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The Gameboy Micro Reviewed

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the pocket-sized-hardware dept.

Portables (Games) 266

Advtg writes "Ars Technica has a great review of the Gameboy Micro, which is now shipping in North America. The thing is amazingly small, but it looks as though worries about the screen being too small and too dim aren't true. But will it sell? From the review: 'You'd think at this point the portable market would just be saturated with Nintendo products, and the Micro carries a price tag of US$99.99. For just US$30 more you can get a DS, and for US$20 less you can get an SP with the newly brightened screen. It occupies somewhat of an awkward place in terms of price point and features.'"

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266 comments

First post on wheels! (0, Flamebait)

Willy on Wheels (889645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13717968)

Screw Micro! Get thte PSP DS BOY instead.

Why? (0)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13717977)

Just... why? This is like releasing a "Gamecube Micro" along with the Revolution. It just doesn't make sense.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718134)

Just... why?

Because a gameboy SP cannot be easily fit into a 20-something professional's work clothes.

Because a smaller gameboy can be carried around for casual gaming, like while waiting in line, without being a brick in your pocket.

Because some folk just buy everything that Nintendo sells.

Because Nintendo can do it at a profit.

Re:Why? (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718286)

Because we can relive the nastalgia of the original nintendo system. Seriously, it looks like the original nintendo controller. http://www.anotherviewpoint.co.uk/images/nespad.jp g [anotherviewpoint.co.uk]

Re:Why? (1)

FRiC (416091) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718797)

Yah, and they have a special edition that's red and gold and looks exactly like tne other original controller.

Re:Why? (1)

trekstar25 (727712) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718311)

Wow, apparently the pockets in slacks have gotten a lot smaller since I was in the workplace.

Re:Why? (1)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718487)

Because some adults think it's cool to listen to their iPod while grocery shopping, in the can, etc. but "uncool" to play a Gameboy Advance or a DS, so they had to make it small and hip.

Idiots.

Re:Why? (1)

Carl Stronzo (920272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718516)

A lot of the people who buy this thing, will be buying it to go along with their other Nintendo handhel, just because it looks cool. Then some people who have been considering a handheld will buy it because it's a seemingly non-threatening (cute and cheap) introduction to the world of hand-helds. THen when the price comes down at holiday sales, people will buy it as a gift for that gamer they know. Is there anyone in the world that wouldn't want to receive this thing as a gift?

Re:Why? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718733)

Is there anyone in the world that wouldn't want to receive this thing as a gift?

The SP is already kind of small for my hands. I tried out the Micro and it just doesn't work for me.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

AaronCampbell (826767) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718166)

They have a history of marketing "repackaged" old stuff with the new. They made the top load NES when they did SNES. They did the Newer gameboy style at the same time as the gameboy color. Etc, Etc. It seems to work for them.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719074)

"They have a history of marketing "repackaged" old stuff with the new. They made the top load NES when they did SNES. They did the Newer gameboy style at the same time as the gameboy color. Etc, Etc. It seems to work for them."

Well, to be fair, this is partly because of demand. Portable systems, for example, have differing requirements depending on the user's individual needs. The Game Boy Pocket, for example, was considerably smaller than the original Game Boy. (plus it had a better screen.) It was still B&W and it had a slightly higher price tag. If you wanted to save a few bucks, get the bigger one. If you wanted a more mobile one, pony up the extra $10. The Game Boy Color introduced 'color', and the games started to take advantage of it. If you were getting a new Game Boy (considering 100 million or so were sold over the last like 15 years, it was easy to find new customers...) then this was an attractive option. The Game Boy Advance was great because it had SuperNES like capabilities. The SP had a backlight and had a different form factor which was more appealing to some. (in my case, I bought the SP and then gave my sister the original GBA...) And, finally, the Micro. That thing is much smaller with a much better screen.

To answer the question of "why?", the answer is simple: Existing customers have a reason to buy it since it has a smaller size and a better screen. New customers have another choice that may better suit them. In the case of the Game Boy, choice is good. I don't want a Micro, but I don't play my GBA on the go. It doesn't appeal to me, but I can think of a handful of people off the top of my head that'd love it.

