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Mainstream Press on the GBA

by Mike Sklens - June 12, 2001, 11:17 pm EDT

Mike S' local newspaper ran 2 articles on the the Game Boy Advance. See what they had to say!

I don't get the newspaper anymore. But my friend Kai does. So, he scanned these 2 articles about the GBA and I'm posting them here for all your PGCers to read. The GBA made the Front Page! How cool is that? The articles are pretty good too. The first article from The Gainesville Sun of Gainesville, FL. The other is from The Dallas Morning News. The articles are transcribed below:

Article 1:

by Al Laranjeiro and Jermey Cox

The much-anticipated release of the Game Boy Advance video game hit Gainesville with a thud Monday: Only customers with advance purchases could pick up their trophy.

At the Oaks Mall, the envy of video-game fans were the eight wise gamers who had the forethought to order their GBAs a few months ago. Software Etc. had eight already-ordered GBAs available for pickup, but none were available for sale. So the store lacked the throng of gamers clamoring at its gate as the storev opened at 10 a.m. Monday.

"Customers had between January and April to order of the the about 500,000 gamers in the initial shipment," said store manager James Fause. The gamers were the allotted to Software Etc. stores depending on their advanced purchases. N new orders were allowed after April and Fause said he doesn't know when his store will be getting new shipments.

Meantime, Rhino Video's two stores expect their shipment to come in today. Their sales will be on a first-come, first-served basis, with limited availability. Media Play and BestBuy in Gainesville don't expect their shipments of GBAs in until Wednesday (advanced purchases only).

At Software Etc., some customers were more eager to snatch their GBAs than were others. Sandra Hansman of Gainesville was the first to pick up her game 10 minutes after the store opened. She paid $99.99 without opening the box. Hansman said she has all the Nintendo games, but her favorite is Zelda. "I'm still a kid and love these games," she said without revealing her age. Then she added that she had to go home to do some chores and would play the game afterward.

At Wal-Mart on Archer Road, store officials said they would stock the new game on shelves by Wednesday or sooner, whenever the first shipment arrived.

"As soon as they get in, we automatically have to put them on the floor," said Brian Titus, and electronics sales associate. The store originally had agreed to follow Nintendo's protocol, Titus said, and not make the system available until Wednesday, its official release date for non-preordered sales. Recently, though, the game company bowed to high demand for the product and lifted the restriction.

Titus estimated that about 50 units of the Game Boy Advance will make it on the shelf, but he expects those 50 to be snatched up in a hurry.

"There's a lot of people who are into Game Boy," the associate said, "If I had to guess how many will be sold this month (at this store), it would be around 200."

The Game Boy Advance is the latest video game from the popular Nintendo Game Boy hand-held system. The original Game Boy arrived in 1989 and has sold some 100 million games [sic]. GBA is expected to be popular with Nintendo fans with the addition of new graphics wile permitting all the original GB games to be played in it.

Two new games – Super Mario Advance and F-Zero – were also released Monday. In all, 15 games are now available for the GBA with an additional 60 to be release by November.

One of the additions to the 32-bit GBA are colors – more than 32,000 in a screen that is 50 percent larger than GB. At least one of today's customers bought it for the colors. Michael Redding, a 25-year-old Gainesville paramedic, said that the GBA is the first hand-held game he's bought. "I didn't buy it before because of the lack of color" in the GB, he said.

Article 2:

by Victor Godinez

Nintendo's Game Boy Advance is new and improved in just about every way from the original Game Boy and the Game Boy Color. It's still the most user-friendly piece of video game hardware around, except for one minor detail.

The biggest change is the physical orientation of the system. Instead of the vertical orientation of the original Game Boy – with the screen on top and the buttons below – the GBA is a horizontal system, with buttons and joy pad on either side of the screen.

This isn't any better or worse a design than the original, and you'll get used to the new layout faster than you can say "Luigi."

The GBA will be available in purple, translucent blue and white at launch. At translucent pink version will be available July 2.

The screen is 2.9 inches across – 50 percent larger than the screen on the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color – and is capable of displaying 32,768 colors, about 500 times more than the Game Boy Color.

Unfortunately, here's where the system's one drawback slips in. The GBA uses a reflective Thin Film Transistor display, rather than a backlit display, and that means the graphics are some-times hard to see unless you're playing directly under a lamp or you purchase a separate clip-on light.

The omission of a backlit display keeps the price down, extends the battery life and means one less part that might break, but Nintendo should have included one anyway.

While the screen is larger, the device itself is much smaller than the old Game Boy, making this player even easier to slip into your back pocket (Transcriber's Note: Nintendo does not recommend sticking the GBA in your back pocket!).

There are four game buttons – two on the right side of the screen and one on each side on the top of the unit – plus a Start button and a Select button. In addition to the built-in speakers, it has a headphone jack.

Internally, the 32-bit central processor is roughly on par with the old Super Nintendo console in processing speed and power.

The graphics are sharp and colorful – much better than anything the Game Boy Color could ever hope to produce – but the GBA is fairly limited in terms of three-dimensional graphics.

That's why most of the games being released initially are either two-dimensional, such as Super Mario Advance, or use simple 3-D effects, such as F-Zero: Maximum Velocity. More advanced 3-D effects are said to be under development.

You can link up to four GBAs to play multiplayer games against your friends, and the best part is that you only need one copy of the game for everybody to play.

Down the line Nintendo plans to make the GBA an integral part of the company's forthcoming GameCube console. You'll be able to plug the Game Boy Advance in as a supersophisticated controller, and you'll use the GBA screen to draw up plays or input commands that you don't want your human opponent to see.

In Japan, Nintendo is experimenting with a cable that links a cellular phone to the GBA, allowing gamers to download additional levels or game characters and perhaps even browse the internet and send e-mail. But there are no such plans to make that service available in the United States.

Other than the screen, the Game Boy Advance is an engineering and design marvel. It sits easily in your hands for hours, the games look and sound great, and the multiplayer connectivity is a big bonus.

Plus, the Game Boy Advance is backwards-compatible with all Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, which means all your old games won't gather dust.

You can see my crappy Software Etc. in this shot.

Them games is tiny!

A note to the Gainesville Sun. In the first article the Game Boy Advance is constantly refered to as a "game." It is not a game!!! It's a Game system. You play games on it!! It is not a game! Get it right the next time. Calling it a game really screws with the readers' heads.

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