Style-conscious GameBoy takes a quieter tone
Just as GameBoy games are being moved to mobile phones and ported to Palm-tops, Nintendo has chosen to breathe new energy into its besieged GameBoy.
GameBoy may not have been the original mobile games console, but it has managed to make the market its own.
According to its creators, more than half a billion GameBoy games have been sold since its introduction in 1989. And GameBoy Advance SP will probably be remembered as the last dedicated mobile games machine.
Basically an upgrade of GameBoy Advance, the new system is designed for a more style-conscious public than the previous brightly-coloured plastic models. Today's GameBoy comes in pocket-sized, metal clam-shell design. Buyers have a choice of two colours: cobalt (metallic) and platinum.
Nintendo has also added an illuminated screen, for easier play in hostile conditions.
Powered by a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, the unit reportedly runs for 10 hours of gaming or 18 hours with the screen light switched off.
The GameBoy Advance SP will launch in March, for an estimated retail price of US$99.95.
So go on, treat yourself to a console upgrade. A GameBoy can provide a good poolside diversion during those long, languid summer breaks to come. Besides, as gadgets get smarter, the GameBoy could soon be a collectors' item.