As for the top-loading Nintendo, there were two reasons that was launched: 1.) People were still buying NES's and this system was much cheaper to build. 2.) The top loading feature was less prone to 'blinking'.

I think what the gpp isn't considering is that these are mass-market products being sold to people with a wide variety of tastes. If I had to summarize my point down to one sentence, I'd just say "supply & demand."

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

TMonks (866428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718189)

Yeah, and its also just like if Apple decided to release some sort of smaller iPod along with the regular iPod. It just doesn't make sense.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718205)

I think it's more than likely due to the sheer volume of games available, along with a lot of middle of the road buyers who wouldn't go for the DS, and want a simple "least number of moving parts to break" gaming system. Both the GBA SP and GB DS have hinged setups, which for many, are inconvenient. Ribbon cables can break, hinges can break, the backlight on both handhelds will obviously consume battery power far quicker than what the Micro would, and on an economical basis, the screen on the Micro is far cheaper to produce in the long run.

Besides that, it's the "small is good" mentality beyond everything else, the GBA, GBA SP and GB DS are all the size of a wallet. The Micro is the size of a keychain. Like at a LAN party, which would garner more interest? Lugging a suitcase size PC in, or carrying in a 17" LCD with a mini ITX box attached that's the size of a Mac Mini?

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

Hnice (60994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718256)

Nah -- think ipod nano. nothing new but the form factor, and they're going to sell, by my calculations, on the order of one zillion of them this holiday.

let's not underestimate this sort of usability/aesthetic/convenience factor. i have 88 pockets for my various devices, but normal humans don't.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718328)

They are marketing it as a fashion statement. There's an ad for it in the new Transworld Skateboarding mag. It shows a kid with a nose ring wearing all camo clothes with a camo GB Micro connected to strap across his chest. There's a slogan "make it yours" at the top. I'll keep my SP.

Re:Why? (1)

FlopEJoe (784551) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718844)

heh! That's what I think when I see iPod ads of peeps jazzing out. I'll stick to my cheezy Palm mp3 player.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

justin12345 (846440) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718551)

The DS isn't really appealing to me, this is. When playing a portable system, simplicity is really the main thing for me. The stylus stuck me as something I would lose while jumping from the train after having almost missed my stop because I was too engrossed in the damn game.

Recently I had to choose between a PSP and an iPod nano (choose because I don't make enough damn money). I chose the Nano and I'm glad I did as now I can get a sexy little game system to match it. All for the same price as a PSP (less if you consider the price of a memory card big enough to use the PSP as an MP3 player). The games are cheeper too.

Re:Why? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719105)

"The DS isn't really appealing to me, this is. When playing a portable system, simplicity is really the main thing for me. The stylus stuck me as something I would lose while jumping from the train after having almost missed my stop because I was too engrossed in the damn game."

Figured I'd chime in since I'm a DS owner: The stylus fits rather snugly with a 'snap' into the DS. Also, most of the games I've played work more by 'touching' than tapping. I rarely use the stylus on it. Also, the DS comes with an extra stylus *and* they're cheap to replace. So if you lost one, you could still play it, and use your replacement at home or something.

That said, I'm not challenging your choice of the PSP over the DS, just pointing out that I don't think that little factor would have bothered you as much as it'd seem. It's pretty clear Nintendo thought a lot about this.

I have a question, if you don't mind: On the games you're playing, are the loading times a problem? This isn't a thinly veiled attack on Sony or anything like that, rather the reason I *didn't* buy a PSP was that the demo unit I played took a LONG time to load up and get going. I don't mean the title screen, I mean when the game started the level... loading.... I just want to know if that was a case of demoing the wrong game to find this out or if it's something that plagues the system.

Boy I wish you could get PSP and a big ol memory stick and have the games 'install' themselves to it in order to save on battery life and loading times.

