Before we dive in, let’s start with a few words on the subject that was brought up in the Nintendo Life office: “Such a nice little machine.” “I’ve always wanted one.” “Somehow the two of me came.” “The most convenient way to get a carpal tunnel.”
We talked about the beautiful Game Boy Micro, of course. The tiny console was launched in Japan fifteen years ago (September 13, 2005 and six days later in the US) this week, introducing arguably the most sought-after form of Game Boy Advance hardware at a time when the system was well into the sunset phase was.
Desirable, yes, but Praktical? Just in the sense that it̵
Code-named “OXY”, the Game Boy Micro followed the now well-known tradition that Nintendo brought out great hardware revisions late in a console cycle to seduce anyone who initially held back from buying, or people like us who didn’t want a sexy piece Kit can withstand no matter how superfluous our requirements or game collection are. After all, the Nintendo DS – known as the “third pillar” in support of the existing GBA and GameCube consoles – was launched in 2004 with the built-in ability to play GBA carts. We didn’t need the micro. Oh, but like us wanted to it!
Though Nintendo was difficult to consider in retrospect, given the amazing success of the DS line, it was understandably reluctant to ditch the always dependable (and profitable) Game Boy brand and put the farm on a new experiment with two screens. As the GameCube fought against PS2 and Xbox, this strategy was the “third pillar” marketing language in case the company had to revert to its proven handheld business. Rejuvenated by the worldwide success of PokémonThe Game Boy brand had kept the ship in full swing for nearly a decade as the Nintendo 64 and GameCube underperformed in the face of fierce competition on the home console. In portable space, however, Nintendo was still king of the hill, and it would have been foolhardy at that point to kill the Game Boy brand with an unproven alternative.
The introduction of the Game Boy Micro in 2005 seemed to reinforce Nintendo’s continued commitment to the GBA, although the DS was on the rise and Nintendo DS Lite was released the following year (along with the Touch generations Branded games led by the phenomenon Brain age) in the west really scribbled the writing on the wall for Nintendo’s venerable wearable brand. The micro hardware was below the company’s expectations and would be the last new hardware (to date) with the name “Game Boy”.
The Game Boy Micro represents Nintendo pushing an idea to the absolute limits of sense and practicality, a truly stunning and inappropriately desirable piece of it nonsense
What a way! In many ways, the Game Boy Micro embodies Nintendo’s handheld ethos that is pushed to the limit. to the point of impracticability. On the one hand, as already mentioned, these are really handhelds. It sits in the palm of your hand like a snack-sized candy bar. The reduced area of the tiny 2-inch screen (with backlighting and adjustable brightness) makes the GBA library look sharper than ever. With a range of switchable faceplates, you get almost everything you’d expect in a Nintendo console: beauty, novelty, and a software library to rival the very best console ever made.
Due to the reduced proportions, however, unnecessary hardware had to be removed from the design, so that no original Game Boy and Game Boy Color software can be played. And anyone who complains about the tiny text in Switch games needs a jeweler’s loupe to read the text of GBA’s impressive RPG catalog. On the other hand, we can’t imagine that many players have the stamina to play a micro for more than 30 minutes anyway – anyone over the age of six (or with normal to large hands) is likely to succumb to debilitating hand and wrist pain in minutes.
In view of all the reservations of the Micro, the beautiful GBA SP still has the right to claim to be the “best” Game Boy of all time. The AGS-101 (which came out at the same time as the Micro with the improved backlighting over the original SP) is still the best and most practical way to play your Game Boy library on official hardware, and its clamshell design prevents it That the screen gets damaged scratched by keys, coins and other bag scraps. Despite its flaws, the Micro remains the most sought-after Game Boy of all time – if the opinion of the broader Nintendo Life team is any indication of that.
We saw the three pillar style game return years later with the introduction of Switch. Apparently, the new console would complement rather than replace the 3DS. Obviously, that’s what Nintendo wanted to say – popular, proven hardware will continue to be sold indefinitely as a budget alternative as long as there is demand. Despite the tremendous success of Switch, the 3DS has still stuck to its life thanks to its competitive price and incredible software library. The arrival of Switch Lite and the fact that Nintendo has stopped forecasting hardware sales means that Switch’s handheld predecessor has now done so. at last, retired and the company now only has a single console column, which is now complemented by a mobile profit column (Nintendo loves columns).
It is tempting to see the final iteration in the 3DS system family, the Nintendo 2DS XL, as the modern day equivalent of the Micro. It’s certainly a good piece of hardware, but it is path too practical – far too reasonable – to compare properly. The Game Boy Micro represents Nintendo pushing an idea to the absolute limits of sense and practicality, a truly stunning and inappropriately desirable piece of it nonsense. Nintendo is more Nintendo than ever. and we love it.
The fact that we can’t play a Game Boy Micro without developing microfractures doesn’t stop the members of Team NL from talking wistfully about their time with the console and occasionally holding it in the palms of our hands (and those of us who do never got around) from time to time to pick up an increasingly expensive Micro from the eBay trawling).
Is it practical? Certainly not, but the practicality is damned. You don’t buy a Ducati or a Ferrari because they are practically. Is it a console we play a lot? Gosh, no – we can’t survive in his company for more than a few minutes. But it is still that sexiest Part of the kit Nintendo ever produced, and at the mention of its name we will forever get a wistful, distant look in our eye and a little hot under the collar.