Release Date: 09/19/2005
Colors: Black, Silver, Green, Blue, Pink, Red, Lavender, Famicon 20th Anniversary, Final Fantasy IV, Lite blue, Mother 3, Pokemon
Nintendo’s constant quest to reduce and miniaturize their handhelds has its fans and some detractors I personally think it’s great as we can still keep and own the larger handhelds. The Micro, however, may have been pushing this limit a little too much. The tiny handheld improved on a single feature: We finally got a good screen and a backlight. The Micro has the best screen out of any of the systems, even the Game Boy Advance SP AGS-101.
The system was designed with the idea of putting on your keychain or a lanyard and being able to put it into small pockets and pack it away. The system had interchangeable faceplates (which you can still get new ones made today by third parties), but the tiny design irked a lot of people. It’s about 1/4 the size of the original GBA and to many, the SP was the perfect GBA system. It retained the same button layout, and rechargeable battery and the screen brightness could be further adjusted.
However, all I/O was removed. This meant no multiplayer and any accessories that connected to the GameCube, e-Readers, and backward compatibility was out the window as well. To many, this is just a novelty, especially with the tiny 2″ screen. Does having a really good screen and backlight make up the difference for such a small form factor and cutting every other feature? Probably not. The system is still plenty playable and I have enjoyed many hours on mine.
Sadly, due to the low sales and poor marketing, and lambasted reviews, the Micro didn’t sell well so these systems are expensive, especially in good shape or complete in-box. thankfully the faceplates and rear housing can be replaced by third parties, and mods don’t really exist for this system. They’re not really needed. This system is really only for those who collect Game Boys or just want a really good OEM backlight without any fuss or mods. If you don’t use any accessories such as the ones mentioned above you won’t miss those either. You also must remember that there is no backward compatibility with older Game Boy titles and need to be okay with just Game Boy Advance games.
The system does feel good in the hands despite the size. There are only two face buttons so this can work fine. I would complain about the small screen, but it’s so clear and crisp and high-res for the size that you can see everything clearly. Adjusting the volume and brightness requires a button combo which is unintuitive without the manual and it has its own proprietary charger not compatible with the GBA SP. There is also a headphone jack so keep that in mind as well. This is just a raw GBA playing system.
Overall, the Game Boy Micro is a fun little system that cuts everything out to give us a fantastic OEM backlight and customizable faceplates, but to some that may not be worth the cost of size and accessories. It at least has a rechargeable battery still and comes in really awesome variations.