Re:Why? (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718664)

That's not [vidgame.net] totally [vidgame.net] unheard of [playstation.com] ...

You can overanalyze it from a feature/function (5, Insightful)

joeflies (529536) | more than 8 years ago | (#13717980)

perspective, but as the iPod Mini made perfectly clear, people will pay for "small is cool". How many people on this very board says "but for only $100 you get 16G more storage". Yet it was the mini in different colors that sold.

How many people bought a Nano even though they had a perfectly fine player at home anyways?

People don't buy on need or feature/function alone.

Re:You can overanalyze it from a feature/function (0)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718004)

Yes, but we're talking about somebody interested in getting a gameboy, and going with A, the superior system, for $20.00 less, or B, the crappy system for $20.00 more. It's a no-brainer. Most people won't go for it.

Re:You can overanalyze it from a feature/function (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718163)

Dude, that's not the point. People will buy the Micro because of its aethetics- it's small and cool.

Just because it's less powerful than the DS and more expensive than the SP is irrelevant. Many people will buy it because they're buying on looks not features, like the people who bought an iPod nano despite still having a perfectly good iPod mini.

Speaking as a proud owner of a limited Famicom coloured Micro, it is a great little machine, very easy to chuck in your pocket and take where you want. This is the first handheld since the GB Pocket that makes doing that easy. Plus with a flash cartidge with a selection of my favourite GBA games I'm never short of something to play!

Oh, side note: never try buying flashcarts from these people:
http://www.memtechsolutions.co.uk/ [memtechsolutions.co.uk]
they take your money and never ship the product.

Re:You can overanalyze it from a feature/function (-1, Troll)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718413)

Okay, so you bought one. Good for you. Now you stick it in your pocket and get it scratched up because it doesn't have a screen protector.
Also, can I get a reason why you bought a GB Micro instead of a DS?
And how is the GB Pocket easier to stick in your pocket and go than the GBA, GBA-SP, or DS?

Re:You can overanalyze it from a feature/function (1)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718499)

Exactly. I have a DS and gameplay wise I think it's superior to the GBA and PSP. Great games, the whole GBA library at your disposal. As hip, though? No. So I'm a dorky 30-something with a DS. I don't care.

Re:You can overanalyze it from a feature/function (1)

barum87 (914698) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718908)

"but for only $100 you get 16G more storage" $100 is a different story, not to mention iPod mini was priced at comparably cheap price. (Not the cheapest but pretty cheap)

The biggest selling point (2, Interesting)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#13717981)

For me, the biggest selling point is that it is the least toy-like in appearance of the three. The DS may be fun, but I think it looks a little too much like a kid's toy.

Re:The biggest selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718084)

I know! I want to feel like a man when I play Super Mario Sunshine!

Re:The biggest selling point (1)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718121)

So be a kid. Most of the people that you think would be making fun of you (eg. the business guys on your commute or plain) are probably going to be more jelious.

Proofread... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718336)

mmmmmmmm... jeli-ous.... aaaahhhghhggggg

Re:The biggest selling point (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718445)

Most people don't think that way due to the way society has shaped them. I'd call 'em stupid, but that doesn't stop them from having disposible income that Nintendo would like to take.

Re:The biggest selling point (1)

Elite Xizer (915457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718229)

That's just plain immature. A sleek, silver $150 system with backlit screen and 3D quality games is a mere "toy" these days?

Re:The biggest selling point (1)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718257)

It is a toy.

Re:The biggest selling point (1)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718980)

Indeed it is. You play games on it, so it's a toy. A PSP is a toy too. So is an XBOX. And so are the apparently majority of home PCs. So are cars, to some extent. ;-)

Re:The biggest selling point (1, Troll)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718540)

Too many people want to cast off the shackles of childhood, and are afraid to do something that makes them seem even a little immature. These people are the ones that end up having less fun in their lives. Many people ended up saying that the GC was too childish, and because of this, endep up missing out on great games like Resident Evil 4 and Metroid Prime. If the GC looks childish because it's small and square, then I want a childish system. Because it's a lot easier to take over to a friends house than that massive XBox, with the original massive controllers. Even the XBox 360 is a huge, I thought they learned the first time that nobody wants a 7 pound console.

