The game Boy breakthrough (GBA) has actually one that the finest libraries of any handheld console ever before (especially once considering its backward compatibility through Nintendo’s previous handheld models). Yet given every one of the various revisions to the original video game Boy advance hardware – GBA vs GBA SP vs GBA Micro – it can be complicated to figure out i m sorry one is right for you.

What space the differences in between the video game Boy Advance, the SP, and the Micro?

Game young Advance

The original model with ergonomic designBackward compatible with video game Boy and also Game young ColorUses two AA batteries

Game Boy advancement SP

Revised clamshell designImproved, brighter screenUses lithium-ion rechargeable batteryPlays same games as original GBARequires adapter connect to typical headphones

Game young Micro

By much the the smallest console in the GBA familyExtremely bright and also vivid screenCustomizable with swappable faceplatesOnly dram GBA games

Those room the major differences between the three GBA consoles, however which one is better? which one is appropriate for you? Well, we could not be able to answer that last concern for you, yet we can provide you a full failure of the pros and cons of every unit and allow you to decide for yourself.

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Game young Advance



Comfortable ergonomic designBackward compatible with game Boy and Game Boy color titlesDoesn’t require an adapter to use standard headphonesThe cheapest version of the three consoles


Screen brightness doesn’t to compare to the SP or MicroNo rechargeable battery; supplies AA batteries

Let’s begin off through what is may be the initial GBA’s finest selling point, the price tag. Now, pricing is always fluctuating, so please visit our repetitively updated short article – exactly how Much Is A game Boy development Worth? – to stay up-to-date on what the whole family of GBA consoles is going for today. Also with fluctuating prices, however, you have the right to pretty much assume that the original advancement is going for much less than its revised counterparts are, top top average.

Additionally, the initial GBA offers you maybe the most comfortable design and full backward compatibility with video game Boy and also Game Boy color titles in ~ that lower price. So, it would certainly seem choose going through the initial GBA is a no-brainer, right? Well, no so fast. That display really demands to be questioned first.


The difference in display brightness and quality in between the video game Boy development and that is revisions is truly night and also day. And since the screen is the thing you’re going to be looking at, it’s hard to recommend the original console over the SP or the Micro.

That being said, there is some good news for tech-savvy (or friend of tech-savvy) people; there room a ton of composed and video tutorials on swapping the end the original display on the GBA because that an boosted backlit LCD screen. There are even tutorials on installing a rechargeable battery too – fixing the model’s other significant flaw. Also for the not-so-tech-savvy, modded game Boy breakthrough consoles through updated screens and rechargeable battery are obtainable to purchase online – however that does make this choice quite expensive.

Bottom Line: The stock game Boy advance is through no means unplayable. The display screen is serviceable, and the ergonomic style is generally considered the most comfortable out of the 3 GBA models. If you simply want to gain into the Advance’s incredible library of gamings at the cheapest price, the original unit is perfect because that you. Don’t compare displays with SP or Micro owners and you’ll be simply fine.

Game Boy advance SP



Much brighter display screen than the initial GBA (especially v the backlit AGS-101 model)Lithium-ion rechargeable battery Clamshell architecture protects the screen and makes it less complicated to take trip with


Requires an adapter to use conventional headphonesNot together comfortable to host as the original GBAHinges tend to wear down over time

It’s nearly impossible to talk about the game Boy advance SP and also not gush about its brighter screen. And Nintendo also released a new SP version near the finish of the console’s operation – an also brighter backlit version. The frontlit and also backlit SPs are almost identical other than their respective displays, but we have actually a useful guide – video game Boy development SP AGS-001 vs 101: What Is The Difference? – to assist discern between the two models.

Thanks to its enhanced LCD screen and also rechargeable battery, the SP is widely thought about to it is in the definitive video game Boy breakthrough console. That plays all of the same gamings as the original unit, but with a much brighter display. Still, the is not to say the the SP is without its flaws.

The clamshell design is one that works well. In fact, Nintendo has continued to usage it through its handheld consoles all the method through come the 3DS. It’s great for keeping the display screen in good shape, yet the extr moving parts frequently need come be replaced over time. The hinges ~ above the SP are fairly durable, but they execute tend to wear down after continued use. Additionally, many feel the the SP isn’t together comfortable to organize as the initial GBA, yet a most this deserve to be left up to an individual preference.

The just other real drawback come the SP is the absence of a conventional headphone jack. And also while this is annoying, a cheap headphone adapter (see link for pricing top top Amazon) does deal with this problem.

Bottom Line: In regards to display, the SP is a night-and-day development over the original GBA. Many fans think about the SP to it is in the definitive advance console, and it’s not difficult to view why. If you have the extra money (or discover a good deal), splurge for the SP and also you won’t regret it.

Game boy Micro



Even brighter and much more vivid backlit screenIts size makes it the most portable GBACustomizable v swappable faceplatesReintroduced the headphone jack come the GBA console


Not backward compatible; just plays video game Boy breakthrough gamesExpensiveRequires an adapter to affix to various other GBA consolesMaybe too small?

The game Boy Micro is a unique little handheld that released appropriate at the tail-end the the Advance’s run. The seen this day as rather of a collector’s item, but that doesn’t average it doesn’t pack a punch.

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The Micro has the brightest and most vivid screen out of any kind of GBA iteration. It’s no a huge step up end the backlit SP (unlike the huge leap the SP is over the initial GBA), however it’s an development nonetheless. So, if the best display is what you are looking for, the Micro easily has that. And oh yeah, it has a headphone jack!

While the Micro did return the headphone jack come the GBA family of consoles, it requires an adaptor to attach to SP or original advancement handhelds. And unfortunately, the adapter isn’t the simplest (or cheapest) accessory come find. Us did control to monitor them down on eBay, but they space going for quite a little bit of money.

Perhaps the best knock top top the Micro is the it is not backward compatible with game Boy Color and also original video game Boy games like the original development or SP. For those that don’t care about backward compatibility, this isn’t fairly a significant blow – yet for various other gamers, this can be a deal-breaker.

Lastly, the Micro is easily the many expensive console in the GBA family. With its exceptionally small type factor and limited release, the game Boy Micro is more of a collectible this days – and also its price tag mirrors that fact.

Bottom Line: The Micro is a bit of a novelty. The handheld is incredibly cool and the display screen is impressive, yet its price tag and lack of backward compatibility make this tough to introduce for many gamers. If you nothing care about Game Boy shade or original game Boy games and have the extra cash come spend, then go for it. If the doesn’t describe you (or if you have larger hands), probably go because that the SP or original game Boy Advance.