ategory=6&products_id=1496&

Anyone with an overclocking kit?

Stuff that matters? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3007176)

Jesus Christ!

If you want 'stuff that matters' read the Reg [theregister.co.uk]

Stupid little backlights for kids toys don't really count for much in the scheme of things.

Re:Stuff that matters? (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007597)

Jesus Christ!
If you want 'stuff that matters' read the Reg [theregister.co.uk]

Stupid little backlights for kids toys don't really count for much in the scheme of things.


Register headlines at the time of this posting include:

Lover's Guide at a PC near you
Something saucy for Valentine's Day
14 February 2002 8:22am

Enjoy our Valentine's Day computer books love-in
Romantic opportunity Buy books and win chocolate
14 February 2002 9:15am

Am I annoying or not?
Chris Evans leads celebrity slapdown
11 February 2002 6:05pm

'BOFH II - Son of the Bastard' set to top Reg bestseller list
Devilish spawn indeed
28 January 2002 5:39pm

Salmon Days goes live in US
Episode One Upwardly Mobile
21 December 2001 10:44am

Core Java 2, Volume II - Reg Book of The Fortnight
And there's more... Four other titles with 20 per cent off
6 February 2002 12:45pm

All intensely important, gripping news to be sure.

Every news site has filler. Relax.

lasec (2)

13Echo (209846) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007177)

The $35 price tag is very reasonable when you compare it to $1000 for lasec surgery.

Re:lasec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3007580)

it's spelled 'lasik', and it stands for 'laser assisted in situ keratomileusis'.

hope this helps.

The Screen is OK (4, Interesting)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007207)

Let me put in my vote against the common conception that the GBA screen is horrible. In fact, it is nicer than all of the previous Game Boy screens. Some games (Castlevania) have made the mistake of having really dark graphics -- but this was true even on the GBC (Paperboy?).

I can see my GBA fine as long as there is a light on or I'm outside. I might get the backlight for playing in the dark, but I've had plenty of fun playing through several games with its screen as it is!

50% of the cost of the whole unit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3007274)

Their site states that (in the US anyway) it will cost $35 +7 for shipping. $42 to add a light to a unit I can buy for &79??? sorry but I cannot see paying over half the cost of the unit for a light mod kit that I have to do myself. I could almost see the extra cost on a brand new unit w/ warranty that I took out of the box and it just had the light incorporated, but not for a hack. (probably why nintendo did not do it in the first place)

Looks like this guy is going back on what he had stated in the past about posting the steps needed on the net for all to see, so that he can make some money (nothing wrong with making some $$ but be up front with people about it from the start, quite a few people sent him money to help with the research expecting to see the details released to the public) I had been watching the site hoping to see the details on the hack so I could try it but I'll have to try it on my own now I guess.

Re:50% of the cost of the whole unit? (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007535)

So where do you plan to get the custom made lighting element they sell with the kit? You know, the one that fits perfectly inside the GBA?

Re:50% of the cost of the whole unit? (1)

TheRain (67313) | more than 12 years ago | (#3008621)

I feel a bit stupid even replying to this comment... but for the benefit of this person and others like this person... consider that this is less than the cost of most GBA games. Now consider that many GBA games are not very fun to play without it. I've had my GBA since they came out and it has seen much less use than it would have if it came with an internally lit screen. In light of that (no pun intended) buying this, for me, would increase the fun value of my GBA quite a bit and I think this MOD is worth every penny. In fact I could see myself paying $50 for it and not looking back.

Just so you know... (2, Insightful)

spacedx (458227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007349)

The GBA has a reflective LCD screen, hence the reason it needs a direct lighting source. And had you bothered to read the PM FAQ, you'd know that this mod is a frontlight, not a backlight.

Need...so...bad... (1)

Lewisham (239493) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007513)

Warranty be damned! Having to sit under a direct light source all the time is such a hassslleee. My only worry is how much it sucks out of the battery life.

"Portable Monopoly"?? Worst Reuse of a Name Ever! (2)

GeekLife.com (84577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007545)

Oh, wait, no, that goes to DivX.

C'mon guys read the press release (4, Informative)

Svet-Am (413146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3007555)

The light is not ready. They are finalizing info with the manufacturers and wont even be shipping until mid-April.

Of course, I'm buying one, but get the info straight. Maybe that should be the job of the slashdot editors: double check the accuracy of info before they front-page it...

It's not a backlight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3008826)

I don't mean to nitpick, but it's not a backlight, it's a frontlight (or a type of reflecting side light).

The site used to have a whole history of events since the launch of GBA, but he seemed to have taken that part off the site. Not sure why. I thought it was an interesting/entertaining read for those who wanted to know more about how this whole project got started and what he had to do to get here.

Light without Heat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3009067)

In the FAQ, a question about the light "burning out" is asked. The reply states that the LED's last for thousands of hours and do not create heat. I though light without heat is impossible. Sure, maybe it is a very small amount of heat, but some heat is surely generated here.

This isn't that big of a deal... (1)

shadowcabbit (466253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3009540)

This topic has been beaten beyond death already, so I'll make this brief. As stated before, the GBA's screen is darker and harder to see because Nintendo used a different screen (presumably one that sucks less power, though in my experience that's not the case). So, in some games, such as Castlevania:COTM, Columns Crown, and older GB/GBC titles, the screen appears darker than initially intended. The selection of games which do not suffer from this problem is increasing every single day-- for example, Sonic Advance, Advance Wars, and Super Dodge Ball just to name a few are very vibrant and easy to see regardless of where you are positioned.

Furthermore, it isn't exactly a wise idea to be playing games in the dark anyway. It's hard enough to focus on the small screen, and having it be the brightest thing in your field of vision will definitely screw up your eyes fast, regardless of how well-lit the screen may be (this I can say from experience; playing Mario's Picross on a GBC while running movie projectors for a year prompted the need for new glasses).

So, to recap what was said close to six months ago, don't play in the dark. Play outside, if you can, or by a window. A product like this, while admittedly nifty, is ultimately counterproductive.

Oh, and yes, I am aware of the cynic's truth that now Nintendo will probably release a backlit version, but the easiest way around that dilemma is to simply not buy the backlit version. That will either teach Nintendo to get it right on the first try, or us to stop complaining.

History and details of this project (1)

Titney (448995) | more than 12 years ago | (#3009677)

More technical details about this mod can be found at www.portablemonopoly.NET [portablemonopoly.net] . This includes some of the photos of the frontlit GBA screen that was previously up at www.portablemonopoly.COM [portablemonopoly.com] .
To me, the screen looks eerily washed out (though this is always conviniently blamed on photographic technicalities, I'll believe it when i see it). Also, a slight portion of the right side of the screen is cut off to make room for the lightning strip. About 10 pixels or so are missing, which to me would be quite annoying, particularly with side scrollers.
It's also amazing to me that Adam (the portablemonopoly.com guy) is even TRYING to patent this... he is simply using a pre-existing lighting system developed for PDAs. A light guide sheet of plastic over the reflective screen guides a side light to light down at the screen.

Also, FYI, the www.portablemonopoly.net site is actually a rip off of a IGN Pocket Boards [ign.com] attempt at creating their own frontlight [ign.com] without having to wait for Adam to get his out.
IGN Pocket Boards is also where Adam's project got started. It was pretty much a group effort documented by Adam on his site till he decided to patent and cash in and took basically all the technical info off the site.
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