Re:The biggest selling point (1, Flamebait)

op00to (219949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718955)

Huge? Massive? What, are you some sort of puny midget who has T-Rex arms? Seriously, dude. Get over it already.

I love my XBOX. Maybe that's because I'm not some wimpy whiney geek.

Screen problems uh? (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13717984)

The thing is amazingly small, but it looks as though worries about the screen being too small and too dim aren't true.

Look at the bright side: if they had called it GameBoy Nano, it would have a scratch-prone screen, so it's not so bad...

GameBoy Nano (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718168)

Big as a deck of Pokémon cards and much more fun.1

1 Do not foolishly trade GameBoy Nano.

Re:Screen problems uh? (1)

happycat64 (558599) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718181)

...would have a scratch-prone screen, so it's not so bad...

Nothing that a $4 can of Brasso [dailey.info] wont' fix. :)

-------
Want a nano? [freepay.com] Find 5 other people who want one too, and it yours!

You'd think so... (4, Interesting)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 8 years ago | (#13717985)

...But remember what the iPod is doing?
It's popular, and it just came out with the Nano, and even that's selling. Size matters there days, when people want to do things on the go, they like what's smallest best.

Re:You'd think so... (4, Interesting)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718064)

But the size of the Nano is less of an issue than the size of a Game Boy. I mean, almost no matter how small the Nano is, all you need to do is see which song/playlist you're playing, whereas the Game Boy is much more dependent on size: Awkwardness of pushing buttons and also having to see everything on the screen.

Someone might say (and have said in other comments), "iPod Nano storage is small compared to the regular iPod". yes, but 4 gigs is enough for 60 something hours of music, which should be plenty for the average user. It's the equivalent of 60 CDs, and can be relatively easily swapped on and off the iPod from the home computer. Does anyone here can 60 physical CDs in their front pocket? ::Looks for hands::

ipod (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#13717988)

does anyone else think nintendo is taking a page out of apples book with this. It reminds me of the way for a few $$ more you can get a bigger better ipod.

Re:ipod (1)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718270)

Yep, making things smaller and cheaper - Apple's been the only one to do that...until now! That crafty Nintendo!

Re:ipod (0, Redundant)

JFitzsimmons (764599) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718598)

I think you mean smaller and more expensive, with less features and large flaws.

Re:ipod (2, Insightful)

NidStyles (794619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718702)

note. gameboy pocket

This thing is tiny (5, Funny)

Brent Spiner (919505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13717990)

This makes the original Gameboy [loungespot.com] seem HUGE.

Re:This thing is tiny (1)

planetoid (719535) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718611)

Heh they had to sour up the humor to it by using the word "juxtaposition" in the About page.

Innovation! (4, Interesting)

Naerymdan (870497) | more than 8 years ago | (#13717997)

Neither the rain nor the wind nor consumer opinion will stop Nintendo(TM) from trying to sell us ANOTHER copy of an already existing product it seems...

Re:Innovation! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718419)

"Neither the rain nor the wind nor consumer opinion will stop Nintendo(TM) from trying to sell us ANOTHER copy of an already existing product it seems..."

Funny that you should mention consumer opinion. Consumers (more respectfully known as "customers," BTW) vote with their wallets. And they have voted for Nintendo's handhelds in their various forms time and time again.

Hoover updates their vacuum cleaner lines every once in a while. Sometimes prices change. Sometimes form factors change. Sometimes features change. Go pick the nits out of their hair. Because, just like vacuum cleaners, just maybe it's only in your silly little dreamland where you think people are expected to own EVERY SINGLE KIND. Besides, some might, and if they do, who are you to care?

