GameBoy goes micro

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 August, 2005, 12:00am

The video game console that kicked off the portable gaming trend, Nintendo's GameBoy, just got a little more portable.

Over the years, GameBoy has been improved with the addition of colour. The latest enhancement is a sizable one - the console is now small enough to fit almost anywhere.

The new GameBoy Micro is 10cm x 5cm x 1.8cm and comes with a 5cm back-lit colour LCD.

The Micro is essentially a regular GameBoy, but smaller. As such, it will play all the GameBoy Advance titles - a library of some 700 games, according to Nintendo.

The biggest compromise for the size reduction is the display - which is about half the size of the traditional GameBoy Advance - but nearly all the functionality is there.

The Micro features the same number of buttons on the front and retains the L and R buttons on the top of the device.

The good news about the Micro's price is that Nintendo is going after the mass market with a suggested price tag in of US$99, which is about the same as the GameBoy SP.

If you are happy with the GameBoy SP, you will likely be happy with the Micro. Then again, you might not want to buy another device that does exactly the same thing.

If you've always wanted a GameBoy but needed an excuse to buy one, then the Micro might just give you that extra push to dip into your wallet.

Although the Micro is still spanking new, it has already attracted accessory makers, such as a company called Play YAN.

A Play YAN player for the Micro has already showed up on the Web. It turns the tiny gamer into an MP3 and movie player.

The Micro is scheduled for release in the US next month and in Europe in November, so it should be available soon in Hong Kong's grey market. There is so far no official local launch date.

PROS: smallest game console on the market; bright screen; plays existing games

CONS: not much different from the previous model



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