In an interview, the creative team behind the GBA talk about everything from batteries to dev kits.
Nintendo Of Japan's interview with the entire team behind the GBA's creation appeared on their official site. The interview is of course in Japanese but luckily the great people at Gamers.com translated the entire interview for you reading pleasure. Below are some of the best excerpts.
On size and battery placement
Oota: I had a tough time deciding where to place the batteries and how to deal with the thickness. This time, we positioned the battery case in the middle of the unit, but to achieve this, we had to cut the main circuit board to make the battery fit. That's how we succeeded in making the GBA slightly thinner than the current GB. We work in a world where one or two millimeters determine whether you win or lose. The A and B buttons are the same size as GBC, but by changing the internal mechanisms, we tried to make the overall system as small as we could.
Sugino: During the conceptual sketching stage, we told the group creating the main circuit board, "You have to make it no bigger than this!" But we were seriously shocked when they came back with one that was actually the size we requested.
Umeji: Yes, this time, we are giving the systems to developers early. We give them these kinds of main boards [developer kits]. How many do you think we handed out so far?
Interviewer: Umm ... 50 or 60 of them?
Umeji: No, the first time around, we sent out 500 units, and the second time, we sent out 1,000 of them.
Interviewer: That many!?
Umeji: It just shows how many people are developing software for GBA. There are numerous features on GBA such as four-player link and the beautiful wide screen. We made an effort to create a system that would make it easy to develop attractive games. We are tremendously excited to see what kinds of games will come out for this system.