After all, the PSP grew the market to include pseudo-hipsters. The GBM is targeted at that same market. And in the same way that PSP sales HAVE NOT dented the DS market (PSP sales are by all measures separate and/or complementary to DS and GB sales), the GBM is not intended to cannibalize DS and GBA SP sales. It is intended for those who, for whatever reason, have not purchased previous GameBoys. Nintendo has very explicitly pronounced as much in public. How much clearer do you need things to be amde for you?

Re:Innovation! (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718999)

"Neither the rain nor the wind nor consumer opinion will stop Nintendo(TM) from trying to sell us ANOTHER copy of an already existing product it seems..."

This may seem surprising, but lots of sales of the GameBoy Micro is actually an expression of consumer opinion.

On a side note, your definition of 'copy' is a little too broad.

Late much? (2, Informative)

Dragon of the Pants (913545) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718002)

It's been in my local Wal-Mart for over a week. Two weeks maybe even, and I live in Canada. Northern Canada.

Re:Late much? (1)

Wraithlyn (133796) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718996)

"Northern Canada"

There's another type? ;)

Looks great to me (4, Interesting)

RichardX (457979) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718030)

One feature of the micro which may seem trivial but, to me is a great idea, is the replacable faceplates.. it's not so much the customisation aspect, though that is pretty nifty, but the fact that the faceplates include a transparent screen cover.
That means you can stick it in your pocket/bag/whatever, and not worry about screen scratches. When too many scratches accumulate simply change the faceplate for a new one.

This is probably the only portable gaming system I'd consider getting. All the others just seem too bulky for me.. and as an ex Atari Lynx owner (stop laughing!) I'd really rather not go through all that again. The micro looks truly "take anywhere", perfect for those 5-minutes-here, 10-minutes-there gaming sessions, especially if you put one of those backup card thingies in it and load it up with emulators.

Re:Looks great to me (1)

mongrol (200050) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718282)

OMG.... I've found him! I've found the other Atari Lynx owner!!!! I've been looking for you for years. Let's play linkup?

Re:Looks great to me (1)

kubrick (27291) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718791)

I still have four of them. Bloody good machines, but not overly portable what with the whole battery situation. :)

Re:Looks great to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718933)

In fear of being an AOL'er, but, me too. I loved mine, I took it to England with me when I was 14 and couldn't put it down, I only had one game (an airplane game, can't remember the name right now). I just bought the PSP, and still think the Lynx rocked!

-!!!

Re:Looks great to me (2, Informative)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718301)

Finally, the article points out(at the end) the faceplates cover the screen. Everything I've read uptil this point just talked about the color. Now I'll actually consider buying it. I'll still have to try it out before I buy it though.
I have replaced a couple of faceplates on non-flip cell phones including a Sony that have cracked or been scratched. Why other manufacturers of small items don't follow suit is beyond me.

Even better!! (3, Informative)

jxyama (821091) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718514)

The battery is replaceable too. And the standard headphone jack is great, compared to SP. The only drawback is that it only plays GBA games, which is fine by me, but I'm sure others would have loved the ability to play GB/GBC games.

Re:Looks great to me (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718601)

Yeah, I owned the Sega Game Gear [wikipedia.org] . While not quite as rare as they Atari lynx, it had all the same flaws. It ate batteries, and was a lot of trouble to carry around. Also, they just tried to put too much technology into too small a unit. At least for those days.

IGN Gameboy's Review (5, Informative)

dividedsky319 (907852) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718034)

gameboy.ign.com's review of the Micro is actually pretty positive [ign.com]

Here's the ending summary of it: The GB Micro isn't exactly the ideal way to enjoy Game Boy Advance games, but don't misjudge it by its size. Given the choice between toting a GBA SP in our backpacks or a GB Micro in our pockets, we'll take the Micro. It's tiny, its screen is amazing, and it is surprisingly comfortable to hold.

Re:IGN Gameboy's Review (2, Funny)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718228)

It's tiny...and it is surprisingly comfortable to hold. We're still talking about the Micro right?

Re:IGN Gameboy's Review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718814)

Price Point Products (2, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718038)

Sometimes they are virtually throwaway products to get you interested, then think 'gee for just a few bucks more...'.

