Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance Purple Model

The model of the Game Boy Advance.
Manufacturer Nintendo
Released JP March 21, 2001
NA June 11, 2001
EU June 22, 2001
AU March 8, 2002
KO April 7, 2003
Generation Sixth generation
Processor ARM7TDMI, 16.78 MHz
GPU Custom 2D core
Resolution 2.9-inch reflective TFT color LCD
Media Game Boy Advance cartridges
Codename Advanced Game Boy
Size 3.2 by 5.6 by 1 inch (82 by 144.5 by 24.5 mm)
Units shipped 81.41 million (incl. GBA revisions)
Best-selling game Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
Backward compatibility Game Boy cartridges
Predecessor Game Boy Color
Successor Game Boy Advance SP

Game Boy Advance (JP) (abbreviated as GBA) is a 32-bit Nintendo portable system initially released in Japan on March 21, 2001. A part of the sixth generation of video games, the Game Boy Advance was noted as the final Game Boy iteration. A couple of redesigns were released including the Game Boy Advance SP and the Game Boy Micro. The Game Boy Advance received somewhat some criticism, for it didn't have a backlight, and that was one of the most requested additions from the consumers. Therefore, from the GBA SP and onwards, a backlight was an essential. It was succeeded by the Nintendo DS line. The Game Boy Advance systems quickly became Nintendo's best selling system of all time within a few years, accumulating a total of 81.41 million sales worldwide, including 43.49 million SP units and 2.42 million Micro units. In 2008, the Nintendo DS surpassed this and continued on its path of domination by managing to move a total of 130 million units worldwide. Like the Game Boy Light and the Game Boy Color, the Game Boy Advance requires two AA batteries. The Game Boy Advance is the last Nintendo handheld to require batteries and it is also the last Nintendo handheld to not have a clamshell design until the Game Boy Micro and the Nintendo 2DS.

In 2008, production and sales ended. The original model was discontinued in 2004, while the SP and Micro were discontinued in 2008..

Technical Specifications

  • Length: approximately 14.45 cm (5.69 in).
  • Width: approximately 2.25 cm (0.96 in).
  • Height: approximately 8.2 cm (3.2 in).
  • Mass: approximately 140 g (4.9 oz).
  • Screen: 2.9 inch reflective thin-film transistor (TFT) color LCD.
  • Power: 2 AA batteries.
  • Battery life: approximately 15 hours on average while playing Game Boy Advance games (also dependent on the Game Pak being played, volume setting and any external peripherals being used - e.g. a Worm Light or Screen Illumination Connection.)
  • CPU: 16.8 MHz 32-bit ARM7TDMI with embedded memory. 8 or 4 MHz 8-bit Z80 coprocessor for Game Boy backward compatibility.
  • Memory: 32 kilobyte + 96 kilobyte VRAM (internal to the CPU), 256 kilobyte DRAM (outside the CPU).
  • Resolution: 240 × 160 pixels (3:2 aspect ratio).
  • Color support: 15-bit BGR (5 bits depth per channel), capable of displaying 512 simultaneous colors in "character mode" and 32,768 simultaneous colors in "bitmap mode".
  • Sound: Dual 8-bit DAC for stereo sound (called Direct Sound), plus all legacy channels from Game Boy. The new DACs can be used to play back streams of wave data, or can be used to output multiple wave samples processed/mixed in software by the CPU.


Top Ten Best Selling Games

  1. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
  2. Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen
  3. Pokémon Emerald
  4. Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2
  5. Super Mario Advance
  6. Mario Kart: Super Circuit
  7. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
  8. Namco Museum
  9. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team
  10. Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3


A successor to the Game Boy called Project Atlantis was originally planned in the mid 1990s. It would support 32-bit ARM CPU and would practically be able to run games like the SNES, being on par with it. This device was scrapped with the revival of Game Boy sales in the other revisions and the enormous form factor.

The actual development of the Game Boy Advance was not started until the Game Boy Color was started. It was first mentioned as a successor to the Game Boy Color in October 1999. The development cycle was relatively fast, completed within 2 years. It had the codename of Advanced Game Boy, very similar to the final name. The system was unveiled at Spaceworld 2000 on August 24, 2000.


See also