Too small for comfort

One may wonder what Nintendo was thinking upon hearing about its launch of the fourth handheld gaming device designed to play Game Boy Advance games. The reason behind the creation of the Game Boy Micro may be a mystery after the recent launch of the Nintendo DS, which in many respects was a step forward in Nintendo’s handheld gaming line rather than the step backward offered by the Micro. As amazing as it is, it’s simply too late.

Incredibly small and sleek understates the design. If you’re prone to losing things, the Micro is definitely not for you. Sizing in at a whopping 4 inches wide and 2 inches tall with a weight of approximately 2.8 ounces, the Micro is almost as small as the iPod Nano. The Game Boy Advance game cartridges are giant by comparison. Size matters in the world of handhelds, and the general rule of thumb is the smaller the better. However, the Micro may be too small for gamers to play comfortably and is not as comfortable as other Nintendo handhelds.

The most impressive feature of the Micro is its screen. As tiny as it is, it is also the brightest screen Nintendo has put on a handheld. Its luminosity can even be compared to the screen on the Sony PSP. That’s an amazing feat considering the Micro’s battery can last up to 10 hours on a full charge – almost twice as long as the PSP’s battery life.

All Game Boy Advance games look and run perfectly on the new Micro. The pixels are compressed very tightly to fit the screen, but the clarity in game details still remains. One thing to keep in mind is that the Micro will not play old Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. That’s a drawback if you were thinking of replacing your older Gameboy Advance with a Micro.

The Micro is by far the perfect version of the Gameboy Advance. It has many improvements on the earlier designs such as actually having a proper headphone jack, unlike the Gameboy SP. Headphones may play an important factor in the Micro because its speaker system includes only one tiny speaker at the lower right of the system.

Why has Nintendo waited so long to perfect the Gameboy Advance? As confusing as it is, there is still no denying the fact that despite the Micro’s novelty size, it is yet another solid handheld developed by the unstoppable gaming juggernaut that is Nintendo. The Gameboy Micro retails for $99.99.