Not quite 'bait and switch' but damned close.. More like 'bait and pull'...

The Bad (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718048)

Your girlfriend will make it pink. Fair warning.

Haha, he assumes too much.

Re:The Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718557)

No kidding. My girlfriend is a boy.

Re:The Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718690)

Who said subtle humor was dead in post-Columbine America?

Re:The Homosexual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718954)

I am gay. This article is a falsification. I will never have a girlfriend. And *I* will make it pink all on my own. Enough of this stereotype that gay guys don't like pink. I LOVE pink.

photo of person holding? (1)

l33td00d42 (873726) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718052)

what the hell kind of review of a small gadget doesn't give you a feel for its size with a photo of a person holding it?

oh wait, a crappy one that slashdot links to.

Re:photo of person holding? (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718262)

Sure there is. Didn't you see the picture of it next to the GBA cart?

Re:photo of person holding? (1)

calethix (537786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718533)

I like the comparison to the UMD.. still haven't figured out the point of the comparison to chewed gum though.

Taking bets... (0, Redundant)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718075)

How long till people port Linux to it?

Re:Taking bets... (4, Informative)

RichardX (457979) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718101)

How long till people port Linux to it?
About... this long [fh-hagenberg.at]

Makes sense (3, Insightful)

EdwinBoyd (810701) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718154)

Although the main problem with the original GBA was the backlight, it was also very prone to getting marks or scratches on the screen. When the SP came out it cleverly removed this problem with the clamshell design.

The only real complaint with the SP was that the controls weren't as easily accessible as on the original. The shoulder buttons were very small and the thin square design wasn't the best for some hand sizes.

Now nintendo is releasing the micro, which keeps the form factor of the original GBA (more or less) but sidesteps the scratching issue with a better protective layer and most importantly removable faceplates.

Yes nintendo is a fan of releasing the same product over and over, but each iteration always has something new to offer and is rarely a step back. Nice to see the standard headphone jack return as well.

A review from some experts on small tech... (3, Informative)

TheGreatGraySkwid (553871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718182)

The guys at iPod Lounge did a comprehensive review [ilounge.com] of this little guy some time ago, with lots of pictures comparing it to the various iPods and previous GameBoys for perspective. Worth checking out.

Different products for different customers (3, Insightful)

blonde rser (253047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718187)

For just US$30 more you can get a DS, and for US$20 less you can get an SP with the newly brightened screen. It occupies somewhat of an awkward place in terms of price point and features.

When talking about things like palms this sort of note makes sense since really everyone would rather have the most expensive palm for the cheapest price. Same story when it comes to the same line of mp3 player with different storage capacities. But here I don't think that is the case. It seems these 3 products have different values for different customers. If somebody wants something small there aren't going to go for a DS even if it is the same price as the micro. If someone really wants the DS features instead of the extra portability they'll get the DS. And for someone like me who doesn't want something as big as a DS but finds the SP more comfortable to play they will get an SP, even if again all 3 are at the same price.

Instead of having 3 compromises of price and features Nintendo actually has 3 different products, although clearly they are competing against each other. but at the same time prefers the size of the SP

smaller = better ???? (1)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718247)

and my girlfriend giggles at me :(

Re:smaller = better ???? (1)

logic hack (800754) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718865)

Warning: do not hump the GameBoy Micro.

my thoughts (0, Flamebait)

Synth3t1c (881734) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718288)

it is my humble opinion that this will not take off... i saw my first commercial for it yesterday, and it was retarded... now i like pocket game machines but this one was... well... lacking... besides size, whati s the real advantage? the psp has wireless, and the ipod nano is a photo viewer as well. i see no reason to buy it

Re:my thoughts (1)

Cave_Monster (918103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718403)

From my experience, the people that I tend to see in possession of a gameboy of any variety are the younger crowd (ie. under 15). I think Nintendo really do well to accomodate this demographic by excellent quality hardware, with a great range of games and an affordable price. The price is the key here because the younger people tend to be living at home with their parents, go to school and are too young for a job. Therefore, if they want a gaming machine, which one are the parents more likely to buy? Like the article says, you could buy a PSP or a gameboy micro with around 5 brand new games. This is one hell of an advantage to Nintendo IMHO.

