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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The new GBA SP, avail in Graphite and Pearl Blue colours, has an improved backlit transmissive screen. I looked everywhere on the net and no one has mentioned about the new screen, not even Nintendo's websites. I guess they just don't want to take the focus away from GB Micro, which was released on the same day (today).

The new screen is a ton better than the frontlit screen of the older SP. I am not sure if it's the same as the DS screen, but it's truely brilliant. I am so impressed I bought the Graphite one. BTW if you live in my area, BC Canada, I got Mario 3 and a T-shirt for free from Toys R Us; but the deal ends this week.

The light switch does not turn off the light; instead it switches from "normal" to "bright" setting and back. It seems the screen is not reflective or transflective, so I will need to see how it performs under bright sunlight, for which the bright setting might be needed.

The screen appears black instead of "white" when the unit is turned off. When it turns on, the contrasts is unbelieveably vivid; as good as my LCD TV by Sharp. GBA games appear as they were meant to be, and 8-bit GB games seem to have too much colour, if there's such a thing ;) If I have to nitpick tho, the LCD seems to have a slightly slow response, resulting in a tiny bit of ghosting under very special circumstances - a white sprite moving on a black background for instance. I don't remember if the same thing happens on other GB systems?

Now I really don't know if I need the GBM as well... It will depend on how small it feels when compared directly to my new SP; I might still get it tho. Crazy, I know :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
No one is interested?

Anyway, I just wanted to update about the performance under bright sunlight. The screen actually appears greenish grey when turned off under sunlight, which is similar to my Casio E-125 PocketPC.

I tried it on a very sunny afternoon. The "normal" brightness setting is a little dim in this situation, but by all means still very legible, perhaps even more so than the old reflective screen. Granted, the whites are a little yellowy. But as I predicted, using the "bright" setting (by pushing the light button) completely eliminates the dimness and corrects the color under the sun.

BTW, I haven't charged the GB since I did the first time on monday night. I have played a couple hours myself, and I let some kids play it a couple hours as well. The charge is still holding. I don't think I'll do a more accurate battery test, but in general I guess the new screen at normal setting doesn't take more power than the old screen with light on.
 

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very interesting...got a picture of it? does it look like the old GBA SP? im happy with my frontlit SP, the only time i play is on the toilet anyway :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Yeah, it seems the only functional change is the screen. The buttons are now black instead of grey. Everything else is the same. I do wish they added the headphone jack, but I guess they didn't want to mess with the design at all. I can take a picture of the unit... *edit* OK pictures uploaded. Sorry my camera sux at close up :p There's a bit of weird colors on the Mario screen, which is only my camera being stupid...

I played with the frontlit SP for a few days. I found the light to have a heavy blue tint, washing up all the colours :( Also the viewing angle seems narrow; it's easy to tilt too much and see nothing but light. IIRC the manual actually suggests to turn off the light for better colours, if your environment is bright enough.

For current SP owners, it might not make sense at first to trade it in for another SP. But I really suggest taking a look at the new one if you have the chance - the screen upgrade might just be enough to be worth the price. Unless you want to get the Micro or the DS, neither plays 8-bit games tho... BTW, does the DS have a brightness setting for playing under the sun? From what I saw in the store displays, the DS screen isn't as bright as the new SP one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Samor,
Actually I am still getting the GBM, I got the SP for several reasons -

#1 the best reason: a good deal. I was planning to get at least one of the Mario games for the GBM anyway. There is this deal in my area, where the SP comes with a free Mario 3 (the newest mario advance "4") which costs $40CDN regularly. The SP costs $90CDN, so it works out I'm spending only $50CDN extra to get it. I have paid more for a joystick for crying out loud :D

#2 still a good reason: 8-bit GB games. I still want to play classics like Tennis (hehehe) and Six Golden Coins, etc etc. The new SP is the only GB that can play 8-bit games with a backlit screen (unless you count GBA+afterburner). It is frustrating to miss the tennis ball because it went into the glare spot... Picky me :p

#3 a minor point: I will be using it for some GC games, so the larger screen will come in handy ;) I don't even know if the GBM will work with GC.

DW,
They didn't really mention it in words. All they say is: "Screens for Game Boy micro, GBA SP and classic GBA are sharp and vivid . . ." Nothing about the new backlit screen. I can't tell if they updated the picture with the backlit screen; the picture only shows a white screen with "Gameboy" on it :\

BTW, I haven't gotten my GBM because the Toys R Us I reserved it at is having a very stupid problem with their warehouse. I was told they had to call a locksmith to open it up. Grrr. They have one silver one in the store, but I wanted the black one, so I have to wait a few more days :p I have seen the packaging, which has a transparent window to show off the GBM - cool!
 

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I own too many GB/GBC games to buy a GBA that doesn't support backwards compatibility...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
No hushy, I wasn't talking about the typo... I was talking about a certain DS game you simply can't get on any other system - ruff ruff!

As for the DS itself, I don't think we will see any functional changes for quite some time. They do have a lot more colours in Asia tho, so I would expect that to happen in the rest of the world. So far in N America we only have one new colour - blue, in addition to the original silver. I was tempted to get the graphite DS when I was in Hong Kong a few months ago, but ultimately decided it was too big to carry around. Now I end up with a graphite SP :p

BTW, no one plays racing games on GBA? I got very few replies on the other thread :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ruff!
(translation: yes)

Last night a friend got a new DS and I played around with it. He just got it so he had no DS games other than the Metroid demo, which I played extensively :p

Anyway, I played a bunch of GBA games (my own and my friend's) on both the DS and my new SP. To my surprise the DS screen is not as good. In comparison the DS top screen is less bright, and the colours are more faded (white-ish). The bottom touch screen is the same way but a little bit worse.

For example I played SMB3. In the World 5 screen (my current progress) there is a lot of green land. After playing that on the DS and SP back to back, you can clearly see that the green is much stronger on the SP, and more pale on the DS. That's just a specific example; the effects translate to an overall white haze on the whole picture.

So now I am not sure if Nintendo will upgrade the DS screens eventually. Considering how new it is, it's hard to say. But if they do it, it will surely be a welcome improvement. I would definitely like to see Metroid Prime Hunters with a more colourful presentation. The threat from the PSP is also a consideration for Nintendo. If they can use better screens to show off a new colourful game (New SMB...) it might just be enough to persuade a few more purchases.

Unfortunately me and my friend didn't have two copies of the same game (I just started to get them; my friend had a library for his all-scratched-up original GBA), otherwise I would have taken a picture with both machines showing the same image.
 
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