Re:my thoughts (1)

Just Benjamin (913446) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719134)

I'm 28 and I have a GBA SP. I take it to work with me on days I have to work a shift on the Help Desk.

Would you buy this or the PSP? (0, Flamebait)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718342)

It plays the same games as the GameBoy Advance? I bought a gameboy system, I think maybe the DS or something. The games on it really sucked.

Re:Would you buy this or the PSP? (2, Funny)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718393)

You spend over $100 for a game system and can't be sure which one you bought? Early on-set Alzheimer's?

I really want one of these, but... (4, Informative)

Phantasmo (586700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718361)

Apparently if you want to play multiplayer with an SP or connect the Micro to your Gamecube you need to buy a converter cable [nintendo.com] .
I'm disappointed that they couldn't keep with the standard connector. It's not the end of the world, I'd just prefer not to worry about one more tiny accessory.

It's nice, but I'll take the new SP (1)

Frangible (881728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718395)

Personally, I chose the new SP instead of the Micro, after looking at both units. I don't really feel there's a huge size difference between the SP closed and the Micro. The SP is more comfortable for my large hands and the screen is brighter, larger, and easier to see.

Not to say the Micro didn't tempt me. Aside from the size, I liked the built-in headphone jack, and the response time of the Micro's screen seemed a bit better.

But, in the end, the new SP is just too cool. I always really liked the SP formfactor but hated the dim screen. Finally, it has the brighest screen of any Gameboy now, I was shocked at the difference between it and the DS's screen.

If you're going to buy a Micro because of the screen alone, I think the new SP bears consideration as well. I'm quite happy with mine.

FYI... (5, Informative)

jxyama (821091) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718463)

Some of the things I've found out since I've had it for a few days...
  • The "black" version comes with the silver faceplate and the "silver" version comes with the black faceplate. (It confused me for a while...)
  • Battery lasts about 10 hours. (This was hard to find surprisingly...)
  • The shoulder buttons are pushed down on the inner side, not at the corner.
  • It's easier to hold than SP since the direction pad and A/B buttons are further apart.
  • Screen's crisp and gorgeous - you can "read" pretty much all text. Not much ghosting.
  • The one speaker is a bit on the light side. (Yeah, what did I expect...)
  • Volume control does not get in the way.
  • Headphone jack is a standard one (unlike SP) and does not get in the way even when plugged in.
  • The battery can be replaced on our own.

That looks stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718468)

I don't like the looks of this -- another smaller Nintendo device.
Ugh!

bobsmith@paris.mailchannels.com

Here I am sitting on the crapper... (5, Funny)

Darius Jedburgh (920018) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718607)

...discretely playing Golden Sun 2 on my GBA Micro wondering how anyone could have problems imagining why they'd be popular. Any time I want a break at work off I go without even the slightest telltale bulge in my pocket to give away what I'm doing. Unfortunately I think the person in the next stall might have just spotted the laptop that I'm using in here to post this comment...

Re:Here I am sitting on the crapper... (1)

Darius Jedburgh (920018) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718704)

I might even be playing discreetly.

Re:Here I am sitting on the crapper... (3, Funny)

cornface (900179) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718769)

Here I am sitting on the crapper...without even the slightest telltale bulge in my pocket to give away what I'm doing.

Suuuuure...

Re:Here I am sitting on the crapper... (3, Informative)

Darius Jedburgh (920018) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718867)

You're right. There is one big giveaway. The volume control is 'digital' which means that the device has to be on before I can turn the volume down. So If I was playing it loud before my visit to the john, as soon as I switch it on it'll make a noise that can be heard in the next stall. Gotta be careful when I do this or it could be very embarassing.

Re:Here I am sitting on the crapper... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719004)

Could be just your mobile/cell phone.. unless that is on Vibrate?.. LOL

Confused grandparents (3, Funny)

dynooomite (920368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718672)

This just means more confused geriatrics wandering aimlessly around an electronics store searching for that "new fangled game thing my grandson wants." That isn't good for anyone.

Re:Confused grandparents (1)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718915)

Grandparents shouldn't be buying games and/or tech related stuff for their grandchildrens in the first place.
I usually got clothes from my grandma, maybe some book.
I don't expect her entering a DVD shop and looking around and guessing if she has to buy a version of a DVD movie featuring Dolby Digital or DTS track (coming soon HD-DVD or Blu-ray), or which of the three Terminator 2 DVD versions is better.

only real use of this (1)

deiong (919381) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718750)

i tried to think of a real use for this. but it seems the only real use is for kids. sneakign it to school or church. the gameboy adnavce was small enough. this is no better then playing a game on the tiny phone screen. maybe im wrong but there really is no other use. the previous game boy advnace sp was small enough....

Here is one reason "why" (2, Insightful)

Stalin (13415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718785)

I have never really liked handheld gaming. The only reason I own a Gameboy is because my brother wanted one of the original Gameboy's for Christmas when they first came out and my father didn't want to get him one and not me. I think I played Tetris and one Raiden like game on the thing; I just never really liked it. To this day, the only portable game system I have owned is that original Gameboy. However, I now find myself wanting a Gameboy Micro. I want one to play all of the classic SNES games (e.g. Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, etc.) whenever I get bored somewhere away from home. But, I don't want to have to carry some huge, and I include the GBA SP in that statement, gaming machine around with me. The Micro is small enough that it won't get in the way and the screen has a decent enough resolution that I would be able to use it for while without straining my eyes.

So there is one reason for all the "whys" being posted. Classic gaming on a platform that is easy to carry around.

mod doW8 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13718834)

United States. Distribution make they learn from our

I bought one (3, Informative)

Shaleh (1050) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718837)

I am 28. It fits easily in my blue jean pocket. The screen is a wee small but damn bright and clear. The sound (via headphones) is really impressive. Was playing metroid on it the first day and was in love.

Yeah, its small. But I played for over an hour the other night, holding the right shoulder button through Toularian (Mother brain land) almost the whole time.

No regrets. No AA batteries to replace.

Why not buy the DS? Never buy the first edition of a Nintendo product -- they always come out with a better version in 6 months to a year. Compare the original GBA to the new SP. The DS is currently molded like a kid's toy, but I expect that to change. For now I have a large library of GBA titles available to me. When a new, improved DS comes out I can give the micro to my wife (-:

I bought my SP for three reasons: (2, Informative)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718890)

I bought it because the screen was significantly better than the original Gameboy advance (The fact that the GBA screen was WORSE than my Gameboy Color was what prevented me from buying one at first).

I bought it because it was smaller, it fit in a shirt pocket, or well, any pocket. A GBA wouldn't have (in fact I think the GBA SP was the first portable system that would).

I bought it because of the clamshell design, which protects the screen when not in use.

The Gameboy Micro does two out of three better than the SP. That ain't too shabby.

Finally a decent screen to play Thrust on. (1)

ChickenFan (887311) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718907)

It's a cute little unit. I find the SP too bulky, and classic (black background) games look awful.

Finally a decent screen to play Thrust [gbadev.org] on.

Concept behind... (0, Flamebait)

MaHaGoN (920379) | more than 8 years ago | (#13718952)

The Micro is an obvious push for Nintendo to get more out into the market prior to the Revolution. With the recent comings of the DS, and its popularity, they needed to find a way to make the old "cool" again. To just replace one means of profit with another is not good buisiness practice. Finding a target audience for both the old as well as the new results in not only greater profits for the company, but happier customers which may be more inclined to buy from them again. Its not only an excuse for fanboys to have another toy to play with, but for a relative newcomer to Nintendo to get into the style of games/gameplay that they offer. That is... if there is such thing as a newcomer to Nintendo.
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